The iPad is only available in the United States right now. But that's not stopping the rest of the world from getting its hands on them. International shoppers are taking to eBay to win auctions for the hot devices -- sometimes paying hundreds of dollars more than they cost here.
eBay reports that from mid-March to mid-April, 5,300 iPads were sold at auction. 65% of the sales were from abroad. People in the United Kingdom bought the most -- 550 units sold, or roughly 15% of foreign sales. But it was buyers in the United Arab Emirates who paid the most, spending an average of $537 above and beyond the $699 retail price for the 64GB version.
That was the highest average premium for any model -- buyers in Greece paid $269 over retail ($499) for the 16GB version, while Russians paid a $306 premium for the 32GB model (retails for $599).
Americans better make their money while they can, because Apple begins its international rollout of the iPad on May 28th. It will be available in the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland on that day.
Then in July, the iPad comes to Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore.
The UAE is not on that list, so auction prices there should remain high.