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Names Daigou, Overseas personal shopper[1], Professional shopper[1]
Occupation type
Activity sectors
Fields of
Related jobs
Personal shopper

Daigou (Chinese: 代购 dàigòu (English: /ˈdˈɡ/); also 海外代购 hǎiwài dàigòu)[2], Overseas personal shopper[1] is a channel of commerce in which a person outside of China purchases commodities (mainly luxury goods but also groceries) for a customer in mainland China,[1][3] since prices for luxury goods can be 30 to 40 percent higher in China than abroad.[4] The phrase means "buying on behalf of".[5][6] Daigou sales across sectors total $15 billion annually.[7] In 2014 the value of the daigou business just in luxury goods increased from CN¥55 billion to CN¥75 billion yuan (USD $8.8 billion to $12 billion).[8]

Daigou purchases are often from luxury brand boutiques in major fashion cities like Paris, London, New York City, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul. Some daigou operators use Weibo and WeChat to communicate with their clients.[9] The large demand for daigou service is due to concern over unsafe products, especially food safety problems,[10] and China's high import tariffs on luxury goods.[9] Some daigou service providers intentionally sell counterfeit made-in-China products that have been altered to appear purchased abroad.[11] A 2015 survey of Chinese online luxury shoppers found that 35% have used daigou to purchase luxury goods online, while only 7% used the website of the brand they are buying, or think they are buying.[12] Approximately 80% of Chinese luxury purchases are made abroad.[13] Asian-American sales associates at Macy's Herald Square sued Macy's for racial discrimination in September 2017, alleging that store managers instructed sales associates not to sell more than one unit to any single Asian customer, and that they were fired when they spoke up about the alleged discrimination.[14]

The daigou business is thriving in Australia and the government has also shown its support to recognize the job-creating potential of this grey industry.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Parker, Pamela (16 March 2018). "How to become a professional shopper". BBC.com. 
  2. ^ Hunt, Katie (August 19, 2014). "Shoppers or smugglers? China cracks down on 'daigou' boom". CNN. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  3. ^ Chitrakorn, Kati (9 April 2014). "'Daigou' Agents Help Chinese Get Luxury Goods for Less". businessoffashion.com. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  4. ^ Menendez, Enrique (February 18, 2016). "Missed Opportunity: China's Neglected Domestic Travellers". businessoffashion.com. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  5. ^ Owens, Susan (July 1, 2015). "FROM DAIGOU TO DIGITAL: LUXURY EXECUTIVES WEIGH IN ON BIGGEST CHINA CHALLENGES". Jing Daily (精日传媒). Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  6. ^ Lee, Terence (November 16, 2012). "Daigou, a novel e-commerce business model, is an intriguing Chinese export". businessoffashion.com. Retrieved October 28, 2016. 
  7. ^ Buchwald, Brian; Neckes, Joshua (August 15, 2014). "Op-Ed | Alibaba's Catch-22". businessoffashion.com. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  8. ^ Chitrakorn, Kati (February 5, 2016). "Can China End the Illicit 'Daigou' Trade?". businessoffashion.com. Retrieved October 28, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Zhu, Julie (February 23, 2014). "Online agents cut luxury bills for Chinese buyers". Financial Times. Retrieved 2014-08-17. 
  10. ^ "中国食品安全问题现状、原因及对策 中国食品安全现状" [The phenomenon, reasons and solutions of food safety problems in China]. Baidu (in Chinese). August 26, 2013. 
  11. ^ Sim, Shuan (April 8, 2014). "China's Sketchy 'Daigou' Luxury Market Is A Hotbed For Fakes". jingdaily.com. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  12. ^ Solca, Luca (16 April 2015). "Digital China Leaving Ostrich Brands Behind". businessoffashion.com. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  13. ^ Denis, Pascale; Wendlandt, Astrid (6 April 2016). Holmes, David, ed. "Luxury Market Growth Will Hit Low Point in 2016, Forecasts Bain". businessoffashion.com. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  14. ^ Kimberly Yam, Former Macy’s Employees Sue Company For Allegedly Racially Profiling Asian Shoppers huffingtonpost.com 09/19/2017

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