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Xbox 360 on eBay? $5,000 and up
As retailers sell out, profiteers begin to cash in.
November 22, 2005: 3:04 PM EST
By Chris Morris, staff writer
Prepare to die. Over and over and over.
Microsoft's Xbox comes out Nov. 22. Should you wait in line for a copy? Reviews, games and more.

NEW YORK ( As big box retailers quickly sell out of the Xbox 360, some lucky buyers are seeing a nice turnaround on their investment. And more and more are seeing an obscenely profitable one.

Internet auctions of Microsoft's new console are already heating up, prompted undoubtedly by some retail stores telling customers they don't expect to get any more Xbox 360s in stock before January. While Microsoft (Research) is, in fact, expected to send at least one more shipment to retailers before the holiday, that's not stopping consumer panic.

Auctions on eBay for the machine are escalating fast. Early Tuesday morning, core systems were selling for as little as $650, a notable markup from their $299 retail price, but not outrageous by eBay standards. Premium systems (with a wireless controller, hard drive and cables for high definition TVs) were selling for closer to $1,000, a $600 markup from their $399 in-store price.

By mid-morning, though, one premium system sold for $3,050, with well over a dozen following suit, coming in between $3,000 and $4,000. By mid-afternoon, one buyer was so eager to own one of the new systems paid $5,100 for a hard-drive enabled machine and a copy of "Need for Speed: Most Wanted" - and the eager beaver will have to wait another two weeks before the console is shipped, according to the seller.

The bidding's only likely to escalate as shortages (and the inevitable media hype surrounding them) continue. The weeks leading up to Christmas could see some jaw-dropping prices.

Peripherals for the 360 seem to be getting people's attention as well. A rare faceplate for the system, handed out in May at E3 (the gaming industry's annual trade show) is up to $280 with more than a day of bidding left.

Auction sites could be a good place for bargain shopping for games, though. Some launch titles, such as "Kameo: Elements of Power" and "Madden NFL 06" are selling on eBay for as much as $10-$20 below retail price.

X Day arrives. Click here for complete coverage.  Top of page

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