Early birds get juiciest profits flipping iPhone 6

In just 30 minutes, finance manager Sky Hui made a cool profit of $4,000 from buying and re-selling three new iPhones.

As iPhone 6 frenzy hit Singapore and elsewhere over the weekend, some people have been looking for ways to make a quick buck by flipping Apple's latest smart devices - the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.

It is not hard to find someone willing to pay extra cash for your phone, if you browse forums like HardwareZone, or visit handphone shop websites like Mobile Square and Sg Mobile.

Mr Hui, 30, had pre-booked three 128GB iPhone 6 Plus devices with SingTel. He then contacted 40 buyers he found on HardwareZone and met one at Raffles City, about 30 minutes after collecting his phones from SingTel's launch event at Marina Bay Sands last Friday.

He had renewed three contracts for himself and his parents to pay $746 for each phone. He then sold them at $2,200 each to the buyer, making a total profit of $4,362. The iPhone 6 Plus costs $1,448 without a contract.

"The buyer was a 22-year-old guy. I passed him the phones and he took out a bundle of $1,000 notes, counted six and passed them to me. That was shocking!" said Mr Hui.

With the extra cash, he bought a 128GB iPhone 6 for $1,288, for his own use. He had pre-booked it at an Apple retail store.

Those late to the game ended up making less.

Yesterday, there were also more active sellers than buyers on HardwareZone's mobile phone bazaar forum.

Legal practitioner Kelvin Ho, 36, sold his new 16GB iPhone 6 at Mobile Square for $1,030 yesterday. If he had done it last Friday, he could have got $1,200, according to Sg Mobile's website.

Two shops that buy and re-sell iPhones said demand for Apple's latest smart devices this time has been lower than in previous years.

WhyMobile's retail sales manager Samuel Chan said: "There are more people selling, but fewer buying. Last year we had people from China coming to buy 50 sets at one go, but none this year."

However, retail stores here had queues of tourists waiting to buy the phones. Apple yesterday said global sales of its newest iPhones came to more than 10 million during the launch weekend. Singapore was one of nine markets to get the phones first.

Both versions are sold out at EpiCentre's nine outlets and Nubox's 13 outlets.

A 35-year-old housewife, who declined to give her name, bought four phones at WhyMobile in Far East Plaza yesterday.

She said her husband had queued overnight but went home empty handed. So she decided to "just pay more" to get the phones for herself and her family. She paid $1,550 for each 128GB iPhone 6, which costs $1,288.

"I cannot wait anymore, that's why I came here. We've compared prices and the price here is the best," she said.

This article was first published on September 23, 2014.
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