If you visit an Apple Store in the hopes of buying a new iPhone, iPad, or MacBook, you have to talk to an Apple employee, since all the expensive products are kept in the back. However, if it’s just an accessory you want, you can buy it without actually interacting with anyone.
Thanks to the Apple Store app, you can use your iPhone to scan the barcode of an accessory off the shelf and use Apple Pay to pay for it. From there, you can just walk out of the store with your new Apple accessory in hand. Keep in mind, though, that not everything on the shelves can be scanned and purchased from your iPhone (Beats headphones being a good example), but things like chargers and cables are free game.
Before you go into an Apple Store and do this, you’ll need to download the Apple Store app to your iPhone and set it up by signing in with your Apple ID. You can wait until you’re at the Apple Store, but it’ll go a lot faster if you have all that ready to go ahead of time.
You also need to have Location Services enabled for the Apple Store app and have it set to “Always” allow location access. You can do this by opening up the Settings app and navigating to Privacy > Location Services > Apple Store. From there, select the “Always” option. This lets the app know when you’re at the Apple Store so that you can buy something using your iPhone.
When you arrive at the Apple Store, you’ll receive a notification that encourages you to scan items to read reviews, see compatibility options, and buy stuff right from your iPhone. In this case, we got a notification on our Apple Watch.
When the Apple Store app launches on your iPhone, tap the “Touch to Scan” option to get started (you may also need to give the app permission to use your iPhone’s camera).
From there, simply hover your iPhone’s camera over a barcode of an accessory that you want to purchase. In this case, we’re buying an Apple Watch charging cable.
After the app scans the barcode, the product information pops up. Tap the “Self-Checkout” button to continue the purchasing process.
From there, you can tap on “Buy with Apple Pay” if you have it set up, or select “Buy with other payment options” if you want to use the old-fashioned way.
When you’ve made your purchase, you’ll get a digital receipt displayed on the screen. You’re now a proud new owner of an Apple product and can just walk out of the store with your new item.
The likelihood of you getting stopped by an Apple employee is small, and there are no sensors at the entryway to detect whether you bought the item or not. However, if you do get stopped, just show the employee the receipt on your screen and you’ll be golden—all Apple employees get an alert on their iPod scanners when someone buys something using their iPhone, so they should know.