OFFICIALLY refurbished Apple products are now available on eBay, sparking reports that the company has opened its own store on the auction site.
Although the store carries no branding, sources cited by 9to5Mac claim the store is a trial run for an official Apple store to sell refurbished products online.
The move, while uncharacteristic for the iPad-maker, would bring it into line with other PC manufacturers, including Dell and HP, as well as retailers such as Argos and Tesco. eBay has become a popular place for manufacturers to shift excess stock efficiently, as the site has pushed itself forward as a digital high street for bargain products.
All the products are available at 'Buy It Now' prices, rather than as auction items.
Apple has recently stopped selling the previous version of the iPad, featuring a retina display but an old dock connector, and is thought to have some old stock remaining. A new 32GB iPad currently costs $599 (£479 in the UK), but the 'refurbished' previous generation is selling on eBay for $469.
The Apple retailer appeared on eBay about a month ago and, according to 9to5Mac, “has been hiding in plain site ever since”.
It is branded as a “Refurbished Outlet”, and features no corporate or contact information. Its reviews, however, are 99.7% positive, despite no information on where objects are from.
Although the look of the store is not as polished as Apple’s own online presence, the products feature similar one-year warranties, new batteries for iPads and iPods, as well as a quality inspection by Apple, a reinstalled OS and new packaging.
The prices on the products are also the same as the Apple’s Store refurbished prices, with MacBook Airs starting at $919 (£575). Although not all products are currently available, the move could, 9to5Mac claims, lead to a more extensive retail presence on eBay for Apple. MacBooks, iPods and iPads are already offered, with
Some commenters, however, raised doubts about the store’s official character because is only charges taxes for purchases from California, Washington DC, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, and Texas. As Apple operates in all states, it might be expected to charge in all of them. A third party or subsidiary, however, might allow it to only charge in some states.
Apple and eBay did not comment in time for publication.
By Matt Warman Telegraph.co.uk