It is estimated that daigou (as grey market substitute shoppers or parallel importers are known in China) sold more than 28 million yuan ($4.3 million) worth of luxury handbags, from Gucci’s Marmont to Celine’s Box, Loewe’s Puzzle, Balenciaga’s Hourglass and Prada’s Hobo.
The latest Daigou Index Report from Re-Hub, conducted in February, over the major annual shopping occasions Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day, used AI to track the 28,000 daigou listings and sales of these five iconic handbag styles on sale via Alibaba’s Taobao platform.
It found that 77 percent of identified daigou listings were for products shipped from overseas, rather than from within China. Of the styles of handbags tracked for this study, Gucci’s Marmont bag was by far the biggest seller, with 1,980 bags sold for a total value of 12.5 million yuan ($1.92 million).
As luxury brands increase their e-commerce presence in China, in order to reach the country’s younger consumers, they find themselves directly competing with daigou sellers, who have long done the bulk of their trade online.