Do I Have to Become an Apple Authorized Reseller?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ese3, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. ese3 macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2011
    Hey guys,

    I'm pretty new as a member around here, but I've gotten a lot of help from the members here in just reading old posts the last few years, so maybe you'll be able to help me:

    So I'm looking to sell Apple products online BUT my idea isn't just a copy of the Apple Store but through a different company, like say Best Buy's or Amazon's Apple Stores. Well, it kind of is, but not too much. I mean my goal is to buy new Apple products the day (or during the general timeframe) that they're first released (like iPads and iPhones) and "scalp" them online for only a few bucks more than retail. So let me explain how I'd handle the iPad 2's product launch as an example. Wednesday evening I would have put up a listing for the iPad 2 on my website with purchase info for customers. Then, in the middle of next week, I'll go hire like 40 or 50 college students for like 10 bucks an hour to wait in line the day the device is released. They'll wait for 2-3 hours at Apple Stores, Best Buys, etc. and each bring back the max of 2 iPads (does anyone know if that max still around this year, by the way?). I'll have a stock of 50-100+ iPad 2's, and then I go back to being the only employee (no real overhead). It's like eBay, but with fixed prices and more stock, it'll be a lot more appealing to most people who aren't TOTALLY desperate for an iPad 2 (unlike me!), I'll make a good profit, and by Friday Mar 18, I'm pretty much done. You see, we need no employees, and there are only 2 product launches (so about 3-5 weeks) a year that I'd actually need to do anything with it, and there's the dilemma; I really don't want to be an Apple reseller, but I'm sure that if I'm making a good profit (like with the white iPhones) they'll come after me if they can. So do I need to be an Apple reseller to sell their stuff (especially in volume), or is it just an option; also, I don't plan on selling everything, nor do I plan on selling anything for more than 1-2 months, so I don't want to dilute my profits by being forced into offering a full line of their products. Also, I notice you really can't become a reseller right now, so what should I do if that's what I have to become?

    I know Apple says literally nothing about becoming a reseller and all, so I understand if you guys don't know anymore than I do, but thanks in advance for the help and your time anyway!

  2. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2005
    Why would people pay you extra to send people to stand in line, and then to insure and post the packages, and wait for delivery from you, when they could just order directly from Apple online?
  3. anti-microsoft macrumors 68000

    Dec 15, 2006
    Edinburgh, Scotland
  4. ese3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2011
    Well I'll answer your question, but it's totally useless and unhelpful, to be honest. I'm not asking for an evaluation of my business model, I'm asking a very specific question...take it or leave it. But to answer you, mainly international buyers who don't get the iPad 2 till late March would buy it.

  5. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    Well since you'll be in the grey market I doubt Apple would give you their official blessing to become an Authorised reseller.

    40-50 students? I hope you have some way of vetting them… there are always a couple bad apples in a bunch who just might try and pull a fast one on you.
    You may need to start off smaller and use this launch as a trial run.

    Anyway, as others have said… as a business model… it needs more work. ;)
  6. robecq macrumors regular


    Jun 21, 2006
  7. Andythed macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2011
    I am impressed you have £$ 50,000 available to buy these 100 ipads.
  8. numlock macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2006
    and what would your margin be?

    then you have to pay paypal etc a transaction fee when you sell.

    there are already services that offer mail forwarding so.

    just to hijack the topic a bit. how does one become an apple reseller especially in europe?
  9. ese3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2011
    So yeah, this is a kind of trial run right now...nothing big. But it's kind of like that kid with the white iPhones...he didn't think he'd get so big, but then it blew up and Apple got pissed. I'm trying to avoid that. So really what I'm asking is if like Apple would have grounds to sue or something if I was selling their stuff without a license, and if getting licensed would protect me from "the wrath of Jobs." lol

    As far as the kids, I know what you mean and that's not happening this time around anyway (it's just me and a few buddies). I was just trying to give an idea of how things might work if we ever got half-way big enough to worry about Apple caring! lol

    And thanks...I know it's not going to be a huge blockbuster or anything ;), but I think it's a nice way to make some extra cash. And, there's no real overhead because I can pull resources from my Apple computer repair company like the website. Finally, about the margin an stuff, you'd be surprised how many people legitimately paid me $1,400 for a white iPhone when they cost $200 retail. People are crazy. lol And paypal+shipping etc won't run more than $50 tops.

