Taobao sells 205 Benzes within 3.5 hours

16:30, September 14, 2010      

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On Sept. 9, a successful group purchase, during which 205 Mercedes-Benz cars were sold out within three and half an hours, was finished through Taobao.com, China's largest e-retailer, according to China News Services on Tuesday. This group purchase made a new record for the high prices in one deal over the shortest time.

The page of Taobao.com shows on Sept. 9 that a Benz smart car with a hard top, originally sold at 176,000 yuan, would receive a 40,000 yuan discount through an online group purchase, with a limit of 200 cars.

The prices were divided into three grades. When the number of purchases reached 50, the price dropped to 167,000 yuan. When the number reached 200, the limit, the price went down further 135,000 yuan, 33 percent less than the original price. The customers only had to pay 999 yuan as a deposit to place the order.

When this online purchase was launched on Sept. 9, the event was very popular among customers. The first car was sold after 24 seconds, 55 cars after six minutes and 205 cars after three and a half hours. The event ended 21 days in advance.

But what kind of price is suitable for group purchase? Prices for group purchases of dinners at restaurants and hotels generally should not exceed 100 yuan or they will not attract customers, Shen Boyang, from nomi.com, a group purchase website under the China InterActive Corp., told National Business Daily. Goods with a large discount and low price easily attract consumers.

An online platform called "Juhuasuan," or very cheap, was opened this March on Taobao. It contains cheap consumer goods, such as home appliances, food and clothing, and most are set at 100 yuan or less.

Insiders from "Juhuasuan" told reporters from the National Business Daily that this group purchase of Benzes is more emphasized on marketing effects. The platform will not transfer to high-end group purchases.

While, Geely, which finished an acquisition of Ford's Volvo with 1.8 billion US dollars, plans to sell its cars through Taobao.com at the beginning of next year, according to Yang Xueliang, spokesperson from the company.

By Liang Jun, People's Daily Online

(Editor:梁军)

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