TORONTO - Canadian retailers are again selling off Research in Motion's (TSX:RIM) PlayBook tablets at massive discounts and shoppers seem to be eagerly snapping them up.

Best Buy, Future Shop, Sears, The Source and Walmart are among the stores selling the tablets at $300 off, making the cheapest 16-gigabyte model about $200. The 32GB PlayBook is $300 and the 64GB model is $400.

It's not the first time PlayBooks have been heavily discounted but shoppers are really responding to this promotion, said Derek Szeto of the bargain-hunting website, which attracts 2.5 million readers monthly.

“It's been crazy popular, at $200 I think the value is pretty incredible,” said Szeto, noting that a post about the sale had amassed nearly 3,000 replies and 333,000 views by midday Friday.


“This is a huge, huge, very, very popular post and there's tons of discussion over a very short period of time. It's the most active thread in our community right now by far, it's not even close.”

Many of the site's users were reporting that some stores had very little stock or were already sold out, even though the sale is supposed to run through Nov. 24 at some stores and for two weeks at Sears.

RIM is also offering a free PlayBook and free accessories for buyers who purchase two units.

Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis has said RIM is committed to the PlayBook and is not looking to phase it out, as HP recently did with its poor-performing TouchPad.

In September, RIM announced that it had shipped about 700,000 PlayBooks as of Aug. 27. Apple, meanwhile, reported it sold 11.12 million iPads during its fourth quarter of this year.

RIM did not agree to an interview request but said in a statement that the sale price is temporary.

“RIM has various promotional plans in place with retail partners that are intended to help drive further sell-through of the BlackBerry PlayBook. A number of promotions will run during the holiday buying season and are being implemented in the form of instant rebates and gift cards within the consumer channel,” RIM said in its statement, which was also released during previous promotions.

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