IPAD 2 was recently launched in Malaysia about 2 weeks ago – resulting the craze that got many people spending hours queueing up in various locations to get hold of the gadget. I remember walking past Machines in Midvalley on the first day of the launch, and I saw the long queue that goes round the big “oval” – and that was like 4pm, which something like 6 hours after the first iPad 2 was sold to the first buyer. Amazing.
1 week later, the 2nd batch has arrived. Various shops has it in stock. From the lights of Harvey Norman to Machines. In fact, most of them has resorted to Facebook to communicate to their potential customers about the new stock. Premium reseller like Machines, posted on their Facebook as early as Wednesday to tell the customers that they would need to come to their shop on Saturday early, so that they would be able to get hold of the gadget.
From what I read – there are a lot of happy people out there, and of course there are a lot of unhappy ones too. Some waited for hours, and at the end – the stock ran out. Can’t there be any better way of doing things, like pre-order rather than get the potential customers to queue up. For those people who queue up and failed to get, will of course have bad blood against the shop. And make claims like the shop does not fulfill their promise… dee daa dee daa.
Fact of the matter, there’s two alternative to getting iPad, apart from getting it from the resellers which have shops all around Malaysia. One – thru Lowyat and the other thru Apple Online Store.
Lowyat is rather ridiculous as the prices set by the sellers are way too expensive. Some will push up their price as high as 50% more than the retail price. Surprisingly, there are people who actually acquire the iPad 2 thru this channel – as the cost of queueing up is paid for by the higher price. Will I do that, probably not.
Apple Online Store – is far more reliable and of course you get at the retail price. In addition to that, you would also be able to engrave any personal note at the back of the iPad 2. That’s quite cool – but of course it does makes the second-hand price of your iPad 2 to be lower, as its “personalized” to you. The expected shipment for iPad 2 is now set between 1-2 weeks. From my experience with buying from Apple Store, they are quite good at this. From what I know, the iPad are shipped from Singapore.
So why does the customers don’t just go buy online?
Well – there are few reasons. First reason – it’s definitely more fun to buy and swipe your card. Picking up the iPad 2 in person is definitely far more fulfilling that opening up the box from Fedex. Seriously! Then – of course is the question of whether you can trust online payment. Making payment through website require some balls (at first). For bulk of Malaysian, they probably don’t trust online shopping. In fact, some don’t even do Online Banking because it’s perceived to be not safe. I guess it will take time before every body start buying online, and screw the retail shops. Then of course the next reason is that its MARKETING. Having queues outside the shop is some sort of a marketing craze that shops (especially Machines) die for. When do you actually get people to come and queue up to get their stuff from your shop? Long queues are free marketing, and indirectly definitely it will invite not buyers(like yours truly) to come and visit and perhaps pickup few things. Heh heh.
Anyway – such types of marketing does come with downside. If not managed properly, you will be screwed. See, not everybody in the shop have the right information. For example, from Facebook – there’s this person who waited from early morning in Machines Gardens because the day before, one of the sales person in Gardens told the person that there will be iPad 2 in stock the next day! On the day itself, after this shop open – what happened was Machines Gardens don’t sell the iPad 2. Because it was too closed to Machines Mid Valley. Holy crap. Imagine you waiting for few hours, and realized after few hours that there’s no iPad 2 for you. And then when you go to other shop – it’s SOLD OUT.
Another occurrence was with iStudy. So happen on Saturday morning (2nd Batch day) I was in One Mont Kiara. I can’t stop noticing that there’s a smaller queue outside the shop. iStudy is a smaller chain hence the stock is definitely a lot less than the rest. So anyway – the story goes that few days before iStudy announced on their Facebook Page that there will be iPad 2 on Saturday morning. Hence a queue…
So, I can’t help but to “join” the queue – not to get the iPad 2 but to get a sleeve for my MBP. 5 minutes before the opening suddenly there’s a commotion. Apparently, iStudy messed up somewhat. There’s no stock in One Mont Kiara, and the stock is stuck somewhere in their warehouse Sunway. After negotiating with the store manager(i think), they managed to persuade the store manager to transfer some stock from their warehouse to One Mont Kiara(fantastic…), fret not.
Few minutes later, the manager said that iPad 2 all sold out! Damn. Tempers flaring – and I bet you a lot of people will have bad grudges against the iStudy.
So – given all the situation, what will I do. I’ve been telling myself “What I WANT is not what I NEED”. But if so happen that I don’t manage to overcome the temptation – I will just press the Buy Now button from Apple Store 🙂