Apple Moving Refurb Products Through Ebay ‘Refurbished Outlet’

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Apple has begun moving refurbished products through an Ebay store under the name "Refurbished Outlet," according to 9to5Mac. The Ebay store offers a host of refurbished Apple products at the same prices at Apple's online store, and though Apple isn't claiming ownership of the store, the report claims that Apple has been running the store as a trial.

Refurbished Outlet

Header Image for the Retail Outlet on Ebay

Apple has long sold refurbished products through its online site and through a few select third party retailers. A move to open its own store on Ebay suggests the company has more refurbished products to move than it can through those existing channels.

As noted in the image above, each product comes with a one year warranty, a new battery (for iPads and iPods), complete burn-in testing, the original OS, and repackaged with manuals and appropriate cables in "like-new" condition.

These are the same things included with refurbished products on Apple's online store, and as noted above, at the same prices. Without citing sources, 9to5Mac that the Ebay store is in trial, "and could open the door to much bigger things."

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As Apple has grown, the number of products it takes back in for returns and repairs has grown, too. Apple is unique in the consumer electronics space in that it can sell its refurbished products are pert near what it sells them as new.

There are a couple of reasons for that. The first is that Apple's refurbished program is superb, and we can think of one complaint that's crossed our desk in 14 years of covering Apple of people complaining about that program.

The other, of course, is that Apple tightly controls pricing with its third party resellers, and discounts are few and far between.

To maintain premium pricing for those refurb products, it would make sense for Apple to grow the number of channels through which it sells them to ensure inventory doesn't back up. Since Ebay users are by their very nature looking for a deal, this seems like a good match.

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Looks good.
“Apple Certified Refurbished iPad 3rd gen Black 32GB Wi-Fi
US $469.00”
Better than Apple’s own refurb store.


I think that selling Apple refurb products on eBay cheapens the brand, having them come up on searches alongside cheapo accessories, used products, scams and the occasional fraud.  It’s like putting a jewelry pawn shop next to Tiffany’s.  Apple might benefit from an additional channel, but can anyone imagine Steve going along with this idea?

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