You probably saw the headlines from nearly every major news
outlet about that absurdly high
) auction in which an iPhone 5S allegedly sold for over 10 grand:
"Gold Rush: iPhone 5S Sells for $10,000,"
. Cult of Mac called it "Gold Fever."
These sensational articles suggested that four days after the
flagship smartphone went on sale and sold out of the initial stock
of a record 9 million units,
) fans at the back of the line who'd missed out were worked into
such a frenzy that they started shelling out over 15 times the
Mind you, the $10,100 unlocked iPhone fetched in this particular
auction wasn't the pricier 64GB or even the 32GB model; it was the
default, low, 16GB version in the somewhat more popular champagne
-- pardon me, "gold" -- color. You know, the same one that will be
available again next month directly from Apple for $649 without a
contract or just $199 with either an
) service plan. Of course, it's possible the phone can be had
, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who said, "While we've sold out
of our initial supply of iPhone 5S, stores continue to receive new
iPhone shipments regularly."
And, no, the $10K eBay iPhone isn't blinged out with diamonds or
real gold either to help justify the preposterous price.
Nevertheless, this crazy auction sure drummed up a lot of media
buzz about Apple and helped turn the iPhone 5S into a hot,
must-have item after its new features didn't exactly tear up the
The whole thing seemed a little suspicious to me, and so I did a
little digging. Once the bidding became obscene -- but a relative
drop in the bucket -- at $1,000, the auction was suddenly usurped
by a few, brand-new eBay members with no prior buying history.
Bidders with the dubiously bookended usernames a***a and z***z
duked it out until the $10,000 mark. Then member y***9 swooped in
at the eleventh hour and topped the bidding with an extra Benjamin
Franklin for the win.
So, you may ask, who is this uber Apple fan, y***9, with a hole
burning in his or her PayPal account? According to the auction's
seller, Papakar from Bridgeport, Connecticut, the mystery winner is
someone who didn't actually intend to make the bid in the first
place. "That transaction was cancelled as the buyer bid the item
with wrong number of zeroes. It was a mistake," he told a
Canadian tech blog
Papakar then threw a second-chance offer back at eBay newbie z***z,
who apparently declined, because that same unlocked, gold iPhone 5S
that's "very hard to find," ultimately went for $970 in another
Sure, a roughly $300 markup is decent enough. But it doesn't
exactly make headlines, does it?
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