A few weeks ago as we talked about Amazon Spain I introduced to my colleague, Germán, one of my favorite Internet businesses, Aliexpress online Chinese bazaar, which I reviewed along with other recommendable ecommerce sites in a post I wrote this past summer. I remember perfectly that at the time, Aliexpress had launched a campaign in which they sold a limited number of item units with huge discounts. We tried to get him a phone for less than 30€ using the site, however, we were not able to, not only for my stupidity when I tried to buy it, but also because it sold out within a second.
Surprisingly, after Christmas he asked for my opinion on a possible business venture. The business was simple: buying bracelets for less than 3 euros and selling them in Spain for 10€. Then I told him about a similar experience that I had, selling over 100 mini-microscopes on Ebay, and some other products that will make at least one of my readers laugh. I bought 10 or 20 mini-microscopes online from Chinese bazaar for less than 2 euros and sold each for 5 euros on Ebay. I hope you understand that my goal was not to make money, but rather to understand the key to selling successful products on Ebay, as well as earning a significant number of stars (stars reflect the prestige of each buyer and seller on Ebay). Today, I have 200 stars
What surprised me most about the business idea was that the bracelets he showed me were practically the same as the one I had bought before Christmas on Amazon Spain that still hadn’t arrived to my house. It was a bracelet that my wife saw online and talked positive about, so I made the order, hoping it would be a nice gift that would make her laugh.
As you compare prices, the bracelet on Amazon Spain is five times more than the one on AliExpress. Some of you would tell me that it is not the same bracelet. That justification, along with price discrepancy, made me think that I had bought something of higher quality than what you could buy on a Chinese Bazaar site. This theory faded away when the package finally arrived last week.
Amazon Spain afford to overcharge its customers
When I saw that I had a package from Singapore, I tried to remember if I had bought anything on Alieexpress. There was a time when I used to buy junk, as my wife would say, on this online Chinese bazar and most of the time I did not remember what I had purchased specifically. That was mainly due to the long delivery period. Between three weeks to a month so many things happen that you forget about these things. Well that is what happened with my Amazon order. As you can see the estimated time of arrival was between the 3rd and 23rd of January, something which I only realized after making the order. In fact, this small detail doesn´t appear in the order description, but instead is specified in the final summary of the order, which I normally do not read.
I did not realize that it was bracelet that I bought for my wife until I opened the package. Another detail that disconcerted me was that the envelope did not weight more than 25 grams, but to my surprise the envelope contained the bracelet. At that moment it occurred to me at that I shouldn’t give it to her because she would make a mockery of me for having bought her such an ugly gift. But as I am so brave I gave it to her anyways, asking her this question, “Do you remember the bracelet that you liked on Amazon?” Upon seeing it, she said “What a piece of junk; it looks like a toy”. She was right.
Frankly, I consider that they are doing a disservice to their marketplace and all of the sellers who work with in it. Two weeks have passed since I shared with you my article Everyone against Amazon!, which reflects my opinion about Spanish online businesses selling through the marketplace of the American giant. Despite that, I believe that those who utilize this platform deserve more respect and should not sell their products alongside others of questionable quality. I believe this is what is just.
The beginning of a great epidemic
Also, I would like to say that the managers of Amazon still have time to prevent this from going any further. We all know how Asian manufacturers and distributors are. If they realize that some of their colleagues are having success in this venture, eventually, we will see them invade each and every line of products. Ebay has at least two weeks to make a decision now that these suppliers are on vacation until the fifth of February and completely abandon their obligations as sellers.
As proof of this encroachment, Amazon Asian suppliers have taken over the bracelets section within the jewelry category. In the bottom of the right side of the web page, where you can apply the search filter, I selected the option to «see» in the filters for vendors. From there you can see the most popular sellers listed in alphabetical order. Upon selecting the letter «A» we found a supplier in Singapore with the most oriental of names, «Caesar Augustus.” Currently, the provider only has one product for sale in the bracelets section; it is a gold bracelet elastic with spikes emulating Punk Rock style. Other sections have products as disparate as an AV iPAD cable and the Scream mask.
To see if this would happen in other letters or if it was just coincidence, I selected the letter «B» and there I found the seller from Hong Kong called Bonamart, which seems to be directed towards the western market, as it is one of the more extravagant websites. Interestingly, it also only has one product offered for sale in this section. In the other sections it has over 30 products, such as a good selection of scarves but has a strange relationship with the other items listed for sale.
Not to sound like Orson Welles’ radio adaptation of the novel War of the Worlds, which caused panic among its program listeners, but Asian sellers have come to Amazon Spain and plan to stay forever.
PS: Thanks a lot for this translation to Germán and Lizzie.