Old School Americana & Nostalgia


iPods Return to Shelves Labeled ‘Vintage,’ Horrify Millennials

iPods Return to Shelves Labeled ‘Vintage,’ Horrify Millennials

iPods have been resurrected. Urban Outfitters is offering a range of older iPod models from the 2000s, presented as “vintage” and “retro.” That’s right, Millennials… iPods are being marketed as vintage.

The popular fashion retailer for teens and young adults now sells discontinued Apple iPod models at significantly higher prices. On their website, you can find a range of iPods from the early 2000s, including the classic and mini, listed for hundreds of dollars each. Surely millennials and those who recall iPods as cutting edge are filled with nostalgia and a touch of unease as they observe this development.

According to the Philidelphia Inquirer, social media users expressed feeling “distraught” over the retailer’s recent use of the “vintage” label. In one listing for a fourth-generation iPod Classic from 2004, the device is described as a “genuine piece of vintage retro tech” that combines “new millennium design with modern features.”

Urban Outfitters is Selling iPods For Hundreds of Dollars

A blue first-generation iPod mini from 2004 was recently listed and sold for $199. URBN, known for its Urban Renewal brand, offers a curated selection of “vintage” clothing, furniture, and accessories through Urban Outfitters. With roots in West Philadelphia since 1970 and headquarters at South Philly’s Navy Yard, URBN continues to explore new avenues while maintaining its distinctive style.

Earlier in 2023, the company introduced Reclectic, a venture aimed at Gen Zers interested in secondhand shopping. Reclectic offers discounted clothing from URBN brands. Additionally, Urban Outfitters sources iPods and other tech from Retrospekt, a Milwaukee-based business specializing in the restoration and sale of Polaroid instant cameras and vintage electronics.

Critics Point Out the Device Sells For Much Less Elsewhere

Online critics argue that the companies’ iPod resale values are excessively high. In contrast, other platforms such as eBay and Etsy offer iPods starting at roughly $35. However, Retrospekt stands by its commitment to refurbishing and restoring devices with new batteries and larger memory storage.

Younger generations embracing analog devices like iPods is not new. Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012, also gravitated towards wired headphones, CDs, and film cameras. This reflects their nostalgia and appreciation for vintage technology.

Introduced in 2001 and officially discontinued in 2022, iPods were cutting-edge at the time. While they were digital, they had limited space and could only store the songs that were uploaded onto them. Of course, today’s phones provide access to a plethora of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, offering endless choices for music enthusiasts. However, lovers of the older devices argue that they provide a more deliberate and intentional way to appreciate music. Expect to see the teens in your life rocking flip phones any second now.