A LockerGnome reader emailed in the question, “Would you say that Apple.com is the best place to buy an Apple product? Do you get a better warranty or cheaper price from the Apple Store?”

Thank you for these questions. While warranties are the same no matter which authorized retailer you purchase from, pricing can sometimes work to your benefit at an official Apple retail store.

For example, a student receives a slightly discounted price on most products sold on Apple.com and official Apple retail stores. This discount can, in many cases, cover any local sales taxes and even leave a little extra money in your pocket. Depending on shipping charges, this may be a better deal at a physical Apple Store than the website.

There are special prices available to you as well if you are a federal, state, or local government employee. Some businesses also have discount accounts with Apple that employees can take advantage of. These discounts generally don’t extend to authorized retailers unless they offer a similar discount of their own.

Shipping charges are a big factor in the overall price of products at Apple.com. Depending on your local tax rates, it may work out to your advantage to purchase from an authorized retailer in your local area. Some online retailers offer competitive pricing and free shipping during certain promotions, so it’s always good to keep an eye open for those deals as well.

I hope this answers your question, and thank you again for sending it in.