Apple tightens returns policy in Hong Kong to combat iPhone 8 scalpers

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Apple wants to make life harder for scalpers.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has tightened up its online sales policy in Hong Kong, noting that it will not “accept return for online orders placed on, and after August 15th, 2017.”

The move comes ahead of the launch of the eagerly-anticipated iPhone 8, and is intended to deter scalpers from buying up massive quantities of the iPhone to sell at a premium, and then returning those they don’t manage to sell.

Apple has previously faced big problems from scalpers in China, with everything from iPad launches to Genius Bar appointments — which people snap up and then try and sell off at a profit. On occasions when new devices have arrived outside of China first, Chinese resellers can often be seen queuing up abroad in order to secure devices to take home and sell.

A number of approaches have been taken to try and cut down on this problem, with the other being a requirement that customers register online and then bring along their government ID to pick up their new products. Nonetheless, it’s clearly still a big enough issue that Apple has to take other steps, too.

For last year’s iPhone 7 launch, Apple levied a 25 per cent “open box fee,” or a 15 per cent “restocking fee” when customers returned products, depending on whether the packaging had been opened or not.

It’s worth noting that the modified sales policy is only in effect in Hong Kong, and not in mainland China. It’s not clear how long the new sales policy will last.

Source: South China Morning Post