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Warning: Apple iPad Smart Cover LivingSocial Deal Probably Not a Good Deal

My wife came to me this morning asking me if this LivingSocial deal for an iPad “smart cover” for $15 was some sort of scam. It’s not unheard of for bargain vendors to sell less than genuine knockoffs of the Apple iPad Smart Cover for prices this low. However, these generic iPad covers usually fall short of the genuine article, either in form or functionality. I decided to sleuth out this deal from Apple Depot a bit, and my initial suspicion is that this is not a good deal. Read on for my reasons.

1. It says no where the description that it is a genuine Apple iPad Smart Cover

Although the description says “a magnetic smart cover for iPad 2, 3, or 4” it conspicuously leaves “smart cover” lower case. Hm. Don’t you think if a case were a genuine Apple product for that deep of a discount it’d be worth mentioning in the description?

apple depot smart cover review

2. 81% off of $40 is not $15

The Living Social voucher claims to be an 81% discount. The genuine Apple iPad Smart Cover costs about $40. 81% off of $40 is $7.60. Not $15.

genuine apple ipad cover price

So, wait, how does that make it an 81% discount? If you go to, you can find a magnetic smart cover for sale for $89.99.

81% off of $90 is…$17.10. Which is a lot closer to $15.

So, it is incredibly likely that this coupon is for that product. Which is twice as expensive as a genuine Apple iPad Smart Cover. Weird, weird, weird.

3. You can’t buy anything at, which is similarly named to a few other established web stores, has lots and lots of products listed, but no reviews and no way to buy any of them. Go try it right now. For to and see if you can find a “buy this” button or a shopping cart or anything like that. There ain’t none. All you have is a link to plug in your Living Social voucher.

magnetic cover for ipad apple depot price

Well, okay, maybe they are out of stock? Let’s look at another product, like this $49.99 USB car charger (which is a ridiculous price).

Well, no buy button, but yes, it appears that they have 20,000 of these items in stock. I declare that fishier than prepackaged gas station sushi.

apple depot scam

4. is a new and mysterious website.

AppleDepot has a pretty generic About Us page, but it raises some flags.

apple depot history

Whois records say that was registered in Nov. 2011. Odd, for a site that claims to have been in business since 2001.


What does Alexa have to say about Not much. There are 19 backlinks, and they are all deal blogs, probably related to the Living Social deal.

alexa ranking


Based on the above, I think it’s reasonable to say the following:

  • The above-linked Living Social deal is not for a genuine Apple iPad Smart Cover.
  • The Living Social deal is for a voucher for a third-party vendor selling a highly overpriced Apple iPad Smart Cover knockoff.
  • The has no clear track record of reputability and appears to be either a front with no real inventory (other than the knockoff iPad cover) or a seriously broken shopping cart system.

My theory is that was created solely to hawk these knockoff iPad covers and that’s all they have for sale. I’m going to tell my wife not to buy it.

Would you buy this iPad cover, or another generic iPad cover? Let us know in the comments.

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28 Responses to Warning: Apple iPad Smart Cover LivingSocial Deal Probably Not a Good Deal

  1. Lori V. January 5, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    I know it’s not an authentic cover because they have a purple one. But I love purple so went ahead and bought it. We shall see how it measures up in 4-6 weeks! Crazy annoying ship time.

    • Jack Busch January 6, 2013 at 11:08 am #

      Did you have to pay for shipping?

      • Lori V. January 6, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

        $15 was the flat cost including shipping.

        • Jack Busch January 7, 2013 at 2:48 am #

          Ah that’s good to know. I am sure it will be decent. And that’s a good point about the color – if you care more about the color that you want than getting a name brand product, I guess this might be a good deal for you. Thanks for reporting!

          • Lori V. February 25, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

            I received my cover and right out of the package I didn’t think the magnet was strong enough to hold it as a stand. But the cover itself was just too stiff. I worked it a little and it became more pliable and it works just fine now. I have it in the upright stand position right now while I am typing and it works fine. It’s holding at the same angle as the Apple cover. It works fine in the lower angle as well, but I wanted to test the strength in the upright position for the purposes of this post. Success!

            The overall quality of this cover is inferior to Apple’s cover, but it does have the metal hinge and nearly the same material on the front. The back of the cover feels like a cheap felt instead of the microfiber on the Apple cover, and it is plain gray rather than the cover color. I believe this is how the first Apple covers were made. The cover is definitely thinner than the Apple cover and feels kinda like hard cardboard; Apple’s cover feels heavier, thicker, and slightly padded. It doesn’t fold into the stand as easily and takes two hands. I hope it continues to get more pliable with age.

            I am happy with this cover for the price: $15 with shipping. It’s a beautiful shade of purple also and Apple doesn’t make a purple one so I’m pleased. I think Ron and Evan just haven’t figured out how to use it. As is said, right out of the box, I didn’t think it would stand. But it does and it is. I’ve only used it for about an hour, but it is totally fine. The wake/sleep function works perfectly.

            The ship time was a little annoying and I actually forgot that I even bought it. Then I remembered that I said I would report back about my experience. I hope this is helpful.

    • Steve Krause January 6, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

      Fingers crossed it shows up!

      • Lori V. January 6, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

        For sure!

