When it comes to group buying daily deal sites, two key things that influence your decision to buy now is how many other people have bought the deal and how much time you have left. Obviously if you wanted a deal and thought it was going to run out soon, you would of course make the decision to buy it now.
In China it is widely known that many of these group-buying sites manipulate some of these numbers to persuade potential customers to buy as soon as possible. Although many people have come to accept this practice as normal, some group buying sites diligently try to defend their reputation and gain respect from the public. So much so that some group-buying sites explicitly say their numbers are genuine and not misleading.
The example below is from Noumi.com, one of the largest group buying daily deal sites in China. If you look at the yellow box, it translates to “True sales number. We never fake sales numbers.”
Under Noumi.com’s commitment section, they try to assure people their deals are totally legitimate with nice badges of authenticity. How can you not trust the badge?
I’m not sure if fair trading law exists in China, that says ‘you must not mislead’ customers, but until there is one that is successfully implemented and enforced, I guess all we can believe is the shiny badge of approval.
We commented before that Groupon China should understand how to run the business and be localized in China. The Fake-Number culture is obviously something they need think over.