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Best Buy says Apple iPad 2 units are being held for an 'upcoming promotion'

post #1 of 66
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Best Buy has disputed rumors that the retailer is in a dispute with Apple over iPad sales, and instead claims that it is holding iPad 2 units from sale for an "upcoming promotion."

In response to rumors, Best Buy issued an official statement on Friday to Boy Genius Report, in which the company denied it is in any hot water with Apple. Instead, it said that stock is being held for an upcoming promotion, on which it provided no further details.

"Best Buy continues to receive iPad 2 inventory from Apple on a regular basis," the company said. "As we've said previously, we are fulfilling customer reservations first.

"Our stores have been asked to temporarily hold non-reserved iPad 2 inventory for an upcoming promotion. This is a customary practice for us when there are supply constraints. Best Buy enjoys a great partnership with Apple, and we're delighted by customer response to iPad 2."

This week, rumors began to swirl that Best Buy had caught the ire of Apple over an alleged policy to stop iPad 2 sales once the company met a certain quota for the day. One report claimed that Apple had "blacklisted" Best Buy for the purported practice.

It was also claimed that Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook was personally involved in "negotiations" with Best Buy over the dispute. A separate report said that Apple had "ordered a freeze" on all Best Buy iPad 2 sales.

Best Buy has been a close partner with Apple, debuting Apple-specific boutiques in its stores with the approval of the Mac maker starting in 2008. And last year, when the first-generation iPad went on sale, Best Buy was an exclusive launch partner, while other retailers like Target and Walmart were forced to wait for the right to sell the iPad.
post #2 of 66
Yeah, it'll be called the "stand in line and wait" promotion

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post #3 of 66
Which do you believe? I don't think Apple would dump Best Buy totally because they are a great outlet for their products. If they stopped supplying the iPads to them then Best Buy might drop Apple in retaliation. I bet people high up in companies have big egos.

So does that mean that Apple could actually stop supplying iPads to Best Buy? It doesn't matter to me since there aren't any in my city.
post #4 of 66
I think that at least half (or more) of the "rumours" or "Report: Apple is doing..." headlines are just made up by bloggers that need to write something so that people will click through to their stories. I visit enough blogs and news sites to be able to watch these rumours just run through all of them, without any of them having any facts.

Granted most of them are just "informed" guesses, but someone makes an outlandish supposition from some scrap of info and all of a sudden Best Buy is BLACKLISTED by Apple. Then that headline is so juicy that the other blogs pick it up, it's funny really, and sometimes just pathetic. But we keep reading them anyways...

Now Best Buy says that they are just holding them for a promo, and some sites try to read crazy things into that statement...

As the old tried and true saying goes: Believe none of what you read, and just half of what you see...
post #5 of 66
This doesn't make much sense to me. So Apple is making iPads as fast as they can to try to satiate incredible demand. Weeks later lines are still persisting and plenty of people still want one. So, Best Buy decides to leave them in the back room because they want to run a promotion? This is ridiculous. If this were true and I was Apple, I would be very pissed that my customers were having to wait and my reputation was suffering because of some promotion.
post #6 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

Which do you believe? I don't think Apple would dump Best Buy totally because they are a great outlet for their products. If they stopped supplying the iPads to them then Best Buy might drop Apple in retaliation. I bet people high up in companies have big egos.

So does that mean that Apple could actually stop supplying iPads to Best Buy? It doesn't matter to me since there aren't any in my city.

Sounds to me like this "oh we are holding them for a promotion" schtick is a negotiated face-saving plan. I don't think anyone could seriously believe they were holding such a hot item to build up stock in the middle of an international shortage. However, both have too much to lose if the relationship blows up, so Cook talked to their guy and now they will come up with some way (some promotion) of making this go away.
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post #7 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Our stores have been asked to temporarily hold non-reserved iPad 2 inventory for an upcoming promotion. This is a customary practice for us when there are supply constraints. Best Buy enjoys a great partnership with Apple, and we're delighted by customer response to iPad 2."

Pardon me as I cry BS on this. Why would you hold merchandise for a promotion when there is no reason to promote it? If you have a product that you can sell then you sell it! You don't wait for other stores to get their inventory in stock. If people want an item they will find someone who is selling it and buy from them. Telling the customer you don't have it so you can run a promotion for the product down the line? No way!

