Apple Improves Employee Discount Program

June 22, 2012

On the heels of early employee annual raises and a special one-time pay hike, Apple has now improved the existing employee discount program on Apple products to allow cash off on Macs and iPads. The program is particularly relevant for retail store employees, whose hourly wages frequently don’t allow them to purchase the very products they are assigned to sell, repair or train with. Under the program, the company is offering a straight $250 off the price of an iPad or $500 off the price of any Mac model, usable once every three years. The cash discount augments a personal and friends–family percentage-based discount program on most Apple gear that has been available for many years.

Most retailers allow their employees to purchase discounted products sold at the store. Depending upon the products being sold, the discount ranges from small (3-5%) to substantial (50%). At some clothing retailers, management expects employees to purchase the store’s merchandise at a discount and wear it during work. A family-friends discount is also common among American retailers.

Under the current Apple discount program, on their first day of employment, staffers are eligible for a 25 percent discount on one of the following products: iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. The same discount is also available on one each of the various iPod models, an iPad, Airport base station and Apple display, and a “reasonable quantify” of Apple accessories. There is also a 50 percent discount on most Apple software and 10 percent on third-party accessories, both in reasonable quantities. AppleCare is also available for a 25 percent discount.

Friends and family of an Apple employee are also eligible for a discount on products, most limited to three products at a 15 percent discount. No employee product discounts are available for the Apple TV or iPhone.

After an employee has been on the job for 90 days, the new EPP+ program becomes effective. The program was announced by Apple CEO Tim Cook last January, and is just now taking effect. The program lets an employee chose one of two discounts: $500 off the price of a Mac (mini excluded) or $250 off an iPad. Once the discount is used, an employee is not eligible for this discount again for three years.

Based on the cost of the various iPad models, the new discount ranges from 30 percent to 50 percent. The discount on an iMac, for example, would range from 20 percent to 41 percent.

Interestingly, an explanation of the discount program reportedly states that just-introduced Apple products are not available for an employee discount purchase until about one month after they are available to the public, presumably to maintain a supply for ordinary customers.

On the practical side, if an Apple employee purchased the lowest-price version of each discounted product, the total cost would be $3,571, or about 10 percent of a typical retail store Specialist’s annual pre-tax salary. With the $892.75 employee discount, the final price for all of the products would be $2,678.25.

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