Apple products have become a hit seller for second-hand gift brokers, a profession in China that involves buying and selling unwanted New Year’s presents. Brokers in China are buying up Chinese New Year gifts that recipients don’t want and selling them at deep discounts to people who want it. Brokers will repurchase these gifts at 60 to 70 percent of the original price, then resell the gifts at prices lower than face value. Usually, expensive liquors and cigarettes are the most often traded item, but now iPhone, iPad and Macbook are the most wanted …
These broker companies have listed several Apple products such as the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 among their most wanted items after the Chinese New Year. A second-hand iPhone 4 (8GB) costs 2,500 yuan (US$396) from a broker, while a brand new with unopened box will costs 3,500 yuan (US$554). For iPad 2, the trade-in price for 16GB wifi version with unopened packaging will cost about 3,200 yuan (US$507). A broker’s from smaller city of China can received about 20 iPhone 4s and 10 iPad 2s during the New Year period. In bigger city like Beijing, a broker will have a dozen customers to visit his shop to ask if he sells iPhones or iPads.
A broker’s can sell up to 130 Apple products a day during the New Year period. New or second-hand items both turn profits of at least 300 yuan (US$47). Trading for unwanted New Year’s presents are also getting hit online. The repurchase price of a brand new 17 inch Mac book will only cost 15,999 yuan (US$2,538), with unopened packaging and local warranty. The original price from Apple store will cost 18,998 yuan (US$3,014).
During Chinese New Year, many are in a hurry to get rid of unwanted gifts received during the holiday shopping peak before it ends, prompting brokers to provide home pickup service. The business that involves buying and selling unwanted New Year gifts has experienced more growth than usual this year. The brokers even want to register their business but authorities say such activities are illegal, and are disturbing the normal economic order.
Chinese New Year is the most important period for gift-giving. The Chinese will choose valuable gifts when visiting friends and family. As Chinese families are getting rich nowadays, lavish gifts are always their first choice. By picking Apple’s product as a gift can considered as giving compliments and increase self-pride in China society. Some recipients might already own an iPhone or iPad so they will ‘trade-out’ their gift to exchange cash in hands. Therefore, re-gifting is apparently popular in China.
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