Best Buy is trying to save face with that story. Good luck.
post #8 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Sounds to me like this "oh we are holding them for a promotion" schtick is a negotiated face-saving plan. I don't think anyone could seriously believe they were holding such a hot item to build up stock in the middle of an international shortage. However, both have too much to lose if the relationship blows up, so Cook talked to their guy and now they will come up with some way (some promotion) of making this go away.

You'd be surprised. I work for Best Buy, and this is a very common practice. Best Buy will put a product in an ad (ads are usually made out a month or so in advance), and hold a specific amount of product for that ad. Think about it. If a store puts out an ad promoting a product, you walk in to said store wanting said product right when the store opens on day 1 of the ad, and that store didn't have anything to sell you, how much sense would that make?
post #9 of 66
What promotion? Shame on you BestBuy.
post #10 of 66
that sounds like utter bull shit! the iPad is probably The very last product on the market that needs any kind of promotional sales program. This is one of the reasons I don't shop at Bestbuy, they don't give a rats ass about the consumer, all they care about is making sure the blue shirts push the accessories with every purchase.
post #11 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkalu View Post

What promotion? Shame on you BestBuy.

They Did this last year. Likely, BBY will advertise it a run a big promotion in their Sunday flyer in attempt to drive foot traffic in the stores.

I saw an internal document last year where BBY was instructed stores to hold shipments for enough supply for their big advertising run.

Still doesn't mean Apple might not be happy or that some stores might have been holding stock they could have sold saving to meet budget the next day
post #12 of 66
Best Buy....your fired.

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post #13 of 66
Best Buy is not known for making truthful comments. Their sales staff is lacking in technical knowledge. It is a pain in the Butt to have to deal with them. They have never promoted Apple products in the past and are known by their past actions.

You just cannot believe what they say. I do my best to not purchase anything from them when possible. If you tell the sales person you are just looking and you will call them if you need them, that is what you mean. Instead, half the sales people in the store keep asking you the same thing. Sometimes the same person asks you more than once. They are robots ... period.

Best Buy promoting Apple Products, I seriously doubt it.
post #14 of 66
How much does Best Buy net on an iPad sale? They're probably pretty desperate to add on accessories any way they can. Are they selling extended warranties on iPads?? Are extended warranties still a huge slices of their profits? It seems like they'd have to be.
post #15 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Sounds to me like this "oh we are holding them for a promotion" schtick is a negotiated face-saving plan. I don't think anyone could seriously believe they were holding such a hot item to build up stock in the middle of an international shortage. However, both have too much to lose if the relationship blows up, so Cook talked to their guy and now they will come up with some way (some promotion) of making this go away.

Agreed.

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post #16 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

You'd be surprised. I work for Best Buy, and this is a very common practice. Best Buy will put a product in an ad (ads are usually made out a month or so in advance), and hold a specific amount of product for that ad. Think about it. If a store puts out an ad promoting a product, you walk in to said store wanting said product right when the store opens on day 1 of the ad, and that store didn't have anything to sell you, how much sense would that make?

What you say may be true, but these are not commodity items like thumb drives that can be advertised as loss leaders and priced however Best Buy wants. Apple will not allow them to be discounted, so what kind of "promotion" are you thinking of? A promotion that says: "iPads are now available at BestBuy; come and get 'em!" People already know that, so why pass up sure sales for that? "Buy an iMac and get an iPad 2 free"? I doubt it.
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post #17 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

You'd be surprised. I work for Best Buy, and this is a very common practice. Best Buy will put a product in an ad (ads are usually made out a month or so in advance), and hold a specific amount of product for that ad. Think about it. If a store puts out an ad promoting a product, you walk in to said store wanting said product right when the store opens on day 1 of the ad, and that store didn't have anything to sell you, how much sense would that make?


Like the iPad needs promoting? You can't even buy one if you wanted to. The only promotion they could offer is get 50% off a 3rd party cover/case with purchase of iPad because iPad price is controlled by Apple.

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post #18 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

What you say may be true, but these are not commodity items like thumb drives that can be advertised as loss leaders and priced however Best Buy wants. Apple will not allow them to be discounted, so what kind of "promotion" are you thinking of? A promotion that says: "iPads are now available at BestBuy; come and get 'em!" People already know that, so why pass up sure sales for that? "Buy an iMac and get an iPad 2 free"? I doubt it.

