Missed out on Apple’s initial launch window? Don’t give up hope.
Updated May 2017: Added new tips for Mother’s day!
Apple’s AirPods snuck onto the scene in late December — where they’ve pretty much stayed backordered. Currently, if you attempt to grab a pair from Apple’s online store, you’ll be waiting until late June for in-store pickup or home delivery.
But don’t despair: Ordering from Apple isn’t the only way to grab a set of AirPods. We’ve got a few ways you can still snag a set before summer hits.
Check out AirPods Is In Stock or iStockNow
Helpful AirPods fans have built an email notification system in “AirPods Is In Stock” to help alert you when AirPods are in stock at your store: Input your email and your preferred store, and the web app will ping you with a notification. If you desperately need to be the first to know, you can even sign up for “preferred” notifications by throwing the developers a few bucks.
iStockNow also has a full live-tracker that lists every store as it goes in and out of stock, along with a notification service.
Visit an Apple Store today
Apple has confirmed that AirPods often get restocked in retail stores across the country in limited supplies. This is a separate stock from the company’s pre-orders, and goes directly to store shelves. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t offer any sort of reservation system for these, so if you plan to pick them up from a store, here’s how you do it:
Apple often enters new retail stock into its computers either the night prior (after 7PM) or in the morning, usually on Thursdays. Though you won’t be able to find out online if there’s new stock, calling the store or visiting when it opens can get you a set at the door. (This is how I picked up a set for both my fiancé and my best friend.)
Visit an Apple Authorized Reseller or carrier
Apple Stores aren’t the only ones getting regular AirPods deliveries: Your local Apple Authorized Reseller and select carrier stores have 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.
Currently, I’ve seen AirPods in stock at Target, Best Buy, Walmart, and various carrier stores over the last few months; all are worth checking.
If nothing else: Check eBay
Surprising no one, eBay is ripe with AirPods listings, most claiming quick delivery for a $100-$200 markup on the original $159 price.
A few things to keep in mind if you consider going through 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.
These are the three options I’d currently rely on, but do you have other suggestions for snagging a pair of AirPods? Let us know in the comments.
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