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New Breed Of Parallel Importers Essay

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The Straits Times (Singapore) May 16, 2011 Monday

A new breed of parallel importers
BYLINE: Tan Soo Jiuan , FOR THE STRAITS TIMES SECTION: REVIEW - OTHERS LENGTH: 881 words

IT SEEMS that these days, authorised distributors are a sandwiched breed, thanks to a market phenomenon called grey marketing. Grey marketing, commonly known as parallel importing, is the import and selling of genuine goods through marketing channels other than those of the authorised distributors. The parallel importer sources his products from resellers in other markets, and introduces a channel of distribution that rivals the authorised distribution channel in the market of sale. ...view middle of the document...

But in Singapore, retailers and online auctioneers have been selling the corresponding models for between $900 and $2,400, although the product was available in Asia only from late last month. The buyers of these higher-priced parallel imports are obviously of a different breed from the buyers of parallel imports of yore. Said the owner of a shop selling parallel imports in Hong Kong: 'Those who want to buy it (the parallel imports) are not going to look at price.' He claimed that many of his customers are mainland Chinese 'who want to impress their girlfriends or give it to business associates'.

Page 2 A new breed of parallel importers The Straits Times (Singapore) May 16, 2011 Monday

Where once parallel import buyers were out to save money, the new breed is prepared to fork out more for the bragging rights of owning a new gadget ahead of others in their territory. Buyers of some types of parallel imports are prepared to take the risk of buying from unauthorised channels for an attractive discount. But the second group of parallel imports - such as gadgets and high-tech products - attract buyers who are willing to pay a higher price and buy from unauthorised channels just to get the new product ahead of others. These buyers are either innovators or early adopters who are genuinely interested in trying out new things, or those who simply want to impress others by being the first to own a coveted product. Manufacturers and authorised distributors, especially the latter group, are not amused at the appearance of low-priced parallel imports in their sales territories. Said Mr Wolfgang Huppenbauer, president and chief executive of Daimler South East Asia, which makes the Mercedes- Benz cars: 'We are not happy as it is lost revenue for us. We lose money on the dealer and wholesale side.' Many authorised distributors have been prompted to take measures ranging from negative...

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