iPhone 4 Buying to Sell

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by macmedal, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. macmedal macrumors regular

    May 17, 2008
    I was in the Covent Garden store today and I noticed that there was a lot of elderly Indian men in the queue for the iPhone today. Now I would not have really payed it much attention, but I had noticed a similar thing last week when I was there for the opening. They all looked quite out of place, but they all seemed to know each other.

    I then later noticed in a nearby door way one of these guys (who had been in the store) go up to another younger Indian male give him the boxed iPhone and receive a wad of cash for it.

    It seems that there is some kind of racket going on where people are being paid to queue up and buy iPhones.

    My initial thoughts are that these are being shipped in bulk to India for resale, not illegal I suppose, but a bit annoying as if this has been happening in big quantities it is no wonder it was hard to get iPhones in London up until this week.
  2. -Garry- macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2005
    Manchester, UK
    I'm not surprised. There are certain groups of people in this country who, without doing anything illegal, have absolutely no morals when it comes to making money. Such as providing almost unliveable accommodation to students at inflated prices... If they can make a quick buck, they will. It doesn't seem to matter how they do it.
  3. Moe UK macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2009
    Not really illegal, Hong Kong exporters have been doing this for years with videogames and game consoles. I have heard stories of gangs paying homeless people to stand in queue for them.
  4. jaysire macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2008
    Not just to India. I bought my iPhone 4 from and Indian guy here in Finland and he told me he got one for himself and another to sell, through his brother who lives in the UK. Strangest thing though: the guy keeps selling more and more iPhones and told me if I know anyone who needs one, to give him a call.

    The markup is pretty big: The asking price for a factory unlocked iPhone 4 here is 850 euros, but I don't mind. I wanted one and I got one, so I am really happy about his entrepreneurship. :)

    There's another guy who sells iPads, iPhones and all sorts of Apple paraphernalia a couple of hours drive from here. He's asking 1100 euros for an unlocked 32 gig iPhone!
  5. kernkraft macrumors 68020


    Jun 25, 2009
    Honestly, this thread is just on the edge of racism. Some posters passed the line, some are just close to it.

    1.) Did you expect them to do something criminal, is that why you followed their activity so closely?

    2.) Does it really matter that they were Indians?

    3.) Just because they are, the phones don't have to be shipped to India.

    4.) Somebody purchased an iPhone and sold it to another guy or they had an agreement about one queuing to get an iPhone for the other. Even if they do it commercially, it is perfectly legal.

    That is actually pretty racist and unreasonable. What sort of groups are you talking about?! It's not cockneys I suppose but asians. Is that right?

    By the way, do you know how many students make money from selling Apple products after waiting in lines at product launches and by using their HE discount? Everybody likes money, it's not race-related. A white and an asian landlord are subject to the same law and they make a living under the same market conditions. If prices are inflated, that applies to all landlord in an area, region or even in the whole country.

    You don't have to go as far as that. It's in the UK, but if you followed the threads here after the iPad launch, you'd know how many MR members were involved in selling their iPads overseas for a profit.

    Some people just don't bother to take risks, invest their money or just spend their time to make a better life for themselves.
  6. chrispholt macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2010
    Cheddar, UK. Yes where the cheese comes from..
    I dont think they are being racist, I took it as the made the observation that the only people looking out of place looked like they where Indian (Asian, they did not know their country of origin obviously).

    It is not racist as I was their and they dont look out of place because of their skin tone, but because they are not dressed or acting like (sorry for my generalization) that they can afford a iPhone, and as their doing it all together its not like their buying it for their son...

    Sorry but I think you might be a bit sensitive.
  7. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    So, he used Indian to describe the men because that's what they were and he noticed them together buying in bulk. His assumptions were probably correct since that's suspicious to see any group of people buy multiple iPhones one after another. I think sometimes as soon as a minority group is named, others like to call it racist for fun because they don't enjoy diversity.
  8. macmedal thread starter macrumors regular

    May 17, 2008
    I new someone would raise the racist card how predictable and boring. I was in two minds whether to post this as I knew it would raise such issues.

