Several months ago, Xiaomi entered the Malaysian market, with an online-only sales model. That meant the company only sold its products officially online, which was a unique factor that arguably made the already-desirable devices a lot more difficult to obtain – especially for those who aren’t used to e-commerce. This phenomenon exposed a secondary economy, and one that had been thriving on devices which have high demand.
Now that the iPhone 6 is officially out, these enterprising retailers – colloquially known as scalpers, for obvious reasons – are out to play once again.
One of the many observations that were made when we published our Xiaomi scalper article was the fact that this practice has been going on for years, often under the radar of the public as these trades often happened online, as it was the easiest and fastest method to reach out to potential customers. Interested customers would agree on a “best price”, and then the deal is transacted via cash-on-delivery (COD).
When Malaysia was predictably not announced as one of the countries in the first batch of availability of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, we decided to take a closer look. Today, customers could officially begin pre-ordering the new iPhone 6 from the first batch of countries, which included our close neighbours down south, Singapore. Guess how many threads can be found to purchase the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus?
30, and counting. Most of these sets have been pre-ordered from Singapore, while other sources include Australia, the UK as well as from the USA.
Browsing through these threads, one thing was pretty apparent: these iPhone scalpers are pretty seasoned traders. More often than not, these traders would not reveal their prices for the new iPhones, preferring instead for interested parties to send them a personal message (PM) to find out more. This way, the interested parties would have to initiate contact with the trader, allowing a private window of conversation between buyer and seller.
In addition, there was even one thread that has an embedded form to “register your interest” in getting the new iPhone. From there, the seller would be in touch about its services and the prices that they offer to get the new iPhone before it is here in Malaysia.
And what price to be one of the first owners of the new iPhone in Malaysia, months before it can be officially obtained here? Well, depending on who you ask, you may have to cough up as much as RM5600. Yup, over five thousand ringgit for the new iPhone 6 Plus 128GB. That same amount can be a down payment for your new car!
But as you trawl through the many threads, you will find that the “standard” prices for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are less extreme than the example above. Most, however, are priced about RM500 dearer than the retail prices in Singapore, where the margins can be even higher for the Gold colourway due to its high demand. If you really must get that 128GB Gold iPhone 6 Plus, be ready to shell out about RM4000.
On the other hand, one point to note is that Singapore is not the cheapest country that sells the iPhone 6 models due to local taxes and conversion rates. The best place to buy the new iPhone for the best bang for your buck would be in the USA as well as Japan, where the price difference can be up to RM700 less than Singapore’s prices. For more, this is how much the new iPhone 6 variants cost in all the first-batch countries around the world.
But hey, that’s the price to pay to be an early adopter. With early indications that point to a late October to November release in Malaysia, it could be a long wait for Apple fans.
Alternatively, this “high quality build” iPhone 6 dummy (made from aluminium, no less) can be yours for only RM49.