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Online purchasing from overseas becoming more popular in Vietnam20   2010-01-20 - VietNamNet/NLD

More and more Vietnamese people are making online purchases from the US because they believe it allows them to get the best quality products at original prices.


However, they have been told to be cautious when making online purchases.


Vietnamese consumers began rushing to purchase goods from the US six months ago. The economic recession in the US made prices of many kinds of products cheaper, thus stimulating the demand.


Meanwhile, having noted a higher demand by Vietnamese people for US goods, a lot of overseas Vietnam, who lost jobs in the recession, are cooperating with relatives to send goods back home via Internet.


Everything can be purchased, from medicated oil to a car


There are tens of websites advertised as selling US goods, such as,,, www.ebay,, and


Some are set up as company websites, while others have been developed by individuals only. The websites administrators, in fact, are just brokers.


The brokers, after receiving requests from Vietnamese consumers, will make their orders with the US suppliers and then take delivery and send them to Vietnam.  There, their relatives receive the goods and hand them over to local consumers


Nguoi Lao dong, who contacted a broker in the US, said that six months ago, his website only had a few visitors per day. Now it has hundreds of thousands per month with one third of them placing orders.


In order to purchase goods from the US, besides paying money in accordance with the quoted products’ prices, consumers will have to pay additional fees such as transport, tax and a service fee.  These are usually 15-30 percent of the total values of the orders.


Risks warning


However, a lot of consumers complain that they have been overcharged. Some products are cheap in the US, but are no longer cheap after taxes and fee are added.


Analysts have also warned that not every website is reliable for online payment. Huynh Ngoc Minh in Ba Dinh district in Hanoi said that she lost 10 million dong from her account when she purchased a box of medicine for growing hair at 1.4 million dong. She said that she could not make any appeal in this case, because the website was registered in the US.


Tran Tuyet Lan, who runs a website in the US, also said that the purchases are carried out based on mutual confidence, while, in the end, service providers are just brokers.


Other customers complain that products are not always as good as advertised.


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