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Amazon Kicks Out Unauthorized Apple Refurbishers

After years of tense relations, Apple and Amazon are getting along better. Amazon brought Prime Video to the Apple TV a year ago (see “Amazon Prime Video Comes to Apple TV,” 6 December 2017), and Amazon will soon officially sell Apple products again (apart from the HomePod, which competes with Amazon’s Echo smart speakers). Everyone wins, right? Not companies that buy used Apple products, refurbish them, and resell them on Amazon. Amazon is kicking out unauthorized refurbishers as part of its new deal with Apple. This move, while in line with Apple’s desire to control every aspect of the user experience, runs counter to the company’s claimed dedication to the environment. “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is a hierarchy—it’s better to reuse old devices than to recycle them. In a YouTube video, computer repairman Louis Rossmann explains why limiting sales of refurbished Apple hardware to authorized firms doesn’t guarantee better products and why it’s devastating for small businesses in the Apple sphere.

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Comments About Amazon Kicks Out Unauthorized Apple Refurbishers

Notable Replies

  1. I think that this is pretty good news. I’ve purchased a couple of “Apple” accessories on Amazon that turned out to be non-genuine, to the point where I just stopped looking on Amazon for any Apple products. If this means that I can buy Apple charging cables, iPhone cases, etc., from Amazon going forward that are genuine, that’s a plus for me. (But I’m really not somebody who would be looking to buy a refurbished product from anybody but a certified Apple reseller anyway, so I can see why some people might be troubled. Still, there are other marketplaces other than Amazon out there.)

    And, right, I know that there are better lightning cables out there other than Apple’s, but this is not necessarily the case for Apple Watch charging cables. And when Apple dropped the iPhone X in September, they stopped selling Apple cases for it as well, and also stopped selling woven nylon Apple Watch bands at the same time. It’d be nice to know that I could still find next year’s equivalent of an iPhone X case or woven nylon band on Amazon at least for a few weeks after those items were de-listed by Apple.

  2. Yes, it’s a little unclear how much of an effect this will have on resellers of dodgy counterfeit products. Hopefully it will eliminate them as a problem, although Amazon hasn’t been happy with them in the past either and hasn’t been entirely successful at banning them so far.

    What we’re focusing on here, however, is the effect on people selling refurbished Apple products, which is a different situation.

  3. IPhone XS cases have the same outside dimensions as iPhone X cases. The projection for the rear camera is slightly larger on the XS, so XS cases have a slightly larger cut-our for it. So, XS cases are usable on on an X, but they just expose a slightly larger margin of the phone around the rear camera.

  4. Right, I did mention that parenthetically. As I said, there are other online marketplaces (eBay, for example.) I understand the frustration, but until Amazon has government regulations that they must meet that prevent them from making a deal with Apple like this, nobody can force them to sell any product by anyone. Still, I wanted to mention what I consider an upside to the deal which wasn’t mentioned in the article.

    And sorry for the off-topic, but this is not true for the Apple XS leather folio case. Apple changed the location of the Hall effect sensor on the XS from the X, which can turn the display off and on when you close and open the cover of the case based on the location of a magnet in the cover. The XS folio case does not work with the X.

  5. That comes up in the Motherboard article too—it is of course true that there’s eBay and Craigslist, but apparently the reality is that if you’re not on Amazon, it’s a huge hit to sales. For better or worse, Amazon has become the go-to shopping site for a vast number of people. From the article:

    When I originally met Bumstead a few years ago, he described the prospect of being kicked off Amazon as a “nightmare scenario” for his business and for other independent computer refurbishers and resellers. Bumstead says that Amazon Marketplace is by far the best platform for his business because Amazon has become so pervasive and is the first place that consumers think to buy things online. eBay and Craigslist are alternatives, but Amazon’s popularity with customers and centralized shipping services have made it much easier for resellers to use it (Bumstead can ship 100 laptops to an Amazon fulfillment center, which then handles shipping them to individual customers.)

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