Apple iPod sellers cashing in for thousands of dollars on nostalgia-fueled demand — but don’t expect the wave to last, expert warns
Could now be the time to dig up your long-forgotten iPod?
People are listing used iPods for sale online for thousands of dollars after Apple announced it will be unplugging its iconic MP3 player.
An eBay listing for a collection of iPods has an asking price of $100,000.
The bundle includes four limited-edition iPods, a first-generation iPhone, two additional second- and third-generation iPods, and a selection of accessories and Apple memorabilia.
The limited edition iPods included in the listing, according to the seller, come with their original boxes and all electronics are fully functional.
"Very few of these iPods are left in the world," they claimed. "As rare as it gets for Apple iPod collectors!"
More than 120 people are currently viewing the listing.
Others attempt to sell single early and "ultra-rare" iPods for tens of thousands of dollars, with a limited-edition first-generation iPod listed at just under $45,000 and another first-generation iPod seller asking for it $23,000.
First-generation iPods, released in 2001, can be identified by their monochrome display and control buttons—Play, Menu, Next, and Previous—that circle the navigation wheel.
The first generation iPod was the only model with a spinning scroll wheel and the only iPod model with 5GB of storage.
396388 01: Apple Computer Inc. introduced a new portable music player, the iPod MP3 Music Player, on October 23, 2001 at an event in Cupertino, California. The device can store up to 1,000 songs in digital form. (Photo courtesy of Apple Corp. via Getty Images)
While items on eBay aren't always sold at their list price, many vintage iPods have historically sold on the platform for thousands of dollars -- and sellers aren't just making huge profits on Apple's original 2001 model.
Last month, a fourth-generation iPod touch — released between 2010 and 2012 — sold for $6,573, while another February listing of the same model fetched $5,954.
A first-generation iPod sold for $1,600 on Tuesday — the day Apple announced it would stop making iPods after two decades.
In April, a seventh-generation iPod classic sold for AUD 2,000 ($1,374), while in March an unboxed first-generation iPod with some signs of wear sold in an eBay auction for $615 -- 123% more than its starting price.
These stunning list prices aren't just limited to eBay - sellers also use platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Etsy to list their vintage iPods for up to five figures.
The sale is taking place internationally, with Apple's discontinued MP3 players being promoted by people from countries like the US, UK, Canada and Australia.
word of warning
Tracy Martin, a UK-based collectibles expert and author of six books on the subject, told Fortune on Thursday that while some sellers benefit from nostalgic transactions, it's questionable whether the vintage hardware is considered a collector's item.
"Right now, in my opinion, no, there's not enough demand for rare and early iPods or even MP3 players that were around in the 1990s [to justify four and five figure asking prices]," she said.
"Some people will of course try it on for high prices and a few will buy it, but in general the discontinuation will not affect the collector market at the moment."
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