Missed out on Apple's initial launch window? Don't give up hope.
Apple's AirPods at last snuck onto the scene earlier last week after months of delays and concerns over whether the company would even make the pre-holiday launch period. Unfortunately, unless you quickly spotted the news on social media or your favorite blog, it might be hard to get Apple's wireless buds wrapped and under your holiday decoration of choice this year — AirPods shipping times have slipped to four weeks or more on the company's website.
In true holiday spirit, however, you still might be able to bring good AirPods cheer to your friends, family, or significant other — here are a few ways you can still snag a set before New Years.
Visit an Apple Store today
Apple has confirmed that AirPods are now available in retail stores across the country in limited supplies. The company doesn't offer any sort of reservation system for its AirPods, so if you plan to pick them up from a store, here are two options:
- Apple often enters new retail stock into its computers either the night prior (after 7PM) or in the morning. Check the AirPods page during either of these time periods to see if Apple Store Pickup is currently available.
- If Apple Store Pickup isn't available, call the store to find out if they have any stock, or visit an Apple Store when it opens to try and snag a set at the door.
Visit an Apple Authorized Reseller or carrier
It's not just Apple Stores that are getting holiday bundles of AirPods: Your local Apple Authorized Reseller and select carrier stores will be getting them, too. Depending on your store, their policies on calling to reserve products may be different than the Apple Store, so it's worth giving them a call to find out whether they're getting AirPods in, and if so, how they plan to put them on sale.
If nothing else: Check eBay
Surprising no one, eBay is already ripe with AirPods listings, most claiming pre-holiday delivery for anywhere from a $100 to $900 markup on the original $159 price. A few things to keep in mind when considering eBay: Check the seller's reputation and location; if you're going to pay scalped prices for AirPods, you should make sure the person will actually send them — and send them before the holidays. In the U.S., shipping cutoff dates are 12/23 for priority express and 12/19 for international delivery — unless you're buying from a seller who lives one town over, don't consider any eBay listings that claim to be able to send you AirPods after that date.
These are the three options I'd rely on this season, but do you have other suggestions for snagging a pair of AirPods before the holidays? Let us know in the comments.