Apple CTO - Submitting a Custom Apple Proposal (Departmental)

This document covers how to create a web proposal on the Apple Store for Higher Education/Institution site, and how to submit the proposal to DoIT so it can be purchased.


Before you create a custom Apple Cart, please check with the Tech Store to confirm this is not already a standard item you can purchase in the store or in our catalog.  Many items are in stock and available for immediate purchase.

If you need a model that is not a standard Tech Store item you can create a custom Apple Cart, but please note that this is considered a special order and it is not returnable to the DoIT Tech Store or Apple.

The DoIT Tech Store stocks many Apple computer models but often you as a department purchaser may want to order a custom configuration that we don't carry. Such a model is known as a "CTO" or Configure To Order model. This document explains how to create a CTO web proposal at the Apple ecommerce site and how to submit the proposal to DoIT so that it can be purchased. 

A "Proper" Web Proposal

We like web proposals because they unambiguously detail exactly what you want to order, and they have a unique web proposal number that lets us look it up and proceed right away. Here is an example of what a "proper" Apple web proposal looks like. 

The example proposal linked to above was created at the "Apple Store for Higher Education/Institution." This is the site that all campus Apple orders contractually end up going through. This site has a few important features:
  • It features education discounted prices.
  • It has some configurations and software only available to Higher Education.
  • Web proposals created here are accessible by DoIT for ordering.
  • It is tax-exempt.
However the Apple ecommerce site is large and it is easy to get into some "wrong corners." The typical suspects are:
  • The Apple Store for Higher Education/Personal - This site has education pricing but it will add Wisconsin state sales tax. You also cannot create a web proposal here, only a "Saved Cart" which we cannot access. This site however is perfectly fine if you are purchasing for yourself a custom Apple configuration and you are paying with your own money.
  • The Apple Store Retail - This site has no education pricing. It also has some products which DoIT cannot purchase such as the Apple Watch.
Having mentioned "wrong corners", we'd like you to know we will take almost anything you might send us, even screen shots. We will then use that information to create a "proper" web proposal which we may send back to you for approval before ordering. 

Some Points About The Ordering Process:

  • Refurbished Macs you may see on the Apple Retail site are not available for Higher Ed to order.
  • Also not available are certain products like the iPhone. If you really need an iPhone talk to DoIT Voice Services. Also talk to Voice Services if you need a Verizon cellular iPad.
  • We encourage you to create your own web proposals at Apple. We also encourage you to let DoIT place your orders. By doing so please know that you are supporting DoIT services such as our walk-in and phone-in Help Desk, our Repair department, Department Support and Tech Store. We appreciate your support of DoIT!
  • Creating an Apple Web Proposal does not commit you to purchase nor does it initiate a purchase. When you submit your proposal to DoIT -- covered below -- we will contact you to obtain your payment method and ship-to address.
  • As mentioned above, please make sure you have permission from your supervisor or department IT before committing your department's funds.

An important couple of notes about AppleCare

A department can specify that their device be registered with extended AppleCare coverage. This is know as "Apple Auto-enroll" and it differs from the retail version of AppleCare in a couple of ways.
  • Auto-enroll AppleCare is basically the same price and extends the same coverage (but see below) as retail AppleCare. 
  • The Apple Mac or iPad will ship with AppleCare already applied. What this means is that if you were to look up the device's serial number you would find that its coverage has been extended by the amount specified on the order. 
  • You may wonder if your product is covered because you do not receive anything physical concerning AppleCare at the time of the order. How will you know you have coverage? Two ways; 1) you can always look up your coverage yourself at the checkcoverage site, and 2) Apple will US mail you a letter of coverage in one to two weeks after the product ships.
  • Having said this, sometimes if you look up a products serial number immediately after it ships it may not show that it is registered with extended coverage. Sometimes it takes a few days for Apple's systems to catch up, these problems usually fix themselves in a few days. 
  • There is a whole different line of AppleCare products that can only be purchased by a department, it is known as the AppleCare Repair Agreement (ARA). There are three differences concerning ARA; 1) for a three year agreement it is less expensive, 2) both three and four year agreements are available, and 3) ARA has no phone-support component unlike standard, retail AppleCare. It sometimes make sense to apply ARA to an institutionally-bound order in order to save your department a little money. Unfortunately there is not a particularly good mechanism for a department to select this product themselves or to even know it exists, it does not appear anywhere on Apple's ordering site. Please let us know if you would like ARA on your order! 

Let's Get Started!

Let's get started with how to create an Apple web proposal for a CTO Mac.

First, use this link to get to the Apple Store for Higher Education/Institution:

To find the UW-Madison store just enter "Wisconsin" in the pop-up field and our UW zip code "53706":

Hit the "Search" button. You'll then get this screen:
It doesn't matter which UW-Madison line you pick. Click on "Browse as guest". (If you are interested, you can also click on "Register" to get your AppleID associated with the UW-Madison store. There's no real advantage to doing so if you are going to have DoIT submit your orders.)

You can see you are now at the Apple Store for Higher Education/Institution. Pick a Mac you would like to configure.

MBP Pick
Let's pick this one.

MBP15 Config
Make your configuration choices then "Add To Cart."

Your Cart
If you want AppleCare click on the box on this page. Click on the Update button to see the updated price. When ready click on "Create Saved Cart."

Email yourself the proposal. And **IMPORTANT** send a copy to If you don't we'll never know you want to order something. (If you are just making a quote for your own purposes you don't have to email us.) Any notes you want us to see, type into the Comments box. Also remember that hitting the Submit button doesn't commit you to buy anything, nor does it actually place the order. All it does is create and send you the web proposal. 

Success! This Summary page has the web proposal number we'll use to order your Apple CTO model. When we receive your proposal we'll reach out to you to acknowledge its receipt and to ask what method of payment you would like to use. We take DoIT#s (which we prefer, please help keep UW money on campus!) and procard, other options can be arranged. 

There is no charge for shipping and all orders can be drop-shipped directly from Apple to your campus location. We can also arrange to have the item available for pickup at any of our three locations. Orders cannot be drop-shipped out of state, contact us if this is something you need to do. 

Please contact us at if you have any further questions.

Keywords:department sales apple macintosh computer mac imac macbook pro custom order cto   Doc ID:51926
Owner:Dawn K.Group:DoIT Tech Store
Created:2015-06-04 10:33 CDTUpdated:2018-06-21 16:46 CDT
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store
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