iPhone 6 Scalpers Invade Vancouver Apple Stores, Paying $200 to Line Sitters [u]


Last night, people started waiting in line outside the Richmond Centre Apple Store, and as of today, looks like the lines are continuing to expand. We’ve heard the Pacific Centre Apple Store similarly had people waiting in line as well.

The reason for the sudden influx of line sitters? Well, China isn’t part of the iPhone 6 launch taking place this Friday so demand for unlocked devices are shooting through the roof.

Couple that with Vancouver being the perfect launch pad for phones be delivered to Asia and the plethora of Apple Stores in the Lower Mainland (six locations!), it tends to get entrepreneurial money-hungry resellers excited (eBayers have sold unlocked 128GB iPhone 6 Plus models for up to $1700).

According to tipsters, ads on Craigslist by resellers are advertising they’ll pay line sitters up to $200 for waiting in line. The ad below says it’s looking for as many people as possible, so you can imagine this is big business.

Screenshot 2014 09 17 11 45 43

The requirement? Get in line the night before and be prepared to wait 14 hours or so (we’re told they will also buy you food). Once you get inside the store, someone will give you cash to pay for the iPhones. Once two iPhone 6 Plus models (the ones in highest demand) are purchased, line sitters will then be paid $200 in cash.

Our tipsters told us right now scalpers are targeting the Richmond Apple Store, Pacific Centre Apple Store and Metrotown Apple Store in Burnaby.

Here are a couple more images of last night’s line up that started outside Richmond Centre:

Screenshot 2014 09 17 13 06 35

Screenshot 2014 09 17 13 06 25

We were told by @simonsource security at Richmond Centre told line sitters to remove their chairs, so as of now people have resorted to standing only as they wait until stores open on Friday morning at 8AM.

Similarly, another anonymous tipster told us there’s a new system in place to prevent people from line budging, a problem that has existed in the past. The queue cards are now gone, which is apparently a move to stop resellers to manipulate the system, which is why we’re probably seeing ads for people to wait in line, something we previously first heard about from 9to5Mac.

There was no word whether this digital reservation system would hit Canada, but now it appears ready to be implemented here.

During previous iPhone launches in Vancouver, in particular for the iPhone 5 when China was also omitted from the first launch, suspected resellers similarly dominated Apple Store line ups (and also reportedly budged in line).

If you’re waiting 14 hours in line for $200 as a line sitter, that works out to $14.29 tax free—how much is your time worth? Of course, there is the chance you could get scammed and not be paid by these resellers after waiting all night, so it’s definitely a risky proposition.

Update: Here’s a more recent photo:


  • Ihatescalpers

    It makes my blood boil when I read this. Apple or the malls should do something to stop this nonsense.

  • Jay

    I don’t understand why you line up? Don’t you just reserve the phone at apple’s website and show up at your reservation time. Why all this line up needed?

  • Al

    ” there is the chance you could get scammed and not be paid by these resellers after waiting all night ”
    You forget that they are given the cash up front to buy the phones. If the scalpels don’t pay the $200, then the line sitters simply keep the phones.

  • Because reserve and pick up was limited online. By waiting in line they can exhaust Apple’s supplies until they’re out.

  • According to what we were told, one scalper said he’d be the one paying cash with the line sitter so nobody is guaranteed anything.

  • Ryan Laker

    Look at the four cars in that picture. Classic Vancouver.

  • I totally agree with Jay…. reserve and pick-up was the solution… of course limited… but not that hard…. i think… rather spend 1-2h that night in the middle of the night to reserve… than be in line outside for 14h 🙂

  • Daniel

    Well worth the 3am wake up time as opposed to sitting and waiting outside

  • Derek Kraneveldt

    Argh. I live on Vancouver Island, and won’t make it to the Pacific Centre Apple Store until about 8PM tomorrow. I sure hope that line doesn’t grow too much larger before then.

