I’m starting to think that Google really doesn’t understand how to sell a phone. Not only does the new Pixel XL come with a laundry list of problems that shouldn’t be in a cheap Chinese knockoff, let alone a $850, but Google’s charging extra if you want to buy the phone at Google’s own retail stores.
The Verge visited Google’s pop-up store in NYC, and found that the phones had all been marked up by $30. That’s right: Go to Google, rather than Best Buy, and Google itself will charge you $30 for the privilege of buying its brand-new phone. That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.
According to The Verge, the people in Google’s pop-up location were actually Verizon staff, rather than Google employees. That makes a tiny bit of sense, given that the Pixel 2 is a Verizon exclusive, but it appears to have led to a sizeable problem. All the models of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL on sale at Google’s own pop-up retail store were marked up $30 over the RRP. That means the cheapest Pixel 2 starts at $680, rather than $650, and the most expensive Pixel 2 XL is listed at $980, rather than $950.
What makes it worse is that staff will apparently price-match the regular price if you ask, which seems to rule out the price being anything to do with tax. We’ve reached out to Verizon for comment, but right now, it looks like someone is trying to make a quick extra $30 selling Google phones for an inflated price in Google’s own store.