Tips on how to buy an iPad faster - given limited stock / availability

Discussion in 'iPad' started by pixelville, May 24, 2010.

  1. pixelville macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2010
    I am hoping my experiences in buying an iPad will help those "desperate" to get their hands on one quickly!

    I got on the Notify Me waitlist for iPad 3G 16GB version at Schaumburg (Woodfield Mall, Chicago area) location on 8th May.
    Finally got my email for pick up today (5/24) i.e. 16 days later. On 5/8, Apple Online store said 5-7 business days to ship. So might have been faster using online. My husband is still on the Naperville store list since 5/8 for 3G-16GB.

    I already bought my iPad from a university (Illinois State University, Bloomington, IL) computer center last week. Surprisingly, they had several in stock and few takers. Apparently, Apple has been sending the 16 GB models to universities and higher-end (64 GB) to Best Buy.

    A few pointers for those waiting for their iPad -
    1. First try / call local university computer centers to see if/when they get their iPads.

    2. Check-out Best Buy Apple stores availability online (example, the following will tell you availability for IL 60108 iPad-3G 16GB)

    3. Call/visit your local Best Buy & ask them when they get their shipments. Ours got Apple shipments that were ready for pickup Tues & Thurs 10am. Varies by location. We called 6-8 locations and they all had the 3Gs for at least a few hours after the shipment arrived. The online search also showed some of them.

    4. If desperate, it might be easier to get in smaller cities (as opposed to metros). We found iPads at several locations in our long-distance drive.

    FYI, AT&T data plan was very easy to set-up. Fast speed in areas with 3G coverage. At&T - E is fairly slow. Have had decent coverage all through except for a few minutes from time to time. Loving it. We have so far driven from Chicago to Oklahoma and enjoying the purchase (GPS, Map, Web browsing, hotel/gas/food searches, E-mail, book reader and other cool apps). If you know of other free apps useful in travel/drives, let me know.

    Hope that helps. If you have any questions, just ask.
  2. St. Germain macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2006
    I'd definitely agree with this. The computer store at Michigan State University has had several versions in stock during the last week and a half. You can check their iPad availability about half way down this page:
  3. random person macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    Yes this strategy worked well for me. No 64 3G model available anywhere except in the relatively small town of west Lebanon NH, where a Best Buy had one for sale a couple of days ago! The online stock tracking at BB is great!
  4. travistaylor macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2006
    Definitely agree with the portion about using the Best Buy inventory tracking system. That is exactly how I got my 64GB iPad soon as I got it, I checked the inventory tracker....there were no longer any iPads in stock at the store (I knew I got the last one). It is incredibly accurate, don't take no for an answer--speak with a manager if they are shown in stock online.
  5. SVT Amateur macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2006
    Tyler, Texas
    Cool story. I currently have a 16 GB 3g model on order from Apple and MacMall and have been checking Best Buy's site religiously. It appears that my local Best Buy gets their shipments in on Tuesday (at least they did last week) so I'm hoping I can run by tomorrow and snag one.

    Worse case scenario Apple says I should receive my iPad by June 11th which is really only a 3 week wait. I'm sure I can handle it.
  6. LizKat macrumors 68040


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains
    Yes, that is what I was thinking sometime around yesterday afternoon. Mine is also supposed to get here by June 11.

    Today, after cruising around the app store some more and reading what people think of various iPad cases, stands and so forth, I have stopped thinking it's great I have so much time to check out accessories. Now I just want to be unboxing the thing.

    It's good that my lawn needs mowing and the garden needs to lose some weeds. I need those distractions!
  7. hydrokayak macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    Lancaster, NH
    I was there and was offered the device. Unfortunately, I didn't have access to my credit card.
  8. random person macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    Oh No -- now I feel awful!:eek:
  9. iserian macrumors 6502

    Apr 30, 2010
    Palo Alto Apple Store
    Thanks for your post - I was not aware Universities had these. - Wanted another to give to my kids to use while on vacation + other and within 1/2 hour of reading your post and calling the local universities I was able to pick up another 64.

  10. javeyday macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2010
    I didn't know non students could pick these up at universities.

