Have you seen Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL)'s reported digital store on eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY)? Read here for all the details. At first glance, Apple may seem like it is extremely unilateral about where its products are sold. After all, the tech giant's sales per square footage figures are off the charts, more than "seventeen times better than the average mall retail space," according to research firm Asymco.
While this indicates an utter dominance on the profitability front in Apple's 370+ physical stores, the company simply doesn't have enough locations to sell the majority of its products this way. This conclusion can be made according to a report issued by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, and initial coverage of the story by AllThingsD's John Paczkowski, who sheds this insight:
"In the U.S., Apple’s retail stores, along with the company’s online storefront, sold 47 percent of the Macs and 40 percent of the iPads purchased by the survey sample during December 2011 and August 2012. But they only sold 21 percent of the iPhones. AT&T and Verizon stores both sold more than Apple, with 28 percent and 26 percent shares of sales, respectively. And Best Buy and Amazon (via fulfillments) together sold nearly as many iPads as Apple itself [...] Ultimately, Apple’s retail partners are as critical to the company’s success as its own stores."
Keeping this mind, you might have noticed a new Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) refurbished product store within the domain of the e-retailer eBay, under the surprisingly bland username "refurbished_outlet." The store includes multiple iterations of the iPad, MacBook, and iPod, while each product is sold with a one-year warranty, at "like-new" condition, a new battery (excluding MacBooks), the original operating system, and a "final quality inspection by Apple" itself.
Here's the company's digital store on eBay, and a screenshot of the front page is below:
As 9to5Mac originally pointed out, Apple's store "appeared on eBay about a month ago and has been hiding in plain sight ever since," and the site itself has "discovered that this is in fact an Apple-run Store within eBay. It is in trial, and it could open the door to much bigger things."
While Apple has not officially announced their involvement with the page, and with eBay not wanting to go on the record, we're not going to sell the farm for the company's stock because of the move. After all, while 9to5Mac has pointed out "telltale signs" that the store is from the Cupertino realm, we'd consider it best if Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) investors looking to add to their positions waited until confirmation was given from either side of this reported arrangement.
One immediate question that should be asked is: why would Apple choose to sell their refurbished products via a third-party site, when they could easily do it exclusively on their own web store? Moreover, do you agree with the media's assertions that the store could "open the door to much bigger things" in Apple's future? The only issues that 9to5Mac seems to have with the site is its font selection and sales tax differences from Apple - do you think that "refurbished_outlet" is not AAPL-controlled?
Let us know in the comments section below.