Resale of AirPods is hell because of the Find My app
Thanks to the Locate application, iPhone owners are able to find their smartphone in the event of theft or loss. Recently, Apple has extended the scope of the app by also integrating the AirPods. But obviously, this poses many problems for resellers and refurbishers of Apple brand wireless headphones.
Despite the slew of deals available in the wireless earphone market, Apple remains number one in the industry with the ever-popular AirPods. As of March 1, 2022, Apple has decided to integrate AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max into the Find My app. Just like with your iPhone, iPad or Mac, you will now be able to locate and track the geographical position of your wireless headphones.
It is also possible to make them ring if your AirPods are near one of your Apple devices and they are connected via Bluetooth. In addition, and if you are the owner of an iPhone 12 (or a more recent model), it is possible to set alerts so that you do not forget your AirPods where you are (a bar, a library, a cinema , etc.).
However, the integration of AirPods into the Locate application poses serious problems for dealers of used and refurbished headphones. According to a recent Insider report, a repackager who works for retail group Walmart and other retailers was forced to suspend sales of 30,000 AirPods.
Also read: AirPods – Apple’s wireless headphones still dominate the market, but their popularity is falling
Unlinking Apple ID from AirPods, that’s the problem
Why ? The problem comes precisely from the Locate application. When a user decides to return or exchange a pair of AirPods, sometimes the next owner sees an error message on Locate such as “AirPods Mismatch” or Sync failed if you prefer.
Why that ? Just because the previous owner forgot to unlink their AirPods from their Apple ID. According to goTRG, the aforementioned company that handles AirPods refurbishment for Walmart and other retailers, this issue affects “8 out of 10 AirPods passing through the company’s six sites”.
Another refurbishing company, R2Cell, was forced to suspend sales of refurbished AirPods over the same issue. The companies involved tried to contact Apple, without success. According to them, the problem could be solved easily if the original owner of the AirPods thinks of disassociating the product from their Apple ID before reselling it.