April 1, 2011 at 1:16 PM ET
While Apple continues to hold us in suspense as to how many iPad 2s it has sold since its launch March 11 — creating a definite shortage buzz that has folks clamoring for a sighting and in some places, willing to pay more than double retail value — eBay offers a glimpse into the popularity of the device through its two weeks of sales.
Just under 12,000 iPad 2s have sold in the U.S. and the 25 other countries that launched it in March.
The U.S., naturally, dominates sales, with nearly 8,000 transactions of the hot-to-trot mobile units. Tied for shabby chic second: the Russian Federation and Canada, with 500. iPad eBay sales in the U.S. were almost double what they were last year: 65 percent of the iPad 2 sales took place here, vs. 35 percent of iPad sales in 2010.
CNET made some astute observations about the numbers:
While eBay's numbers represent just a piece of the estimated sales of the iPad 2 from Apple's retail stores and other retailers, it provides a very interesting look at which models are the most popular and how much users are willing to pay on top of the price tag in order to get their hands on one. Besides auctions, eBay has also jumped into the trade-in space, offering an Instant Sale program that original iPad owners can use to hand-off the sale to eBay in exchange for money up front. In a release preceding the U.S. launch of the iPad 2, the company said that 38,000 Instant Sale offers had been made on original iPads as part of the program, with 22,000 of those being made in the week following the iPad 2's announcement.
The top-selling model on eBay so far is the 16GB iPad 2, which comprised 30 percent of the sales.
People are also willing to pay up to $406 above retail to get their hands on the iPad 2 sooner, rather than waiting a month (or longer) for orders taken now. Those willing to fork over the $406 would get a fully loaded 64GB 3G + Wi-Fi version. At the very least, an average of $198 over retail was documented for the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad 2.
Enterprising eBayers also bought lots of iPad 2s, for other enterprising eBay buyers to flex their capitalist skills. For instance, the highest bid going for the devices now hails from a seller in Utah who has 12 — 12! — unlocked and fully loaded 64GB, 3G + Wi-Fi iPad 2s ready to buy now for nearly $15,500, or to the highest bidder. (So far there are no bidders on this one.) Another entrepreneur from California put up a lot of six white iPad 2s (64GB, 3G + Wi-Fi) for $6,000. No takers on that one, either. (Though we do appreciate the watch dog in the picture overseeing the precious goods.)
What is selling, with 24 bids, so far: ONE white 16GB, 3G + Wi-Fi iPad 2 in the UK, with a current bid of $8175. Which we really hope is some kind of April Fools' joke, because the going price for one of those is $629. If you're patient.
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