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Frequently Asked Questions

What are your shipping policies?

There are loads of shipping questions we try to answer on our Shipping Detail Page, but the cliff note version looks like this:

  • We generally ship UPS, and offer standard, rush, and overnight shipping. Note that instead of giving you options for the specific UPS services, however, our shopping cart asks you to let us know how soon you want it, and then we coordinate the proper shipping procedures from there.
  • Yes, we ship internationally. (Note that overnight shipping is not available internationally.)
  • Yes, we ship APO/FPO - we love our troops!
  • For the rest of the story, checkout our Shipping Policies

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What does "Drop Ship" mean?

PowerMax stocks over 10,000 different Apple computers and computer accessories. Unfortunately, we can't stock every part or product in our warehouse. Sometimes it's easier to order the part from a distributor at the time of purchase. Instead of having the product shipped to us, then to you, we "drop ship" the part to you directly from the distributor or manufacturer. For more information check out or Drop Ship page.

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What kinds of warranties are available with PowerMax?

Ultimately, a warranty is simply a guarantee by the manufacturer that they will make any repairs or replace defective parts free of charge for a stated period of time. PowerMax is happy to facilitate communication with the manufacturers at any time (some of them are notoriously hard to communicate with) and do everything we can to make sure manufacturers honor that commitment. Note that on pre-owned Macs, we provide the warranty on those, and think our services in that regard are second to none. For more information and a table of manufacturer contact information, checkout our Warranty page.

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Are you an Apple Authorized Dealer/Service Provider?

Indeed we are. PowerMax is well known as one of the largest Apple Specialist and Apple Service Providers, which means that we are authorized by Apple, Inc. to both resell Apple products and service Macintosh computers. We sell the latest Macs, iPods, software and accessories, and carry one of the largest inventories of discontinued and pre-owned models in the country. Our staff works on Macs every day and our Apple product knowledge is second to none.

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What forms of payment do you accept?


  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • Discover
  • American Express
  • PayPal
  • PowerMax Gift Certificate
  • Bank Wires
  • For full details checkout our Payment Page

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I want to trade in my computer to PowerMax, how do I know I'll really get the value quoted?

We have been in business for over 25 years. We are one of Apple's largest Apple Specialists, and are service, training and value-ap authorized in virtually every category possible. We have retail outlets, business sales and specialized distribution divisions. We're not out to take advantage of anyone for a few bucks, our reputation is far more important to us than that. We view a trade in as a mutual trust situation. We trust you'll send us a computer that doesn't have stickers, coffee stains, smoking damage, loose parts or any other unsightly schmutz that might need to be thoroughly cleaned from the inside and outside of your machine (this includes the keyboard), and that it's working as promised. And you trust if that's the case, we'll give you the credit we quoted.

However, if we do have to spend extra time cleaning or fixing what you send, then there will need to be an adjustment. Fortunately, this doesn't happen very often; on average only about 5% of the trade-ins we receive need to have the price adjusted. Part of that is testimony to the outstanding quality of manufacture Apple provides.

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Why should I buy my Apple stuff from PowerMax?

If you've got a little time to kill, hop on over to the About Us section and prepare for a read. The short and sweet version looks like this:

  • You get to work with a company that been elbow-deep in Apple products for more than 30 years
  • We're in Oregon - the land of great trees, kind people, and no sales tax (and sort of famous for a lot of great microbreweries, but we don't want you to get the wrong idea about our bragging about that).
  • No voice mail. None. We employ these things called "humans" who actually pick up the phone when you dial 888-769-7629. (One caveat-- you'll get a recording when we're closed. But we don't call that voice mail.)
  • You can trade in your current Mac. We've got one of the few trade-in programs for Macs, and we've done it for many, many years, so we've gotten pretty darn good at it.
  • For even more snappy reading, checkout out Why Buy From Us page.

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What do you mean by "refurbished"?

When PowerMax uses the term refurbished we are indicating that a computer or device was bought from Apple through their refurbished program. Apple tests and restores returned units to their original configuration. Then they release the computer again with the same warranty as a new Mac. Be aware that some resellers try to call their used Macs "refurbished" to make them sound more, well, official. But they're not factory refurbished, and we think that's being a little sneaky.

For a more detailed version, be sure to checkout Jacob's refurbished explanation.

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What makes PowerMax Certified Pre-Owned Macs better than other used Macs?

We've been refurbishing and reselling used Macs longer than practically anyone, but more importantly, better than anyone. In apition to our automatic extended warranty, our 'no cost' DOA replacement warranty ensures you'll get a pre-owned Mac that works from the get-go, or it won't cost you a dime to get replaced. And just look at our selection: most of the time we have in stock virtually every model produced since the G3 was introduced!

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What is the definition of an Open Box Mac?

