5 More Overrated Foreign Brands that Chinese Love (Part II)

5 More Overrated Foreign Brands that Chinese Love (Part II)
Apr 13, 2016 Translated by eChinacities.com

Editor's Note: Whether it's because they are looking to Westernize or to avoid cheap Made in China products, Chinese shoppers are paying a lot for foreign products. Sometimes too much. Of course, foreign products are more expensive here because of taxes, duties and distribution fees, however many are paying luxury prices for clothing and other products that are not luxury quality. The translated article lists brands that people are paying too much for.

Chinese tourists love to shop while abroad. However, not all foreign brands are created equal, and some of the brands that Chinese tourists flock to are not as luxurious as they claim to be. I’ve listed five overrated foreign brands that Chinese people love in Part I of this article. Here are five more brands that make the list:

1) Coach Bags
Coach has become extremely popular in China, especially with its huge flagship store in Shanghai. I went to the Coach store last week and tried on a skirt and a dress. Then, I looked at the label: Made in China. I sighed. How has Coach become so expensive?

My friend, who is a fan of Louis Vuitton, said that Coach’s strategy is to set up a store near an LV store. Coach is a bit cheaper than LV, so shoppers are more likely to buy bags and clothing from Coach when the two are compared side by side.

Coach has also become a brand for mothers- who love the large, flashy logos. (I’ll confess, I’ve bought a Coach bag for my mom before). Regardless of the price, moms seem to love their Coach bags!

If you are going to buy Coach bags abroad the best plan is to go to an outlet store. They bags do look good, but are only worth it if you can get one for cheap.

2) Ionic Hair Dryers
Many Chinese women claim that ionic hair dryers make their hair smoother, and that the dryers are better for their hair. Ionic hair dryers generate negative ions, which help water particles evaporate faster which helps hair better retain moisture.

Ionic hair dryers do not seem to be that different than normal hair dryers, but cost many times more. Many reviews say that ionic hair dryers are very similar to cheap normal hair dryers. However, articles online boast the power of ionic hair dryers and the science behind them.
I would do your research before spending thousands of Yuan on an ionic hair dryer. There are so many good options for cheap regular hair dryers!

3) Swarovski
Swarovski crystals advertise themselves as well-made, patented and luxurious. A lot of people in China see Swarovski crystals as a luxury item or fancy gift. However, Swarovski actually uses fake artificial crystals in their products. On top of this, the price is about the same in China as abroad.

4) Haagen-Dazs
Haagen-Dazs is not as fancy in other countries as it is in China. The ice cream is seen as high-end and is really expensive in China: that’s why Chinese people get really excited when they serve it on airplanes in economy class.

There are not many Haagen-Dazs stores abroad, and more than a dozen in Shanghai alone. The ice cream is expensive and it is definitely not the best. Ben & Jerry’s is a lot better!

Skip the Haagen-Dazs when you are abroad- there are so many better ice creams and desserts out there. Try real Italian Gelato! For brand name ice cream check out Paris-based Berthillon and Giolitti in Rome.

5) North American Vitamins
Many Chinese tourists purchase vitamins and supplements in North America. Popular choices include calcium, fish oil, and herbal supplements. I don’t have a huge problem with this, but you should be careful when buying vitamins overseas.

In the past, Costco was called out online for selling calcium gummies for kids that were full of sugar. The supplements were recalled throughout Canada. Parents were shocked that they had given their kids a “healthy,” product that was basically candy. Even, health products purchased abroad are often not 100% trustworthy.

Source: QQ News

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Keywords: foreign brands China Haagen-Daz's overpay


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This foreign brand bashing is tiresome. There's a reason why companies hire foreigners to sit at their Chinese factories and oversee the production. If they leave the Chinese to it the quality has a drastic drop. Chinese society and culture is built around the idea that cheaper is better and that scamming someone is a good thing. Most western countries are built around the idea that quality is better and having a good reputation is a good thing. Western society hasn't always been this way they changed over time. Just like Japan and Korea have. China as ever are 30 years behind.

Apr 14, 2016 21:39 Report Abuse



Fack off is Ben and Jerry's better than Haagen-Dazs.

