Scalpers stop at nothing to make a few bucks off Apple’s popularity around the world, and especially in the 1.33 billion people market that is China. As you know, large-scale buyers are known for paying scalpers to stand overnight in snaking queues and buy Apple devices in bulk to resell at a premium.

According to a report Monday, scalpers now have a new innovative technique: they are booking up all available Genius Bar appointments in Apple’s retail stores in China for the purposes of selling these slots online…

Beijing Morning News (thanks, Robert!) writes about complaints from customers who are unable to reserve an appointment with Apple Geniuses. This can be put down to scalpers who book Apple Store Genius appointments. According to the story, these appointments sell for a few bucks online.

While not much, that doesn’t mean the digital age ticket scalpers aren’t profiting handsomely: keep in mind scalpers don’t have to spend money in advance as anyone can book an appointment with a Genius using only his or her email address.

On top of that, in booking up all the available Genius slots they’re inevitably creating a situation where users who need a Genius expertise ASAP have no other choice but pay for the privilege.

All of the communication between scalpers and users is handled via instant messaging applications. Upon sending the payment, users receive login details in an IM message so they could log in to Apple’s support website and change their appointment details.

Apple has to deal with Chinese scalpers on a regular basis.

Apple Store (Wangfujung, Beijing, exterior 003)

Large-scale buyers often pay scalpers to stand in line and purchase as much iPads and iPhones as they can in order to resell them on gray market, turning a substantial profit. But sometimes things get a little out of control.

In January 2012, a huge fight broke out between scalpers and regular customers, so much so that Apple had to order a complete shutdown of the Beijing store and call in a SWAT team.

The company took some steps to address the situation by imposing a three-hour window for online reservations, which did little to scare scalpers away who, as we’ve seen, always find innovative ways to outsmart Apple and its consumers who patiently stand in line to buy their Apple product.

  • Dan

    Meanwhile in China…

    • Dani Hayes

      Yes because that is what the article is about.

      • Gorgonphone


  • Woah.

  • Tony Klapatch

    Wow, at my local apple store there is always time lots. Guess it beats living in a city

    • Gorgonphone

      i love in a city and still can just walk in and get service

  • MarcPhilippeB

    Just limit to one booking per email address, or even better, require the customers to sign in with their Apple ID.

    • Jack Wong

      To make it even more straight, 1 serial # only 😡 instead of Apple ID.

      • MarcPhilippeB

        True! Even better. But a pain for the customers to type in the serial number, Many of them don’t even know their own Apple ID

      • Jack Wong

        Right… that is why I prefer serial #, there is always a good guide from Apple to check the serial #.

        Less than 5 touch on the iOS device, we are able to get to that page.

        By the way, I still don’t remember my own serial #(Social Security #) lol… other than the last 4 digitals 😡

  • Jack Wong

    This is crazy… but how much is each appointment?

    • idongdoit

      one of your kidney

      • Jack Wong

        LMAO… there are 2B in China, it will take awhile until it ran out.

    • Jack Wong

      Replying myself, found it from a Chinese site, they are selling each appointment for CN$10.00

  • Gorgonphone

    ll i never set appointments ii always walk in and demand to be seen.. lol always works..

    • fred

      demand? you must be very important