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Teachers' Day dilemma for parents and students alike

By Wang Hongyi (China Daily)

10:27, September 10, 2012

A flower shop owner in Nanjing, capital city of Jiangsu province, showing her well-packaged bundles of flowers and expecting good business a few days ahead of the country's Teachers' Day. (China Daily/Xu Fei)

With the arrival of Teachers' Day, which falls on Sept 10 in China, businessmen have seen a new round of fortune-making opportunities as Chinese parents painstakingly pick suitable gifts for their children's educators.

At Taobao.com, one of the most popular consumer-to-consumer platforms in China, more than 100 new web pages have been set up with more than 4,000 links listed when searching gifts for Teachers' Day. The price of these presents ranges from less than 3 yuan to 15,000 yuan ($2,362). Gifts priced around 100 yuan sell best.

Chen Jiangshan, 25, is the owner of an online gift shop that sells soap in the shape of flowers. A heart-shaped box of 24 rose-like soaps costs just 36 yuan.

His store was swamped with orders one week ahead of Teachers' Day. Some 600 to 700 gifts have been selling daily.

Last week is usually the peak time for selling teachers' gifts. The seven days' sale volume rises 200 percent compared with a normal day, he said.

"Most of the gifts were bought by students' parents whose children are at kindergartens or primary schools," said Chen.

"The aroma can relieve the intensive pressure teachers are under so the soaps are fashionable," he said.

Similar trends are evident elsewhere. Another Beijing-based online shop for personalized combs is promoting Teachers' Day.

The boss of the shop, Yang Yonggang, 32, said the week before Teachers' Day sees the most sales with a volume more than the average amount for half a month.

The shop's star product is a comb made of ebony and horn that costs 88 yuan. The owner said products for Teachers' Day have been best sellers since the shop was opened two years ago. Although the price is not cheap, many customers return because they provide personalized services.

"What is attractive is that you can order an inscription for it," said Yang.

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