by Lenny Liang
March 18, 2012
Some of you are reading this on the brilliant screen of your brand new iPad. Lucky you. It's nice, isn't it? I am curious to hear your stories. Did you preorder it from Apple? Did you wait in line at Best Buy? Perhaps you mauled a poor delivery person? For me, I did not preorder the new iPad. Nor did I wait in any lines. I'll refrain from comment about the mauling ... My story's fairly dull. I walked into Mac Business Solutions (MBS) and walked up to the counter. "Do you have a White 32 GB iPad with 4G LTE?" I asked. "Let me go check," the salesperson replied, as she marched off to the back. Minutes later, it was in my hands. When people want to buy a new iPad, they often think of AT&T, Verizon, Best Buy, or Apple itself. There's nothing wrong with buying from one of these established companies. However, it is important to remember that the big names are not the only games around. There are also Apple specialists, like MBS, which can often give you a better buying experience than that of their larger counterparts. I asked MBS owner Sonny Tohan why it was so painless to buy an iPad from his store, when other places had massive lines, and some yet sold out. He explained to me, MBS is what is known as a "Value Added Reseller," authorized by Apple to sell and service its products. In the case of MBS, their primarily clientele are in the corporate and government sectors. As such, they receive products, like the iPad, in large bulk orders, often more than what the local Best Buy will receive. They are more than happy, however, to serve personal consumers, such as myself. I consider MBS to be a gem of a shop and there are similar treasures around the country, maybe in your own neighborhood. Even if there's not one near you, you should still be able to order online. There's a different vibe at a shop like MBS. It's almost like a Cheers bar for tech geeks, "where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came ... " I personally appreciate the personal attention I get at a smaller store. Even if you already own a new iPad, you will likely have some technical questions about it, at some point. Instead of being another nameless face waiting at the Genius Bar, wouldn't it be nice to develop a personal relationship with a tech specialist, who can give you their undivided attention? I get that kind of treatment. Why shouldn't you? For your Apple shopping needs, I recommend exploring all of your options. Again, there's nothing wrong with buying from a large retail store, or Apple directly. However, lesser known businesses are also viable options, and depending on your personal needs, may be your best bet.