Searching for a deal on Apple gadgets for your holiday shopping? Then look no further than this curious eBay store, which specializes in refurbished Apple goods, and just might be run by Apple itself.
First noticed by 9to5Mac a few weeks ago, the eBay store is run by seller “refurbished_outlet,” who has received a 99.6 percent positive rating since first joining eBay at the beginning of October. Neither Apple nor eBay have said a peep about whether the online market is the work of someone in Cupertino, or simply a savvy re-seller. However, some telling clues point to this being the case. For instance, all products come with a one-year warranty, and are priced exactly the same as refurbished products on Apple’s official store. Furthermore, every product sold through the eBay store receives a “final quality inspection by Apple.”.
As mentioned, the deals are the same as what you’ll find on Apple.com. A refurbished third-generation, Wi-Fi-only iPad with 32GB of storage, for example, will run you $469 on both eBay and Apple’s site. A 13-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.8GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, and 750GB of storage costs the same $1,149 as it does on Apple’s website. The eBay store currently lists 25 products, while Apple has many more available. This is mostly due to the fact that the eBay store does not include any iPhones or iPads that require users to sign up for wireless service.
There is only one unsubstantial sign that this store is not actually Apple’s store (thought 9to5Mac says they know it is): The amount of money the eBay store says you’ll save on each item is different than what Apple lists. (e.g. The aforementioned iPad is said to be $130 off on eBay, but only $80 off on Apple’s website.)
Regardless, 9to5Mac points out that buying through the eBay store could be a better deal for some customers, as only residents of California, Washington DC, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, and Texas must pay sales tax when buying through the eBay store, while Apple charges tax no matter where you live.