eFlea market

In this story from the Dallas news, a woman tries to buy out the entire store’s inventory of iPhones on the day they are released. Just minutes before the store opens, she pays the first person in line a handsome sum to take his position in line. When the store opens, she is surprised to learn that there was a limit of one iPhone per customer. And she probably could have purchased an iPhone without having to pay for the first position in line. Ha!

These speculators are bad for both the manufacturer and the customer. From the buyer’s perspective, it may be difficult or impossible to get repairs, technical support, or a refund from an unauthorized reseller. From the manufacturer’s perspective, an authorized reseller promotes a positive product image, but a disreputable vendor tarnishes that image. ebay is simply a flea market. It’s fine as a virtual garage sale where individuals can sell their used possessions, but I wouldn’t want to buy or sell high-end products there.

It’s a shrewd move by Apple: to ensure that there is sufficient product for customers while choking off the supply to speculators.

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