Coupons offer way to enjoy delicacy
Updated: 2011-09-11 07:46
By Yang Yijun (China Daily)
SHANGHAI - Hairy crabs from Yangcheng Lake will be absent from Mid-Autumn Festival reunion dinners, but "crab coupons" are considered a decent gift for the festival, which falls on Sept 12 this year.
When the hairy crabs are available after Sept 17, customers who have the vouchers will only have to make a phone call and live crabs, packed in a gift box and wrapped in ice bags, will be delivered to their home.
An online hairy crab store on taobao.com, one of China's major online shopping websites, launched a group purchase of coupons for three types of Yangcheng Lake hairy crab packages from Aug 26 to 28. The crabs were sold at a much cheaper price than that in supermarkets. For instance, a four-pair package, which is normally priced at 968 yuan ($151.6), was sold for just 299 yuan in the online store.
Within three minutes of taobao.com's launch of hairy crab group purchasing, the sales volume reached 1 million yuan and the total reached nearly 14 million yuan by Aug 28, according to zjol.com.cn, a major information portal in Zhejiang province.
"It's the first time that I have bought hairy crab coupons," said an online store owner surnamed Wu, who bought a 299 yuan package.
Wu, from Shenyang, the capital of Northeast China's Liaoning province, said she wants to try authentic hairy crabs from Yangcheng Lake.
Apart from online stores, many hairy crab shops have also been busy selling crab coupons.
An employee at the Xiangdexie crab store said they had received orders two weeks ahead of the Mid-Autumn Festival.
"Many of our customers are corporate customers who buy the coupons as gifts for their clients. We offer discounts for large orders."
"I usually buy mooncake coupons for my clients. But this year I am buying hairy crab coupons for VIP clients. Hairy crabs, which are more expensive than mooncakes, show our sincerity. And more people will prefer crabs than mooncakes," said Xu Yongda, a businessman in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province.
Yang Weilong, director of the Yangcheng Lake Crab Association in Suzhou, said when customers receive the crabs, they should first check if they are alive. He added that customers can also examine if the crabs are really from Yangcheng Lake by calling or sending a text message to a designated number to check the serial number on the anti-fake mark on the crabs.