The Beijing Morning News reports that Chinese ticket scalpers have discovered a new way to make a buck. They book up all the available Genius Bar appointments at local Apple Stores, and then offer 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 are going for 10 to 40 yuan ($1.63 to $6.52) in a country where the average monthly salary is around $580. The Beijing Morning News reporter attempted to book an appointment via the Apple site, but found none available for iPhone, iPod, or iPad.
He then dug a bit and discovered a few sources willing to sell a Genius Bar appointment for the next day for 10 to 40 yaun. He then booked an appointment through one of the companies and received login details for the appointment. He was then able to login and change the details of the appointment to his own.
Once at the store, the reporter queried the Genius helping him if Apple verified customers identities in any way. The Genius replied the company did not do so, as the process would be too cumbersome.
Apple has been contacted by the Morning News for comment, but has yet to reply.