Over the weekend, the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were officially available in selected countries globally. And, as is now the norm, the grey market sprang into life, with retailers from other countries mobilising sizeable teams into action, joining queues in Apple stores to be the first to offer the new iPhones in their native markets – reaping plenty of profit along the way.
But hey, if there’s a willing buyer, there’s always a willing seller. So if you must have the new iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, here’s where you can get them in Malaysia.
Let’s start with an obvious disclaimer: expect to be paying a rather princely premium over the new iPhone’s retail prices globally. With such high demand and limited supply, those who offer these devices in Malaysia know they have the upper hand.
And, you can also expect the new Rose Gold models to be priced higher than the other colour options, for both the 6s and 6s Plus. This is rapidly becoming the hit colour for smartphones, because, you know, Apple.
However, here’s an interesting observation: despite the rapidly depreciating Ringgit, the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are actually going for less than what they used to last year. Remember the RM7,800 iPhone 6 Plus? The top of the line iPhone 6s Plus 128GB Rose Gold is going for RM7,399 on DirectD – RM500 less than a year ago.
DirectD, arguably Malaysia’s most famous parallel importer, has the full range of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus available, both in stores and online. Just like last year, the company is well-stocked with the new iPhones, mobilising its team down to Singapore to purchase them from Apple Stores there. Base prices for the iPhone 6s start from RM3,599, while the iPhone 6s Plus starts from RM4,799 – you’ll need to top up quite a hefty amount just for the Rose Gold option.
SatuGadget, another popular parallel importer for electronic devices, also appears to have plenty of stock for the new iPhones. Their prices are also slightly lower than what DirectD is charging, starting from RM3,559 (iPhone 6s) and RM4,699 (iPhone 6s Plus).
In addition, we’re also seeing greater participation from the major e-tailers in Malaysia. Lazada has even placed a prominent ad banner on its front page, offering an exclusive selection of the new iPhones available on its site. Prices here vary greatly, from RM3,529 (iPhone 6s 16GB Grey – but there’s no warranty and “NOT ACCEPT CHANGE MIND RETURN”) to a cool RM7,728 for the 128GB iPhone 6s Plus Rose Gold – according to the seller, there’s 1 year “local manufacturer warranty”, but “PURCHASE CANNOT BE CANCELLED” and there are “NO CHANGE OF MIND RETURNS”. Lazada offers a no-questions-asked 7- or 14-day returns for most of its products, depending on the seller using the platform.
11Street also has some sellers offering the new iPhones. Interestingly, one of the sellers here is also selling the new iPhones on Lazada – but at vastly different prices. In fact, there are similar sellers on both 11Street and Lazada – but their selling prices vary by quite a big margin. For instance, the seller of the RM7,728 iPhone 6s Plus on Lazada is selling the same product at RM8,237 on 11Street – that’s RM509 higher. There are also several sellers which ships the product from overseas (you’ll need to check where it ships from at the bottom of the product page) which means they could get stuck at the Malaysian Customs office – you’ll then need to pay for import duties.
With that in mind, perhaps it is best to take a look at the smaller sellers based locally. Sites like Mudah and Lelong have some sellers offering the new iPhones, including this 100% original “1:1 clone” running on a MediaTek chipset. but none are as active as on our own Garage Sales subforum. A quick search reveals six pages of sales threads of people selling, trading or even looking to buy the 6s or 6s Plus. With so much competition, some careful scrutiny is needed to find some sweet deals, like this iPhone 6s Rose Gold 64GB for RM3,950. If you’re new to the forums, note that the prices can usually be negotiated further, but since these sellers are usually small traders, you’d need to pay them in cash.
Finally, there’s one more thing to consider: payment methods. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, most small time sellers usually deal only in cash. Parallel importers and the e-tailers accept most major credit cards (with the unfortunate exception of American Express cards), giving you some opportunities to probably get additional discounts in the form of cashbacks or membership points from the banks – not to mention that this form of payment is a lot safer than paying by cash.
On top of that, both Lazada and 11Street regularly issue coupon codes that can be pretty great – lurk in the forums long enough and you’ll hear of the legendary tale of the guy who bought a Samsung Galaxy S6 for RM1,450 during Hari Raya 2015 on Lazada.
In any case, with no official release date in sight, it is likely that this secondary market for the new iPhone will remain active for the coming weeks. What can be expected, though, is that the prices you see today will only get lower as the days go by – most sellers are looking to make a quick profit, and would rather have a slightly smaller profit than to have their product value crash when Apple announces the availability of the official Malaysian units, which came in the first week of November 2014 for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
And don’t forget, if you need a reference for the retail prices around the world, and what we expect the Malaysian retail prices would be for the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, you can check out this post.