Phones4U iPhone and iPad Inventory Being Liquidated at Low Prices by UK Auction House

UK retailer Phones4U shut down its online store and closed its retail operations earlier this year when the struggling company entered administration, the UK equivalent of bankruptcy. Now in the middle of the administration process, Phones4U is ready to liquidate its existing stock of products, including its entire inventory of iPhones, iPads and Beats headphones.

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UK auction house John Pye Auctions is handling the liquidation of Phones4U stock, which includes more than 600,000 items worth £10.8m in what is the UK's biggest auction of the year. Among the auction items are Beats headphones, iPhone 5/5c units, iPad Air and iPad mini models.

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The items are being sold in individual lots for public purchasing and not wholesale trade job orders. Online bidding is active now with many auctions listed with zero bids. For auctions that do have bids, prices are currently very low. Some entry-level iPad mini and iPad Air models are available for as little as £2 ($3USD).

It appears that the auction site will accept bids from both within the UK and from international buyers, but the auction house will not be shipping items. Buyers must pick up items in person or make their own arrangements for shipment.

Bidding on the auction ends Tuesday, January 6, 2015 with a public showing available on Monday, January 5, 2015 from 10am to 2pm at John Pye & Sons warehouse in Staffordshire.

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66 months ago

They extend the auction by 3 minutes every time a bid is made in the last 3 minutes, so sniping won't work like it does on eBay.


I think ebay needs to do this as well. That's a good idea.
Rating: 9 Votes
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66 months ago

People will just use bid bots and other things to snipe all the decently priced auctions at the last second. And anything gotten this way for cheap will be flipped and re-sold in ebay for a profit. Sad but that's how things are these days.


They extend the auction by 3 minutes every time a bid is made in the last 3 minutes, so sniping won't work like it does on eBay.
Rating: 8 Votes
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66 months ago
Anyone bidding on these, be aware that you have to add Buyer's premium (20%) and VAT (20%) onto any winning price
So, if you win with a bid of £100, you'll pay
(100+20%)+20% making a total of £144
Rating: 7 Votes
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66 months ago

yes just saw this - really does not seem worth it! However, if they sell you a DOA ipad - luckily i would certainly be asking AMEX for a charge back


You have to pay in cash, by bank transfer or debit card. You have to make a cash deposit up to £500 before bidding, you are deemed to have inspected the lot in person before bidding and the purchase isn't protected by any consumer laws. Don't play unless you can afford it.
Rating: 5 Votes
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66 months ago
The golden question on every non-UK citizen's mind here:

How can I get one of those at my doorstep without having any relative living in the UK?

(yes i came to harvest the answers) :p
Rating: 5 Votes
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66 months ago

I wonder how much someone could make if they offered to be a carrier for these.

Just collect a fee, show up at the auction house to pick up the orders of everyone who paid them, and then ship them all via UPS (or whoever will ship internationally from there). Collect enough of a fee to cover the cost of traveling to/from the auction house and the UPS fees, and then make a profit on top of it. I feel like you could easily beat the prices of other carrier services.


Nothing. Too many people are bad at maths and pay ridiculous prices. There is always one idiot who doesn't realise that you pay bid + 20% to the auction house, plus 20% of the total in tax. There are already people who bid so high, they will have to pay more than buying in the Apple Store.

Example: Bids for a good dozen of iPad Airs are now £245 to £270. Add 20% twice, that makes £352.80 to £388.80. Retail price is £319. So they found enough idiots that every iPad goes between £33.80 and £69.80 over retail price. And if you order from Apple, you get free delivery, manufacturer's warranty, statutory rights, and the right for a 7 day (or maybe 14 day) return if you don't like it, which these devices in the auction don't have.
Rating: 4 Votes
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66 months ago

I think ebay needs to do this as well. That's a good idea.


It's not a good idea.

I was on an online auction buying liquidated machinery and every time a bid was made 10 minutes was added.

It meant you are tied to the computer for an indefinite time.

At least with eBay you know that at 10am or whatever it's over and you can go do something else.
Rating: 4 Votes
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66 months ago
This is one of the worst parts of UK law in my opinion.

Many of these phones/items will be the property of people who shelled out cash to Phones4U, but never received them after the company went into administration. I really don't see how it's legal to say "we're going to close the business, not provide what people have paid for, but still sell of the stock we have already sold (again) to pay for the administration costs".

It's about time we held company directors liable for their company's debts.
Rating: 4 Votes
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66 months ago

This is one of the worst parts of UK law in my opinion.

Many of these phones/items will be the property of people who shelled out cash to Phones4U, but never received them after the company went into administration. I really don't see how it's legal to say "we're going to close the business, not provide what people have paid for, but still sell of the stock we have already sold (again) to pay for the administration costs".

It's about time we held company directors liable for their company's debts.


Those are unlimited companies and partnerships. The whole point about limited companies is that liabilities of the owners (directors can be employees) is limited to the share capital invested. In return, financial records of the company are made public and subject to scrutiny (audit) depending upon the size of the company. Anyone investing in or buying from a limited company is deemed to have sufficient information about the health of the company. That is the theory.

If you made all companies private, where the owners are entirely liable for the debts of the company then far, far fewer would exist. Good luck trying to buy/make/sell anything with that barrier to commerce.
Rating: 3 Votes
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66 months ago

This one worries me, there advertising a iPhone 5, but it's clearly a 4/4S - http://www.auction-solutions.co.uk/lot_details.asp?l=1&lotid=957753&pageno=13 (http://www.auction-solutions.co.uk/lot_details.asp?l=1&lotid=957753&pageno=13)

That looks dodgy as all hell. I don't trust anyone who makes mistakes like that.
Rating: 3 Votes
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