by Bill Snyder

Finding Deals: iPad 2 Prices Slide as Apple Unveils New iPad

Mar 09, 20123 mins
Computers and PeripheralsMobileSmall and Medium Business

It didn't take long for retailers to slice the price of the iPad 2 by $100. blogger Bill Snyder highlights iPad 2 bargains from Apple, Best Buy, Amazon and more.

Can’t afford to buy the New iPad? Not to worry; here’s a consolation prize. Prices for the perfectly good iPad 2 are already dropping. Apple and Best Buy have knocked $100 off the price of the 16GB Wi-Fi-only model, cutting it to $399, while the 3G-capable iPad 2 with the same storage capacity now sells for $529.

Amazon has cut prices as well, but not very sharply. The 16GB model equipped only with Wi-Fi is selling for $469, a $30 decrease. Some of the partner sites you’ll see on Amazon are noticeably cheaper; I saw one vendor selling the same unit for $415.

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Not surprisingly, there are more used iPad 2s for sale on eBay than I can count, and there are bargains to be had. But I noticed on Thursday, the day after the launch of the new iPad, that buyers were quickly bidding up prices, so don’t expect to save a huge amount on your purchase.

The price cutting on the iPad 2 apparently started first at Best Buy, which cut the price of the Wi-Fi-only model by $50 at the end of February. That was an obvious move to clear out old inventory, and if anyone wasn’t already convinced that Apple was on the verge of announcing a new model, the retailer’s action made it even clearer.

Assuming you do want to buy a new iPad 2, shopping at Best Buy does have one advantage over Apple’s stores: Best Buy now has a 30-day return policy for all items, compared to 14 days by Apple. That’s a real advantage if you aren’t really sure you want to buy an iPad; 30 days is plenty of time to make up your mind. On the other hand, some Apple support options, like the $100 one-on-one offer, are generally only available if the product is purchased at an Apple store.

Best Buy’s return policy changed earlier this month, probably in an effort to match Amazon, its major online competitor. Best Buy’s previous policy was confusing; some products were returnable within 30 days, while others, like computers and many other consumer electronics items, had only a 14-day grace period.

As you may have heard, prices for the new iPad are the same as they had been for the iPad 2 before the price cuts, so a 16GB Wi-Fi only model in either black or white costs $499. Here’s a link to a page on Apple’s Web site that has side-by-side feature and price comparisons of the iPad 2 and the new iPad.

Is it just me, or is there something annoying about Apple’s decision to name the new bad boy “the new iPad” instead of the more conventional, and ultimately more useful, iPad3 or iPad HD or some such? In any event, happy bargain hunting.