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Shangby is an innovative shopping service that allows Western shoppers to buy items from China, which are considerably cheaper than their counterparts in the United States. The firm, based in Austin, Texas and Shanghai, China, allows users to sign up for “shopping events”, where through a live video feed, they can follow a Shangby shopping guide through jewelry stores in Shanghai. One of the users, a “Shangbuyer”, is picked by the site to lead the shopping excursion, and can direct the shopping guide and the video crew to zoom in on certain items and haggle for prices. These videos are posted on the site for all users to view, and all items examined by the Shangbuyer are available to purchase at the same price (Shangby employees return to stores to buy and ship the items). The site maintains an inventory of all items examined on shopping events.
The basis of Shangby’s appeal is the fact that items that are under $1000 in the US are normally 5 to 10 times cheaper in China, while items over $1000 are 2 to 5 times cheaper in China. The site only deals with reputable merchants that sell non-branded merchandise. Shangby collects a handling charge of 15% per purchase, and a shipping fee of $30 for every purchase under $400.