$69 iPad 2 Sale Causes Online Stampede, But Some Things Are Too Good To Be True

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A pricing error at Sears.com last Friday resulted in iPad 2s going on sale for the low price of just $69. Not surprisingly, a virtual stampede of would-be dealsters soon rushed to make good on the offer… but now they’re hopping mad, as Sears makes clear that they will not be honoring the offer.

MacWorld has the full report, but here’s the overview:

Last Friday on Sears.com, a third-party seller called GSM On Sale offered two iPad 2 models at astounding prices, according to several media reports: the 16GB, Wi-Fi-only model for $69 (Apple lists it for $499), and the 32GB, Wi-Fi-only model for $179 (versus Apple’s $599 list price).

It’s not clear how many customers placed orders. But it is clear that however many there are, they are plenty upset about not getting a $499 product for $69…

It didn’t take long for GSM On Sale to catch the error and notify Sears, which posted a very brief apology on its corporate Facebook page by 8:42 p.m. on the day the ad appeared: “Unfortunately, today one of the Marketplace third party sellers told us that they mistakenly posted incorrect pricing on two Apple iPad models on the Marketplace portion of the website. If you purchased either of these products recently, your order has been cancelled and your account will be credited. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

Not too surprisingly, customers who tried to purchase a $69 iPad 2 are now screaming bloody murder, claiming false advertisement.

I’ve got to say, I’ve got little sympathy for the people who didn’t get a $69 iPad 2 here. No one is selling iPad 2s for significantly less than $499: a $69 iPad 2 is clearly an error. To get indignant because you tried to take advantage of someone else’s mistake and then got caught at it seems a little much.

That said, there does seem to be reason to criticize Sears here. Though Sears was quick to deduct the $69 or $179 from users’ accounts, they’ve so far been extremely slow to refund the money.

What do you think? Should Sears have honored this pricing error? Let us know in the comments.