HP brought just 8,000 TouchPads to its fire sale

HP's "sell out" TouchPad fire sale saw less than 8,000 of the webOS tablets change hands, official figures have confirmed, arguably making the slate sale more hype than substance. According to the single 16GB eBay listing and two 32GB listings (here and here), HP sold 2,316 of the $99 16GB TouchPad refurbs, and a further 5,534 of the $149 32GB models, for a total of 7,850 units.

Despite the limited numbers – which, going by when the listings were closed, were all sold in under 25 minutes – the attention was still enough to make eBay sluggish and reduce PayPal to a litany of error messages and failed transactions. HP was forced to order a second production run after strong final sales back in August outstripped supply.

Unfortunately, this time around, while the TouchPad itself was something of a bargain, shipping fees were not. HP levied a flat rate of $19 – as much as a fifth of the actual TouchPad price itself – for the refurbished units, something which has earned it a thorough drubbing in the eBay feedback. In contrast the company offers free shipping on its refurb PCs and TouchSmart all-in-ones.

According to a leaked memo last week, the TouchPad sale was intended for HP staff wanting to pick up one of the cancelled tablets, something which perhaps failed to take place given it was so quickly made public.