    Had the online pre-orders worked correctly I could have saved the trip! Anyone else lining up in Vancouver tomorrow?

  • lp

    This is criminal. Skalpers taking advantage Apple should do the same as they did last year. PICK UP ONLY BY RESERVATION. Those lining up should be on Telco upgrade and contract renewals ONLY. Glad to order mine online.

  • gtasscarlo

    I did the reserve and pick up. Why on earth would I wait in line for 3 days, to pick up or scalp.

  • Lol so true. Couldn’t spot the ‘N’ signs on the back though 😉

  • David

    because of the clusterf*@ck that happened on Friday with the store being down multiple times and and stock being quickly taken up. Not a lot of people were able to order what they wanted. At midnight last friday the Apple store website was down, but the Apple APP store on the iPhone/iPad worked for those.

  • Al

    So not… “Once you get inside the store, someone will give you cash to pay for the iPhones.” ?

  • BeaveVillage

    This seems borderline illegal.

  • kevin

    dont remember there is no school in vancouver (strike).. so many of these kids got time to burn..

  • Not what was explained to us. Scalper will head in with line sitters and pay. Line sitters will not have access to the cash. So, yeah.

  • WatDah

    Just the casual $1 million parked on the side, nothing too fancy.

  • Chris Zhu

    I live in Burnaby and preordered my 6 at Pacific Centre, picking it up on Friday. Good luck mate!

  • Rick

    Apple loves these line ups its like free advertizing and gets the hype up on the phones other people think damn what am I missing? lol

  • john

    problem with this is that you then get complaints from people who couldn’t pre-order or did not know about it and have to get it at launch. There was a story of a women who complained to Steve jobs about not being able to buy an iPad with cash when store wouldn’t take cash before. Can’t make everyone happy but at least this reservation system is accommodating both types of people.

  • john

    Just left Metrotown earlier today and about 4 people were lined up. Security even had a sign up saying the line up started here at Thursday 3pm… It was Wednesday 5pm when I left.

  • DC

    Actually it should be “Classic Richmond”. Most of the residents there are filthy rich, sigh~~~

  • W

    These resellers are clearly new to this… where have the pros gone to?

  • Ryan Laker

    I feel bad for the kid stuck driving the Range Rover, absolutely humiliating.

  • Kevin

    Classic Chinaman. Got money to spend, but spends it like a peasant. Bunch of losers

  • youreanidiot

    oh you gonna cry? cry baby? get your own phone don’t worry about what other people do.

  • Wu Lu

    I stayed up until 2 am trying to order online. At around 1 am, I was told the app store had orders available, but when I got on it, it kept saying “currently unavailable”.

    I finally went to sleep, and woke up again at 3 am… only to discover I had to wait 3-4 weeks before my order ships.

    yesterday I showed up at the Apple Store in Pacific enter, and asked when they would get re-stocked. The Apple guy told me they would be getting new stock every day, and to simply try ordering for pick-up every day at 12:01 am. I prefer spending 2-3 days until I get an order in rather than wait in line for hours.

  • spykids933

    so i’ve reserved a iPhone 6 with contract for pick up in stores. And I’m wondering if its possible to purchase the locked phone only. Which means I’ll buy the phone regular price but locked to carrier.

  • jazz

    same happened with me. i was told same thing by one of the apple employee at Metrotown apple store.
    But I don’t think there is any reserve and pick up option after the launch day. I can’t see anything on the website either.
    your thoughts ?

  • Wu Lu

    The Apple store employee told me the website will be updated every day to show the pick-up options.

    It will not show until Saturday 12:01am because all stores are currently out of stock

  • Jazz

    Thank you so much wu Lu. I hope you are right. Is it 12:01 Pacific time or eastern ?

  • hahah

  • Wu Lu

    II’m not sure. probably PST

  • Kevin’s dad

    Did your whore of a mother give you that name? Before or after she turned a few tricks on the street corner?