ezbuy ends its Taobao buy-for-me services, says it has cleared backlog of orders

Local e-commerce site ezbuy says its buy-for-me services from other countries such as Japan, South Korea and the United States will continue to run. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/EZBUY SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - Local e-commerce site ezbuy has stopped offering its buy-for-me services with Chinese e-commerce giant Taobao.

ezbuy confirmed this latest development in response to queries from The Straits Times. For more than a month now, it has found it difficult to deliver the Taobao orders which clients here had placed over its platform.

Shoppers here who had used ezbuy's services will either have to shop directly on Taobao, find a new agent to shop on Taobao or switch to other retailers with whom ezbuy still has dealings.

A spokesman for ezbuy said that the site will continue running its buy-for-me services from other countries such as Japan, South Korea and the United States, with the China services for Taobao rerouted to other sites. "Our China Buy-For-Me services for other popular China e-commerce sites such as JD.com (Jing Dong) and Mogujie are available," said the spokesman.

ezbuy found itself involved in a war of words with Taobao's parent, the Alibaba group, last week, after it accused the Chinese giant of bullying a small player. The Chinese company retorted by labelling ezbuy's act of creating accounts to buy items from Taobao and reselling them an act of "scalping".

The conflict between the two companies led to a huge backlog of orders placed on ezbuy for Taobao purchases on 11.11 - Singles Day. The backlog has been cleared now, according to an e-mail that ezbuy sent to its users.

The company's spokesman said: "We are happy to say that all orders from 11.11 have been successfully processed."

When asked how the site has managed to deal with the backlog, the ezbuy spokesman said: "ezbuy has opened its marketplace to attract sellers, including those from Jingdong and Mogujie, who are both top e-commerce sites in China.

"In addition, ezbuy has also recruited additional manpower and additional warehouses to handle the orders round the clock, in order to fulfil the backlogged orders."

The delay left many customers disgruntled and led many to seek alternative sites such as another local agent SGshop, which has seen considerable growth since the saga began. SGshop's chief executive officer, Mr Lai Xin, said that his site has seen more than 10 times the number of transactions than before.

He added: "Around half of the new sign-ups, which were around 9,000 to 10,000 customers, probably came from ezbuy customers coming over."

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