Seth Weintraub and Danny DeSilva contributed to this post.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been posting links to a mysterious Apple refurbished store that appeared on eBay about a month ago and has been hiding in plain sight ever since. Labeled only “Refurbished Outlet” with hidden corporate information and nothing in the way of contact information or a traceable backend, the store gets impressive 99.7-percent positive reviews from buyers. But, there is no information on where devices are coming from.
We thought Apple might be testing the waters to sell refurbished products directly to customers through eBay, and it seems that’s exactly what is happening. We discovered that this is in fact an Apple-run Store within eBay. It is in trial, and it could open the door to much bigger things. No one would go on the record at eBay, however.
Aside from the image fonts above, which are an uncharacteristic wreck, there are many telltale signs of Apple’s direct involvement. Just like Apple’s own refurbished products, the “refurbished outlet” products all have the following:
- 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 prices on the products are also identical to the Apple Store’s refurbished prices across the board (below)
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The store charges taxes in just a few states—unlike Apple’s official store that collects taxes across the United States. Tax is currently charged for purchases from California, DC, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, and Texas at the following rates:
We’ve reached out to Apple for verification.