Is Big W Losing Money On Each 16GB Wi-Fi iPad Sold?

With the iPad 2 just a couple of weeks from launch, there's a veritable fire sale on the original model. Following the story this morning that Big W has slashed the price of its iPad range, we've since discovered that the retailer is selling the 16GB Wi-Fi model for less than it can be bought from wholesalers. Ouch!

Given that retailers like Big W don't make any significant margin on Apple products - instead making profits from peripherals, you'd expect the wholesale price and the sale price to be close. But we've seen screenshots from two wholesale sellers (Simms and Express Online) taken today, selling the 16GB Wi-Fi model to retailers for between $408 and $422.

If Big W is buying from either of these wholesalers (and there's no guarantee that it is - our source isn't a Big W employee, just someone with access to gadget wholesalers pricing), it would be losing at least $10 on every 16GB Wi-Fi iPad sale, possibly more.

But while that seems strange, it's also worth noting that it would be making a small profit on every other model sold. Not only that, but looking at the stock levels on the wholesalers websites, there aren't that many units available any more, so chances are if you haven't already taken advantage of the sale, you've probably missed out.

With another two weeks or so before the iPad 2 goes on sale, it seems strange that retailers would be so desperate to rid themselves of original iPad stock. But given that it means gadget lovers get cheaper prices, we're not complaining...