Best place to buy an iPad 3

My dad needed a new iPad and there was a question of the best place to buy it. For this post we’ll discuss the 64GB ‘new iPad’ with WiFi or just the iPad 3 as I like to call it.

My recommendation for purchasing an iPad online is to purchase from Amazon and here is why:

  • #1 no sales tax in many states, saves you money!
    • Of as September 28th 2012 customers in CA, KS, KY, ND, NY, PA, TX and WA may have to pay sales tax, but in the other 42 states you likely won’t have to pay sales tax!
    • In our example, Apple charges $699.00 for an iPad 3 and sales tax would be roughly 7% in my state, so that comes out to $48.93 in sales tax bringing the total purchase price to $747.92
    • Amazon charges no sales tax in my state and the current lowest new price as of today is $680 w/$12 shipping, I ordered one in July and it was $688 w/$5 shipping so we’re looking at $692-$693 average price range this year.
      • Your savings by choosing Amazon over Apple: $50.92
        ($747.92-$692=$50.92)
  • #2 often no signed delivery required
    • Apple normally ships iPads via FedEx and requires a signature. This can be a real hassle if you’re at work or away from your house when FedEx tries to deliver your new iPad. NOTE: You can often print and sign a release form to leave for the FedEx guy.
    • Amazon (and its sellers) seem to normally ship iPads via UPS or USPS without a signature being required.
    • For me, I prefer to avoid the hassle of having to stick around to sign or having to print out forms and leave it where the delivery person can (hopefully) find it.
    • Counterpoint: If you are at an insecure location you may prefer to have a signature required.
  • #3 Easy returns
    • This one is basically a tie in my book, as both Apple and Amazon make returns very easy IMHO.
  • #4 Drawbacks to Amazon?
    • Product listing – Their product listings are a bit more complicated and disorganized than Apple’s so you will definitely want to make sure you order the correct model! Carefully read the title and description and you should be good to go though 🙂
    • More sellers – Amazon supports many third part sellers and if you are buying from one of them you will want to make sure they have good rating etc. and that everything looks legit. I find that Amazon does a good job of policing their sellers, but it is a drawback as compared to buying from Apple.
  • My discussion above was primarily related to the online Apple store and Amazon.com Other options:
    • Apple brick and mortar store (+easy purchasing, +easy returns, -sales tax)
    • Best Buy (too expensive IMHO and sales tax stinks, however sometimes they have good open box deals [especially on the 4G models])
    • Sam’s Club (sometimes they have quite good pricing and their return policy is comparable to the others but again you’ll be paying sales tax)
Amazon.com: Apple iPad MC707LL/A (64GB, Wi-Fi, Black) NEWEST MODEL

Amazon.com: Apple iPad MC707LL/A (64GB, Wi-Fi, Black) NEWEST MODELhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00746UR2E?ie=UTF8&tag=pixensity-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00746UR2E9.7 Retina Display; 2048 x 1536 Resolution Apple iOS 5; Dual-Core A5X Chip with Quad-Core Graphics 5 Megapixel iSight Camera; 1080p Video Recording Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n); 64 GB…

If you have any tips on buying an iPad, or what to share your experiences, feel free to post in the comments below!

Specific sales tax info from Amazon:

The following is a partial list of merchants selling items at Amazon.com which may be included in your order, and the states in which they charge sales tax:

Sold by:States in which tax is charged:
Amazon.com LLCCA, KS, KY, ND, NY, PA, TX and WA
Amazon Digital Services, Inc.CA, KS, KY, ND, NY, PA, TX and WA
Electronic Arts, Inc.All States except for AK, DE, ID, ME, MS, MT, ND, NH, NM, RI, SD, VT, WV, and WY
Magazine Express, Inc.AL and WA
New York Times, Inc.AL, DC, KY, and NY
Synapse Services, Inc.WA only
Hachette Digital, Inc.AL, AZ, CO, CT, DC, HI, ID, IN, KY, LA, ME, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NM, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WI and WY*
Harper Collins Publishers, LLCAll States
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.All States
Simon & Schuster Digital Sales, Inc.All states other than AK, DE, MT, NH, and OR
MacmillanAZ, CO, CT, DC, HI, IN, KY, ME, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NM, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WI and WY*
Dow Jones & Company, Inc.AZ, CT, DC, HI, ID, KY, NC, SD, and TX
Zondervan Corporation LLCAll States
Random House Digital, Inc.All States

On September 29th 2012, the previous table containing sales tax information information was retrieved from:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=468512

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