Date
16 October 2017
Some parallel traders have taken the mooncakes across the border in order to earn extra profits by leveraging the difference in the cross-border exchange rate.  Photo: HKEJ
Some parallel traders have taken the mooncakes across the border in order to earn extra profits by leveraging the difference in the cross-border exchange rate. Photo: HKEJ

Parallel traders hoard mooncakes, drive up prices

Maxim’s egg custard mooncake coupons have sold out twice and are being snapped up for up to 400 yuan each (HK$473) online, above its original price of HK$215.

Parallel traders have been stocking up large amounts of coupons and selling them at high prices in drugstores in Northern District, hk01.com reports.

Reporters sent by hk01.com uncovered how the same box of mooncakes has been carted through the busy streets and its price bumped up from HK$215 to as much as HK$355.

Some parallel traders have taken the product across the border in order to earn extra profits by leveraging the difference in the cross-border exchange rate.

According to hk01.com reporters, a man holding more than 100 coupons arrived with a trolley at a Maxim’s store and carted away 10 cardboard boxes of the egg custard mooncakes. The boxes contained 120 smaller boxes with eight mooncakes per carton box.

The trolley was pushed via San Hong Street to a pharmacy where it was unloaded.

For only a short walking distance of 10 minutes from a Maxim’s cake shop to the pharmacy, the price has gone up from HK$215 to HK$265, a 23 percent increase.

Along San Hong Road, pharmacies sell these mooncakes at between HK$258 and HK$280 each.

When a male reporter told a pharmacy staffer that he had several coupons for sale, he was told the pharmacy will buy them for HK$208 each.

Maxim’s employees said the first batch of mooncake coupons went for HK$215 but after it was sold out, the price rose to HK$230.

After comparing the prices of each batch of mooncake coupons, the conclusion is that each individual investor who wishes to sell his or her coupon to the pharmacy would earn just HK$8. The final buying price by the pharmacy is HK$238.

On the internet, a box of egg custard mooncakes is asking for 400 yuan.

Meanwhile, parallel traders continue to hoard mooncakes. They hire people to take them across the border via the Lok Ma Chau control point.

Each carries just two to three boxes to avoid detection by the authorities.

Across the border, along Hu Bei Lu, dozens of shops sell the mooncakes for 300 yuan.

Meanwhile, Maxim’s moved to protect consumer rights by encouraging customers to go to its branches and specific stores to buy the mooncakes.

The store has also labeled the mooncake boxes with a security code to avoid fakes. The labels can be read with a QR code scanner.

– Contact us at [email protected]

EL/BN/RA

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe