Many stores on Alibaba, Taobao, and TMall didn’t actually offer any discount during the Singles’ Day shopping extravaganza, and instead just slapped a “50% off” tag onto their full-priced merchandize, Caijing reports. Others report that the best discounts were offered on the lowest-stocked goods, thereby attracting a lot of attention yet immediately selling out.
It’s not really a scandal, more of just an asshole-move by many online shop owners, as Caijing details:
Online shoppers, however, discovered that many of the stores sold goods at roughly pre-holiday prices despite with attractive discounts advertising while others complained that some items on the promotion list were quickly taken off shelves.
“I feel like I was being fooled,” said a consumer who had been waiting for hours to buy a promoted item but only founded it being pulled off shelves seconds into the event.
An online store owner said the tricks are commonly-used among over 30,000 retailers took part in yesterday’s event as they worried over big losses under hefty discounts. […]
“Alibaba does get a surge in traffic, and the transaction data that comes with it, helping entrench its lead over smaller retail platforms,” said John Foley, Reuters Breakingviews columnist.
“For a company that aims to be the world’s biggest data platform, user traffic may be more valuable than cash anyway.”
Offering huge sales and then failing to deliver can, apparently, still draw in huge traffic numbers. Singles’ Day was China’s biggest e-commerce day ever, and has solidified the Alibaba Group as completely dominant in China’s online shopping, if they weren’t already. They just happen to be conniving dicks about it.