Singles' Day sales often not the bargain hunt they're made out to be
The results of a recent survey suggest that most products sold during the Singles' Day sales, China's biggest online shopping spree, were not at their cheapest price during the year, reports the People's Daily.
The survey about the price, quality, and after-sale service of products purchased online was conducted by China Consumers Association between October 2017 and January 2018. The prices of nine kinds of products including clothes, foods, cosmetics, and digital products were sampled from 16 online shopping platforms.
A screen shows the value of goods transacted at Alibaba Group's 11.11 Singles' Day global shopping festival, in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 12, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]
The results of the survey have shown that most of the products, if not pre-sold, were not the bargains they were perhaps made out to be by retailers, with 78.1 percent on sale at the same or even lower prices at other times of the year.
Consumers found it hard to calculate the real prices of some products after they had received discounts, which were presented in various forms like "hongbao" (red packets of virtual money), coupons, and shopping credits.
The fabrication of prices was among the most serious problem with online sellers, according to the survey. Problems included prices being raised just prior to the Singles' Day shopping season and then lowered and promoted as a discount.
In addition to concerns about pricing, concerns were raised about consumer privacy. Most delivery companies did not take sufficient measures to protect the privacy of consumers, with only some of them taking steps to protect the personal information printed on the shipping label.
Staff members of an e-commerce company package products in Yiwu, east China's Zhejiang Province, Nov. 8, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua/Gong Xianming]
The Consumers Association warns that consumers should pay more attention to government reports about online shopping. Consumers are also encouraged to save their receipts and report to local authorities or their local consumer's association instances where they encounter fake products, fake promotions, or price fraud.
The annual shopping spree, Singles' Day or Double 11 (November 11th), was launched by Chinese e-retailer Taobao in 2009. A record 168.2 billion yuan (about 25.3 billion USD) in sales were made during Singles' Day in 2017, according to the e-commerce giant.
A recent survey suggests most products sold during the Singles' Day sales, China's biggest online shopping spree, are not as good a bargain as they are made out to be.