When PowerMax lists "open box" in the description of a Mac, it means it is a computer that has either been opened for demo, or used for a very short time but is still under warranty. Occasionally they have received Apple-authorized repairs, rendering them virtually the same as new. No matter their short history, they all qualify for AppleCare, a premier consumer technical support package and extended warranty. Note, however, that the date of expiration of the warranty and AppleCare on Open Box Macs will be based on a warranty date Apple has in their system, not necessarily (though sometimes) your invoice date. Your PowerMax sales consultant can help you investigate those questions on the particular Open Box Mac you're interested in. Since most of the Open Box Macs are virtually brand new, these are some of the best deals you can make!

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Do you offer price protection on new purchases?

Sure do. We'll either issue a refund or credit card repayment of the price difference for up to 10 days after your purchase.

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Is there alien life out there?

I tell you what... we're going to answer a definite "we don't know" to that question, because all we ever try and do is tell the truth, and the truth is, we sure as heck don't know, and are pretty sure most everyone else doesn't either. But it's fun to think about.

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Are some types of RAM really better than others?

An emphatic "yes" answers that question! At PowerMax, we install only major on major RAM; the same RAM Apple uses. Except our RAM comes with a lifetime warranty, as opposed to Apple's one year.

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What does 'major on major' RAM mean?

'Major on major' means major brand RAM chips on major brand RAM boards. For example, Samsung boards have original Samsung RAM chips, Infineon boards have original Infineon RAM chips. Major on major RAM is somewhat more expensive, but it's consistently the most reliable and trouble-free option.

Sometimes you'll run across the term 'major on third.' This refers to major RAM chips installed on third party RAM boards. Samsung, for instance, sells RAM chips of lesser quality to third-party manufacturers who put them on their own boards. We refuse to use this type of RAM. It had been responsible for 90% of computer malfunctions when we once used it.

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Sometimes I see "free" RAM (after rebate) from other resellers. Isn't that a good deal?

We've got an easy answer for that-just call one of those companies and ask them about the warranty on the "free" RAM. We don't know if all of them do this, but one of the major mail order companies offers absolutely no warranty - nada - on their free RAM. In our opinion this cheap free RAM actually costs you money in terms of hassles and problems, even if you remember to send in the original receipts, invoices, product labels and rebate forms while writing the Pledge of Allegiance backwards as instructed and making sure the envelope is exactly one inch shorter than the normal business envelope and hoping like heck you did it all correctly to get your money back. Bad RAM causes lots of mysterious problems: just ask any tech about cheap RAM and watch him roll his eyes in exasperation. And unlike the cheap RAM, the RAM PowerMax sells won't cause warranty issues with Apple if you have a problem with your Mac.

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How is the Combo Drive different than the SuperDrive?

Apple's Combo drive reads and writes (burns) CDs. This means you can burn images, music, text, graphics, etc. to a CD and read them as well. Combo drives only play (read) DVDs. So, if you want to watch The Matrix DVD on your combo drive, break out the popcorn.

The Apple SuperDrive does every thing the Combo drive does, but it also burns (writes) fully interactive DVDs onto DVD discs. If you're an iMovie or DVD Studio user and want to create interactive DVDs, or want to burn files or back up to the larger capacity of a DVD disc, the SuperDrive is your only option.

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Rebates rebate rebates - why all the rebates?

We'll be really frank here: we hate mail-in rebates. But sometimes consumers are funny; a while back we took a stance that we wouldn't play the rebate game. But you know what? Sales dropped. Despite what people say about disliking the hassle of rebates, in the end they get attracted to their perceived best price and are really, really, sure that this time, they'll remember to send in all the paperwork to get their money back.

In apition, they are such a staple of the landscape in this industry that it seems like almost every manufacturer out there has some rebate or another going. In our case, we are back to offering strategic rebates that truly represent good value by partnering with one of the leading rebate providers in the country, but only at our insistence that the rebates be clear, concise, and easy to process. If you review the terms and conditions on our rebate forms to virtually any other, you'll see they're about the most consumer-friendly rebates possible.

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So PowerMax is located in Oregon - why should I care?

Many people are unfamiliar with the Northwest and even less familiar with Oregon. There are those who think Oregonians spend most of their time wielding chain saws or hiding under umbrellas. But in fact, Oregon has become a high-tech mecca in the last 25 years. Companies like Intel, Tektronix, Komatsu, InFocus, LaCie, Planar and Epson have locations here (not to mention PowerMax!). A huge pool of engineers, technicians and scientists call Oregon home. PowerMax draws from this tech-rich environment in order to provide you with the most knowledgeable sales staff around.

Also, Oregon's natural beauty is something we at PowerMax can't help but be proud of. Natural wonders like the Oregon coast, the Cascade Mountains, the high-deserts of central Oregon, the Columbia Gorge, Snake River Canyon, The Great Basin and the Willamette Valley Wine Country keep Oregonians humble and grounded. Our approach to you, the customer, reflects a more laid back and pressure-free sales approach. We don't believe in the 'hard sell.' We believe in providing exemplary service and a pleasant sales experience.

Put it this way: talk to a "big city" salesperson from another mail order company. Then talk to the folks from Oregon at PowerMax. I think that's when you'll understand why buying from an Oregon company is the next best thing to living here.

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