So, I sold my iPad mini WiFi today, in hopes I could head to my local Apple retail store and pick one up. My friend was headed down to the store to pick hers up, so I figured there were plenty in stock. Just to be safe, I gave them a call to check on the availability of the 16G model LTE that I wanted to purchase.

The local Apple rep that picked up the phone said that they were out of stock, and did not know when new ones would be available.

I hopped onto the Apple Store app, in hopes I could fool the system, and order one for store pickup, anyway. Sadly, I was unable to get the app to allow me to buy one for in-store pickup; I could only get it to send me one via mail, with a 2 week shipping date.

Then I got crafty.

Or, rather, I got onto the online Apple store and spoke with a live chat representative. He told me that I was out of luck as far as ordering an iPad mini LTE today, but he had a plan. “It will be very rare that store will have them available for pickup right now,” said the rep, “but I have a recommendation for you. I’ll explain more.”

Turns out, the inventory for Apple retail stores refreshes at 10 pm local time. It even says this in the Apple Store app. The service rep on Live Chat, let’s call him Mike, said, “I recommend coming back online for our nightly promotion between 10pm-4am to try and reserve one for next day pickup.”

While it’s no guarantee that you’ll get the item you want for pickup the next day, what the rep was implying is that the “out of stock” notice may only be for that specific day. It sounds like if you connect the app up after 10 pm, you have a good chance of getting that “out of stock” item for next-day pickup at your local retail Apple Store.

I opened the Apple Store app at about 9:55 pm local time, logged in with my iTunes ID, and…there it was. Ready for ordering, pickup tomorrow.

So, if you’re calling around town, looking for an iPad mini LTE and finding it “out of stock” at even the Apple retail store, don’t despair – wait until the evening, and do your shopping then.

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