nline markets, which were once the favorite destinations for amateur merchants, have become less bustling as many merchants have left the virtual markets.
Virtual booths gobble up too much money
The common thing of the domestic online markets such as Chodientu, 5giay, Muare or Vatgia, is that there is a wide range of products and service available.
For example, if someone needs the products and services for infants, he would find on the websites diversified products and services, from the baby bath service to different products for children, or even the education programs, from popular and low cost ones to high grade ones.
Hoa Le, a merchant on 5giay market, said that it is very easy and free of charge to register a booth on the websites. However, it is very costly to maintain operation on the networks.
The costs to maintain the operation that merchants have to pay include the expenses on maintaining topics and booths on the website, posting their products and introducing the products to consumers.
Le said that it takes her 10 million dong a month to maintain the virtual booths on five websites. The increasing fees for “online retail premises” have made many merchants shrink from difficulties and rethink their e-commerce plan.
Le Binh, a merchant who is running a glass shop on Muare, complained: “As there are too many goods owners, your sales topics would be going down to the next pages of the websites.” Meanwhile, consumers do not have the habit of looking for products and services on the next pages, and they only consider the items on the home or first pages.
Therefore, Binh said, in order to make the products salable, one would have to spend additional money so as to see his topics on the first pages.
With 5giay market, every SMS sent to push the topics to the wanted positions costs 1000 dong, while the cost is 200 dong per push at Muare. However, with Muare, the number of pushes is limited.
Hoang Minh, who is a merchant on Muare, specializing in trading branded goods, said that since the administration board applied new fee policy, his online marketing costs have increased sharply.
“I have to spend 200,000 a day on the expenses, or 6 million dong a month. These do not include the shooting fees or Internet fees,” he said.
On other online markets, the fees merchants have to pay are calculated on the volume of goods posted on the websites. Besides, merchants also have to pay fees to be labeled as “prestigious booths.” This may cost 2-10 million dong a month.
Thu Thanh, an office worker, who is also an amateur online merchant, said that the sky high fees make amateur business unprofitable. Therefore, Thanh has decided to cut down expenses on ads and focus on retailing to earn modest money.
Online merchants not protected
While merchants still have to pay fees to be able to maintain their booths, they are not protected by the law in case of disputes.
Quynh Trang, a merchant, said that she sells high end products and she can show documents proving the origin of the products. She also pays high to be able to use VIP booth. Meanwhile, other shops, which sell counterfeit low quality products, are using the images of Trang’s goods to advertise for their products.
Tran said she complained about this to the board of administration. However, she did not get any reply except an oral message that the involved parties must negotiate to settle their problems themselves, while the board of administration will not intervene the cases.