Artman Talks

Exploring the currents of modern China

Tuangou, group buying, and online rental with Anatole Faykin

This week Artman talks with Anatole Faykin about renting Gucci bags and the group buying market in China.

Anatole Faykin is founder of Tuanpin.com, one of the many thousands of group buying sites here in China.

Audio after the jump.

My main interest in getting Anatole was his new venture Meibao.com, an idea that began as way to rent luxury bags.  But, as we discuss, this doesn’t turn out to be a very feasible business model. And so, because Meibao is only beginning, we talk about what Anatole is currently doing with Tuanpin.com and the larger trends in the group buying market.

My conclusion is perhaps a little cliche: “The flame that burns brightest” and all that.  We saw an explosion in the group buying market just over a year ago and already its cooled off.

Anatole predicts the death of the stand-alone group buying sites with deal aggregators and other content producers incorporating these deals into their already existing site and obviating traffic to sites like Lashou or Nuomi.

Another problem highlighted is cash flow.  Customers give you money, you give the money over time to your partners.  However, if you’re not growing aggressively, you’re not going to have enough cash moving around.  Not exactly a sustainable model.

Have a listen and let me know what you think in the comments below.

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