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Monday, May 15, 2006

Chinese shop online in teams

Those readers in Asia will know what I am talking about - discounts. Wherever one goes in Asia to shop, bargaining over prices with salespeople or huntining for the lowest prices in a mall is a given.

Retailers offering their goods over the Internet got away from bargaining shoppers - however, now the Chinese "team shopper" pops up.

This is how it goes:

"Last month, Fiona Li did what millions of Chinese shoppers do to find a bargain: she went online.
A few clicks later, she had a lead on where to buy the consumer goodies her brother wanted for his new apartment. Instead of reaching for her credit card, though, she jotted down a time and a place: 8 p.m. at a downtown electronics store. That evening, Ms. Li and her brother joined 15 strangers at the store to demand a group discount on a new television, refrigerator, and washing machine. Salespeople grumbled at the tactic, but the group refused to buckle. After two hours of haggling, and several walkouts by group members, the store manager agreed to a 10 percent markdown on the three items."

"By combining the power of the Internet to compare prices with the stealth tactics of the flash mob, team buyers are driving hard bargains in the world's hottest economy. Dozens of team-buying websites have sprung up to catch the trend, which first began in online forums and chat rooms."

What a fantastic idea!

(By Asia Business Consulting)