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Online iPad Deals Require Detailed Comparisons

If you were hoping to save $100 on an Apple iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi-Gold with its 9.7 inch Retina display, 8MP iSight camera, and 64GB of storage, you’re too late. Best Buy has posted it as Sold Out on line. It was priced at $499.99. It’s still available at Fry`s for full price.

Apple iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi-Gold is selling out fast.

Apple iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi-Gold is selling out fast.

If you are willing to settle for a 7.9 inch LED display and a 5MP iSight camera and only 16GB of storage, you can save $75 at Best Buy on the Apple iPad mini with Wi-Fi – 16GB, Space Gray/Black.
Not wanting to restrict bargain shoppers to a single day, Walmart has been having Cyber Week. They are offering a slightly better discount amount of $79 for the same tablet.

Best Buy and Walmart sell the Apple Mini iPad 16GB for $249.99 and $219.99 respectively.

Best Buy and Walmart sell the Apple Mini iPad 16GB for $249.99 and $219.99 respectively.

Now here is the curious part: Walmart is quoting the list price as $299.00 which they are discounting to $219.99. Best Buy shows only their regular price is $249.99 or refurbished for $10 less. Now you decide which is the “best buy.” Seems like a simple mathematical problem at first glance. But Oh No. Let’s look closely. The Devil is in the Details. Both have the same Model Number: #MF432LL/A. Both tablets carry the same exact name with the only exception being the color. Best Buy lists Apple iPad mini with Wi-Fi-16GB, Space Gray/Black. Walmart has Apple iPad mini 16GB Wi-Fi, Space Gray or White. You can do your own comparisons from the data taken directly from their respective websites.

Spreadsheet Comparison_980

Amazon offers several choices on the same tablet: New from $229.99, Used from $203.95, and Refurbished from $199.99. Clicking on the Used or on the Refurbished category, you come to NYC Electronic Warehouse Storefront. A search of their site did not find the refurbished model. It must have been sold leaving Amazon out of sync with their reseller. Radio Shack offers what they refer to as Refreshed for $229.99 with free shipping.

The Apple Store itself is selling the tablet, Space Gray or Silver “beginning at” $249. . Extras they suggest you add to your purchase include: Lightening to USB camera adapter for $29, an Apple Wireless keyboard for $69, or Apple EarPods with remote and mic for $29. It is ready to ship in one day and you might have in store pick up possible. However, the site warns: “Quantities are limited and availability can change quickly. Items will not be reserved for in-store pick up until you’ve completed checkout.”

As a bonus, Apple offers 6, 12, or 18 months special financing. And they’ll laser engrave up to two lines on the back of your iPad for free. If you click that it’s a gift, you can add an Apple Gift Package for another $5 and a free gift message. One more plus, you can Live Chat with a specialist before purchase. Apple is the only company offering Chat help.

Potential Repair Costs_600

Best Buy provides free shipping if you want it by December 11. If you want it sooner, you’ll pay an escalating shipping fee. The company offers a 1-year Protection Plan from the Geek Squad for $49.99. They say “We Fix It Or Replace It” covering a No-Lemon Policy, Normal Wear & Tear, Power Surges, Screen Issues.

Walmart offers a 2-year Care Plan for $47, but they don’t try to sell you additional accessories other than a $25 savings if you open a Walmart credit card. The Plan indicates: “Drop, Spill and Cracked Screen Problems – We’ll repair or replace it. We cover 100% of the repair costs. There are no deductibles or hidden fees.” Hummm, so you should look for Catch 22’s when considering a protection plan.

A quick look at other on-line retailers showed that Target offers the tablet for $249. MacMall will save you $5 at $244. PC Connection wants you to login or call for pricing. MicroCenter an Authorized Apple Reseller is listing the tablet at $229, but you have to search their site for your local store and drive to the brick and mortar building, because they don’t offer shipping. And purchases are restricted to one tablet per household. Of course, there’s always eBay hawking a new tablet for $299.99 with a money back guarantee.

So, the old adage “Buyer Beware” holds true on Cyber Monday as at any time of the year. Don’t get enamored by a low price. Check out the details. If it sounds too good to be true … it’s worth making comparisons.