Apple’s efforts to integrate AirPods into the Find My network are proving to be a headache for retailers and device refurbishes. According to a recent report from Insider, a refurbisher that works with Walmart and other retailers has been forced to “stockpile more than 30,000 affected AirPods over the course of just a few weeks” because of this issue…

The report explains that the roadblock stems from the Find My application, and it could be related recent launch of deeper AirPods integration with the Find My network. Essentially, when a customer returns or trades in a pair of AirPods, they fail to unlink their AirPods from their Apple ID.

This means that when the refurbisher tests the AirPods, or even when the next buyer of the AirPods receives them, they see a message about an “AirPods Mismatch” from the Find My app.

The earbuds of your AirPods are linked to a different Apple ID, possibly because one of the earbuds is mixed up with someone else’s AirPods. Learn how to solve this issue by going to the article online.

The popup message from the Find My app links to this Apple Support document, which offers vague on trying to “get your AirPod back” or “replace your missing AirPod.”

goTRG, the aforementioned company that handles returns for Walmart and other retailers, says that this issue affects “about eight in 10 AirPods that come through the company’s six facilities.” Another company that sells refurbished AirPods on sites like Amazon, R2Cell, was forced to stop selling refurbished AirPods altogether because of the problem.

R2Cell, which sells refurbished electronics on Amazon, eBay, and other sites, stopped refurbishing and selling AirPods entirely after it encountered the issue in December, according to CEO Sunny Mohammad. AirPods were already difficult to refurbish, he said, because they have many small and easily-damaged parts. 

The refurbishers have reportedly reached out to Apple but have not heard back. The problem can ultimately be solved by the original owner of the AirPods unlinking the product from their Apple ID before selling them. Additionally, if the AirPods are not factory reset, the buyer will see a popup message saying that the “owner of this item will be able to see its location” from the Find My app.

The full report from Insider is well worth a read and can be found here. It’s a pretty fascinating problem that seemingly only recently started impacting AirPods, and it’s causing major headaches for these retailers and refurbishing companies.

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Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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