Get-rich-quick iPhone schemes not paying off

We've already seen that waiting in line for an iPhone wasn't really necessary. As a result, the profit margins aren't too great.

If you were hoping to make big bucks by reselling an iPhone on eBay, it doesn't look like it was really worth the effort.

Corey Spring has posted an analysis of iPhone listings on eBay over the weekend (spotted on Daring Fireball), and he has concluded that the average listing generated $54.43 in profit. That's not a very good return for those who waited in line for hours, or even days, in hope of flipping an iPhone for big bucks. The median return was even worse, at $34.16, which means that half of iPhone auctioneers made less than that amount.

Those hoping to sell their iPhones on eBay aren't making big bucks. Corrine Schulze/CNET Networks

Spring analyzed 993 eBay listings on Sunday in compiling his report. Half the listings didn't even receive a single bidder. A few folks made decent money, but most generated paltry returns for their time in line, and a few people lost money. Nice work if you snagged an iPhone under cost because somebody forgot to set a reserve price, or simply got desperate. The eBay listing mirrored other estimates that the 8GB model was the primary one sold over the weekend, as 87 percent of listings were for the higher capacity model, according to Spring's analysis.

Lines for the iPhone moved very swiftly on Friday; it was possible to walk into the stores after about 7:30 p.m. or so and purchase one with little to no wait. AT&T stores had a little more trouble with supply, but fears that all iPhones would be gone on the first day were unfounded.

There are still a bunch of iPhones up for sale on Craigslist in San Francisco, but prices appear to be coming down. Same story in New York. Apple stores in San Francisco were supposed to have models available on Monday, although AT&T stores are plum out. But both companies will let you order an iPhone if you're willing to wait a couple of weeks.

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About the author

    Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.

     

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