Inside the iPad 2 gray market


Philip Elmer-DeWitt is a senior editor at Fortune.

By Sunday, the new tablets were selling in China for up to 105% over their sticker price

The staff manning the huge crowd that mobbed Apple's (aapl) Fifth Avenue Store Friday estimate that as many as half the iPads sold that day were being bought for re-sale overseas.

It's a familiar pattern. In September, the
New York Times
ran an investigative report detailing how Chinese customers were lining up to buy pairs of $600 iPhone 4s, selling them for $750 apiece to a Chinatown middleman who shipped them to Hong Kong, where they could fetch as much as $1,000 each.

On Sunday, M.I.C Gadget -- best known for its Steve Jobs action figure -- profiled a Mr. Lo, whom it describes as the "master" of the Hong Kong iPhone gray market. According to this report, Lo did the same thing with the new iPad. He had couriers in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles ready to fly suitcases stuffed with iPad 2s across the Pacific, and by Sunday was selling them for mark-ups ranging from 83% to 105%.

Mr. Lo's price list below the fold.

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