ezbuy ends services with Taobao

Local site faced delivery woes amid row with China giant

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

Local e-commerce site ezbuy has stopped offering its Buy-For-Me services with Chinese e-commerce giant Taobao temporarily.

The Singapore firm confirmed this in response to The Straits Times queries. For more than a month, 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 the other retailers with whom ezbuy still has dealings.

A spokesman for ezbuy said 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 on other popular China e-commerce sites such as JD.com (Jing Dong) and Mogujie are available," said the spokesman.

The company was 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. Taobao retorted by labelling ezbuy's act of creating accounts to buy items from Taobao and reselling them "scalping".

The conflict led to a huge backlog of orders placed on ezbuy for Taobao purchases that were part of the 11.11 Singles' Day campaign. The backlog has been cleared now, said an e-mail ezbuy sent to users.

Its 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 had left many customers disgruntled, leading many to seek other options, such as another local agent, SGshop, which has seen considerable growth since the saga began. SGshop chief executive officer Lai Xin said his site has seen more than 10 times the number of transactions than before.

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

Correction note: The story has been edited for clarity.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 19, 2017, with the headline ezbuy ends services with Taobao. Subscribe