    I didn't follow their activity at all, I was out shopping with my wife and kids. There was no racial steroetyping here old chap, so get off your high horse and stop being a bore. What was unusual was their age (they were all elderly) there was a large group of them together, 12 plus, they were not native English speakers, by the look of their dress and demeanour collectively they did not look like they could afford to buy a £499 iPhone, and they also all knew each other. If I had not seen a similar scene when queuing to get into the Covent Garden Store last week, I would probably not have noticed anything unusual today.

    Also the fact that as I cut through a side alley about 20 minutes later and saw two men , one an elderly Sikh with an iphone the other younger in a closed darkened shop doorway one counting out a bunch of £50 notes doesn't look suspicious right, you would have walked by without paying any interest I suppose.

    Did I infer that it did matter ? The fact is they were Indian, mainly Sikhs to be precise, maybe there were others in the queue working for the same guy for all I know or care.

    No but India has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, the iPhone 4 has not been released there yet and people are willing to pay a lot of money for one, even when they are released they are way above European prices. So I made an assumption as there was an obvious Indian connection, they may be going to India. So sorry that this might offend you.

    Maybe it is perfectly legal, I never said it wasn't, but if this has been taking place on a large scale, by a host of so called 'entrepreneurs' with connections across the globe, (and I am not just talking Indians here Mr Bore), then it is safe to assume that along with the myriad of tourists buying iPhones it has been no wonder that the London wait has been even longer for availability.

    Does that answer your questions. Now bore off.
  9. nasa25 macrumors 65816

    Apr 11, 2010
    I HATE when people are so damn sensitive. In Toronto on launch day for the iPhone 4 I saw MULTIPLE groups of asian and indian families buying 2 iPhones each obviously for resale purposes. Are certain groups of people more likely to do this than others? Absolutely. Just call it like you see it.

    If people think that certain races aren't more or less likely to show certain traits than others they are delusional. Just learn to live with it and deal with it.
  10. -Garry- macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2005
    Manchester, UK
    You said that, not me.
  11. Frenchjay macrumors 68000


    Jul 6, 2010
    How would you like him to describe the persons ethnicity?

    Do you want him to say it was a brown guy? I think that would be more derogatory.

    Indian is not a racist word it is a word to describe a persons place of origin.

    Back on topic maybe they were buying those phones for relatives who cannot purchase them in their county!
  12. oilers15 macrumors regular


    Jul 28, 2010
    Im a sikh, indian myself and i dont see whats so offensive about him mentioning that the men were indian. The men were most likely involved in a resale either to india where people are paying top dollar for them or they're reselling them from a home based business. Even though its not illegal its still suspicious, especially after 9/11 after us brown people are getting a bad rap.
  13. Googlyhead macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2010
    I'm amazed how many people seem to just jump to conclusions that any generalisation regarding more than one person must be about race.
    No group is specified - it's just a figure of speech!

    Multiple people seem to exist that apparently have different moral sensitivities to myself, and have no problem applying this for purpose of financial gain.
    The exact composition of said groupings is unidentified, and could be any combination of factors such as upbringing, education, religion, race, poverty, drug habits, other, or none of the above!
  14. icloud macrumors 6502


    Feb 15, 2005
    Saw something to the same extent on iPhone 4 launch day at Market Mall, Calgary:

    A couple asian teenagers brought 7-8 of their 80-90 yr. old relatives to purchase 2 iPhones each. I remember seeing an Apple Employee walking back to them with 16 iPhones stacked up on her arms.

    irked me some it did!
  15. Frenchjay macrumors 68000


    Jul 6, 2010
    Couldn't agree more with your post.
    I work with alot of Indian people and it's disgusting how some of them ha e been treated after 9/11. But remember it's only people who believe the bs in media who are ignorant and single those ethnic groups out to be terrorists. You have got people on edge all the time on planes, trains etc when there is Certain people aboard. That is what it's like here anyway.

    yo have got more chance of getting killed from a (d.i.y) home improvement accident than a terrorist attack.
  16. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    I've gotta say that it's funny how some people don't even know what racism is yet they complain about it. It's like as soon as you name a minority or leave out a minority, there's complaining.
  17. Frenchjay macrumors 68000


    Jul 6, 2010
    Political correctness gone mad!
  18. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A293 Safari/6531.22.7)

    Saw the same thing in NYC. A couple of Asian women were trying to buy multiple ipads near launch day. I saw one being refused because she had already purchased the limit per person. Outside the store an hour later, I saw the woman desperately yelling into her phone, kneeling on the ground, surrounded by bags of ipads.

