Nexus 4 demand is so high that eBay will regulate sales


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]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. So much for free market.

    So glad I left America for a state controlled by socalists.

    1. I don’t think you understand the definition of a free market. A free market is exactly why eBay is allowed to do this. It’s not like the government is telling them to do this, but as a private company operating in a free market, eBay has every right to.

      1. Good point!

    2. We never really had a “free market” in this country. What we had/have is called “Capitalism” We’ve always had government regulations that guide and assist the free markets.

      1. Actually, what we have in the US is a mixed economy (free market principles but with governmental regulations), that on the spectrum of capitalism to communism is on the capitalist side. The economy (prior to 1999) that was closest to a pure capitalist system was Hong Kong.

    3. We are far from free here in America, but we currently (probably not for long) have the most freedom in the world. Don’t worry though, we’ll be CONTROLLED by socialists soon also

      1. Sore loser.

  2. Will the new Samsung commercials have bunch of Nexus fanboys sitting at their computers hitting F5?

  3. I don’t get it, this thing is getting luke warm reviews at best, with tiny internal storage and no LTE. I’d rather wait for the next iteration or GS4 or something. GNEX user currently.

    1. It kicks the Gnex’s butt. I have both and am pretty happy with the N4 over my old gnex. Just wish it didn’t have a fragile glass back.

      1. Are you happy with the connection speed? What about reports of ghosting being present in almost everything you do? I’ve heard the call sound quality is pretty atrocious as well.

        1. Connection speeds are fine here. Never saw any ghosting on my phone, and I like the sound quality better than my gnex. The only issue with sound is there is some white noise in the background if you look for it. It’s possible it could be fixed via software.

          overall I like this phone a lot better than the gnex. It’s a lot faster and more fluid. One nice thing is no more weak samsung wireless. Have better range than any of my samsung phones did (nexus s and gnex).

          1. Thanks for the info. I haven’t had any wireless issues with my Gnex. Actually, other than an “always charging” issue that recently cleared itself up, it’s been a pretty kick ass phone. But I realize that some people have had a pretty mixed experience with it. Actually, the speakerphone is pretty atrocious, but other than that…

          2. The only reason I am able to gauge how the wireless works better is that I put my own wireless router in my cubical at work. Now I can get further in the building before it disconnects :)

          3. I have a gnex and that “always charging” issue is due to the USB port going bad. You might want to investigate mobiletechvideos.com and get your phone ready to be repaired. This is coming from someone who had a similar experience and was without his phone during hurricane sandy because of it.

        2. Haven’t experienced any of those three things and the connection speed is faster than any LTE device I’ve used in my city by a considerable margin.

    2. “…luke warm reviews at best…”

      Not sure what reviews you’re referring to, but the ones I’ve seen have been rating the phone as great. Not fantastic – but great. See AndroidCentral’s detailed review for a reference…

        1. This! ;-)

        2. Real good review of the overall phone. I’ve come to the conclusion that someone who doesn’t want to be locked down to a carrier in a 2 yr contract, but still wanting a pretty good powerhouse for little cash. Should definitely get this phone. Props Chris

        3. Yeah, I heard that review was pretty poorly done. The Verge and Android Central covered more ground. Besides, the reviewer was an iPad hipster anyway… Oh, hi Chris! Wow. This is awkward…

        4. Yes. That review is bad. Whoever wrote that article should quit writing. The issues he pointed out about the Nexus 4 are not even ‘issues’. I don’t know what kind of drugs he was taking when writing that review but he should at least refrain from using some a week before writing a review. His hair style is good though.

    3. I would think it’s because the phone is unlocked, cheap and good specifications. If you have access to HSPA+ the data speeds are decent, and in real life use it will be more then enough. I’ve actually heard the call sound quality was good.

    4. Trust me the Nexus 4 is probably the most premium feeling/looking/ performance device out there with the only competition being the iphone 5, nokia 920 and the droid DNA. while it may not have lte or an sd card everything else about it is “super phone” worthy and i know for a fact that business users are smitten by the “premium look” of this device ala glass black/ smooth black slate. Along with the timely updates by google and this device is clearly a winner. However Google really needs to ramp up their inventory volume and customer service (quantity wise not quality) to make enough of a profit.

