Trying to Buy an iPad 2? Good Luck

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The business of buying an iPad 2 has predictably turned to madness, with scarce in-store supplies and ship dates stretching into April.

Apple’s online store shows a shipping delay of three to four weeks for all iPad 2 models, up from a flat three-week delay for people who ordered the tablet on its March 11 launch day. The iPad 2 is also reportedly sold out in retail stores around the United States, according to a survey by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.

Apple hasn’t released sales figures for the iPad 2, but analysts estimated weekend sales of 400,000 to 600,000 units, the Wall Street Journal reported. Other analysts have estimated sales of closer to 1 million units. (If the iPad 2 does hit the million sales mark anytime soon, I have a feeling we’ll hear about it from Apple.)

All of this makes for bad news if you want an iPad 2 but didn’t have a game plan on launch day. Still, there’s some hope: Apple Store employees have reportedly told shoppers to show up early on Tuesday morning, when new iPad 2 shipments are expected to arrive. Apple hasn’t confirmed this information. Spokeswoman Trudy Miller merely told the Wall Street Journal that Apple is “working on getting the iPad 2 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible.”

If you just can’t wait and have money to burn, there’s always eBay, which recently sold a brand new 16 GB Wi-Fi iPad 2 for $650 — $151 higher than Apple’s asking price.