    Clearly she was trying to wrangle up more people to buy them for her.

    A week or so later, there was a story in the news that some Chinese anti defamation group was trying to sue the Soho store for...wait for it...discrimination. They claimed they were not sold ipads because they were Asian.

    Ridiculous. They were not sold ipads because they had reached the per person limit.
  19. boss.king macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    So in fact there was no scam?
    Nothing wrong happening at all?
    A thread without a point?
  20. macmedal thread starter macrumors regular

    May 17, 2008
    A thread without a point ?

    The point of this post was I wanted to verify what was going on, whether there was actuallyn some kind of scam going on with people being exploited.

    It seems that there is a general trend, not just here in the UK, of what can be termed in polite society as 'entrepreneurs' buying as many phones as they can get there hands on to resell at extortionate prices to countries who do not currently have access to the iphone. Of course nothing illegal going on, other than tax and probably export and import duties being evaded, which is not really an issue on a small scale of half a dozen phones per person. But when it becomes an organized industry it impacts on genuine buyers trying to access the phone when supply is tight and it impacts on the economy as it is one of the myriad of 'schemes' that I am sure HM Customs and Excise would take an interest in despite it's 'clean' 'legal' label that a few are willing to give it.

    I have no further interest in adding anything further on this topic....bye
  21. barachus macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2010
    Those pesky foreigners coming over here buying all our iPhones! :eek:
  22. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    Our iPhone supply is draining! But seriously, what's wrong with the OP calling them Indian? It's not racist. Would it be better if he said 'non-white ethical minority'? I suppose it would, *sigh*...

    I'm sure 90% of Indians are perfectly fine. I'm not racist. Now stop the racism!!
  23. WeegieMac Guest


    Jan 29, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    I think "scam" is the wrong word here.

    The first thing I thought when reading the OP was that these guys could very well run an eBay store and know that iPhone 4's are fetching above RRP on eBay.

    If you've got stock of 15/20 iPhone 4's and can make £100-£150 profit on each one through people's desperation, then that's a lot of money.

    They're not "scamming" people, but they are taking advantage of people's impatience in the long run.

    As for the OP calling the men "Indian", I don't see how that's racist. It's descriptive, ie: the type of person he seen. It wasn't white men doing it, it was men of Indian origin (in his opinion). If the OP had said a bunch of Hispanic looking guys were hanging about buying and trading iPhone 4's, would anyone have batted an eyelid? If the OP is guilty of anything, it's stereotyping based on the skin colour, but not racism.

    Some people wouldn't know racism if it came up and bit them on the arse.
  24. Biscotti macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2008
    +1 close this thread. No pt.

    Do you know how much a ps3 was going for on eBay after it launched?? Around $1,500. You wouldn't buy for $600 and sell for $1,500???
  25. JulianL macrumors 65816

    Feb 2, 2010
    London, UK
    I don't see anything too wrong with this. All that the people in the queue have done is hire out their standing-in-a-queue services to someone who has found customers willing to pay for someone to stand in a queue and the middleman (or woman, since I seem to be in a somewhat PC thread) is making some markup in return for his/her time in organising it and brokering the whole deal.

    Our very own UK government certainly used to accept such activities going on under its very nose (a third party agent going to the passport office in person for you to get a same day turnaround on a new passport - I don't know if that's still done but it was certainly very common in the past before official express passport renewal services were introduced).

    As for the racism angle... aargh. The day we become a truly non-racist society is when people can identify people by race and not be called racist. If I want to point out someone in a room (because I think I recognise them or something) then at a predominantly white formal event, would I really try to describe someone by the subtely different suit that they're wearing, or would it be easier and clearer to say "that black guy over there". If using race as a means of identifying someone in a crowd, because this is their most distinguishing feature within that particular setting, is wrong then we also need to be careful not to be "heigh-ist", "wearing-glasses-ist", "bright-coloured-shirt-ist", "blond-ist", "spiky-haircut-ist", etc, etc. Like I said, the day we can use race in the casual way that we use these other physical attributes will be the day that we truly conquer racism.

    - Julian

Share This Page