How about using a 'wait-and-see' approach? It's totally possible (and likely) that they'd do something like a bundled deal with a case/cover or gift-card. Now I understand a lot of you guys don't believe BB and that's fine it's just that the facts are not out yet and I personally just don't think there' any need to jump the gun.
post #19 of 66
This rumor is a little late. April Fools Day was last week. I'm skeptical about the BGR story, too:

[clip]
The communication, which is claimed by our source to have been delivered by Best Buy management via SMS, instructs employees to hold all iPad inventory except for pre-orders.
[/clip]

Would Best Buy management really communicate with their employees via SMS? Is this normal?
post #20 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turley Muller View Post

They Did this last year. Likely, BBY will advertise it a run a big promotion in their Sunday flyer in attempt to drive foot traffic in the stores.

I saw an internal document last year where BBY was instructed stores to hold shipments for enough supply for their big advertising run.

Still doesn't mean Apple might not be happy or that some stores might have been holding stock they could have sold saving to meet budget the next day

It should be called "first come, last served."

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post #21 of 66
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Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Like the iPad needs promoting? You can't even buy one if you wanted to. The only promotion they could offer is get 50% off a 3rd party cover/case with purchase of iPad because iPad price is controlled by Apple.

You have it. They could be waiting for shipments of accessories to push, rather than just selling the iPads naked.
post #22 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

You have it. They could be waiting for shipments of accessories to push, rather than just selling the iPads naked.

Or maybe buy a refrigerator and TV first, then you get to stand in the VIP line for a chance to buy an iPad.

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post #23 of 66
They do this so they can actually put the ipad in the sunday ad with a minimum amount per store. No one getting pissed off that way
post #24 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by howyoudoin View Post

They do this so they can actually put the ipad in the sunday ad with a minimum amount per store. No one getting pissed off that way

Exactly. Lawsuits follow if they advertise product that ends up not being available.

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post #25 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by howyoudoin View Post

They do this so they can actually put the ipad in the sunday ad with a minimum amount per store. No one getting pissed off that way

Again...Why do they need to purchase ad space for iPad? It sells itself. There would probably have to be some unusual connection to their other inventory for it to make sense.

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post #26 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

This doesn't make much sense to me. So Apple is making iPads as fast as they can to try to satiate incredible demand. Weeks later lines are still persisting and plenty of people still want one. So, Best Buy decides to leave them in the back room because they want to run a promotion? This is ridiculous. If this were true and I was Apple, I would be very pissed that my customers were having to wait and my reputation was suffering because of some promotion.

You've obviously never worked retail. Let me explain.

Due to printing times, ads can planned out MONTHS in advance. In a store with a weekly ad, perhaps they plan out a month ahead, which would make it right about now assuming they had little to no knowledge that Apple was officially releasing a new iPad. Remember, it was only the week or so before the announcement that Best Buy's computer system logged the new items.

So, Best Buy gets official word of the new product, they're gonna put it in a big ad, maybe front-page it, whatever. It's going to create interest. People would likely be coming in to the store to purchase them.

Wouldn't it be nice if they had some to sell?

Apple's getting iPads built as fast as they can. They have several destinations - Apple Stores, direct purchases shipped to customers' homes, and additional retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Toys R Us apparently, etc. Yet, as you say, people are still lining up for them. Demand is still there.

What do you do? Apple, we'd like to have this many iPad 2's per store. Is Apple going to say, okay, the next however many iPads made will sit on a pallet until we have enough to supply Best Buy's quantity request for the ad they'll have in the paper on whatever day?

Probably not. Apple, to be fair, is likely to say we have this many iPads today and these stores with open orders. Send so many to them, so many to them, and so on.

Supply is tight right now, and demand is high. Best Buy knows that Apple's not going to be able to send one shipment of x many iPads for a certain date. So they hoard any shipment coming in for say, two weeks, so that they have a supply when the doors open that Sunday morning so that they don't have to look like idiots because they sold all their iPads the day they came in and have none left over for the ad date.

That's how it works, folks. Like it or don't. Hell, Apple ships to Apple Stores a day or so early, mark the pallets DO NOT OPEN UNTIL (after the keynote) so that their stores can have inventory of a new product right after the keynote. But Apple, being generally secretive, don't give their partners that same lead or guarantee of having a product for an ad. That simple.
post #27 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawson100 View Post

This rumor is a little late. April Fools Day was last week. I'm skeptical about the BGR story, too:

[clip]
The communication, which is claimed by our source to have been delivered by Best Buy management via SMS, instructs employees to hold all iPad inventory except for pre-orders.
[/clip]

Would Best Buy management really communicate with their employees via SMS? Is this normal?

Wal-Mart management does. I know this as I know someone who works in a store. If Wal-Mart is doing it, why not anyone else?
post #28 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Again...Why do they need to purchase ad space for iPad? It sells itself. There would probably have to be some unusual connection to their other inventory for it to make sense.

