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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Yesterday, discount department store chain T.J. Maxx and its sister chain Marshalls made headlines with their offer of 16 GB Wi-Fi iPads for $399.99, a $100 discount from Apple's regular prices.


123359-jobs_tj_maxx.jpg


9 to 5 Mac now reports on a purported email response from Apple CEO Steve Jobs noting that T.J. Maxx is not, in fact, an authorized Apple reseller.
Q: Why would you let TJ Maxx of all places undercut the iPad prices by $100?

A: They are not an authorized reseller.
The unsurprising revelation explains the lack of official Apple promotional materials accompanying the sales, but questions remain regarding from where T.J. Maxx and Marshalls are obtaining their stock of the devices.

Apple is almost certainly investigating the circumstances behind these sales and may seek to address the issue of their discounted pricing, which is carefully controlled by Apple throughout its network of authorized resellers.

Article Link: Steve Jobs: T.J. Maxx Not an Authorized iPad Retailer
 

Mal

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2002
6,249
17
Orlando
Where's the typical signature? Seems a bit fishy to me (since emails like this are easily faked, and have been many times).

I don't really doubt the facts here, though, just that this email is real.

jW
 

CyberBob859

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2007
544
360
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

Those iPad shipments mustn't fell off a truck.
 

shartypants

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2010
922
60
I'm sure TJMax is rethinking how brilliant their idea is. But is it really illegal? What can Apple do?
 

stridemat

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2008
11,317
784
UK
I smell an impending cease and detest letter from Apple. This is of course the email above is legit.
 

chris975d

macrumors 68000
Sep 21, 2008
1,795
54
Georgia, USA
I'm sure TJMax is rethinking how brilliant their idea is. But is it really illegal? What can Apple do?

It's not "illegal", so there's nothing that could really happen to TJ Maxx. But the 3rd party that supplied them to TJ Maxx COULD lose their ability to receive Apple products (assuming they are a authorized reseller). This happens in my industry all the time (golf course management) with golf equipment, and the major manufacturers always go after these leaks and cut them off. The other thing that happens in my industry is that when a product is purchased from a non-authorized retailer, the manufacturer will typically void any warranty associated with it. I doubt Apple would do that to people who purchased an iPad through TJ Maxx, but if it's legal in the golf equipment realm, it might be within their rights here too.
 

coolbreeze

macrumors 68000
Jan 20, 2003
1,779
1,471
UT
I'm certain TJ MAXX ran this by their legal team...

If they are willing to sell the product at a $100 loss, that's their choice. You may not have a warranty, etc, because they aren't "authorized" by Apple as a price-controlled reseller, but that doesn't mean it's illegal for them to sell it.

I sold my iPad on craigslist at a loss. I'm not authorized to do that and Steve doesn't care.
 

jeffs177

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2008
50
0
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

It goes to show you that they can still make a profit with $100 off. I guess the price gouging by Apple continues.
 

flopticalcube

macrumors G4
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

It goes to show you that they can still make a profit with $100 off. I guess the price gouging by Apple continues.

Not necessarily, it could be a loss leader. Apple's margin on products is generally 35%, however.
 

laurim

macrumors 68000
Sep 19, 2003
1,935
883
Minnesota USA
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

It goes to show you that they can still make a profit with $100 off. I guess the price gouging by Apple continues.

That's not necessarily true. Stores routinely sell items at a loss to draw people into the store to buy other things. Those kinds of items are called "Loss Leaders". Soft drinks are another example of a typical loss leader for grocery stores.

Unauthorized selling of premium products is called "diversion" in the industry. Many of my clients make premium hair products that are supposed to only be sold in high-end salons that have a special relationship with that producer. Companies like Aveda and Sebastian don't want to see their products in, say, Target because it cheapens their image and weakens the cache salons have to exclusively offer those products and educate the client on how to use the product. Often, the products in retail stores are old versions, rejects and downright fake copies of the real thing and when people aren't happy with the product, it casts a bad light on the brand. Companies spend a lot of time and money tracking down the people who are making back alley deals to the retail stores and cutting off their supplies.
 
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chris975d

macrumors 68000
Sep 21, 2008
1,795
54
Georgia, USA
Not necessarily, it could be a loss leader. Apple's margin on products is generally 35%, however.

Exactly. Or, the 3rd party that TJ Maxx got them from could have sold them to TJM for a slight loss or break even, just to move them. No one knows what TJ Maxx has paid for these, so no one can say they are making a profit. Even if they did sell them for a loss, it's probably more than made up for it in the amount of viral advertising they've gotten so far.
 

bretm

macrumors 68000
Apr 12, 2002
1,951
27
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

It goes to show you that they can still make a profit with $100 off. I guess the price gouging by Apple continues.

