Apple’s wireless AirPod headphones were always poised to hit the market at the somewhat staggering price point of $159. After months of delays, it was announced on Tuesday that the AirPods are finally going to ship by December 21, as people gleefully pre-ordered the minuscule earphones on Apple’s website.
That was yesterday. According to CNBC, the estimated wait time for some orders has been delayed by as much as four weeks, driving some enterprising customers to list their pre-ordered AirPods on eBay, where the prices are skyrocketing upwards of $2,000.
Perusing the auction site will give you an indication of the stupefying demand generated by these piddling, wireless earphones. It’ll also illuminate how this demand can make the online marketplace a very dark place.
One eBay vendor listed the AirPods for $2,000 and tacked on an additional $49 for shipping, because why the hell not.
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Others boast about FREE SHIPPING! and GUARANTEED DELIVERY BEFORE XMAS!, making their sales pitch especially loud, attempting to soften the blow of paying the equivalent of a calamitous medical bill for a tiny piece of hardware. The listings decrease proportionally in price from there, gradually petering out at $250 with the cost of shipping included.
The craze makes sense to a certain extent. The AirPods were announced in October to a mixture of fawning and disgust. The iPhone 7 is Apple’s first mobile device to hit the market without a headphone jack, and given the plans laid bare by Apple chief Tim Cook earlier this year, customers are going to have to accept that they’re living in a “wireless future.” Headphone jacks are fast becoming obsolete.
If you aren’t privy to paying $2,000 for the AirPods, just wait until the madness dies down and Apple’s stock reaches a sustainable level. Or look into the myriad of alternatives for your precious smartphone.
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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.