I have no dog in this hunt but it makes sense that Best Buy would use the spectacularly desirable iPad to try to draw traffic to their store. They DO sell other items besides iPads, you know....
post #29 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by casey4147 View Post

.....

What do you do?
.....

"While supplies last"...?
post #30 of 66
If true they are planning a promo involving iPad it just demonstrates how poor they are at planning. Maybe they thought advertising would help them sell more iPads, not realizing 30 days ago how high the demand would be. The newspaper ads and fliers can be changed almost until the last day.

The only thing I can think of is they want to use the iPad to lure people into the stores so they can sell them other unrelated stuff.

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post #31 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

This doesn't make much sense to me. So Apple is making iPads as fast as they can to try to satiate incredible demand. Weeks later lines are still persisting and plenty of people still want one. So, Best Buy decides to leave them in the back room because they want to run a promotion? This is ridiculous. If this were true and I was Apple, I would be very pissed that my customers were having to wait and my reputation was suffering because of some promotion.

I totally agree with you.
post #32 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

You'd be surprised. I work for Best Buy, and this is a very common practice. Best Buy will put a product in an ad (ads are usually made out a month or so in advance), and hold a specific amount of product for that ad. Think about it. If a store puts out an ad promoting a product, you walk in to said store wanting said product right when the store opens on day 1 of the ad, and that store didn't have anything to sell you, how much sense would that make?

So now your are saying that Best Buy thinks it is necessary to spend advertising $ on something that they cannot get as many as they can sell? Try again.
post #33 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

I have no dog in this hunt but it makes sense that Best Buy would use the spectacularly desirable iPad to try to draw traffic to their store. They DO sell other items besides iPads, you know....

Sure but why hoard them? They could just as well say in their ad 'We have iPads come on down'. They probably get regular weekly shipments anyway. As someone else pointed out (While supplies last, more arriving weekly). At least that approach would honest and ethical and guarantee that the devices were sold with the most recent version of the OS. No matter how many they hoard, they will still need to say while supplies last.

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post #34 of 66
Just last week Best Buy was bashing the iPad with a ridiculous ad and now they're going to have a special promotion for it?

Will the iPad come with a free roll of grey tape? How else am I going to hook my keyboard up to it?
post #35 of 66
More evidence that Best Buy is good for one thing. I like to go there and check things out before I buy online. Thanks Best Buy.
post #36 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Just last week Best Buy was bashing the iPad with a ridiculous ad and now they're going to have a special promotion for it?

Will the iPad come with a free roll of grey tape? How else am I going to hook my keyboard up to it?


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post #37 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

"Buy an iMac and get an iPad 2 free"? I doubt it.

It's probably more like "Buy an iPad 2 and get Xoom for free because we don't know what to do with this crap"
post #38 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

Which do you believe? I don't think Apple would dump Best Buy totally because they are a great outlet for their products. If they stopped supplying the iPads to them then Best Buy might drop Apple in retaliation. I bet people high up in companies have big egos.

So does that mean that Apple could actually stop supplying iPads to Best Buy? It doesn't matter to me since there aren't any in my city.

Apple really doesn't need BB. It's the other way around, Apple has dumped BB before and it took quite a while for them to get back good graces with Apple. It may have been true a year ago when BB was the only other retail of iPads. But now there is walmart, target, AT&T and Verizon stores, and soon radio shack. Someone at BB F****'d up , apologized and made nice nice with Apple and that's the result of said "promotion" to save face. Someone got spanked.
post #39 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by casey4147 View Post

Wal-Mart management does. I know this as I know someone who works in a store. If Wal-Mart is doing it, why not anyone else?

I still have a hard time believing management would use something as casual as SMS (which I'm guessing would be to people's personal phones) as a formal communication method, never mind the logistics of tracking staff cell phone numbers. Are we to believe that all staff have a personal phone that they would receive SMS on anyway?
post #40 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by casey4147 View Post

You've obviously never worked retail.

Actually I worked retail for 4 years, until I ran away screaming for my sanity.

While I wasn't high up enough to know specifics about how early they would set the ads, it doesn't really matter for my argument. If I am Apple, I'm not going to allow Best Buy or any other retailer to stockpile my hot new in-demand product in their back room until it fits their schedule to have a door buster so they can sell more toasters and refrigerators and sell more of their Flexi-Compras protection plans. That's a load of crap.
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