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Under certain circumstances (usually once per year) members of the Apple Developer Connection (ADC) with "Select" or "Premier" memberships (which cost money) will get a 'Hardware Discount' which expires on a given date and must be used before that time or forfeited. This discount can be used on one system*. The discount off of regular Apple Store prices is about 10%-20% depending on the sort of computer. To check the prices on a given item, go to this page and then click the "ADC Hardware Purchase Program Store" link.
From time to time an ADC member with a discount will be in a position in which the discount expires before the member plans to purchase a system. In such a case the discount can be transferred to another member, and that member can be an "online" (i.e. free) member: he or she needn't be a Select or Premier member. The member with the discount transfers it to the other's account, then that person purchases the system through the ADC Apple Store (link above). Student members get a one-time hardware discount, but it cannot be transferred.
*From Apple: "A system is equivalent to one (1) CPU with one (1) monitor; one (1) desktop; or one (1) portable. If you are purchasing peripherals (monitor, cable, iPod, etc.) you MUST order all items at the same time as your system purchase."