One of the minor benefits for attendees at TechEd North America 2013 has been the chance to purchase heavily-discounted Surface tablets. Yet while people have happily queued for up to three hours or more to get their hands on them, it seems some are doing so purely to then on-sell them for a profit.
Anyone attending TechEd can purchase a 64GB Surface RT with touch cover for $US99 ($US600 off the list price), or a 128GB Surface Pro for $US399 (also a $US600 discount). That level of bargain has meant long queues throughout the show (I spent just under an hour acquiring an RT this morning). There’s a limit of one purchase per attendee (and electronic records are kept so you can’t just re-queue and buy again).
Most of the people I chatted with in the queue said they planned to use the Surface for themselves, but resale is also clearly on a lot of people’s minds. It isn’t difficult to find listings on eBay from people who appear to have purchased both to sell them immediately:
One session presenter yesterday said that when he checked eBay for new Surfaces on Saturday, just 200 were on offer, but that figure had risen to 2300 by Tuesday. I’m not sure that can entirely be attributed to the sale, but it is suggestive.