    5. This is the best phone you can get for 350.00. The GSIII is 550.00 or more and the GS4 will be 650.00 or more.

      1. But I can also get the GS3 for $50, a GN2 for $150 and a GS4 for $200 when it comes out on contract and get LTE and enough storage space to actually put my music collection on… Sorry but 16gb is not even close to enough for my needs, and I don’t like streaming or using the clouds so I have to have everything on my phone. If they at least had a 32gb version, I would think about it.

        1. Ok but that’s contract pricing, not comparable to off contract pricing. On contract you have to pay for expensive service over 2 years that equates to far more than you saved on the phone. For me LTE is not a selling point really, drains the battery too fast. HSPA+ on the other hand is actually faster than LTE in my city and gets much better coverage and battery life.

    6. That’s what I was thinking too. The 16GB of internal storage was getting bashed on heavily, yet everyone seems to be getting it.

      I for one can’t use 16GB. I game way too much on my devices.

  4. Google have really messed up this launch. Why did they allow people to buy multiple devices when demand was so high? Why couldn’t they see that demand would be high after all the hype and with the low price? What a mess.

    1. Exactly.. terrible.

      1. Because demand for the previously well priced Nexus was not as high. Increasing production on such a high tech devices is not easy, it can take months to ramp up. Learn about production planning and then come back and complain.

        1. I think you’re right about them not projecting demand based on previous sales volume, but they also should have done a proper launch, instead of cancelling it, and taken preorders. That would have helped a great deal. BTW I got my 16gb one yesterday, and it’s the cat’s @ss–and well worth the wait.

          1. I have never heard that line in my life. “Its the cat’s @zz”? LoL!! Where did that originate from? That’s just as weird as the one “I don’t give a rat’s @zz about that”. Why would you give a rat’s @zz in the 1st place? Who would want that? LoL!!

          2. He just made that up without a doubt

          3. I’ve heard it a few times here and there. Also refer to this:


        2. Suck a huge one dweeb

    2. Forget the price. I don’t think Google could have known that the Nexus 4 would be in such high demand. Because of the price alone? Its still some deep pocket change. Most people just check out their phone carriers like Sprint, At&T etc to see which phone they will get. It will be interesting to see exactly how many phones the Nexus 4 has actually sold in the Play Store.

      1. Google tell everyone who will listen that they are a “data” company right? Well surely the data from the number of pageviews on the play store and the number of searches would have give them a clue?

        I have another theory. That theory is that they are only just breaking even on the Nexus 4 after distribution / returns / etc are taken into account.

        They simply don’t want to sell too many. And LG don’t want them to sell too many either.

    3. Unless you mean single persons that bought hundreds of these just to sell them on eBay or whatever than you got a point.

      1. I am tripping. DELETE option. I just saw the title. Er noticed it.

    4. I couldn’t agree more. I just hope those that listed the Nexus 4 on eBay got the delayed units so they could not sell them on time.

      I also think that Google should have done pre-orders so the ensuing fiasco would have been hidden from everybody and it would have been a great launch. Wouldn’t you think Google could come up with a site that could handle the volume after all they have one of the busiest web sites.

    5. I understand the frustration of people who want to purchase a N4 but can’t. However, blaming Google for allowing people to purchase multiple devices may be a little misguided. Like someone else stated, the previous Nexus devices did not have this much demand. Yes, demand has continued to increase and I’m guessing Google increased the production of the N4. You blame them for allowing multiple orders but I can see people blaming them for NOT allowing multiple orders. Especially if the demand was not as high as it is. Please keep in mind, Google does want as many N4’s in your hands as possible. Like someone else said, just research what it takes to ramp up production. Hey, just look at the iphone5. Exact same problems and times. Couldn’t Apple see the demand in advance? Overestimating demand can be very costly. I can see it now: “Google really messed up this launch. They are only allowing me one device when I purchase? What?!? I thought Google was all about freedom and letting us do what we want with our devices? But then to limit me on my purchase?!? Epic Fail Google!! I wanted to give you my money but NOT NOW!!” Just my observation in the comment sections about Google products.

