Microsoft Surface Pro hoarders try to make a quick buck

Surface Pro tablets are hard to get. And eBay sellers are trying to cash in. Why is there a shortage to begin with?

Surface Pro at a Microsoft Specialty Store in Glendale, CA.  As of Friday afternoon, the 128GB model is still out of stock at Los Angeles Microsoft stores.
Surface Pro at a Microsoft Specialty Store in Glendale, Calif. As of this afternoon, the 128GB model is still out of stock at Los Angeles Microsoft stores. Brooke Crothers

The 128GB Surface Pro is a rare commodity at the moment. And stiff eBay asking prices reflect this.

In fact, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that some eBay vendors are hoarding the device, trying to cash in on the scarcity.

Though pretty common with hard-to-get Apple products, it's unusual to see this with a Windows product -- and it's Microsoft's first PC, to boot.

One seller, with a stack of at least 10 Pros, is asking $1,300 for the 128GB model. Other sellers are asking $1,399 and even $1,499. The regular price is $999 for the 128GB model.

So, why is there a shortage to begin with? Though conspiracy theories abound about a staged shortage by Microsoft, others (mostly analysts) believe that suppliers simply weren't ready to deliver enough product to meet demand.

The 128GB model has been virtually unobtainable this week at the Microsoft Store, Best Buy, and Staples. And the status has not changed as of this afternoon based on checks at national retailers.

The Pro is one of the first Windows 8 tablets to run legacy Windows software and sport a relatively powerful Intel Ivy Bridge processor.

Microsoft Specialty Store on Glendale, CA.
Microsoft Specialty Store on Glendale, Calif. Brooke Crothers
About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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