Business / Industries

Chinese luxury buyers need to change mindset

By Song Jingli ( Updated: 2012-12-05 15:05

Big spending Chinese people need to change their mindset and realize that luxury is more about culture and not only about money,attendees of the 2013 Luxury Forum in China said on Dec 1.

Wang Yao, vice president of China General Chamber of Commerce, said some Chinese feel very satisfied about saving money when they buy luxury goods overseas at much lower prices than those sold in the Chinese mainland. He said this mindset suggests that Chinese consumption of luxury is still at the stage of "showing off" and luxury purchasers may know little about the meaning behind the brand.

Ya Ding, founder of Beijing-headquartered French Wine Culture Center, the official sales representative of French chateau wine, which is endorsed by the French government, said at the forum that luxury is about culture. He took French chateau wine as an example and said each bottle of wine is"‘alive" and different producers, who are related and may live quite close to each other geographically, may produce wine that have quite different flavors.

He said a bottle of French chateau wine which costs 20 euros at the producer's may be priced 15 times higher in China and be classified and taxed as "luxury". He said that is because distributors, importers and retailers all tend to add to the price and few care about the essence and culture related to the wine.

He added that because many Chinese view the most expensive as the "best", and the demand for the "best" is high while the supply is low, fake luxury is not uncommon.

He said that people need to realize that the most expensive does not necessarily mean the best and this mindset change will reduce the over-consumption of some luxury brands overseas.

In addition, Zhao Feng, vice president of the China Duty-free Group, said that allowing Chinese people who have traveled overseas to buy goods in duty-free shops within China after returning to the country will ease Chinese people's overseas shopping sprees.

The forum was held by the UIBE•Luxury China at its five year anniversary. The center, affiliated with the University of International Business and Economics, is the first academic institution to specialize in luxury studies in China.

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