Some Apple Stores seeing high volume iPad returns due to lower resale value

MacRumors published an interesting story yesterday regarding Apple’s 5th Avenue retail location seeing a large number of third-generation iPad returns by Chinese resellers.

It appears that Apple’s ability to keep up with consumer demand this year has diminished the tablet’s resale value, prompting a high volume of returns by would-be vendors…

The site received the following note from a reader:

“Went to the Fifth Ave store near midnight today, and saw that Apple was setting up a separate line just to handle the volume of iPad returns from Chinese resellers. The manager kept the separate line to ensure that regular customer’s experience wasn’t affected. Some people were returning up to 30.”

A quick search on eBay for third-generation iPads paints a similar picture. The site is currently running auctions on just over 2,000 current-gen Apple tablets — all priced just above or at retail value.

In the past, reselling iPads has proven to be a fairly lucrative business. But considering that there has been no real sign of supply shortages this time around, it’s understandable that folks are seeing smaller ROI’s (return on investment).

Guess it’s a good thing Apple has a 14 day return policy.

The real question here is how much will these returns affect Apple’s bottom line? The company announced last week that it sold over three million iPads during launch weekend, and is expected to sell more than 15 million for the quarter.