Apple Store, Shanghai

Apple Store, Shanghai

Beijing Morning News reports that local ticket scalpers have found a new way to make money on Apple: booking up all available Genius Bar appointments and then offering them for sale online.

Ticket scalpers usually make their money by buying large quantities of event tickets as soon as they go on sale then illegally selling them for more than face value once the event is sold out. With Genius Bar appointments, they don’t even need to fork out cash in the first place: they just use a bunch of email addresses to make the appointments then advertise them online.

Appointments sell for 10- yuan ($1.60-6.40) in a country where the average monthly salary is equivalent to $580. A Beijing Morning News reporter found there were no appointments available on the Apple site for iPhone, iPad or iPod. They contacted one of the advertisers asking for an appointment the next day and were offered a choice of two local stores and two time slots. The reporter was sent login details for the booking by instant messenger, and was then able to access the booking on the Apple site to change the details to their own.

The reporter contacted Apple for comment, but had not received a reply at the time of writing.

Thanks, Numble.

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11 Responses to “Chinese scalpers booking up all Genius Bar appointments & selling online”

  1. Wiley Byrne says:

    Just buy their Joint Venture service – appointments whenever you like regardless of website availability.


  2. I love how it is “Apple is aware of the problem”. How about the Chinese government actually doing something about it? Everyone is so quick to jump on Apple, but this is illegal and Apple isn’t the the police. Lately I am wondering just what the Chinese government is doing to protect its citizens. They will call out Apple for “unfair” warranties that hurt the Chinese people, but don’t appear to care about knockoff chargers killing their citizens or scalpers breaking the law. Soils it only Western companies that have to obeyChinese laws?


  3. Easiest way would be to require device ID number or serial….


  4. jameskatt says:

    It should be easy to block out the scalpers. Apple should simply:
    1. Require an Apple ID with credit card information stored.
    2. Allow only one appointment per Apple ID.



  5. I can’t stand the crybabies who want to blame the Chinese government for this…if you think the role of government (any government) should be to regulate appointments at an electronics store, that’s pretty sad.


  6. marcus384 says:

    Why do human have to be so greedy? “How low can you go?” -Luda


  7. “Appointments sell for 10- yuan ($1.60-6.40) in a country where the average monthly salary is equivalent to $580.”

    I’m sorry, but that’s lazy, sensationalist reporting. China’s average monthly salary may well be $580, but there’s no way that China’s urban population (i.e. where Apple stores are located) and especially the Apple customers who need Genius Bar support have salaries even remotely close to being that low.

    Scalping Genius Bar spots is indeed a little weird and shady, but don’t make it seem like scalpers are demanding a king’s ransom.


  8. Vipul Shah says:

    Whatever you think of the practice, the idea is truly entrepreneurial. This is innovation. Find a market gap, charge small amounts of money and work on volume. Just wait, next the electronic companies themselves will start selling the appointments