Should Your Business Consider Pre-owned Apple Gear?

Experimac franchisees Travis and Becky Howe.
Experimac franchisees Travis and Becky Howe.

The mobile iPad ushered a new generation of cloud-based point-of-sale systems, which are substantially cheaper than traditional POS systems.

But for merchants just starting out, even off-the-shelf consumer Apple gear can get expensive.

Enter companies like Experimac.

When the company opened its first location in 2012, the founder saw a need in the marketplace to make affordable Mac equipment more accessible to individuals and small businesses. Now, it’s one of the largest brick-and-motar businesses in the fledgling industry, and perhaps the only one with a focus on the small business market.

Experimac now operates about 50 franchise stores nationwide. Fifty more are on the way within a year, as well as an international expansion, according to the company.

Travis Howe, who owns a store in Cumming, GA, about an hour north of Atlanta, says there are many good reasons why your restaurant, retail shop or service business should buy a new iPad or Mac Mini directly from Apple. He also says there are good reasons why you might want to consider the pre-owned route from a third-party company.

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Buying pre-owned Mac gear can save your small business 60 percent.

It’s less expensive

A no-brainer for sure. But by how much?

A pre-owned iPad 2, which NCR Silver does currently support, can be had for less than $200. A new iPad Pro, for comparison, can cost $599 at the Apple store. Your small business can save 60 percent by going pre-owned, Howe says.

If you need a Mac Mini to help power your NCR Silver Pro Restaurant app, the savings will really add up.

It’s built to last

Apple equipment is not only easy on the eyes, it’s engineered to last longer.

That’s the main reason — in addition to demand — why they hold their value so well. Another reason, Howe says, is that they’re built on a “Unix” platform, well known for their reliability.

You’ll probably get more attention

Apple customer service is tops in the business, satisfaction surveys indicate. And Apple does sell certified equipment at a discount (online).

But Apple is also a huge company. When you work with a small business, Howe argues, you’ll get more personalized attention.

“You might not get the same level support at a larger company,” Howe says.

You’ll get options

While Apple does sell used merchandise online, you’ll be able to actually see and touch the hardware at a store like Experimac. And if you don’t see what you want? You’ll probably be able to order one from another location.

It used to be difficult to source equipment for businesses. But now, Howe says, his business can quickly source multiple tablets in no time.

You’ll still get peace of mind

Worried about your pre-owned Apple devices failing? You’ll be able to get warranties at Experimac and potentially other businesses.

In addition, he says, given that there are an increasing number of businesses that focus on Apple products, finding a true expert to repair your device is becoming easier.

You may even get a premium shopping experience

Apple made the retail store cool again. If you’re looking for that experience, Experimac in particular has you covered.

“You’ll get the same vibe as an Apple store,” Howe says. “But you won’t get the mall crowds or long wait times.”

Related story: How an iPad POS system can benefit your business

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