eBay sellers fail to see big iPhone profits in early going

“David Flashner thought he had it wired: buy two iPhones last Friday when they first went on sale, keep one and sell the other at a profit so big it would pay for most of the first one,” Katie Hafner reports for The New York Times.

“Mr. Flashner wasted no time. He began advertising the extra phone while still in line at an Apple store in Burlingame, Calif., south of San Francisco. During his 21-hour wait, he posted half a dozen different ads to Craigslist — with prices ranging from $800 to $1,200 — and waited for the calls to come in,” Hafner reports.

“But no calls came because consumers expect that stores will soon have phones in stock. He continued to advertise the extra phone through the weekend, and ended up with just one call, which went nowhere. On Wednesday, he returned the phone,” Hafner reports.

“Mr. Flashner, 25, who manages an audio-visual equipment rental company, is not the only would-be iPhone reseller whose plan failed to follow the script,” Hafner reports.

Full article here.

Supply and demand. First the product has to be sold out (as it was yesterday – some Apple Stores have since ben restocked) and you have to have extended periods of drought (we’ll see) to build up any eBay frenzy. Nobody with a brain would buy an iPhone for some exorbitant price off eBay during the first few days when they could just walk into an Apple Store and buy one at normal retail price.

71 Comments

  1. I’m glad to see that the opportunists weren’t able to scam their way into free iPhones.
    Like that dumb woman in Texas that wanted to buy out the store, leaving all of the true fans that had been waiting in line for the entire day with nothing more than a couple new acquaintances and a serious need for a shower.
    I think the smartest thing Apple & AT&T did was limit the number of phones each customer could purchase.

  2. I bought 4 iPhones on the 29th. As soon we brought them home our eBay ads had already ended. Sold 3 for an average of 879 each. Kept #4 for free. There are plenty of people that have profited, but not many. A lot of it has to do with catching the right people at the right time.

  3. The quote you posted states Craigs List which is not eBay. I did an eBay search on Monday for completed auctions and several went for $1400-$!500. One even went for $2500 but since the buyer was brand new I doubt the transaction went through. Never underestimate peoples desire to have something rihgt away, and their willingness to pay for it.

  4. I’m still getting the kick out of the lady featured on (I believe) FoxNews who paid a kid $800 for his first place in line & had “thousands of dollars” to purchase a whole bunch of them…

    Only to find out that her 1st place didn’t matter because they had plenty in stock..oh an yeah, she didn’t read the rules that only 1 iphone per customer at the AT&T stores…boo hoo.

  5. I bought two iPhones, a 4gb and an 8gb. I put the 4gb on eBay and made $110 after fees and shipping. Hey, I just got an 8gb iPhone for the price of a 4gb iPhone. Can’t complain. I think a lot of people were willing to pay a little more and wait a day or two just to avoid all the crowds.

  6. America has allot of fat people huh, why don’t people stop eating so much?

    Or eat more vegetables :>

    PS: iphone uses RISC processor huh so will be same as g4 LOL

    PPS:
    Gates if you has been cooler we would have had iphone years ago

  7. I don’t see how people that wanted to do this are “scammers”. Like the MDN take says, unless there’s a supply shortage, it’s unlikely folks would spend much more than retail for the phone. And if folks are willing to pay more, so what? It’s called supply and demand, and if some one has the resources to blow, why is that a problem?

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