Entrepreneurs selling iPhone over eBay for a big iProfit

Apple Inc.’s iPhone drew crowds of shoppers in its first day on sale, including profiteers who are trying to resell the handset on EBay Inc. and Craigslist.com for as much as $12,000. 

Apple, maker of the iPod music player and Macintosh computer, began selling the iPhone last night for as much as $599. Some buyers lined up four days before the debut, and resellers on EBay’s auction site received an average of $966.08 a phone with the highest price of $10,000 paid in the first 22 hours of auctions, according to EBay Marketplace Research. 

Apple may sell 200,000 units in two days, according to the highest analysts’ estimates. That would make it the top product introduction in the Cupertino, California-based company’s 31- year history, surpassing demand for popular iPod models including the Nano and Shuffle.“EBay is experiencing the extension of the building frenzy about iPhones,” said EBay spokesman Jim Griffith. 

Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs told the Wall Street Journal this week that while Apple tried to anticipate purchases of the gadget, he wasn’t certain if supply would meet demand. All 164 Apple retail stores had the product in stock today, according to the Apple Web site.Apple is selling the combination iPod media player and phone at its retail stores and through 1,800 AT&T Inc. outlets. 

Jobs wants the iPhone to become Apple’s third main business, along with the Mac and iPod, which each ring up $20 billion in annual sales. He forecast sales of 10 million iPhones in 2008 to capture 1 percent of the mobile-phone market and win customers away from rivals including Research In Motion Ltd. and Palm Inc. 

Shares of Apple rose $1.48 to $122.04 yesterday in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. They have climbed 43 percent since Jobs unveiled the iPhone Jan. 9. 

The company is also selling the iPhone over the Internet. Buyers who order it online today will receive it in two to four weeks, according to Apple’s Web site. 

EBay and Craigslist.com posters are hoping buyers won’t want to wait that long. Most resellers are promising overnight deliveries.

 The highest price paid for the 464 iPhones that were sold on EBay as of 3:45 p.m. New York time was $10,000, in a “buy it now” auction that requires the winner to submit payment within seven days, according to EBay Marketplace Research. An average of 1.62 bids were placed on each phone with the average price at $966.08. At least one reseller is asking for $12,000.EBay, in an effort to reduce fraud, refused to allow iPhone listings with mandatory photographs until 6 p.m. last night when the products went on sale at retail outlets, Griffith said. The site also requires buyers to use the “Pay Pal” system, a free service linked to a bank account or credit card, to forward the money to the seller.

 Among the 7,766 iPhones still listed today were two offered by David Kraus, who stood in line as No. 44 for eight hours to buy the phones for $625 each, including tax, at a store in Aventura, Florida. The high bid on one phone, which drew more than 11,000 viewers in 15 hours as one of the first offerings to hit EBay, was $2,650. Krause gets about 2,000 viewers for an average auction. 

“I will cancel the high bid if he doesn’t answer my e- mails two hours before the bidding ends. It’s my freedom to evaluate how likely a person will pay,” said Kraus, who has conducted 2,000 auctions since 2001. “There are indications this is a bogus bid.”Kraus, who said he saw one bid of $80,000 for an iPhone yesterday, doesn’t trust first-time bidders, saying some people just like to play on EBay. 

“Realistically, this bidding will end at $2,000,” said Kraus, whose other phone was going for $830. “That’s a quick profit for me.

Kraus said he bought his phones at 6:17 p.m. and had them loaded on the EBay site by 6:40 p.m. to be among the first. He photographed the products with his identification so no one could use his photos to make fraudulent offers.

 EBay receives a fee for each listing as well as a percentage of the final sale price, Griffith said. The Web site company would receive a minimum of $33.20 for an iPhone that sold for $1,000.

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3 Comments on “Entrepreneurs selling iPhone over eBay for a big iProfit”


  1. […] to $10bn, ranking third after the iPod and the Mac computer – in spite of high resell prices, iPhone on ebay is a buyers’market : on monday July 2nd, 2,600 iPhones sold for an average price of $775.03. […]


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