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This morning, Apple’s Black Friday sale went live in Australia, confirming our earlier report that it will be based around gift cards and not the usual discounts. Because this is the first time that Apple has provided a gift card-based deal for Black Friday, many readers have approached us with questions. We’ve asked around, and we have some answers. First, as we wrote in the previous post, here’s why Apple moved to gift cards:

An Apple employee reached out to share some details as to why Apple moved from standard discounts to gift cards for this year’s Black Friday festivities. According to this person, the switch has been long considered, and is not entirely influenced by Apple wanting to give customers incentives to spend more money through Apple. According to the person, the standard discounts for Black Friday required several months of preparation (each year) from Apple across several teams within the company. Apple was required to manually update the pricing for every product within its entire backend system for both the online and retail stores. This process is said to have been anything but seamless, and it was, as the source put it, a waste of time and resources. Gift cards, instead, take little effort from Apple to ship alongside products, and in some cases, the money savings (overall) will be even greater for the customer.

We understand that the gift card offer will not be combinable with any other promotions (such as the Education discount available on some products). Apple will also not be price matching products to deals available at other retailers. Apple will work with the customer to decide on which available Apple promotion will save the most money: gift card or education discount, for example.

The gift cards will also not be applicable to that same transaction. For example, the gift card that will come with a purchase cannot be applied to that specific purchase. So, if you buy a Mac and get a gift card, you cannot apply that card to that Mac. Instead, you can buy an AirPort Extreme (for example), and apply the gift card to that accessory via a separate transaction.

If you want to return an item you purchased via the Black Friday promotion, you must also return the gift card. If the card has been used, the amount of money that the card was originally worth will be deducted from the amount refunded for the main item. For instance, if you buy a $150 accessory and receive a $25 gift card, you will receive the entirety of that $150 back if you return the unused $25 card. However, if you used up $10 from the $25 card, the full $25 will be deducted from the $150 and the gift card will still be active. So, in this scenario, the return process will give the customer $125 back and the customer can keep the gift card with $15 remaining.

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