Ina Fried

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Impatient iPad 2 Buyers Bid Up Tablets on eBay

New data from eBay shows just how desperate some folks are to get their hands on Apple’s new tablet.

While the online auction site is best known as a place to clear out old tech gear, it is also very efficient at creating a secondary market for those willing to pay a premium for the hard-to-get new stuff. It’s a phenomenon that stretches back more than a decade, to the days of a different portable tech device: the Palm Pilot.

In this case, eBay says that some 12,000 iPad 2 models were sold in the two weeks after its U.S. launch. Breaking it down by model, 61 percent were Wi-Fi-only models (including 30 percent for the entry-level 16GB version). And users were paying quite a premium, with average selling prices ranging from nearly $200 over retail for the entry-level model to more than $400 over retail for the top of the line 64GB model with built-in 3G access.

Also of interest, roughly two-thirds of the tablets sold in that two-week period were to U.S. buyers, more than double the amount at the launch of the original iPad, perhaps reflecting Apple’s aggressive plans to quickly sell the iPad 2 internationally.

For those who like pretty pictures, eBay has a nice infographic breaking down all the data.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus