Huh? TouchPads now selling for almost $300 on eBay

With supplies of the $99 TouchPad dwindling, consumers are starting to pay a premium for the WebOS tablet.

The TouchPad may be DOA thanks to HP's recent decision to drop WebOS but you wouldn't know it from the prices the tablet fetches on eBay. After fire sales over the weekend dropped the price of the entry level 16gb TouchPad model down to $99, demand for the tablet skyrocketed and retailers quickly sold out of the TouchPad. Now TouchPads on eBay are fetching somewhere between $200 and $300 for resellers.

So far demand seems to be exceeding supply even at these prices as prospective buyers also took to Craigslist to find a TouchPad connection. One user in New Jersey was accidentally bombarded by offers from other buyers when he wasn't clear enough that he wanted to buy, not sell, a TouchPad.

We had our problems with the TouchPad and WebOS but at $99, marked down by 80%, it's understandable that some people would take the plunge, no matter how many annoying hardware and software quirks it may have. But the eBay bidders willing to pay $300 or more for the TouchPad may be suffering from a case of irrational exuberance. After all, before it discontinued the TouchPad, HP discounted the tablet to something close to that level, but apparently found few takers.

All in all, it seems like HP has done the TouchPad a huge favor by effectively abandoning the device. Just two weeks ago barely anyone wanted to buy the device for a discounted $300 and now consumers on eBay fight for the chance to spend almost that much on the WebOS tablet.

Meanwhile, there are even efforts to get other operating systems on the TouchPad with a new $1500 bounty announced Monday for anyone who can get Android on the HP tablet. There may not be much life left in WebOS but a new operating system may breathe new life into the hardware in the future. Meanwhile, if you still hope to grab a discount TouchPad, take a look at our guide to HP TouchPad Fire Sale Deals.

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David Daw

PC World (US online)
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