“When administrators in Ohio’s Mentor Public Schools were buying MacBooks during the 2015-16 school year, the local Best Buy was offering a lower price than Apple, even after the company’s standard discount for school districts. Superintendent Matt Miller pushed for a better deal, but Apple said it would not budge from its price list,” Sarah Butrymowicz and Tara García Mathewson report for Wired. “The company prohibits most third parties from selling new devices to school districts, so Miller couldn’t place a bulk order with Best Buy as a district official.”
“Frustrated at the thought of spending money he could use elsewhere in his budget, Miller devised an extreme workaround. He told Apple he would buy gift cards for each of his 2,700 high school students, bus them to Best Buy and let them purchase their own MacBooks,” Butrymowicz and Mathewson report. “He threatened to invite local news outlets and create a media circus.”
“Apple backed down. While the company listed those MacBooks at $829 per device, it charged Mentor Public Schools $759 each, according to school officials. The 8 percent discount saved the district nearly $200,000,” Butrymowicz and Mathewson report. “The same device or program can cost more from one state to another and even from district to district. Responsibility to negotiate with vendors falls on school districts that often do not have the time or resources to drive a hard bargain. Many also don’t have information about discounts that other school districts have received, and, when purchasing from a company like Apple, which has a reputation for being rigid with pricing, some district officials don’t even know they can ask for larger discounts.”
“A Hechinger Report analysis of Apple purchasing documents from 75 school districts around the country found big disparities in prices on devices, warranties and professional development support,” Butrymowicz and Mathewson report. “Five districts received double-digit percentage discounts, while dozens of others got no money off at all, even when making large purchases.”
Much more in the full article – recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s education reps are going to love this well-timed report.
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