Update #2: The Verge has received the following statement from Google, who says it will reimburse those who paid the premium:
“This was an error, which is now fixed,” a spokesperson writes, adding “Sorry for any confusion. We’ll be reaching out shortly to reimburse those impacted.”
Update: Some report different experiences with Google’s pop-up shop, saying the company changed policy throughout the day. It sounds very much like a “your mileage may vary” situation.
Google today opened brick-and-mortar pop-up shops to promote and sell its new hardware products in Los Angeles and New York City. While Google has held pop-up stores in the past, these stores marked the first time that it was putting its Made by Google products up for sale at them.
The Verge, however, explains that the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are actually being sold at a premium at these locations…
Samsung U28E590D 28-Inch 4K Monitor
The website explains that at the store, you can demo Google’s latest hardware products and talk with Google employees about features and whatnot. When it comes time to buy a new phone, however, you’re handed off to a representative from an authorized Verizon reseller.
From there, The Verge says that the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are actually selling for more at the Manhattan pop-up store than online from Google.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 – in every variation – are both marked up by $30. That means the Pixel 2 starts at $680 and goes up to $780 for the 128GB model. The Pixel 2 XL starts at $880 and rises to $980 for the 128GB capacity.
While some were quick to assume this could just be due to sales tax or other fees being factored into the price ahead of time, that’s not the case. On top of the amounts mentioned above, you’ll have to pay both sales tax and an activation fee.
What’s also important to note is that you’re buying Verizon model phones here, not unlocked. As Brian Tong of CNET explained on Twitter, this means you’ll have about $60 in added fees to make the device work with another carrier like T-Mobile or AT&T.
This is Google’s first real foray into retail, and it sure seems like a rocky start, but it does represent the company trying to position itself as a true hardware player.