Chinese student in France sick of buying luxury goods for other people

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 January, 2013, 2:07pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 January, 2013, 4:43pm

Li Yuandong, 23, remembers buying 10 Burberry scarfs, two Burberry handbags, two Louis Vuitton handbags and some luxury perfumes in one day in Paris without blinking an eye.

“Then I blew my ‘millionaire’ identity by hopping on a crowded subway train heading home”, wrote Li, a Chinese graduate student studying engineering in France on his blog.

Li's post went viral on China's social media, including Sina Weibo, China's popular twitter-like service.

In a humorous tone, Li wrote about his side job of buying luxury goods for friends in China, and complained the burden was growing too heavy.

“I became so popular after moving to France,” said Li in his post. “Suddenly everyone wanted to talk to me.”

But the conversations all ended with the same question: “Can you buy me a Louis Vuitton”?

“My bank upgraded me to VIP after seeing the amount of money sent by friends in China,“ he said, “I would easily spend 10,000 euros in a month on hand bags.”

Li said friends had sent him to buy luxury bags, perfumes and cosmetics, after discovering they are cheaper in France. They would, in return, take him out to dinner in China.

“My days in China are filled with appreciation banquets,” said Li.

The buying trips have also turned Li, who used to know nothing about the luxury world, into an expert on luxury brands.

“I can now talk on and on about the lmited versions of LV bags and the top note of a Chanel perfume, let alone the pros and cons of a cosmetic brand.

But Li admitted he had a busy schedule at school and the growing number of requests was becoming a mission impossible . 

Li said he was especially frustrated by people who blindly follow brands. For these people he has the following tips:

“Not all famous brands are French. Gucci, for instance, is Italian.”

“Not every item you see on Taobao [China’s popular Ecommerce platform] is sold in France,” explains Li.

“Don’t’ buy a Louis Vuitton if you can’t pronounce it.”

“Burn some cash if you just want to show off your wealth,” he advises.