Apr 14, 2016 21:27 Report Abuse



I feel sorry for Chinese consumers as they get the rough end of the stick, firstly there’s the distrust of the domestic brands such as quality, ingredients etc, secondly the foreign brands that are in China cost more than they do outside of the country. That’s why we see so many Chinese visitors buying so much stuff in other countries because A it’s cheaper and B they trust it’s source. It’s down to strategy by the brands listed in the article, (plus history and reputation), a smart move on their part and they are reaping the benefits. Chinese brands are playing catch up at the moment. Domestic brands can only appeal to the low income or patriotic group.

Apr 14, 2016 19:12 Report Abuse



These fads will wear off soon. But it's a lengthy process to open a country up to the world and bring 400 million people out of poverty. It's probably still the fastest changing country on the planet.

Apr 14, 2016 16:09 Report Abuse



I can't believe after 15 years in China, THIS is still the go to excuse for the lack of supervision and corporate ethics here. Sure its hard to help 400 million poor people when all the country's enormous wealth is so centralized. That's just common greed and selfishness.

Apr 21, 2016 17:55 Report Abuse



The real scandel is that a lot of the good quality products from abroad are made in China. This shows they can make good quality products but it is more profitable for the factory owners to produce low quality goods and the Chinese just accept it.

Apr 13, 2016 17:16 Report Abuse



Chinese are flocking to these brands not to be 'westernized' or gain face but because they're still much better quality than anything made in China. Instead of showing your inferiority complex and bashing anything foreign, why not look at yourselves, improve your own products first and stop trying to drag others down to your level. Only then will people have any faith in Chinese made products. To give you an example, I've bought maybe four pairs of Chinese dress shoes in the last five years because they wore out so quickly. I figured with the money I spent,I could have invested in just one pair of good, band name shoes. I now have a pair of Windsor Smiths and I think with proper care, they'll last for many years.

Apr 13, 2016 14:05 Report Abuse



Totally agree! I had a pair of shoes from the UK and they lasted 7 years. I took them to a cobbler here in China and he was amazed by the quality. When I finally replaced them with Chinese shoes they lasted 6 months. Now I always have to replace my shoes after 6 months. Luckly I bought some shoes when I last visited my hometown so shouldn't have to worry about shoes for a while.

Apr 13, 2016 17:14 Report Abuse



The purpose of this BS article is to try a trash foreign brands. They don't back up anything with facts or actual individual experiences. Here's my experience with a popular Chinese brand hair dryer. I bought it for my wife, a few weeks later I noticed the plastic melting around the nozzle. Went out and bought a Philips which was about 50% more and now 2 years later no problem. People buy foreign brands because foreigners can take a company to task for something simple (see your own Costco example) but I China individuals have no legal reprieve for something serious. The end result, go with foreign brands because do you want your hair dryer to catch fire after a month?

Apr 13, 2016 13:44 Report Abuse



Have you ever bought anything from any of the brands actually mentioned and not felt you were being ripped off? The author is spot on about Hagen Daaz being ridiculously overpriced when there is much better ice cream available.

Apr 15, 2016 16:44 Report Abuse



coach bags are better than old bags

Apr 13, 2016 12:27 Report Abuse



coach bags?: grumpy middle-aged women on buses

Apr 13, 2016 12:17 Report Abuse



"Even, health products purchased abroad are often not 100% trustworthy". Interesting sentence to finish on. The difference between that example and examples of untrustworthy products in China is the costco item contained some sugar and it was recalled. In China faultly products are never recalled and in the case with the tainted milk many people died. Recently I received an email from the makers of a car babyseat I bought in the UK. It said that I must stop using it in the less than 18kg setting as there was a design fault with the harness. I was given a complete refund and didn't need to return the product. My Chinese wife couldn't believe this and told her parents who were equally amazed. She asked me "why would they do that? They will lose money?". I explained that firstly they didn't want any children to die and secondly to try and maintain their reputation as a trustworthy company. China if you want people to buy Chinese products then improve them instead of slandering other countries products.

Apr 13, 2016 10:00 Report Abuse



Typical herd behaviour...an authoritarian system lends itself well to consumer culture/brand loyalty.

Apr 13, 2016 05:17 Report Abuse