Around the end of 2012, a new outlet for Apple products appeared on eBay called the "Refurbished-Outlet". The storefront, which is believed to be run by Apple themselves, sells refurbished Apple products, but cuts up to $100 off the price of the items. The eBay outlet is believed to have sold up to, and beyond, 10,000 Apple products, many with discounts higher than those at Apple's official refurbishment store.
9to5Mac have taken a deeper look into the new eBay outlet, and have come to the conclusion that it is, in fact, run by Apple. Described as a "trial", the store lets eBay users buy a variety of Apple products for large discounts, but include Apple-like features, including:
- Full one-year warranty
- Returned to like-new condition
- iPads/iPods include a new battery
- Received complete burn-in testing
- Original OS re-installed
- Repackaged with manual and cable
- Final quality inspection by Apple
The last one is particularly telling, as only Apple could issue a "final quality inspection".
MacRumors points to various products which receive a steeper discount on eBay than on Apple's official refurbishment store, including an 11-inch MacBook Air which is listed on eBay for $949 and costs $1,049 from Apple themselves; Apple usually charges $209 for a 4th generation 32GB iPod Touch, but can be found for $179 on eBay; a 3rd generation iPad with WiFi + 3G retails for $599 at Apple, but costs $549 on eBay. Several items also share the same price as those from Apple, including the 17-inch 2.4GHz MacBook Pro, which retails for $2,079 on both.
The inventory of the Refurbished-Outlet changes everyday, and prices are unpredictable, but there are still clear signs that Apple is behind this mystery outlet.
Neowin reached out to eBay for clarification and will update the article if we hear back.