Monday Morning Miles Talk – Reselling AirPods at the End of Their Life Cycle

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Reselling Apple AirPods

Monday Morning Miles Talk is a regular series that has some smaller, more quirky ideas to kick off the work week.  These are essentially random ideas that I wanted to share with you.  Here are the previous entries.

Reselling Apple AirPods

Apple AirPods were a hot re-seller for MONTHS after they first came out.  They were hard to get and often came with a 2-4 week back order.  People were able to get a healthy return for them.  A few months ago the resale market had mostly dried up on the headphones because they were in stock everywhere.  I thought they were a dead duck until I saw an offer from Verizon Wireless that made me give them one last flip.

The Offer

Back in August I was perusing TechBargins (decent sourcing site) when I saw that Verizon Wireless had a rebate offer for accessories.  The deal was for a $50 Visa gift card when spending over $200 on accessories.  Apple AirPods happened to fall into that category on the website.  I think this may have been an error but I wasn’t going to let the opportunity slip by.

To get over the $200 threshold I needed to order two pair. The total for both including tax was $339.14. I went through the eBates portal in an attempt to increase my profits.  Portals don’t usually pay out on Apple Products but it is still showing on my account at $24. The purchase was made with my Ink Plus to get 5x UR.

Reselling Apple AirPods

Selling the AirPods

I listed the AirPods on eBay and Craigslist.  I priced them on eBay for $190 and on Craigslist for $180.  Craigslist was the preferred sales method in order to avoid the eBay and PayPal fees.  Craigslist got the first bite but the guy flaked on me.

My first sale ended up going through eBay.  I accepted a best offer of $175.  The second AirPods sold on Craigslist for $180.  I met the buyer in Target’s parking lot and I was worried that he would find a set for $160 in the store and cancel the sale haha.

There were no additional costs associated with the Craigslist sale but I got hit pretty good on the eBay sale. After paying eBay’s fee, PayPal’s fee, and paid for the shipping I walked away with a net of $147.  Not ideal but better than a poke in the eye I guess.

The Final Numbers

I did not include the $24 portal since it hasn’t been paid yet but I am keeping my fingers crossed. I also put the VGC’s value at $48.50 since I liquidated it via PayPal to make it easy.  The UR points are valued as their cash value to make the calculations simple and pure. Here are the final numbers.

Reselling Apple AirPods

The return came out to 15.7%.  Not great, but I wasn’t expecting much, since these were available via two day shipping from almost every retailer.  If Ebates ends up paying the $24 the return becomes 22.7% which is a nice improvement.  Depending on how you value UR points that would adjust the return rate as well. This took about an hour from start to finish so I would call it a success overall.

Lessons Learned

The main lesson to learn from this is eBay, PayPal, and shipping costs take a big chunk out of your return on expensive electronics.  They do widen your buyer pool but I probably should have held out to make both sales on Craigslist or Facebook Market. If I had sold them both for $180 on Craigslist the return would have been 25.45%, without taking the portal payout into consideration.  An increase of 10% from my figures…that is a pretty big margin there.

The other lesson would be that there are risks involved when selling an item towards the end of it’s resale cycle.  That is a big reason why I rushed to unload them.  I didn’t want people to realize they were available at most retailers.  The $50 VGC offered me just enough wiggle room to give it a go.


Not a great rate of return but for the amount of effort I had to put into it I think it was a successful endeavor.  It is always tricky selling an item when it is at the end of it’s life cycle.  But, when you are able to stack some rebates and 5x credit card earnings you can usually make it work.


Were you able to get in on the AirPods resale craze before it went bust?  Let us know in the comments.


PS – What Laptoptravel requests in Facebook group live chat he gets!  Hope you enjoyed!!


Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. Are you sure you’re getting 5x at Verison?
    I’ve found I get 5x for bills but in store purchases only track at 1x.

  2. I like those AirPods, but they don’t fit my ears. Not much good if they fall out all the time…Wish they would make multiple sizes or at least had the options of covers that would work with the charger.

    • Good point – I am surprised some after market product hasn’t come out for that. But Apple should have thought of that in the first place. A big reason why I prefer over the ear.

  3. Returned mine after 10 days; just didn’t cut it on the NYC Subway, & streets; too much ambient noise
    They’re great for indoors, but the fit wasn’t ideal for my ears
    Buy the Etymotic Research ER 4 XS’s; wired, but incredible fidelity, & zero ambient noise
    You hear every nuance of your music; pricey; ($349), but worth every nickel


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