Chinese scalpers booking & selling Apple Store Genius Bar appointments online

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2015
Chinese scalpers have set their sights on a new, in-demand product with limited availability: Genius Bar appointments inside Apple's popular retail stores.



Local ticket scalpers are online in Beijing charging between 10 and 40 yuan ($1.63 to $6.52) for a Genius Bar appointment after booking up all available appointments months in advance, according to Beijing Morning News. The trend is causing trouble for some Apple product owners in the area, as getting to a store is sometimes difficult due to their work schedules. These Apple customers are then left with a difficult choice: pay the scalpers for a ticket or hope that there is a no-show and a place opens up for them in the Genius Bar queue.

"[Booking service at an Apple Store] is difficult," said one customer, "like [getting a] Spring Festival train ticket." The customer was referring to the Chunyun period, a time of extremely high traffic load in China, which typically starts 15 days before the Lunar New Year. During that period, scalpers often charge double or triple the usual price for a railway ticket.

One reporter, having failed to secure a Genius Bar appointment through the normal routes, looked into advertisements that offered up slots at the city's Apple Stores. Within minutes, the scalpers had presented a choice of two local stores and two time slots. After receiving login details for the booking from the scalpers, the reporter was able to access the appointment on Apple's site in order to change the details to his own, ensuring there would be no problems with the newly acquired time slot.

The reporter contacted the manager of the Apple retail outlet, relaying the process he'd just gone through and asking whether the store or Apple would be doing anything to squash the network of scalpers. At the time of the writing of the story, there had been no response.

Apple's retail outlets are high traffic locations ? welcoming 120 million visitors in the last quarter of 2012 ? and this is even more so in the world's most populous nation. One Beijing location, according to the report, sees hundreds of Genius Bar reservations made per day, and appointments for iPhone and iPad maintenance stay in short supply in the city.

Responding to the Beijing Morning Times story, some observers have noted that low appointment availability is something of a regularity in Hong Kong. Reportedly two out of three Apple Stores there regularly have no appointments available.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,145member
    Simple: proof of ownership to set up an appointment, $50 fee for not being the one to show up.
  • Reply 2 of 36
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Here we go again with those damn Chinese scalpers. I remember being so pissed off when the iPad 2 was released that I sent my first and only email to Steve Jobs telling him about all of the Chinese scalpers that were infesting every store that I went to.
  • Reply 3 of 36
    magic_almagic_al Posts: 325member
    Apple could ask to verify the location of the device the appointment is made from. If it's nowhere near the store, or if a bunch of appointments for different stores at overlapping times are being made by one entity, then Apple could allow overbooking or add some additional confirmation step.
  • Reply 4 of 36
    pembrokepembroke Posts: 214member

    Quote:


    Chinese scalpers booking & selling Apple Store Genius Bar appointments online



    Aw, that is out of order.



    Vultures!

  • Reply 5 of 36
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,163member
    People often suck.

    How about the traditional Red Chinese cure for this–example scalper kneels down and gets a bullet to the back of the head, in front of an Apple Store for added impact.

    Sometimes you've just got to admire the simplicity, directness, and effectiveness of totalitarian justice.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post



    People often suck.



    How about the traditional Red Chinese cure for this–example scalper kneels down and gets a bullet to the back of the head, in front of an Apple Store for added impact.



    Sometimes you've just got to admire the simplicity, directness, and effectiveness of totalitarian justice.


    Is that the traditional Red Chinese cure?

  • Reply 7 of 36
    Apple can simply prevent scalpers by:
    1. allowing appointments only by those who have an Apple ID with credit card.
    2. allowing only one appointment per Apple ID.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post



    Apple could ask to verify the location of the device the appointment is made from. If it's nowhere near the store, or if a bunch of appointments for different stores at overlapping times are being made by one entity, then Apple could allow overbooking or add some additional confirmation step.


    Too easy for the scalpers to work around. They have plenty of local bodies to throw at that simple obstacle.

