(Please note that I am talking about legit Chinese/Taobao stores here, not Chinese Ebay sellers)
So, I I was just talking to a Chinese store now, and was asking about news on FT-02 and some stores reopening preorders (he does not now anything for now), but the mentioned something that is a little obvious but not always clear – he mentioned that “Because I must have an insurance policy here, I must confirm the quantity.”
This is really a good point, and basically, the reason that (together with some other disparate information):
– Chinese/Taobao stores probably already have a “fixed” product allocation from FT;
– This enables them to always open preorders as soon a new product is revealed;
– They have to cut the preorders when it reached the limit number;
– They can’t open more preorders unless they get more product (but I don’t think they can, either because FT itself won’t give them, or FT does not allow them to buy from other sources);
– Unless there’s some shakedown (which seemed to be the case last year with some stores cancelling their POs, probably because FT canceled their allocated slots), theses store will always honor their POs.
This is also in line with other thoughts I’ve been had since last year, due to these facts:
– Some stores in China mentioned to me that several international stores were buying directly from them (and IIRC they even explicitly mentioned American stores). This would mean that these stores were undercutting FT directly.
– FT seemed to note this last year, and I think that this was in fact part of the problem with the FT problems, for example, with Little Bee Prince and others.
– FT did seem to cut the fixed slotted orders to some Chinese AND International stores (probably the ones involved in the scheme above), and now they cannot get FT products directly
– This might have involved at least one known Chinese distributor
– This would also explain the difference in price in China and international – FT has probably raised, a lot, the money they charge international stores, and, although keeping the cheaper prices to chineses stores, FT is probably formally requiring them not to sell directly to international stores.
A shame that this type of information is that difficult to get, but that’s business