Daigou (代购) or cross-border exporting is a thing?

Have you ever heard about Daigou business? Daigou is a Chinese word meaning “buying on behalf of”, the past years it has become quite a business for Chinese living abroad. The product being Daigoued varies from mild powder to luxury bags. Daigou can be done legally or illegally.

I’ve been living in Europe for almost 10 years now, I’ve never done either profitable Daigou thing or just Daigou for friends or family. I had some friends asking me to buy them something tho, they soon stopped asking knowing I won’t bother.

I admit I’m not so “helpful” in such, main reason is often I’m lazy to carry stuff. If it’s some luxury goods, I don’t have much liquid fiat money to buy, if it’s just some small things like milk powder, makeups, can much more expensive can it get if you just buy it from some import shops, seems quite inefficient asking me to buy it anyway.

The other day a friend of mine who’s running a luxury bag Daigou business texted me asking if I have some free time to check out if some certain bags are in stock. Due to the virus, there’re far fewer customers in major European cities, making it much easier to buy bags of popular colors and popular models. I was explained that for a mid-range bag (2000ish euro) I will earn 200-ish euro just as a middle person.

By middle person I mean I don’t even have to send it to China, all I need to do is going to the shop, speaking Dutch or French (friend told me that a lot of shops don’t like Daigou, as they prefer to sell to locals), buy the bag and gave the bag to someone who manage to send it to China.

I was quite surprised how much profit this Daigou business can make tbh. If I can earn 200 euro just as a middle person… How much more expensive can it be if you buy it in China anyway, maybe most popular bags can’t be found in China I guess? Maybe the tax for luxury goods is really that high? I have no idea.

I haven’t accepted the offer yet, main reason is I don’t really like the vibes of those shops, even just staying there for 5-10 minutes buying bags makes me uncomfortable somehow (can never become one of those fancy girls I guess lol).

Probably most Daigou business is kind of smuggling, but that I don’t care much, taxation for such doesn’t make much sense anyway, if no such taxation, there also won’t be Daigou business right? Plus Daigou is really in grey zone. Still, I don’t think I’d get involved in it because I’m dang lazy and anti-social lol.

Have a good weekend.