Mac Musings

Bring Out Your iPods!

Dan Knight - 2005.06.22 - Tip Jar

"Bring out your dead!"

With a nod to environmentalists, Apple is offering iPod owners a 10% discount on a new iPod when they trade in their old iPod, dead or alive, at the local Apple Store.

That's a whopping $45 off the 60 BG iPod photo - or a paltry $10 off the 512 KB iPod shuffle. Not bad for a dead iPod, but not good for a working one. A quick look at eBay shows 5 GB iPods selling for over US$100, 10 GB for about US$170, and 20 GB for over US$200.

Looking at that, I guess I was fortunate to score a used 10 GB iPod for US$149 from Small Dog Electronics - complete with all the accessories, although a bit scuffed and scratched.

While it's nice to see Apple doing something to keep dead iPods out of landfills, the credit they're offering is a joke in comparison to what used iPods sell for. I'd gladly pay $45 for a used hard drive iPod in good working order.

Of course, you have to wonder how many iPods are sitting around unused and how many iPod owners would consider trading in their old iPods instead of selling them outright. But it got me thinking - which is a dangerous thing.

I'll bet someone could make good money in the used iPod business. Take 'em in. Verify that they work. Grade their condition. Test battery life. Pay cash instead of doing a trade-in program. Wipe the hard drives. Turn around and sell 'em.

Sell these used iPods and accessories (ear buds, FireWire cables, cases, AC adapters, etc.) at a fair price. Offer a fair price to sellers. Make enough to justify the time spent testing everything and prepping it for sale.

For the buyer, there'd be less risk than a normal eBay purchase. For the seller, a quick sale without managing an auction. Payment via PayPal or a company check.

You'd only get the older models, so you'd pretty much end up with a low-end iPod service. And if it goes well, you could expand into accessories for the older iPods you sell, especially replacement batteries.

It sounds like a plan to me. If you have an older iPod you'd like to sell, send me an email.

Dan Knight - Tip Jar

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Dan Knight has been using Macs since 1986, sold Macs for several years, supported them for many more years, and has been publishing Low End Mac since April 1997. If you find Dan's articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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