Now that Apple products are must-own items, whenever one launches here before releasing in other territories, it creates a pretty high demand for said item in the territories that get left out, which is why there is a pretty bustling and successful grey market for Apple devices. A grey market, unlike a black market, is legal, and is essentially a parallel market through which items are sold in a way that was unintended by the manufacturer (technically, GameStop’s used games business can be argued to be a grey market, as game developers have been speaking out against the sale of used games as of late).
M.I.C Gadget enlightens us as to how the Apple grey market actually works:
Mr. Lo, who is the ‘master’ of the gray market in Hong Kong, who distributed hundreds to thousands of iPhone 4s and iPads to China’s gray market last year, has already received 200 orders before the launch, and he has prepared eight couriers in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles to hop on planes to Hong Kong after securing about 200 iPads and he will get the device to eager consumers by March 13…
The pricing on the grey market iPad 2s are absolutely ludicrous, even compared to the absolutely ludicrous regular Apple Store pricing: A 16 GB iPad 2 with Wi-Fi model sells for around $1,025, while the Wi-Fi with 3G sells for around $1,243. The best model iPad 2, the 64 GB Wi-Fi with 3G, sells for about $1,525. As for the white versions? They get bumped up about $192-$256 dollars based on which model is being slapped with the white paint. The HDMI adapter runs a cool $74, while the Smart Cover runs at either $100 for the polyurethane model, or $164 for the leather model.
When asked why he thinks people are willing to pay such insane prices for the grey market iPad 2s, Mr. Lo truthfully and somewhat ruthlessly responded, “Apple fanboys are willing to pay our prices to have the iPad 2 earlier. That’s how we earn money.”
Apparently, the grey market also buys iPad 2s from individual sellers. So, if one happened to secure an iPad 2 from a regular old Apple Store, they could sell it to a grey market reseller starting at $770.
So, maybe we should be thankful for the insane iPad 2 prices on this side of the hemisphere.
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