By Jim Donovan

By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Apple makes some of the most popular smart phones, tablets and laptops, but when it comes to getting a deal on one, it all depends on where you shop.  As 3 On Your side consumer reporter Jim Donovan finds, some retailers lead the pack when it comes to offering discounts.

The Apple store can’t be beat when it comes to selection, but it’s not always on top when it comes to price.

“The Apple store is actually the worst place to go when it comes to like finding deals,” said Louis Ramirez with

Ramirez tracked five years of discounts on the hottest Apple products and found that where you buy, dictates the types of deals you’ll see.

“Sprint actually offers the best iPhone deals in the terms that you will get the biggest discounts for them,” said Ramirez.

DealNews says Sprint accounted for 28 percent of all iPhone deals. Walmart was a close second with 23 percent.

“All of their deals were in-store only, so it requires you to physically go to a Walmart to get that iPhone to get that discount.  Now they do that in hopes that once you’re there you’ll see other things you might see like a dock for your iPhone, a screen protector, a case, and you’ll go impulse shopping and you’ll buy that as well,” said Ramirez.

Are you looking for an iPad?

“Hands down eBay had the best iPad deals they had base discounts between 50 to up to 100 dollars off on the iPad models,” said Ramirez.

But don’t worry, it’s not like you have to bid.

“What happens is a lot of time, retailers such as Walmart,, Best Buy, they have store fronts on eBay that they use to sell products directly to consumers,” said Ramirez.

And for something like the Macbook Air, no single retailer stood out of the pack.  Best Buy accounted for 17 percent of the deals, Amazon 14 percent.

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