They're not making a profit by any means. Since it seems the Marshalls that had them had only 5 or so, it's just a way to get you in the store. The real investigation might be a bait and switch kind of thing. Although there was only bait. But at what point is the advertising side illegal? What if they only had one for sale and took out huge billboard ads? Obviously the purchase of one iPad and one billboard would be cheap advertising to get lots of people in the store hoping to get a cheap iPad.

I'm certain TJ MAXX ran this by their legal team...

If they are willing to sell the product at a $100 loss, that's their choice. You may not have a warranty, etc, because they aren't "authorized" by Apple as a price-controlled reseller, but that doesn't mean it's illegal for them to sell it.

I sold my iPad on craigslist at a loss. I'm not authorized to do that and Steve doesn't care.

Without a reciept or without a reciept from an authorized dealer, Apple would still have to provide warranty service from the manufacture date.
 
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jwesty5

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2010
32
0
I smell an impending cease and detest letter from Apple. This is of course the email above is legit.

That's a lot of cease and desist letters going out to ebay then as well. Theres no law against reselling items in your store whether its an Apple item or something else.
 

KindredMAC

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2003
974
214
Someone call the WAAAAA-Ambulance.....

The emailer is most likely an early adopter who feels cheated...

So is this guy going to write to Steve Jobs every time he finds an iPad on eBay for $100 less than retail? How about 1¢ auctions?

If TJ Maxx got their hands on enough stock who the F cares and go pick one up if you want one! I'm personally waiting for Gen 2 with FaceTime.
 

jwesty5

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2010
32
0
They're not making a profit by any means. Since it seems the Marshalls that had them had only 5 or so, it's just a way to get you in the store. The real investigation might be a bait and switch kind of thing. Although there was only bait. But at what point is the advertising side illegal? What if they only had one for sale and took out huge billboard ads? Obviously the purchase of one iPad and one billboard would be cheap advertising to get lots of people in the store hoping to get a cheap iPad.

There are no print ads. Thus its extremely difficult to accuse someone of bait and switch. Sites like macrumors and slickdeals are doing all of TJ Maxx's advertising for them. Brilliant.
 

Jason S.

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2007
504
1
Pennsylvania
The fact that this is for "select" stores, makes me wonder if they are using this to get people in the store. People might visit to see if they have the iPads in stock, and end up leaving with other products. And even if they do have the iPad in stock at certain stores, the profits they receive from the others who were unable to find the iPad but still make a purchase will probably exceed their loss.

And I'm not talking about TJ Maxx trying to attract the people that would necessarily visit MacRumors. They are most likely trying to target 35-60 year old moms, grandmas, wives, etc. that don't know much about the iPad and would be interested in the other types of products TJ Maxx sells.
 

touchtone561

macrumors member
Sep 17, 2008
31
0
Why piss on a deal? Really?

If some generic reseller wanted to charge an extra $200 per iPad MSRP would people email SJ asking why is he allowing that? Kind of Sad.

I hope whoever wanted to get one, got in before "the letters" get sent out.


:apple: "I'm a Mac"
 

jwesty5

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2010
32
0
I think many people are missing the boat on Steve Jobs alleged statement. Saying TJ Maxx is "not an authorized reseller" is just stating a fact. It's not as if Apple even cares that TJ Maxx is doing this. In fact Jobs is probably happy at the fact that the iPad is getting yet more publicity at his competitors expense and spending $0 while doing so.
 

dwd3885

macrumors 68020
Dec 10, 2004
2,131
148
For us, who cares? If you want an iPad you might be able to get one on the cheap. Apple needs a good screwing anyway!
 

hotrock3

macrumors member
Mar 29, 2009
53
0
Without a reciept or without a reciept from an authorized dealer, Apple would still have to provide warranty service from the manufacture date.


Doubtful since their warranty does not transfer to a second hand buyer. If I were to buy an iPod and then sell it on ebay a few weeks later the new owner would not be covered.
 

danny_w

macrumors 601
Mar 8, 2005
4,393
248
Suwanee, GA
Doubtful since their warranty does not transfer to a second hand buyer. If I were to buy an iPod and then sell it on ebay a few weeks later the new owner would not be covered.
Is this specific to iPad and iPod? The standard warranty most certainly transfers, since I have bought a Powerbook long ago on CraigsList and used the warranty to get repairs.
 
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