So you want to buy an iPad 2, and you don’t want to pay an insane amount on eBay.
Our recommendation, after speaking with a handful of Apple retail reps: Hang out at your local Apple Store every day or order online and exercise some patience.
We were almost unanimously told the same thing from every rep: You can either get lucky and be in the store for a shipment that could arrive at any moment, or order from Apple.com and wait the 3-4 weeks for it to ship.
Here’s what we learned:
- Some Apple Stores are opening an hour early when they receive a shipment of iPad 2s. (Check with your local store.)
- Even business customers, usually prioritized, are on a waiting list. (Though we hear of one person who was able to “skip” the iPad 2 line at the store by buying a handful of MacBook Pros.)
- Stores do not know when they’ll receive iPads. One rep said, “They surprise us.”
- People are still lining up before store the stores open, several days after launch. A rep in Pittsburgh told us that 15 people were in line at 4 a.m. today.
- It’s a similar situation at Best Buy. They’re taking pre-orders, but the wait time is the same.
We also found out that Apple Stores are not keeping extras units in stock to handle customer service issues. This is not the way Apple usually does things — last year, stores kept a small stockpile of iPads locked away in order to help customers returning faulty devices.