    Anyone who knows of any store in nyc that has stock, please post here or send me a msg... In desperate need of one for my g/f. She'll kill me if I don't find one soon!
  11. masa. macrumors member

    May 13, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    I wonder it's similar in other country. I dropped by an authorised Apple dealer on a university campus (Uni of XXX, Australia) and the owner of the shop hinted that various iPad accessories will be available on 28/May. I know they usually stock various Apple items so they might have some iPads on 28/May.
  12. goobot macrumors 603


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    also :apple: stores get shipments in the morning so hang there for a hour or so and you might get one.
  13. iFerd macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2007
    iPads are available at my university, but you can only purchase at their computer store if you are student, faculty, or staff with valid ID. No help for anyone otherwise. I'm not sure how other university stores will behave, but checking before you make a long trek seems wise.
  14. btrav13 macrumors 6502

    Apr 8, 2010
    Not sure if this would help or not, but...

    How far are you willing to travel? Most huge cities are probably out, but if you could find one in a smaller city within let's say a 3 hour drive, would that be worth it?
  15. jefftroll macrumors member

    May 21, 2010
    Thanks, I'm also a student as well as work full time and called my University tech store and scored the two 3g wifi 32gb I wanted. Time to cancel my online order with macmall. I should have thought of this. Plus most students are out for summer and/or can not afford these things anyways.
  16. nalk7 macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2008
    I tried buying one from the MSU computer centre before coming back home for the summer, and hand no luck, they didn't carry them back then, and our local best buy was out. Thankfully I managed to get one through the mail a little bit before finals week :D good to know universities are getting them now, my roommate was sold to it after playing with mine.
  17. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2006
    Is there a way to add yourself to the "notify list" at an Apple store without going to the store? I thought I saw a link for that somewhere on the forum, but now I can't find it.
  18. gigaguy macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2010
    My 3G 32GB is getting here faster than Apple originally told me, about a week earlier.
    I ordered Fri May14, now shows to arrive by Fri May28 10am.
    that's 8-9 working days total. originally was scheduled for June4.

    now, the Apple case is another matter, looks like late June.
  19. nooaah macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2009
    Philadelphia, PA
    After deciding to buy mine it took only 4 days of checking availability on the Best Buy website to find the model I wanted at the best buy 1 mile away. :D
  20. speedbal macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2010
    I actually able to buy an open box special at BB today..... It wasn't listed on the site, but was hold up in the back room (seems someone didn't like the experience)....

    Anyway, an open Box at BB appears to be another option.

  21. alee macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2008
    New York, NY
    Call the store.
  22. WiseMarley macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mountain View, CA
    great tips. i waited 10 days for mine from the apple store.
  23. artemusxi macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2009
    I watched the BB online inventory religiously, yesterday this thread reminded me to do my daily BB site check. Sure enough they had the 32GB 3G I wanted. Ran over and picked it up, heart was pumping the entire way hoping I wouldn't be beat. None the less I got there and they had two left! Also, if it helps, the Apple store "reservations" expire at 11:15 am any given day. Well at least in my town they do. I would call and the people would tell me they would know if any freed up to the public at 11:15AM.
  24. virtualandy macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    good tips - thanks

    The Tues-Best Buy thing was right on.

    Here in the Denver area, 3 Best Buys (from what I could tell using their online inventory checker) had WiFi models. None seemed to have 3G, though.

    I called one and they said they had 3 32GBs and 5 64GB WiFi models. So not very many when they do get them.

    I still have a 3G 32GB on reserve at an Apple store (was only last Thursday, 5/20), still not fully decided on whether I'll return it if that one shows up in a few days.
  25. SVT Amateur macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2006
    Tyler, Texas
    I'm kicking myself for not going and buying the 32GB 3g that my local Best Buy had in stock for 2 days or so last week. Of course last week I was thinking MacMall was going to be shipping my 16GB 3g in a day or so but now I see that is not the case.

    I've been checking the Best Buy site very often the last few days and none have come in to my local Best Buy. It reminds me of about 10 years ago when the PlayStation 2s were sold out and I was always checking the Best Buy site trying to snag one via online order. I was eventually able to do so and it was actually a fun experience. Hopefully this will turn out the same.

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