Apple fans hit grey market for iPads
Thursday 15 April 2010
Apple's decision to delay the sale of its iPad overseas may frustrate customers in Germany, France or Japan -- but it brightened the day of at least a few crafty fans closer to home.
So-called resellers, opportunists who scoop up hot products and sell them over the Web at inflated prices, have recently been charging premiums of more than $500 (£324) on sites like Craigslist or eBay for the iPad.
They could soon jack up prices even more, thanks to Apple's announcement on Wednesday that iPads will not go on sale outside the United States before late May. Until then, shoppers in Europe, Asia and the Middle East who can't wait for the touchscreen device to arrive in local stores will have little choice but to pay up over the Web.
"There is huge demand. I'm buying as many as I can," said Todd Davis, proprietor of ToddsToyz.com, a Boston-based Web retailer that ships consumer electronics around the globe.
The firm charges $100 to $150 (£65 - £100) over list price for the devices, though some retailers on eBay were asking for $1,200 (£780) or more for a high-end model that Apple sells for $699 (£454).
Davis said he had only been able to get his hands on five units before they sold out, but planned to spend Wednesday afternoon scouring Boston area Apple stores and Best Buy Co Inc outlets for more.
British online retailer PurelyGadgets.co.uk was selling tablets for £590 to £790, a hefty premium over their original price of $499 to $699 (£323 - £450). A salesman said they were almost sold out.
Apple has yet to announce overseas pricing. In the meantime, market forces will determine how much consumers pay, said Steve Baker, an analyst with market research firm NPD.
"Grey markets are the purest form of supply and demand. If you crimp the supply and demand doesn't go down, then prices will go up," he said.
In the United States, the device has proven more popular than some analysts had expected, selling 500,000 units in the week after its April 3 launch.
That caused sellouts at Best Buy and some Apple stores - the only direct sellers of the iPad - though the manufacturer has replenished supplies at some locations.
The company said it expected sales would likely continue to exceed supply over the next several weeks. For its overseas customers, it plans to announce international pricing and begin taking online orders on May 10.
Rogers Communications Inc said on Wednesday it will begin offering the iPad in Canada by the end of May.
Life & Style blogs
This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
Tinder Plus: premium service launches, charging much more for those over 28
My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin: How I outwitted the Gestapo
Drinking three to five cups of a coffee a day could reduce risk of heart attacks, study finds
Running test reveals whether you will die in the next decade
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 Pornhub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£28000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A consultant is required to pro...
£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to rapid customer growth, a...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree have recently been awa...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Are you someone that "makes th...