The two deals of $299 for the iPad mini were from Rakuten.com (buy.com) and Microcenter. For the deal with Rakuten.com, a lot of negative reviews popped up on the seller (click, go and buy) about shipping used/refurbished/open box iPad Minis. There were also comments on this website as well as several others were buyers were complaining of the same issue. My neighbor received an ipad mini in a plain brown box with scratches on the backside.
The microcenter, unfortunately, was a deal that you had to be locally for to enjoy since it was in store only. There were hassles with trying to get local best buy, target, or other large B&M stores to price match.
I know this eBay Daily Sellers runs frequent ipad deals and his is brand new condition. A coworker I recommended ordered one awhile ago and came pristine. This seller has been multiple FP and yo u can see this is not the case people are experiencing like rakuten