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Best Buy Refusing iPad 2 Sales on Purpose

By - Source: CrunchGear | B 57 comments

Various reports indicate that Apple may have black-listed Best Buy because the retailer is putting a freeze on iPad 2 sales.

The news first appeared on CrunchGear last night, based on an email supplied by a Best Buy employee. According to the unnamed source, the store was purposely telling customers that it was sold out of iPad 2 tablets when in fact there were units stacked up in the stockroom. The employee said that the store was refusing sales because it was meeting its quota of sales for the day.

TUAW also received a separate tip from a reader claiming that Best Buy was freezing iPad 2 sales. The site brushed it off as rumor until CrunchGear published its article. BGR actually took the initial story and ran, confirming with two local Best Buy managers that the stores were not to sell additional inventory (after the daily quota) as of Thursday afternoon. Best Buy even communicated the iPad 2 freeze to retail employees via an SMS message reading: "NewsFlash: ipads cannot be sold according to BBY. All ipads except for pre-orders MUST be held until further notice. Cant tell customers were holding them either."

From a moral standpoint, the fact that Best Buy stores actually stock a product and tells the consumer otherwise seems like a downright lie. A customer waltzing in through the doors at 7pm with $600 on hand, only to be told that the tablet isn't available, will likely not return. Actually, they'll probably take their business and likely not return after discovering Best Buy employees actually lied to their face.

But product freeze is a common practice according to the electronics retail chain "Best Buy continues to receive iPad 2 inventory from Apple on a regular basis," the company said in a statement to BGR. "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."

As for the black-listing from Apple, that's probably rumor. CrunchGear's tipster said that Apple COO Tim Cook was somehow involved, "helping with negotiations" with Best Buy. There's even talk that Apple has declined to sell additional iPad 2 units to the retail chain.

But Tim Cook said that he wasn't aware of any units being held back by Best Buy. "My understanding is most of their stores sold all of their initial supply on the first night of the launch and the balance were out by the following day." There was also no mention of black-listing Best Buy or the status of additional iPad 2 units.

So what's going on? Best Buy is apparently putting a freeze on iPad 2 sales-- save for those who pre-ordered the tablet-- for an upcoming promotion. Best Buy claims it has a great relationship with Apple, but Apple's COO isn't even aware that the company has frozen sales. Bottom line, those walking into Best Buy wanting to get Apple's new tablet may be denied even though units are stocked in the back. Consumers may just want to bypass the mess altogether and find a more reliable retailer.

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  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2011 7:39 PM
    I work for Best Buy and this is the 1st I've heard of this, my store is more than happy to sell them the moment they come in. I mean why not what would be the point of holding them?
  • 4 Hide
    thechief73 , April 8, 2011 7:53 PM
    Best Buy is the worst thing to ever happen to the electronics industry and the second worst is the fact that some people just don't know any better not to buy from such a dishonest and deceiving company.

    Want some proof? Go To: , these are the Best Buy forums full of non-stop horror stories that customers have had.

    I learned my lesson the hard way several years ago at my local Best Buy and the sooner others figure it out, the sooner we can get this disgrace of a electronics store out of business ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!

    Remember an educated customer, takes the power from them and puts it in your hands. Don't support bad business.
  • 3 Hide
    borisof007 , April 8, 2011 7:56 PM
    I used to work for Best Buy, and they've done this in the past, typically with new consoles, but also with other stuff.

    They will create a promotion or package in store, sold with either services, add-ons, or other peripherals to increase bottom line revenue. They do this with laptops, desktops, and sometimes TV's too.
  • Display all 57 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    milktea , April 8, 2011 8:12 PM
    They could have just told the customer that they the remaining stocks are reserved for BB, instead of lying to the customer.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2011 8:23 PM
    Some areas require by law that if you advertise a product in your weekly ad, the product must be in stock at the time of the ad. This may also include minimum quantities which results in holds for customers, regrettably.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2011 8:31 PM
    I've never commented here before, but this is a heavy slant. I work for Best Buy as well, and was told this morning that per Apple, we are no longer to sell iPad 2's. As of today, stores are not allowed to tell customers we have them because Apple has ordered Best Buy to stop selling them. The reason for the black-listing is unclear. Obviously, stores still have them in their warehouses but the Apple order prevents them from selling (legal agreements).

    As for the claim that some stores were holding back product on a daily basis to meet quotas, this definitely was not a company-wide policy so far as I'm aware. It's possible that some stores/managers made that decision. We ALWAYS hold pre-orders, but it makes no business sense to hold additional units just because a daily quota has been met.
  • -2 Hide
    dieb4uwake , April 8, 2011 8:43 PM
    I work for Best Buy and can tell you this is COMPLETELY FALSE. First off BBY does not use ANY form of SMS messaging to communicate company imformation thru.

