Apple iPad price wars begin

Don't Waste Your Money

A new iPad Air or iPad Mini is at the top of many Christmas wish lists this year.

And everyone knows that Apple sets a price for its new gadgets, so it's the same price everywhere.

Right? Not necessarily.

iPad Price Wars

It used to be that whether you were waiting outside the Apple store for the minute it opened or you shopped a discount store, a current edition iPad would always be $499.

But that's changing: the iPad price wars have just begun.

Walmart and Target are selling the brand new iPad Air for $479, which is $20 less than Apple.

But on Black Friday, the prices drop even more. Apple is expected to discount iPads online, but will not give away the price before the deals start.

Black Friday iPad Air Deals

     -Best Buy will sell the iPad Air for $449, a $50 discount over list price.
     -Target will give you a $100 gift card with that iPad Air, dropping it to just $379 after gift card

Black Friday iPad Mini Deals

Want the original iPad Mini? (Not the newest model with Retina Display, but who really cares?)

Black Friday deals include:

     -Walmart: The iPad Mini is $299 with a $100 gift card thrown in Thursday night at 6 p.m., making that iPad Mini just $199 after gift card.

     -Best Buy was matching that price online at its website Friday morning, but unfortunately that deal sold out shortly before noon.  Best Buy MAY offer iPads with gift cards starting Thursday night.

      -Target and Meijer will have the iPad Mini with a $75 gift card thrown in Thursday.

Doesn't That Stink?

But from the doesn't that file, the catch with many  Black Friday iPad markdowns.

While most of the deals last all day on paper, look for the words "while quantities last." If the iPads are gone the first hour, you may say "doesn't that stink?"

Don't want fight the Thanksgiving day crowds? says some of these deals will be repeated.

Look for Refurbished

And if you miss those, check for refurbished models, especially the older iPad or iPad mini.

Bottom line: If your recipient doesn't mind a refurbished or older model, you will save a lot more.

Just be sure to buy that refurb from a reputable site, preferably Apple itself, so you get a full warranty and you don't waste your money.

Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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