Best place to buy an iPad Mini Retina (16 GB, Wireless fwiw?)

After getting the feedback here, and doing more homework on my own, I think I’m going to get my wife an iPad Mini Retina for Christmas. 16 gig, wireless only. Her needs are pretty simple.

Question: where’s the best place to buy one? Our nearest Apple store is about 2 hours from here, but I can drive there if needed. We have a Best Buy nearby, but, well, it’s Best Buy. Normally I’d just buy on Amazon, but they don’t seem to carry iPad Mini Retinas (only seem to be 3rd parties with kinda shady looking ads.)

Any best (or worst?) places to buy?

Why not just order directly from apple.com?

I bought my iPad Air at Best Buy. That way, if there is a problem with the unit, you have two routes to satisfaction (either BB or Apple) instead of just Apple.

Can you take your ipad directly to Apple, regardless of where you bought it?

Be forewarned if you buy online return is online.

I don’t know - that’s why I’m asking! ;)

There will be sales on black friday, might as well wait a couple days.

Best Buy’s holiday return policy is one of the best: purchases from Nov. 3rd to Dec. 31 can be returned (w/ receipt) until Jan. 15th. Unless getting there is particularly onerous, you just hate BB for whatever reason, you prefer to order online and skip tax, or you found a great Black Friday deal, there isn’t much of a reason to buy it directly from elsewhere, all things being equal. I can use my new iPad Air for more than two months and take it back without a restocking fee if i’m so inclined, and that’s hard to beat.

There are reports that the new iPad Mini is in short supply this quarter, though, which would militate against discounts. Speculation that Apple will discount the iPad Air to compensate.

Apple products aren’t discounted that often. The only times I recall seeing discounts were at Microcenter and Mac Mall. I purchased my 64 GB iPad 4 from Mac Mall because I got a $60 (7.5%) discount on it, which was highly unusual. Bear in mind I purchased in March of 2012, not during the Christmas season. Right now Mac Mall isn’t offering a discount on iPad Retina Minis, but they are offering free overnight shipping. Probably because they’re currently out of stock of 16 GB models, and they want the business of people who want a guarantee it will show up in time for Christmas despite being on back order.

Microcenter does have them in stock. At least, they stay they have three silver 16 GB versions at the Cambridge store.

I thought new Apple products never go on sale. Seems like waiting until Black Friday would just ensure that they’re sold out before you have a chance to buy one.

Fair 'nuff. Just curious if there was something specific you had in mind that made that tricky or something.

Personally, I get most of my stuff from the online store even though we have multiple stores nearby and it’s always worked out well. YMMV of course.

No matter which route you take to get it, hope your wife enjoys the new iPad. :)

No, Apple always does a sale on black friday. It’s actually the only sale they do.

Do they have that sale online?

Yes, but don’t expect to save more than 10% on anything, and don’t expect sales on subsidized iPhones either. That’s as good as it gets from Apple.

Has anyone ordered from Apple online? I wonder if it is possible to get a mini with Retina delivered in a box that isn’t clearly from Apple? My wife would know what it is and she’s at home during the day.

Deliveries usually come directly from china. I don’t remember if it says Apple on the box, but if not, it’ll still look suspicious. Get it delivered to your friend’s house or your work.

They come in a brown box with generic professional white address labels. The “Apple” box is inside that.

They’re not conspicuously labeled “Apple gadget inside!!!”, but the size, shape, etc, is pretty obvious if she has any suspicions at all. I agree with stusser that shipping it to work is your best bet.

I get enough stuff delivered that if it didn’t say Apple on the outside mailing label I could get away with it. But I assume the return address is Apple. Hate to ship it to work, but maybe that’s best bet if I don’t just run down to Best Buy and purchase from there.

I just got my Retina iPad mini with LTE delivered, and it comes in a plain cardboard box, with no mention of Apple on any of the outer packaging or labels. If you’re super Apple aware, you would recognize the font that Apple uses on the actual Packing List that’s in a sealed flap on the box, but with the exception of a small sticker with a Part and Model number, there’s really no way to tell what’s inside. It certainly doesn’t say “iPad” or “Apple” anywhere, though “Assembled in China” is prominently displayed.