January 07, 2010

eBay No Bargain for Nexus Ones, Pricing Well Above Market

In the wake of Google's Nexus One introduction on Tuesday, many tech writers were abuzz not just about the company's new self-branded Android model, but the ease of how the product was being sold, at http://www.google.com/phone, and with the option to select an unlocked model, one with a T-Mobile contract, or soon, bundled with contracts from Verizon or Vodafone. Some saw the move as Google's big step into e-commerce, letting you buy the phone direct from them, and not through a carrier. But this hasn't stopped some aggressive folks from flipping the phones on eBay, where excited buyers are ignoring the sticker price, and plowing well beyond the $529 offering (for an unlocked phone), resulting in no bargain at all.

Google Will Give You an Unlocked Nexus One for $529

It isn't much of a surprise to see Nexus Ones springing up on eBay so soon after the launch. Be they phones from Google employees themselves, from those who attended the press junket, or just fast buyers, it's common to see people send them to the popular auction site in a chance to make a few bucks. But bidders who see the price crest toward $529, should they be savvy enough to know about the Nexus One, probably should be savvy enough to know they aren't getting a great deal.

If you look at Nexus One offerings on eBay, you can see many phones offered to "Buy It Now" for about $750, but those aren't getting a whole lot of bids. In fact, most are at zero. But you scroll a bit lower, to the $650 level, with time remaining, and you can see bids happening, as folks are paying premiums of $100 or more for the privilege of buying on eBay instead of from Google directly.

Just $810 Gets You a Nexus One on eBay

No... it doesn't make much sense to me either. I even found one auction that closed this evening where the final price for a Nexus One soared to $810, a premium of nearly $300.

Or You Could Pay Almost $700 In A Different Nexus One Option...

Google has also made links to the Nexus One phone visible on the Google.com home page. Some are noting the new "ad" on the site, which in conjunction with the Chrome dropdown if you aren't using their browser, makes two house ads. But it looks like even this promotion isn't getting to those who don't know they can go direct and save themselves some cash. That's what happens when a hot product hits a market and people want to get their hands on one fast, to be first in line. Forget rationality. They just want it ASAP.