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Golden Oldies: Used IPods Are Hot E-Commerce Items

A busy online market has sprung up as users looking to upgrade seek to dispose of their older models.
"People who didn't want to shell out the full price two years ago can now get their hands on a cheaper iPod," said Yigit, of Solutions Research Group. "The basic 20-Gig is popular, as it can store enough for most users and is a good bargain, used."

Another iPod that Apple has retired is the U2 iPod, a black and red unit that came complete with songs by the popular band. "The U2 one did not resonate with a large group except the very hardcore U2 fans," said Yigit. According to Radell, many of PodSwap's consumers do seek out the discontinued U2 iPod.

The realization that an older iPod may be just as good as a newer iPod is one reason why consumers may downgrade and seek out a used, older iPod. "Many people buy a 60GB color because it's 'cool,' but after using it for a while they realize that, based on their listening habits, they would be fine with a nice little Nano or Mini," said Radell. "There was a short period of time when it seemed people would sell anything (like a 60GB color) to get a Nano," he added.

At present, the Video-enable iPods are generating a lot of activity. "We still see a lot of interest in the Minis and basic fourth-generation units (monochrome screen)," said Radell.

While analysts differ on which type of iPod is in the most demand, of Piper Jaffray's Munster believes it is the pink iPod mini. Solutions Research's Yigit said it's the basic white model.

For consumers looking to buy, rather than bid on an older iPod, Tech for Less Inc. is an online shop that offers iPods obtained from vendor overstocks, liquidations, factory refurbishments, and cancelled orders.

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Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing