Devices with Flappy Bird demand big money on eBay, Amazon

Tablets and smartphones installed with the hugely popular — and recently shut down — game Flappy Bird are popping up on eBay with hefty price tags.

An iPad Mini, second or third generation, with Flappy Bird is demanding north of $10,000. iPhone 5S devices are going for more than $1,000, and a Samsung Galaxy 3 had bids of $2,000.

But buyers beware:

U.K. newspaper The Telegraph reports that the devices being sold will be linked to their device owner’s app account, “meaning those who purchase them to specifically play the game may run into difficulty.”

And eBay’s policy seems to disallow the sale of mobile devices with pre-loaded games:

“Smartphones and tablets must be restored to factory settings before they are allowed to be sold on eBay. Please remove all content from your device, including the game Flappy Bird, before you attempt to list your item again. Please be sure your current and future listings follow these guidelines, keeping in mind that additional violations of this policy could result in the suspension of your account.”

Joshua Hardwick, a UK-based developer who blogs about gaming, says the consequences for sellers who don’t restore their mobile devices could be grim.

“If you want to sell your iPhone/iPad with Flappy Bird installed, the only option is to ship your device to the new owner (who happens to be a total stranger from eBay) with your Apple ID still attached,” Hardwick writes on iloveflappybirds.com.

The upshot? Prepare to have your Apple account hacked, he said: “Privacy is the biggest concern here, especially considering the fact that you use your Apple ID to authorize purchases from both the App Store and iTunes Store.”

One eBay seller said eBay had taken down his iPhone 5S that had Flappy Bird installed with six days left to go in the auction. The Los Angeles Times reports that the device had gained 74 bids and was listed at $99,900.

Amazon sellers are also pushing mobile devices with the coveted game.

Flappy Birds was a free download, making the big-ticket price tags all the more mind-boggling. But the game had been a hit, and addicts everywhere are reeling from its sudden shutdown. Creator Dong Nguyen announced on Twitter Feb. 8 that he will “take ‘Flappy Bird’ down” because it and he “cannot take this anymore.” and the game “ruins my simple life.” Within a day Flappy Bird was gone from the Apple App and Google Play stores.

Heather Somerville Heather Somerville (188 Posts)

Heather Somerville reports on consumer affairs, retail and technology for the Bay Area News Group. She lives in San Francisco, where she enjoys rock climbing, yoga and biking across the Golden Gate Bridge.