Group buying sucks, well at least in Hong Kong. Group buying companies find products from wholesalers and retailers at a discounted price and sell them on their prettified website for a advertising fee and a commission. Retailers can use the website to promote their stuff and reach a wider audience. A great idea! Except, as a consumer, I am not happy.
1. They do not notify you when products are out of stock. You will travel all the way to a industrial neighborhood that isn’t really close to anything and wait in line as everyone else is also there to redeem their purchases after work. It’s finally your turn and the employee there tells you that it’s out of stock. So you’ve waste your time traveling there and back, waiting in line, and more importantly, you did not get what you came for. You will need to come again when it’s in stock. When is it in stock again? They don’t know. Do not get a gift or anything you need for a certain date. You will probably not get it. How hard is it to call up people and tell them not to make the effort to come to be let down? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
2. Their products may not be genuine. There has been many cases of fake products. Fake tech gadgets, fake beauty products, fake designer fashion handbags, and who knows what else. Sure if you can tell the difference you can take it back and maybe they will offer you a refund. It’s not just the matter of money, but also the feeling that you’ve been cheated, and of course going through all the trouble at their redemption centre all over again.
3. You’re not buying what they’re selling. Ok, I know there are always fine print attached to coupons. You go to a restaurant and right at the bottom of the menu it will probably say, photos are for reference only. So you’ve been warned that when the dish you ordered comes to the table, it’s not going to look exactly like that. Fine. But when you buy a buffet coupon for a hotel, you go and realize that all the things you thought you were going to get (because they said they had it) would be there, isn’t. The quality of their products are so below average. I have purchased a charging wire for my iPhone and had to exchange it for a new one twice and finally return it because it didn’t work after not even one day.
A few reasons why group buying is a piece of shit. Don’t be fooled and get lured into buying something because it’s “discounted”, you will more than likely end up with an unpleasant experience.