  5. “Supply is short so we’re going to further limit supply” -eBay

    1. Misinterpreted. Demand is high so we’re going to limit fraud. =.P

  6. why do people even care about this phone? I don’t get it. It has no 4G LTE support and there is no verizon version

    1. Because not everyone needs blazing speeds and HSPA+ is slower but not a bad connection. They can get about 10mbs connection, what are you really doing on your phone that you need a lot more then that? Right now I have a regular 3g phone, and it seems to be fine watching youtube or whatever online and a 1mbs connection. Does everyone need to be on verizon too?

      1. Actually you could stream HD pretty good. =.P That’s really about it. And CDMA 3G is as fast as GSM 2G. So don’t go around saying 3G is good. Because it’s not good for everyone. LoL!! That’s why those on Verizon would want 4G LTE.

        1. HSPA+ is fine enough for speed. Don’t understand why you’d want 4G LTE anyways. The speed doesn’t justify the research and work put into the cell radio. It drains way more battery than the cell radio used for HSPA+.

      2. I don’t really have a complaint about it being 3G only but the storage space is not even close to enough for my needs.

        1. It’s not 3G only, has 4g HSPA+. :)

    2. You are clearly someone that has never used HSPA+ Keep overpaying verizon…..

    3. If there was a Verizon version, it wouldn’t have been $300 off contract. I can guarantee you that. Verizon would have not allowed that to happen.

    4. Is this supposed to be sarcastic?

    5. Tmobiles HSPA+ 42 kills Verizon LTE in many markets. PC world and others have done extensive testing of this. This is especially notable because there are a lot more HSpa + devices taxing T-Mobile s bandwidth than Verizon on LTE.

      1. Well said, HSPA+ kills LTE in Wisconsin

    6. The obvious answer is that we don’t use Verizon, and LTE isn’t mature enough at this point.

    7. Look at the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, it probably won’t even see 4.2, and the GSM version already has it. I’d prefer to use T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 42 network (which has comparable speeds to Verizon LTE) with an unlocked Nexus 4, than have to sign a 2 year contract with Verizon and get OS updates months and months after the GSM version.

      Because the CDMA carriers continue to interfere with update cycles, Nexus devices should stick to being unlocked GSM.

  7. WTF? Since when can Ebay dictate an items selling price?

    1. They don’t dictate selling prices. Did you read the article? It says ebay will limit the amount certain sellers can list and that ebay will keep an extra eye on listings of the Nexus 4 to try and root out the fakes, mostly from people who claim to have one, jump on ebay, create a new account to sell it, and never actually ship the item.

      If eBay were to dictate pricing on phones, they should start with folks selling iPhones on release date in the low four figure range.

      Overall, if you’re not sure about a seller, buy from one with a Top Rated seller status as they will value keeping that status as it results in thousands of dollars in fee discounts every month.

  8. relax. I really doubt that the phone is in such high demand. it just seems to me that Google produced VERY few units. for the most part, only the nerd/tech/android enthusiasts are out to get the N4. however, I can’t wait until I have the money to order mine :)

    1. Same as, & hopefully buy the time I have my £ it will be in stock again – by Dec 13th O2 will have had its 4 week ‘Exclusive’ deal and the phone will be available on 2 extra Networks for those who can’t wait & the rest of us can get it from the Play store.

    2. No, it’s in high demand. If you really think that LG and Google would intentionally create this clusterphuck, then I have some beachfront property in Greenland yo sell you.

      1. Pretty sure they did actually. Let’s see the numbers.

  9. I don’t blame them. Did the Galaxy Nexus sell this high? I mean I guess at the price Galaxy Nexus was off contract. But who would have thought that THIS many people really wanted a Nexus 4!? I mean everybody seemed to be lining up to get the Samsung Galaxy S3. I’m actually shocked by this myself.

    I can’t wait to see how many sells they get. I’m curious in knowing!!

  10. I have one to sell to anyone worldwide, one small detail, I want to open it up and play with it :) any takers? I have been an eBay seller since 1998 with 100% positive feedback. I could even unbox on webcam so u see it’s new. OK, I’m awake now and know that this isn’t reality…

  11. I got 20 nexus for sale. Hit me up on twitter, cash only in a brown paper bag.

    1. Not even funny

  12. I am glad I am not in the market for a nexus device right now.

  13. Title should read “Nexus 4 production numbers so low that eBay will regulate sales”

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