Radio Shack will not sell the new iPad without accessories

Radio Shack will not sell the new iPad without accessories


Hey, Feel like donating $30+ to the coffers of a company that doesn’t understand that questions beginning with “wouldn’t it be great if”, don’t translate well to store policy?

This is the question that the man at the Radio Shack was all but asking me while he was explaining their iPad sales policy.

“No iPad sales without accessories”

Having worked in a video games shop, I understand the financial motivation – hardware margins are thin, accessory and software margins are fat. Thus the concept of bundling was born.

I remember being heavily encouraged to bundle, even incentivized. But never mandated.

This is one of the risk-factors (or just variables) in retail – some customers walk through the door foaming at the mouth for accessories; you don’t have enough to sell them everything they want. Others can be upsold to an accessory or two and thats great; your sales team can earn their money. But there will be people who walk in knowing exactly what they want, and wanting nothing more. These people are customers too and are far more likely to return to your store having had a successful retail experience than if you send them away without their new toy and a feeling of not being wanted as a customer – despite putting their hand in their pocket for $500 – $800!!

The hope for you, the retailer (I hope that you’re reading this Mr Radio Shack Board Member with not even the most basic understanding of building customer loyalty) is that these three types of customers average out nicely to give you a decent margin and then have the residual value of these people coming back through your door. Clearly you’re conveniently located for them – and closer than their nearest Apple store – because who seeks out a Radio Shack to buy an iPad?! Who knows, you may have even gotten that accessory sale out of me in the coming months – I’ve been thinking of moving to a leather smart cover.

So Radio Shack, I’m not asking anything of you – I just wanted to let you know why I am no-longer a customer of yours and why, despite living two blocks from a Radio Shack, I neither have a new iPad nor will be able to be overcharged for cables at a convenient location (the second-nearest shop that sells digital cables with a platinum connector is over a mile away.)



  1. Hilarious article, Radio Shack sucks!! My wife still insists on going there, but I put my foot down, no way!

  2. Years ago, Radio Shack was a great place. There was a good selection of components, and always a knowledgeable staff member there to answer questions. Now it’s just a bunch of loser teenagers selling radio controlled cars and cell phones. Edmund Scientific has gone the same direction.

  3. The real question is “Does Radio Shack think a user who is not interested in an accessory is more likely to buy an unwanted accessory or to go somewhere else?”

    I can’t imagine that they have thought this out. Why anyone would submit to this manipulation is unfathomable? Does RS have better pricing on the iPad? (No) Does RS have better availability? (highly unlikely) Is buying from RS more convenient? (No).

    Apple’s own online store is as much more convenient from a location perspective; and all Apple stores are equally convenient from a time (need it NOW) perspective. Not to mention BestBuy, Verizon, AT&T, and Microcenter as major retailers who also sell the device.

    Radio Shack is simply in denial about the economics of the situation.


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