Riddle Us This: Why is TJ Maxx Selling iPads for $399?

iPad sign at TJ MaxxIn what alternate universe would you have to live to hear this: “Honey, next time you’re down at TJ Maxx getting a great deal on clothes, pick me up one of those iPads I keep hearing about.” As it turns out, it’s not only a reality, but it could be happening in this very universe.

Engadget is reporting that, for some inexplicable reason, budget retailer TJ Maxx is now offering the base model 16GB, Wi-Fi only iPad for — wait for it — 9.99. You didn’t read that wrong: TJ Maxx is now the cheapest place to buy a 16GB iPad, a full cheaper than even Apple’s own refurbs.

The rogue iPads were first spotted by an Engadget reader at a TJ Maxx in Vernon, NY and the intrepid reporter followed up by confirming the devices were also on sale in stores in Ohio, New Jersey and elsewhere. When the news first broke, many believed these were refurbished units, but apparently that’s not the case. Some of the stores contacted were holding back their inventory for Black Friday, which is only a week away now.

According to MacRumors, iPads have also popped up at Marshalls, which is a sister chain to the TJ Maxx brand. Both retailers are known for catering to the “thrifty” crowd — they buy up excess inventory from both manufacturers as well as other stores and move it out the door as cheaply as possible. While they do offer plenty of brand names, Apple historically hasn’t been one of them.

Either this is one of the greatest strategic marketing moves in retail history, or a whole bunch of iPads fell off the back of a truck somewhere — Apple is mum on the subject for now, so feel free to speculate away while you go grab yourself a deal.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of Engadget)


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