    Thanks guys!
  10. snberk103, Mar 4, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011

    snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I think the big question is going to be the warranty, and whether it transfers over from a) your college kid initial purchaser to the ultimate buyer, and b) from one country to the next.

    With no experience in this at all, my suspicion is that if you don't get too big then you will be hit with a "Cease and Desist" order before being sued for damages. However, to minimize risk of damages being paid I'd incorporate a separate company with few (or no) assets. Otherwise if Apple does sue you are risking your existing business.

    Is your shop an Apple Authorized Repair shop? Are you prepared to lose the "Authorized" designation?

    As part of your business plan figure on 1 to 5 products going missing each cycle. Some college kid will "forget" to give you the product. Some buyer's will use phoney payments. Just work it into your numbers.

    Make sure you pay your income taxes. With a scheme like this you're leaving a trail a mile wide (customs, off-shore money transfers, cash payments to a workforce that are probably getting audited themselves, etc etc).

    One more reason to incorporate a shell company. At least in Canada, if as a person (and owner) you borrow money specifically to lend it to the corporation then the interest on loan becomes personally tax deductible. The principle amount of the loan can be repaid back to you tax-free, and the interest portion (corp paying you interest for loan) while taxable can be timed to your advantage.

    Don't do any media interviews. Don't brag about. Keep your head low. But, be prepared to lose a bunch if Apple still decides to make an example of you.
  11. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2010
    Twin Cities
    There are easier and less painful ways to make money.
  12. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Sounds great, you'll be famous overnight. You could be the Charlie Sheen of reselling Apple products online for rip -off prices. #winning
  13. ese3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2011
    THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR! Thank you so much. It really helps, and I think the other thing that'll help is that I kind of learned my way through it the first time with the white iPhone 4s (legal aspects of starting out, fishing through foreign scammers, cease and desist BS, etc). By the way, you looking to buy an iPad? Just kidding dude, thanks a lot!
  14. snberk103, Mar 4, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011

    snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    You're welcome. Did I mention that I don't really know what I'm talking about? And I just bought an iPad 1 at the big discount (which seems to be more than $100 in Canada). I figure it will get me through to iPad 3 at least, thus saving me a lot of money buying full-priced iPad 1 & 2. And to save more money I won't buy iPad 3 until it's on the refurbed store. Ha! And I'll sell my iPad 1 for a profit overseas, apparently. :D
  15. MacHamster68, Mar 5, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    your students need to buy them with apple care otherwise there is no transferable warranty worldwide ...
  16. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    as a few others said the main problem is that you can't offer overseas warranty without being an authorized reseller. even in the US it's a problem if you have to tell people that they need to transfer the product warranty from some students name to theirs.

    For the overseas warranty problem you should see if you can also offer apple care along with the iPads. You would need to buy Apple care boxes from apple or ebay and offer them with your iPads in order to get customers. That should work because europeans who are willing to pay $150 more to get something early also are willing to buy applecare.

    I know people back in germany who would be willing to buy a 64G3 iPad on day 1 for $990 + $150 Applecare + $50 shipping.

    Just be careful: if you insure your shipment german customs automatically charges 19% customs. So you likely ship uninsured at your own risk. (I shipped cameras for three friends - not for profit for me).

    I don't think apple will ever notice as long as you sell less than 1000 per release. But I also think your profits will dwindle because of various losses,costs, theft, damage to less than $20 per iPad or so. You also risk big losses if you have a bit of bad luck.
  17. GLS macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010
    After reading this thread, I'm trying to figure out the angle of buying/reselling Apple products, when all one has to do is simply go to Apple and buy one. And if it isn't available in a certain country, then that person can simply wait, for it will be there in time....or hit Ebay...

    Whatever the end result, you will not be getting wealthy from this....

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