EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3151 - September 12, 2013     3 of 4

eBay Jibes WalMart while Restricting iPhone PreSales

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This time last year, pre-orders of the Apple iPhone 5 topped two million in just 24 hours, exceeding the initial supply. And with this week's unveiling of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, eBay is again putting limits on who can sell the coveted gadgets in part to reduce the rate of fraud on its site, and in part to ensure overzealous sellers don't disappoint buyers with missed delivery deadlines.

eBay is also using the media blitz about the new iPhone to plug its marketplace and its fairly new My Gadgets feature. The company has seen a 44% increase in the number of iPhone 5 models for sale on the platform compared to a month ago, it said on Wednesday.

eBay also took to its blog to take a jibe at Wal-Mart's new trade-in program for smartphones. "While the big box giant may have the largest brick-and-mortar trade-in program in the U.S., it doesn't necessarily offer the best deals."

What eBay did not say was that it retired its Instant Sale trade-in program in the spring that was powered by Cexchange, the same company powering WalMart's trade-in program.

With the restrictions announced Wednesday, sellers who wish to sell presale iPhones must be in full compliance with eBay's Presale policy. Apple-authorized resellers may list up to 25 items per week; eBay Top Rated sellers may list up to 4 items per week; and sellers meeting our minimum performance standards may list 1 item per week.

Only sellers registered in the United States or Canada on, eBay Motors, or eBay Canada, will be able to sell pre-sales. Once the latest Apple products are made available to the public, most sellers will be allowed to list them with some limitations.

eBay also limits the sale of Apple-related domain names or email addresses both pre- and post-launch to just 4 listings per week, and they must list them in the Websites & Businesses for Sale category.

eBay has placed restrictions on sales of the iPhone in the past, as far back as 2007 when the iPhone first debuted, and it has restricted pre-sales of other products, such as the Sony PlayStation 3. eBay UK also announced restrictions on iPhone presales.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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