Nov 30th, 2012

We knew the Nexus 4 by LG was going to be a hot item when it launched, but I don’t think many anticipated it’d be quite this hot. Well, a very attractive unlocked price pretty much assured demand would go through the roof, but we’re still impressed regardless. Demand is so high that Google has trouble keeping up with orders from the Play Store, with every period of availability lasting mere minutes before orders are put on a 2-5 week hold.

It appears Google’s latest and hottest phone has reached a new plateau in the supply/demand equilibrium, though, as it has attracted the attention of eBay. The firm will regulate sales of the Nexus 4, mainly for two different reasons:

  1. To create a fair battleground for sellers to take advantage of this demand boom.
  2. To protect users from those looking to scam people who are desperate to buy a Nexus 4.

You see, when a phone as hot as the Nexus 4 is in high demand and short supply, the scum of the earth will take that opportunity to trick people into buying fake devices with misleading or downright false listings. The same thing happened with the Nintendo Wii about 6 years ago, and several iPhone launches. It’s an unfortunate reality of public eCommerce, but it happens.

eBay’s policy will allow authorized resellers to list as many units as it wants, will allow top-rated sellers to list 8 units a week, will allow medium performance sellers to list 4 units a week, and will limit the smaller and newer guys to one listing per week.  These rules will likely be enforced until Google has a steady flow of devices, and at this rate we’re not sure how long it’ll take to reach that point.

Tongue-in-cheek congratulatory praises would be sent Google’s way for such an “accomplishment,” but the Nexus 4’s launch has been tainted by what can only be described as very shoddy customer service and a rookie mistake of failing to properly gauge demand by Google.

As a result, customers have had money taken with the belief that they’d receive their devices in a timely manner only to be told they might have to wait as long as a month. Early communication by Google was nearly non-existent, but the company has since filled more orders and has been more vocal about the status of customers’ orders.

As for those looking to eBay or other third-party marketplaces for their wares, always remember to read every listing in full, use verified and official payment options for maximum protection and be sure to take a crash course on how to use the different contact forms provided for you to get in touch with both the seller and eBay (or whichever site you’re using). Keep your wallets safe, my friends.

[eBay via PhoneArena]

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