After two TV shopping companies have recently been caught selling copycats and airing false ads, Tuoi Tre went on to inspect similar companies and discovered more violations including smuggling goods and selling fake products at exorbitant prices.
"A TV shopping program" (For illustration only)
Though always described to have magical effects at dirt cheap prices, most products sold via TV shopping are in fact much more expensive than they should be.
An employee in the TV shopping industry attributed their astronomical prices to huge amounts spent on buying TV ad time.
This man added that the product’s actual worth is usually just 20 percent of the advertising fees.
Recently, TV shopping company H. has been selling its alleged Swiss gem-encrusted watches at VND2 million ($100) each on several TV channels.
But Tuoi Tre found out they are in fact Chinese glass-encrusted watches.
According to the product’s customs declaration, the watches are described as ‘having no brand name’ and their real value after import is just VND819,000 ($40).
This means consumers would be overcharged by VND1.7 million ($85) on every watch they buy.
Other products such as diamond necklaces and bracelets are also offered at millions of dongs while they actually cost no more than VND500,000 ($25) and are made in China.
Besides selling copycats at such skyrocketed prices, many TV shopping companies are suspected to engage in smuggling.
According to an ex-employee of a TV shopping company, most of the cosmetics, jewelries and clothes are imported from China at throwaway prices.
The companies would legally import part of the products and seek necessary licenses for them, he added.
At the same time, they would smuggle the remaining parts and use the aforementioned licenses to legalize them, he elaborated.
Two recent cases
In March, the HCMC market management unit has found Happy Shopping, a company that sells products via TV channels, to be selling copycats and products with unknown origins.
The company was also found to have aired false and misleading infomercials about low quality products.
In early July, market management authorities have also busted Viet An Trade Company to be selling copycats by using brands that are copyright-protected in Vietnam.
Viet An is the producer of TV shopping program “Viet Home Shopping” aired on several TV channels since November 2008.