Arbitrage opportunities in iPad shopping

With products like the iPad which comes in different specifications, a spreadsheet is a boon. I had been thinking about picking one up in Hong Kong, but all the prices looked very similar to the UK prices in the Apple Store, so I left it well alone.

Getting home, I decided to have a look at the prices across three online retailers: CeX – the online store of the Computer Exchange chain of UK shops, Apple’s own Store and Amazon.

With CeX I only looked at grade A product as this conformed most closely with Apple’s refurbed store. Amazon I listed both best new and used prices, though I rejected some options because the feedback in Amazon Marketplace made me a bit leery.

You can find the data set that I came up with here

Key outtakes

  • It pays to shop around: Apple’s refurb store had the best price on one configuration, Amazon in two and CeX took the rest
  • At the top end of the range the 64GB model with 3G was cheaper than without 3G
  • 3G devices tend to represent better bargains than wi-fi only devices with a higher percentage difference per model between the highest and lowest price found, in constrast wi-fi model price differences were pretty constant across the range
  • Top of the range devices tend to get much better value for the memory that they have

Of course all of this will get completely disrupted when Apple does its next new product launch.