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125513-beijing_iphone_customers.jpg


Customers swarm cashier stand in Apple's Sanlitun store in Beijing
The Wall Street Journal reports that the shortage of iPhone 4s in China has led to a booming market for scalpers, many of whom are selling their stocks of iPhones outside the company's flagship Sanlitun store in Beijing.
But as of Thursday morning, Apple's flagship store in Beijing's Sanlitun Village mall was sold out of the new smartphone. As a result, scalpers, who bought up iPhone 4s earlier in the week, are now lurking outside the store ready to pounce on anyone who walks out without merchandise.

"Want to buy an iPhone 4?" they say. "Come with us."

Working in groups, the scalpers lead willing customers to an empty stairway in the same mall, where their cohorts keep stacks of iPhone 4s in the original packaging. One scalper was offering the 16-gigabyte version of the device for 5,400 yuan, or about 795 dollars, a 10-percent mark-up over the sticker price.
According to M.I.C. gadget, however, the scalpers are continuing to snap up iPhones as quickly as the Apple store can restocked, leading to heightened tensions and even a temporary closure of the store today as tempers flared.
According to sources, the real customers and the iPhone 4 scalpers had a fight in the Apple store. A gang of scalpers were cutting the queue and some customers were fed up with the scalpers for buying large quantities of iPhone 4 and resell them outside the store. The police and Apple's own security staff appeared to clean up the mess and due to the chaotic crowd, the store needs to be closed temporarily...
The report claims that the sudden rush of scalpers has been enabled by Apple now allowing customers to purchase unlimited numbers of iPhones at the Sanlitun store, whereas the company had previously limited sales to two-per-customer. And with China Unicom not offering contract-free phones and Apple not taking online orders in China, customers and scalpers alike are flocking to Apple's four retail stores in the country (two in Beijing and two in Shanghai) to compete for the limited supply of contract-free iPhone 4s.

Article Link: iPhone Scalpers Force Temporary Closure of Beijing Apple Retail Store
 

wildspin

macrumors newbie
Jun 27, 2008
25
0
Toronto
The day Apple started to sell unlocked iphone 4 in Canada, there were a huge number of Chinese/Taiwanese students in the line at Eaton Centre in Toronto, everybody was buying 2, and there were Chinese asking folks in the line whether they wanted to give up their spots for 50 bucks or not.

On CTV, there was a guy coming out of the store with 8 iphones, I don't know how the heck they did it.
 
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hkechoes

macrumors newbie
May 8, 2009
18
0
Only 10%? Seems low.

http://unwire.hk/2010/09/20/iphone4hkresell/

We Hong Kong user are already suffered for that! Lots of scalpers hold up the phones and long wait queues..

The link contains a chart that records the selling price of a new iPhone 4 in the phone market, started from the official launch of iPhone in HK (late July).

If you were lucky enough to get an iPhone 4 in early Aug from official channel (carrier with contract), you could sell it instantly for a nice profit. Most of those phones went into China.
 
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rorschach

macrumors 68020
Jul 27, 2003
2,102
706
Yep, happened constantly when I worked at an Apple Store. They were pretty blantant about it...they'd buy 5 (the maximum) and I'd see them go right outside, stick them in their car and either someone else waiting with them would come in and buy 5 more, or they'd literally just change their shirt and come back in with another credit card (as if nobody noticed).

Where I worked we used to look up their credit cards but it became such a hassle that mangement just stopped caring and told us not to bother as it wasn't our problem...we weren't the police and revenue is revenue. Let corporate deal with it if they want to.
 
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And1ss

macrumors 6502a
Oct 20, 2009
542
2
I guess in a country of 1.3 billion, you gotta do whatever to make the buck. As a person who has worked for Apple retail, it was hilarious for me when chinese customers who seek me out (since I'm chinese) to "hook" them up on iPhones, only to be denied.
 
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gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
17,851
5,322
The solution should be obvious: Swamp the market with iPhones. Let's say there is demand for 2 million iPhones. If Apple manages to sell 4 million to scalpers, that's pure profit for Apple. Once the scalpers don't find customers, they have to drop prices below retail price, so more than 2 million will buy iPhones because of the lower price, but Apple will get full retail price for them.
 
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And1ss

macrumors 6502a
Oct 20, 2009
542
2
Yep, happened constantly when I worked at an Apple Store. They were pretty blantant about it...they'd buy 5 (the maximum) and I'd see them go right outside, stick them in their car and either someone else waiting with them would come in and buy 5 more, or they'd literally just change their shirt and come back in with another credit card (as if nobody noticed).

Where I worked we used to look up their credit cards but it became such a hassle that mangement just stopped caring and told us not to bother as it wasn't our problem...we weren't the police and revenue is revenue. Let corporate deal with it if they want to.

I feel you on that. Our management was quite adamant about stopping resellers.
 
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Gizmotoy

macrumors 65816
Nov 6, 2003
1,087
127
This was started by allowing unlimited purchases per guest?!? Just go back to selling 2 per person instead of allowing someone to buy an unlimited number.

Problem (mostly) solved.
 
Comment

ruffdeezy

macrumors newbie
Jun 8, 2008
24
1
Pretty much the same thing in Canada where people were still lining up overnight at the stores in hopes that stock would come in as of 2 weeks ago. Maybe still today.
 
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slicecom

macrumors 68020
Aug 29, 2003
2,061
92
Toronto, Canada
Pretty much the same thing in Canada where people were still lining up overnight at the stores in hopes that stock would come in as of 2 weeks ago. Maybe still today.

Yeah they still are, only most of them are taking them to other countries and selling them rather than selling them in Canada.
 
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thetexan

macrumors 6502a
May 11, 2009
720
0
I've made a bit of money selling hard to find consumer electronics, including iPhones, at a premium. I must of made $1000 in profit on Wiis in one month via eBay.

If someone is stupid enough to buy an item above MSRP because they are impatient, then there is someone smart enough to make that money. Simple supply and demand.
 
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MacBH928

Contributor
May 17, 2008
5,641
2,270
i dont see whats the issue , apple is selling and people are buying
what they do with their iphones outside their store is non of their business

how rich is apple any way, the demand for their product looks like it comes after food and water world wideg
 
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samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,637
41,619
USA
I can't help but think of the scenes in Willy Wonka (the original) when everyone was fighting over trying to find the golden tickets...
 
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