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Grey market thrives outside Hong Kong Apple store

Published on Sep 21, 2012 12:49 PM
A customer (right) who just bought an iPhone 5 from an Apple store resells the newly released smartphone, to another man who is expected to ship it as parallel goods into mainland China, for at least HK$1,200 ($150) more than the original price, right after the customer left the store in Hong Kong September 21, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (AFP) - A grey market for the iPhone 5 sprang up on the doorstep of Hong Kong's Apple store on Friday as it hit shelves for the first time, with resellers offering to pay more than 50 per cent above retail price.

As Apple staff cheered the latest purchases inside the store, new iPhone owners were approached outside with offers to buy the hot new gadget at attractive premiums.

"I paid about HK$8,000 (S$1,260) for the iPhone just now. We'll sell it for around HK$9,000 to HK$10,000," said Mr Suen, a reseller who refused to give his full name. The normal retail price starts at HK$5,588 in the Apple store.

"The people that walk out can immediately make a profit of HK$3,000," he added, who works at a gadget shop where he will be able to resell the phones at a profit. He had collected 15 phones within an hour of their going on sale, even though Apple limited customers to only two phones each.

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