  2. Graeme McRae January 6, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    The long ship time is another red flag. I’m sure they have to go and make one now.

  3. Evan February 18, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    I got my cover – and it doesn’t work! Wish I read this post sooner 🙁

    • Lori V. February 25, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

      Mine works. Keep trying. Make sure it’s folded tightly into a triangle. At first it didn’t fold enough and the magnet didn’t hold. One I figured it out, all is well now. See my review.

    • leeann February 26, 2013 at 7:49 am #

      me to. it sucks

      • Lori V. February 26, 2013 at 10:52 am #

        Did you think this was an Apple Cover before ordering? Just wondering. I expected a lower quality and not an authentic cover.

  4. Ron February 22, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    I ordered this through livingsocial. It took 6 weeks because appledepot orders them from china after they receive an order from a customer. Mine shipped directly to me from china, one unit. The cover works ok until you try to use it as a stand. It holds the ipad at too steep an angle to read comfortably and even then the magnets are too weak to hold it up if you touch the ipad. Livingsocial will not do anything about it so far, they repeatedly refer me to appledepot. they list live support under the about us tab, nothing there. the bigger problem here is livingsocial in my opinion

    • Lori V. February 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

      Mine works. Keep trying. Make sure it’s folded tightly into a triangle. At first it didn’t fold enough and the magnet didn’t hold. One I figured it out, all is well now. See my review.

      • Ron February 25, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

        Gee Lori, it’s not too hard to “figure out”. As I stated in my post, it stands up (see, I did figure it out). Try tapping the screen a few times and see how we’ll it holds.

        • Lori V. February 25, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

          As I said in my review, I typed that whole post with it standing just to see if it held and it did. I have also been using it to play Words with Friends which involves lots of tapping and dragging.

  5. Lori V. February 25, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    Ugh. That kept telling me my comment couldn’t be published and I see that it actually published every time. Sorry about that. Ugh. I tried changing words thinking it would allow Netflix or Words with Friends. Oh well. I didn’t mean to imply you could figure out the cover itself, just that if you work with it, it will stand and stay standing just fine. At least that is what I have found.

  6. leeann February 26, 2013 at 7:48 am #

    I did not take the time to read everybodys responses, but I received mine and WHAT A JOKE. First, it came from Japan, had to get past the fish smell (fish makes me gag, a big deal for me), it does not stay in place, protect cover or anything. It does turn it on and off. thats it. Hate it waste of 15 dollars and the 2 month anticipation.

    • Steve Krause February 26, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

      Oh ouch…. Bummer. $15 is not cheap either. You can get a decent cover on Amazon for that. And it smells like fish??? Wow, how freaky.

      Bummer… sorry you got hit by it!

  7. Laura March 15, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    Yes this cover sucks! Less than I anticipated!

  8. Laura March 15, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    Yes this cover stinks! Less than I anticipated!

  9. Lee November 18, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    I bought a data cable from Apple Depot through Living social. Will never ever purchase stuff from Apple depot ever again!

    Firstly, the long shipping time of 6 weeks.

    Secondly, within a month of use, the cable is now “detached” and completely un-useable.

    Dont waste your money!!

  10. Bruce January 9, 2014 at 10:09 am #

    I bought earbuds from Apple Depot through Living Social. I also got expedited shipping that came with a free pair of earbuds for $9.99. It was too good to be true – literally. I got the first pair but the second pair never arrived and little response from Apple Depot or Living Social. On top of that, my credit card number was stolen – maybe a coincidence. I’m staying away from both companies.

    • Steve Krause January 9, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

      Did you pay for everything with a credit card (that was stolen… so I assume yes). Good news there I think…. is at least you can mark it fraud as it never arrived. Have it taken off your credit card?


  11. Phil March 24, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

    Received the smart case from apple depot and after one day iPad would shut off for no reason like the cover was being put back over it. Then would turn back on. Every time I went to use it it would do it again until finally it wouldn’t turn on at all. This case ruined my iPad. The iPad was only a year and a 4 months old and well takin care of. Please post if you’ve had this problem as well

    • Steve Krause March 25, 2014 at 9:41 am #

      Ouch Phil…. Almost like the magnets in the case fried it or something???

  12. Phil March 25, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

    Yes, when I hook it up to iTunes it says it detects an iPad in recovery mode. The serial # shows n/a. When I try to run the program error 4014 pops up. Think it ruined the hard drive witch pretty much means it’s a paper weight. Gonna take it to the apple store and get a def answer on the issue. Trying to get a hold of apple depot but like Steve said it’s like it’s not even a company.

  13. Captain Underplants March 25, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

    This is a bummer! Sorry for all who bought and did not get a working product, or whose tablets were ruined by the cover. Jeez.

    My thoughts on the ship time: that long of a ship time would seem to indicate that they are buying the products from overseas, probably China. Possibly, this is nothing more than a storefront for a set of knockoff Apple-focused Alibaba deals that the operators of the Apple Depot have set up.

    Further, my guess is that they take orders until they have enough that they get a price break from the overseas supplier, usually round numbers like 100/1000/10000 etc. That may add some time to the ship time to the customer as well.

    I wonder about the legality of it all, and if Apple actually cares enough to try and issue a Cease and Desist to Apple Depot. One thing is for sure, though – buyer beware!

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