50%-off luxury goods coupons scamming China’s online shoppers

50%-off luxury goods coupons scamming China’s online shoppers

Staff Reporter

2013-10-17

Fake shopping vouchers are flooding China’s online trading platforms, deceptively offering 30%-50% discounts on foreign luxury goods. The 10-40 yuan (US$1.60-$6.50) slips could not possible offer such hefty reductions on internationally shipped goods, insiders said. Overseas shopping vouchers are no longer proof of the authenticity of luxury goods, as they are often forged by online shopping agents using thermal printers, an insider said in an interview with the Chinese-language Beijing Business Daily.Although fake vouchers can be easily uncovered by scanning their bar codes at franchise boutiques, most boutiques do not offer such scanning services, emboldening the makers of fake to continue their game.

Shopping vouchers for luxury goods are available, along with luxury goods themselves, on most shopping websites in China, such as Taobao, China’s leading e-commerce website. Those printed at the best quality reach 40 yuan a piece. They claim to be valid at boutiques in Hong Kong, Singapore and France.

Shopping vouchers for LV and Hermes are the most popular among Chinese consumers now, said the report.

Directly managed stores of Hermes, LV, and Chanel do not offer discounts on their goods. Consumers sometimes have to wait for one year to purchase some Hermes bags. “Shopping agents for authentic luxury goods can offer a 20-30% discount at most, or just 15%, in the case of LV bags,” remarked Yu Hai, general manager of a luxury-goods store in Beijing.

Due to a lack of trust, shopping agents invariably ask buyers to offer deposits equal to half of the price of the good and deliver the goods in 10 days, in line with international norms. An authentic LV bag could costs as much as 20,000 yuan (US$3,300) and few buyers would offer a 10,000 yuan (US$1,600) deposit to shopping agents.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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