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Vietnamese Are Getting Paid To Wait In Line For New iPhones

In Vietnam, everyone loves an iPhone.

So much so, in fact, that local business owners are paying people in Singapore up to US$150 to wait in line and purchase brand new iPhones, according to Zing.

In order to get the coveted iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, which were released in Singapore on September 18, vendors are sending individuals – many of whom are employees at local phone stores – to Singapore as well as hiring study abroad students to stand in line for up to 18 hours.

“Plane tickets from Vietnam to Singapore become harder to find as it gets closer to the iPhone release date,” Nguyen Long, a phone store employee from District 5 told Zing.

According to Long, phone stores prepare for an iPhone release weeks in advance. “You have to take the earliest flight back to Vietnam from Singapore on the 25th in order to sell the phones at a high price, otherwise the cost will go down quickly,” he said.

It's a highly-orchestrated process, as mobile phone shops arrange a network of buyers around the city, sending different people to wait in line at different iPhone outlets.

According to one study abroad student, Nguyen Nhat Ha, buyers can maximize the number of iPhones purchased by ordering one or two in advance and also waiting in line for several hours. By the end of the day, one person can rake in between three and five phones and resell them to vendors in Vietnam or China for up to VND50 million.

In the end, everybody wins: the queuers get paid, local vendors are able to make a lucrative first round of sales and Vietnamese empty their wallets for the latest Apple products.

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