So apparently you’ve just got back from your 6 month mission to Mars and you missed out on the pre-order opportunity for the Apple iPad. Or perhaps you just live somewhere other than the US.
How to get an Apple iPad on or around April the 4th 2010?
The iPad eBay Deal:
eBay is alive with iPad listings right now. Quite a lot are around the bargain price of $999.00 at the moment! And a few are even from “Top-Rated Sellers”. What’s more, several on offer are 32GB or 64GB models.
But seriously : If you are even considering going down this route, make sure you go with a seller with a 99.999% or higher rating. Make sure you pay via PayPal. And be sure to conduct the entire transaction via eBay itself. [shop.ebay.com]
Quite likely Craig’s List will also have a few people in your local area offering iPads too. Worth a check perhaps as most often these people will meet you personally with the iPad as they are simply traveling to your locale on business. I have in the past used this as a way to get items. This is important though: Make sure you meet somewhere public. Take a friend if you can. And don’t hand over any cash until you have the goods in your hands. Oh, and haggle on price. It’s always worth a try!
The International Shipper:
There are also some mail order companies offering iPads via AdSense ads. (Although at the time of writing this article I am having problems finding the adverts I saw a few days ago. I wonder if Google has “dealt with” them?)
We have no idea how reliable these companies are. But they, like iPhone vendors of times gone past, are offering iPads via mail order for worldwide delivery, for a premium. I am presuming, if they are not simply scam companies, then they have limited stocks as they are relying on proxies in the US to order 2 iPads each on their behalf and then buying those in turn for a small premium to re-sell. Hence most of these companies offering delivery after the 5th of April; to allow for all the pickups, deliveries, and re-shipping to go on.
I personally would avoid these companies like the plague. You have even less protection than you do with eBay sellers. You have no way to verify if these companies are fly by night scams or legitimate. And unless you are in the US (in which case you can get one from Apple) it’s unlikely your credit card company is going to give you the kind of protection you need when making this kind of non-intelligent move.
A further word of warning for any iPads being shipped internationally:
Bear in mind with the eBay or International Shipper option you will be liable for import duty assessed by your local customs office on the basis of the total transaction value. Not Apple’s official price for the iPad.
For example, if I was dumb enough to buy an iPad from eBay and have it shipped to me in Bangkok I would pay around 100% import duty on the $999.00 I had just paid via eBay. Making the Grand Total I would have paid for my Jesus Tablet a whopping $2000.00!
When you buy from Apple using your local Apple Store online, Apple has already paid all the import duties and tax for you. Big big difference.
The Grey Importer:
In days gone past Tottenham Court Road in London was the place to pick up any and all types of exotic electronics from the world over. But this was before I had hair on my face. With the advent of electrical chain stores, and the general scumminess of most high street outlets these days, I am not so sure that’s a good locale any more. Certainly wasn’t the last time I went there with fond memories of when the world was still in sepia tone! Most of these shops now run on such tight margins, or under such strict direction from corporate HQ, or have so little interest in the stuff they peddle I doubt they even care, or have heard about the iPad.
But Hong Kong and Bangkok, if you are anywhere near those places, have the likes of MBK [mbk-center] and I can guarantee that starting from the moment Apple stores open on “iPad Day”, add the time that a plane takes to fly from California or New York to Bangkok International Airport and then a 20 minute cab ride downtown and there will be iPads selling from market style stalls on the 4th floor for lass then you’d pay on eBay! You might even see me there if my friend from the US gets too drunk on iPad launch day and misses his plane!
Which brings us to our final option…
The US friend:
Do what I did. Invite a friend to your exotic location for a beach holiday. Because if you don’t live in the US you live in a tropical paradise, right? Get them to use one of their iPad allocations to buy your Jesus Tablet for you. Even if you only read this article today, there is still time. Come 3pm on “iPad Day” anyone who pre-ordered an iPad for in-store pickup and has not shown up. Well, guess what, they lose their iPad and your mate can swoop in vulture and snag it right there and then… Maybe!
If you’re really desperate, and can’t wait a few weeks for your local Apple Store to get iPads, this last option is our recommendation for you.
Let us know in the comments if you have any other hot tips for getting an iPad outside the US before April hits middle age!