Taobao sells 205 Benzes in just over three hours

Taobao sells 205 Benzes in just over three hours

Mercedes-Benz expected to sell 205 cars in 21 days. Instead it took 3.5 hours, using the power of group online shopping
Mercedes-Benz smart car sold on Taobao.com
Look for 205 more of these Mercedes-Benz smart cars on the roads in China thanks to the power of Chinese group shopping.

Chinese group shopping sites (团购网, tuangou wang) have been known to get people discount massages and half-price meals, but Taobao.com just took the competition up a notch this week, selling 205 Mercedes-Benz smart cars in three and a half hours.

This group purchase on Taobao.com, China's largest online retailer, set a price record for a single deal in the shortest time span.

Those who committed to purchasing a hard-top Benz smart car, with an original price of RMB 176,000, received a RMB 40,000 discount with the group purchase, and had to put just under RMB 1,000 down to reserve their purchase. 

The first car was sold after 24 seconds, 55 cars were sold after six minutes and 205 cars were gone after three and a half hours, according to People’s Daily.

“This is an astonishing surprise for Mercedes-Benz as the initial plan for the Chinese online group buying campaign was for it to stretch over 21 days, but in the end all 205 cars were sold out in slightly over three hours,” said the company’s release.

According to Mercedes-Benz, on average the company sees one car sold in China every day.

Although group shopping sites in China tend to keep prices below RMB 100 to attract the most customers, this sale showed that China’s growing affluent class are looking for more than a cheap lunch or home appliance deals.

This past March, Taobao itself opened a platform called "Juhuasuan," the platform where the cars were sold, offering group deals on home appliances, food and clothing. Most prices are below RMB 100.