Over the past five years, as luxury-goods prices continue to soar, many Chinese consumers have been shocked by the eye-popping price tags. Luxury giant Louis Vuitton raised its global prices on accessories by as much as 12 percent in 2013, and increased them by 4 percent on leather goods in China in November, according to a report on Guangzhou Daily. The report also states that there have been rumors about another upcoming wave of price hikes on overseas online shopping platform Haitao, although boutiques in Guangzhou claimed they haven’t received any information on that from the Louis Vuitton corporate office.
According to the report, spreading price increase rumors have now become sellers’ new marketing tactic on Haitao. They have been taking part in a practice of telling price-sensitive customers that “price hikes usually happen during a certain period of time every year.” In order to entice buyers to snap up their LV bags at the current price while they still have a chance, they post pictures of their products with claims that they’re the only items left. However, every seller seems to give different dates for LV’s official price increase—meaning that these sellers likely aren’t as in-the-know as they claim to be. One seller’s message on the site reads:
“The official current price for the bag is 11,200 yuan, dear. We also have one rose-colored one in stock and it is our last one. Dear, act fast and get it at 10,900 yuan before the price increases. ”
In the report, an interviewed Haitao customer named “Miss Xia” was shocked when she inquired about prices from purchasing agents.
“All the purchasing agents were telling me about the upcoming price increase in Europe. Some said by 7 percent, and others 10 percent. Many asked me to act fast and purchase the only ones left at ‘before’ prices. It was difficult to tell whether it was true.”
In the report, a seller stated that spreading the news of price hikes can effectively stimulate consumers to make purchasing decisions. “Local consumers are not sensitive to the price change in overseas markets; therefore, instead of trying to validate whether the rumor is true, they immediately begin to calculate and compare the before and increased prices.” As seen on Haitao, price hikes have become a new tactic to lure consumers into making quick decisions.