Challenges mount for Douyin’s e-commerce jewellery market amidst high return rate

The soaring return rate of jewellery on China’s well-known social media platform Douyin has sparked widespread conversations on Weibo and other social networks. The buzz started when a screenshot purportedly shared by a jewellery merchant on WeChat Moments went viral, suggesting that the return rate had skyrocketed to more than 90%.

In response to the claims of a 90% return rate, a Douyin spokesperson denied the allegation, stating that the overall return rate of jewellery and jade products on their platform remains at the industry average level, regardless of live broadcasts or regular product displays.

However, discussions surrounding the high return rate continue among netizens, with many sharing their experiences of selling jewellery on Douyin and confirming that returns have been a persistent issue. In fact, the hashtag “Jewellery return rate 90%” amassed a whopping 130 million views on China’s social media platform Weibo, reaching number 11 on the platform’s trending topic list.

One anchor, Guo Siman, who represents Huarui Jewelry, has been selling natural polished diamond products on Douyin for the past six months. Despite some returns, she deems the current situation acceptable due to the higher unit prices of their products, which tend to attract more serious buyers.

On the other hand, Yu Jiansheng, a colleague of Guo Siman, expressed concerns about the return rate, estimating that it hovers around 70%. Most returns are not due to product quality issues, as the natural diamond products they sell are GIA or National Inspection Group certified and of guaranteed quality. Instead, returns are more common among merchants selling jade and pearls due to their subjective nature and difficulty in identifying quality and authenticity.

The situation is further complicated by the “seven days no reason to return and exchange” policy on Douyin, which allows customers to return products within seven days without any liability, provided the items are undamaged.

The high return rate poses challenges for jewellery merchants on the platform, as they incur additional costs for quality inspection, packaging, return shipping, and insurance. Despite these challenges, Douyin has implemented measures to protect both consumers and merchants, including setting up an independent customer service team for jewellery categories and a Quality Integration Center (QIC) for quality inspection and certification of jewellery products.

All in all, while the high return rate remains a concern, the jewellery market on Douyin continues to flourish, with significant growth in online jewellery sales. Several online merchants remain optimistic about the platform’s potential, albeit acknowledging the need for adjustments to enhance cooperation with merchants.


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