    Second, the Only time that we are not allowed to sell an item and hold and item is for the Sunday Ad. Anything that is in the Sunday Ad has a minimum hold amount. Let me explain, if a item is in our Sunday Ad then we have an obligation to make sure that come Sunday we actually have those items in stock. To do this every week we will put aside a specific hold on items that are appearing in the ad. That is why if you read the print at the bottom of the ad stating "Minimum of 3 per store, No Rainchecks". I know at my store we sell ipads all day everyday, you can even go to and buy it online from my store anytime you want.

    To the comment of the "Best Buy is the worst thing to ever happen to the electronics industry"
    For every one bad story you can find on a forum I can promise you that there are hundreds of good satisfied customers everyday. I have worked for several retailers and Best Buy is far from the worst *cough WAL-MART cough*
  • 0 Hide
    applegetsmelaid , April 8, 2011 8:46 PM
    Want some proof? Go To: , these are the Best Buy forums full of non-stop horror stories that customers have had.

    There used to be a third party website at that had years of archives of customer complaints about BBY. Check it out now.... looks like BBY bought it out and sent it all to oblivion. When I worked there I used to read it quite often and laugh at all the horror stories and stupid things BBY employees would tell customers. But guess what? NO ONE CARES. They sell cheap stuff so everyone looks the other way.
  • 1 Hide
    JD13 , April 8, 2011 8:57 PM
    I bet anyone an iPad 5 that there will be a price increase, since they are selling so well...
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2011 9:02 PM
    I like Best Buy to an extent. Although, their Geek Squad is awful. But they could've told the customers the truth rather than lying to them.
  • 0 Hide
    noblerabbit , April 8, 2011 9:07 PM
    more Apple propoganda, yes we know, it is selling well, you don't have to make up lies.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2011 9:11 PM
    this sux because Best Buy offers no interest for any purchase over $499 - Apple store DOES NOT! - my suggestion just wait for the quota or whatever and buy it at Best Buy and take the 18 months no interest....
  • 0 Hide
    hoofhearted , April 8, 2011 9:12 PM
    Who cares what Best Buy or their employees do? When it comes to any kind of technical expertise or knowledge, they are just as credible as Burger King, MacDonalds and their workforce.
  • 0 Hide
    rmmil978 , April 8, 2011 9:14 PM
    Target does the same thing, so does Walmart and the rest. Hold ad items for upcoming ads so that the early morning Sunday shoppers aren't driven insane with rage.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2011 9:16 PM
    Best Buy is the worst electronic retailer that is out there. They are overpriced, do not honor their coupons that they email out (read 'Liars' Always have an excuse about how the coupon does not apply to just the particular item you need) and horrible customer service.

    I stopped buying from BestBuy about 5 years ago, went back twice during Christmas 2-3 times and have sworn never to buy from them. Don't know why people don't shop elsewhere since most of what BestBuy sells is available cheaper and with the same warranty elsewhere.

    Just an aside for any apple product accessory, BestBuy charges a higher price than even Apple (for ex Apple OEM chargers). Sure they say they will match the price if you have done your homework but then if you have not, good luck paying them more.
  • 2 Hide
    jimsocks , April 8, 2011 9:24 PM
    Best buy does this all the time where I live. Lucky I have a smart phone. Show them its in stock online and its magically "in the back"
  • 2 Hide
    soldier37 , April 8, 2011 9:29 PM
    jimsocksBest buy does this all the time where I live. Lucky I have a smart phone. Show them its in stock online and its magically "in the back"

    Ive done this too, the smartphone while being in the store showing item in stock they have to sell it or go see the manager and raise hell they will sell it to you trust me. The last thing they want is a irate customer complaining about false advertising while others are shopping.
  • 3 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , April 8, 2011 9:33 PM
    Best Buy is the Wal-Mart of eletronics. I haen't bought anything from Best Buy since God know how long. All my electronic shopping is done buy via internet now.
  • 2 Hide
    alidan , April 8, 2011 9:42 PM
    SteelCity1981Best Buy is the Wal-Mart of eletronics. I haen't bought anything from Best Buy since God know how long. All my electronic shopping is done buy via internet now.

    i bought the squire from them, they had preorders back ordered while they stocked their shelves with them for non preorders.

    will NEVER buy from them again if i have a choice
  • 3 Hide
    hoofhearted , April 8, 2011 9:43 PM
    Best buy is good for a "hands on" demo. Just red-laser the UPC and order it when you are done.
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