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China’s Ebay: Taobao
The hottest word in China’s purchasing market nowadays may be “taobao”. A funny joke says that people, especially young generation in China, ask their friends the same question every day,“Have you taobao today?” or “Did you spot some cheap and well quality goods in taobao, send me the link if you do !” From this joke we can see the significant role taobao’s playing in our life. From the buyer’s prospect, many goods in taobao are offered in a low price than those in the markets, buyers can search everything they want at taobao.com without paying for a comparatively high price. What’s more, because of the convience provided by delivery companies, buyers can just stay at home and wait for the phone call from the delivery guy, then get their products without stepping out the door of their own house.
However, the buyers are not the ones who benefit most from the website, the sellers are. Most sellers at taobao.com are acting as the taobao agents. Oftenly they are not producing the goods by themselves, but sell them as the retail business. People who may not receive higher education and can’t get a “real” job with good salary may seek their life at taobao. The threshold of starting a business in taobao is much more easier than in the real world. Without paying for rent or all kinds of red-tape things, provide the website with your ID card and a credit card is all you need to start a business at taobao.com. Due to the low cost of the other aspects in the business, the prime cost is almost the same as the direct import price plus profits. In this way, the sellers can earn more profits and the buyers can buy the same goods in a lower price. It’s obviously a win-win situation to both parties.
Calling taobao the China’s eaby is kind of insulted at the first place, however, being the most popular online shopping website among 1.3 billion people, the situation is reversed. Taobao is no longer the copycat of ebay, but a better one. Taobao has developed itself in to worldwide taobao, which provides products from different countries. Buyers from other countries start notice the huge online market in China, and taobao is always their major access to this market. As more attention is paied, more prosperous the taobao.com is. There is no doubt that it’s virtuous circle here.
The level of the products in taobao is also facing a change. As buyers possess bigger purchasing power flood into the online market, the sellers are trying provide goods with high quality to satisfy their needs. Even some world-famous brand like Chanel, Gucci also has their official online shop at taobao.com. In this case, taobao becomes a multilevel market which attracts even more customers. Some customers click into taobao.com for luxuries that not easily access to in real market, while others are looking for cheaper goods. Almost all customers can be satisfied through this. The reason why Taobao is so successful lies in here.