$119 Refurbished Kindle 2 stock comes and goes

Update: Get the $119 Refurbished Kindle 2 at Amazon.

Not sure exactly what Amazon is doing with the $110 Refurbished Kindle 2 (US version) – However, stock for the refurbished Kindle 2 has varied between Sold Out and Available throughout the day.

There are reports of availability between 8 am and 9 am PST and at around 4:40 EST. This is after it was sold out for most of yesterday and available most of Monday.

Why would refurbished Kindle 2 US availability vary throughout the day?

Can’t think of any good reason there would be refurbished Kindle 2 stock at 8am, then refurbished Kindle 2 would be sold out at 9am, and then there would be more stock in another 4 hours – only to run out again. Going back to when it was first announced we’ve now had a day or so availability in a three-day stretch.

Anyone have any idea why there would be such sporadic bursts of availability?

In the past there have always been stretches of refurbished kindle availability broken up by a day or a few days. This is the first time it’s been varying so much through the course of a single day.

It’s almost as if Amazon is doing some elaborate experiment.

How does Amazon have so many refurbished Kindle 2 US units?

When Amazon ran the $150 Kindle offer at Woot it supposedly sold 4,380 or so Kindles in a few hours – It started perhaps at midnight PST and sold out around 8 am EST. With the $110 offer it was a refurbished Kindle 2 US (neither new nor global) but the lower price might have led to even more sales. Add on that it’s been available for much longer than the $150 Kindle was (in terms of total hours) and that it’s been available at Amazon – it would not be a stretch to assume Amazon sold 10,000 to 20,000 refurbished Kindle 2 US units in the 1st day of availability. Across the 2nd and 3rd day of sporadic availability perhaps another 3,000 to 5,000 units.

Where are these refurbished Kindle 2s coming from? Amazon stopped selling new ones in November or so and it’s hard to believe they would have 20,000 returned units sitting around for 6 months.

The only logical conclusion (at least it seems that way to me) is that Amazon are manufacturing new Kindle 2 US models and selling them as refurbished. Just an assumption so please don’t assume the refurbished Kindle 2 you buy will be a new one.

What are Amazon planning for?

Perhaps Amazon want to get a lot of people locked in to the Kindle ecosystem. Perhaps eInk had a lot of 6″ eInk screens left over after various eReader companies went bankrupt. Perhaps this is Amazon’s bargain line.

What we do know is – Amazon have established $110 as the entry-level eReader price. They are getting a ton of users into the Kindle ecosystem. They have either magically found a stash of 20,000 returned Kindle 2s or they have started re-manufacturing the US Kindle 2 and selling it as refurbished Kindle 2s.

Even a forthcoming release of the Kindle 3 doesn’t explain the sudden appearances and disappearances of  the $110 refurbished kindle 2 (US version). There has to be more to it than that.

10 Responses

  1. The sporadic availability is exactly what happened when the discounted K1 refurbs started in late 2008. More than that I cannot tell you. It may be that Amazon is releasing them to the “Warehouse” slowly as they are checked, or it may be that Amazon does not want to release large #s to be picked up by resalers — ??

  2. I happen to think the kindle 2 us is an incredible deal as well. Especially for those of us who happen to live in areas without ATT 3g coverage, but are in Spring 3g coverage.

    One idea for the item going in and out of stock would be if people happen to return the refurbished item, causing it to go back in stock.

    I’m a little perplexed by some of Amazon’s actions with regards to the refurbished equipment as well. I purchased one at 139.99 and they absolutely refuse to refund the difference in price, even though I can obviously return the one I have. They claim the reason that the price has dropped in the warehouse isn’t a change in policy, but a change in condition of the product. ???

  3. Amazon quietly manufacturing Kindle 2’s and selling them at refurbed prices? Come on dude. Ok, you win, I won’t take this blog seriously anymore.

  4. Has anyone noticed the shipping date changes for the $109.99 refurbished Kindle 2 vs. the $169.99 refurbished Kindle 2? I ordered one of the $109.99 Kindle’s today, ships from the same place as the $169.99 one (at least it appears that way), but the shipping time for the $109.99 one is much longer. I have an Amazon Prime account so I always do the $3.99 overnight shipping. Ordered the $109.99 Kindle 2 today, delivery estimate is for July 20. Checked back at the site a few hours later and the price is back to $169.99, but delivery time was actually next day, July 16 for overnight shipping. Wonder if they are coming from completely different places. Both refurbished Kindles come from the same place it says, “Fulfillment by Amazon” from the Warehouse Deals.

  5. I got one of the $109 refurbs yesterday, and if it’s not brand-new, I’ll eat my hat. It is absolutely pristine.

  6. I totally agree with you Jael, if this is refurbished, they do a darn good job.

    I love this thing. Did the prime shipping for two days, and I’ve had it for almost a week now with three books already read.

  7. I ordered one on the 18th and received it on the 20th. Looks pretty new to me. I guess they could have replaced the plastic on it.

  8. I just got a Kindle at BestBuy. After using it for just a couple of hours I noticed the letters on the keys had a definate wear pattern. Are they selling refurb units as new? I can’t believe that the keys wouild show a wear pattern in just two hours.

    • There have been cases of keys having a wear pattern. Never in a few hours though. You should ask for a replacement. Perhaps there was some mistake somewhere in the retail chain.

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