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Dan Caplinger (TMF Galagan)
June 29, 2007

Buying the first flashy new cutting-edge product off the shelf may make you feel like the king of the world. But it'll also cost you.

As Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) rolls out its iPhone, plenty of fans are already planning to pick up the $500 and $600 models as soon as they're available. In fact, Apple has predicted that initial supplies may not be enough to satisfy demand. Predictably, at least some buyers are hoping to flip their iPhones on eBay for a quick profit, with asking prices going as high as $2,000.

Deja vu all over again
It's reminiscent of past runs on popular products. Last Thanksgiving, it was the long-awaited release of Sony's (NYSE: SNE  ) PlayStation 3. Popular toys have also created big demand, including Mattel's (NYSE: MAT  ) Tickle Me Elmo and the Cabbage Patch Kids, currently produced by the Play Along division of Jakks Pacific (Nasdaq: JAKK  ) . Hordes of customers combined with limited supplies have led to all sorts of unfortunate incidents, ranging from trampling injuries and fistfights in stores to fatal stabbings and shootings.

Yet in most cases, all it takes to get a much better deal is a bit of patience. Just months after its r