Google Nexus One Devices Flood eBay

Posted by: Olga Kharif on January 14, 2010

Auction site eBay is flooded with listings for Google Nexus One, which went on sale on Jan. 5. While Google sells the phone without a contract for $529, dozens of optimistic eBay sellers are trying to resell the gadget for as much as $1,000.

As of Jan. 14, a number of eBayers were peddling these smartphones for a much more realistic $300 or so, and I’ve even seen a price as low as $212. There were more than 300 Nexus One devices listed for sale. By comparison, the site offered 1,519 listings of iPhone 3GS devices that were also not tied to a carrier contract. Some of the more reasonably priced Nexus One offerings have garnered more than 10 bids; I’d counted a total of about 100 bids for the phones that were listed today.

The take-away: When the iPhone, for example, came out, it took expense and some effort for people to unlock it prior to selling it via eBay. So the iPhone typically sold for a premium to the retail price for weeks after coming out (with the exception of damaged iPhones). Nexus One discounts — on new, undamaged phones — seem to have arrived much more quickly. And it’s unlikely resellers will be able to make an extra buck. I wouldn’t expect to see an extensive resale market for the Google phone.

The relatively low number of bids may also indicate low interest in the device from shoppers from other countries. Google plans to make the phone available in other countries later in the year. Currently, the smartphone is only available in the U.S., and I suspect most of the people bidding for it on eBay live elsewhere.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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