Feeds

Scalpers gouge China's fanbois for Genius Bar appointments

Where there's a yuan there's a way...

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Chinese scalpers have found a new way to make a few extra yuan: book up all the Genius Bar slots in the nation’s Apple Stores then sell them on at a profit.

Black market traders are snapping up time slots months in advance and then charging 10-40 yuan (£1-4) for each appointment on third party sites like the popular C2C trading platform Taobao, according to Beijing Morning News.

There’s not much other choice for fanbois, most of whom work far from an Apple Store and may not be able to risk wasting a lunch hour in the Genius Bar queue hoping for a no-show.

One customer even told the paper the situation was as bad as getting a train ticket during Chinese New Year, a period when demand typically exceeds supply and the scalpers step in to make a tidy profit.

A Beijing Morning News reporter purchased an appointment number from an online tout to see if it worked, and was promptly presented with two local stores and two time slots to choose from.

After receiving the reservation details by instant message, the reporter was able to log-in to “My Bookings” on the Apple site and change the name and email details to his own.

Black market traders in the Middle Kingdom have until recently mainly concentrated on buying up large quantities shiny fondleslabs or iPhones to sell on at a profit, especially from neighbouring Hong Kong where they can be snapped up cheaper than on the mainland.

However, with Apple instituting its “reserve and pickup” policy this became too difficult.

It’s a testament to how popular Genius Bar appointments are that this black market trade has sprung up, but with hundreds of reservations a day apparently still being made it's unlikely to go away unless Apple changes the system.

The fruity technology giant's China PR team couldn't immediately be reached for comment on this one. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.