Sears Mistakenly Prices iPad 2 at $69, Refuses to Process Orders

By Beecher Tuttle July 18, 2011

An iPad 2 for less than $70? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it is.

Retail giant Sears was forced to issue an apology on Friday evening after it mistakenly advertised the second generation Apple tablet for the ridiculously-low price of $69, and then retracted the offer and cancelled all orders. The typo is said to be the fault of third-party vendor GSM On Sale, which normally sells the 16-gigabyte, Wi-Fi-only iPad 2 for $755.

"We want you to know that, unfortunately, today one of the Marketplace third party sellers told us that they mistakenly posted incorrect pricing information on two Apple iPad models on the Marketplace portion of the website," Sears said in a statement. "If you purchased either of these products recently, your order has been cancelled and your account will be credited."

The consumer venom aimed at Sears revolves mostly around the fact that the retailer refused to honor the orders, even though many customers claimed that they received verification emails from both PayPal and Sears.

One user on the Sears message board claimed that Best Buy actually honored the price match during the several hour stretch that the sale was available on the Sears site. Although it is still unclear how many customers Sears disappointed by cancelling the orders, you would have to speculate that it is in the thousands. CNN reported that news of the deal went viral on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites.

Meanwhile, the error shines light on the common practice of major brands using third-party vendors to fill their orders. Consumers often don't find out that the trusted company name is only used as a wrapper until something goes wrong with the smaller vendor.

"When I go to I want to be shopping at Sears," one user wrote. "Then I find out some random company with a email address is who I just spent my money with and I won't be getting my product after all. Shady business practice in my opinion."

GSM On Sale has been closed for "maintenance" since the mistake was made. Chances are good their relationship with Sears if finished.

Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributor

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