  • Reply 9 of 36
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post



    Apple can simply prevent scalpers by:

    1. allowing appointments only by those who have an Apple ID with credit card.

    2. allowing only one appointment per Apple ID.


    1. Apple IDs are free.


    2. Only around 7% of adults in East Asia and the Pacific own credit cards.


     


    http://www.gallup.com/poll/154340/credit-cards-formal-loans-rare-developing-countries.aspx


     


    Not sure what solution is available that doesn't penalize or inconvenience the end user.


     


    Personally, I unlink my credit card from iTunes after each purchase.

  • Reply 10 of 36
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member


    I think we tend to get a First World sense of superiority on things like this, calling these guys names, when in reality, they are simply being good capitalists... Identifying a scarce resource, finding a way to corner the market, then acting as middle man for a cut of the action.


    Not very different than DeBeers cornering the supply of diamonds and then setting the price, or Comcast taking advantage of a poorly designed regulatory system and leveraging their monopoly to rip us off.


     


    Capitalism at its purest. I kinda admire these guys (at least as much as I admire any other corporate capitalists.)


    It is, however, up to Apple to fix the system.

  • Reply 11 of 36
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,145member
    [quote name="mstone" url="/t/158755/chinese-scalpers-booking-selling-apple-store-genius-bar-appointments-online#post_2369812"]1. Apple IDs are free.[/QUOTE]

    Yeah. But the appointments could be limited to an Apple ID that has a credit card on file.

    [QUOTE]2. Only around 7% of adults in East Asia and the Pacific own credit cards.[/QUOTE]

    Hey, that solves the problem pretty handily, doesn't it? ;)
  • Reply 12 of 36
    citycity Posts: 522member


    Apple just needs to get more information when the appointment is made, such as the phone number for your iPhone.

  • Reply 13 of 36
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    Capitalism at its purest. I kinda admire these guys 



    It is not pure capitalism because they are stealing a resource from Apple. Apple's reputation for excellent customer service is tarnished by their actions.

  • Reply 14 of 36
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,665member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    2. Only around 7% of adults in East Asia and the Pacific own credit cards.



    I think this implies Apple can expect at most 7% market share of total population.  And this is also too optimistic because some of the credit card holders will not buy the Apple product. 

  • Reply 15 of 36
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    It is not pure capitalism because they are stealing a resource from Apple. Apple's reputation for excellent customer service is tarnished by their actions.



    You seem to take that rather personally.

  • Reply 16 of 36
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    2. Only around 7% of adults in East Asia and the Pacific own credit cards.



    I think this implies Apple can expect at most 7% market share of total population.  And this is also too optimistic because some of the credit card holders will not buy the Apple product. 



    Hard to speculate. Young people may get a parent of relative to buy it for them, even give them gift cards for the iTunes store.

  • Reply 17 of 36
    grbladegrblade Posts: 85member
    What the f is wrong with China?! Corrupt nation, corrupt people.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,665member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Hard to speculate. Young people may get a parent of relative to buy it for them, even give them gift cards for the iTunes store.





    They could even sell their kidneys.  But honestly and statistically these cases have little't affect of the total numbers.

  • Reply 19 of 36
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Hard to speculate. Young people may get a parent of relative to buy it for them, even give them gift cards for the iTunes store.





    They could even sell their kidneys.  But honestly and statistically these cases have little't affect of the total numbers.



    Well things are changing rapidly in China as it transforms into a high income region. The most recent statistics I found were from a year ago. I would not be surprised if the percentage is up a few ticks since then. It is really the percentage in the urban areas that is relevant as the vast population in the rural areas are not yet smartphone customers anyway.

  • Reply 20 of 36
    gustavgustav Posts: 819member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by grblade View Post



    What the f is wrong with China?! Corrupt nation, corrupt people.


     


    Dude, if this is your example, you should look within your own borders.

Sign In or Register to comment.