Posted 5 апреля 2022,, 11:09

Published 5 апреля 2022,, 11:09

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:36

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:36

Cash in on sanctions: Internet trading platforms are occupied by speculators and shuttle traders

Cash in on sanctions: Internet trading platforms are occupied by speculators and shuttle traders

5 апреля 2022, 11:09
After the withdrawal of Western brands of food, clothing, cosmetics, interior items from Russia, after the suspension of the lines of auto concerns, speculators enter the market. They themselves rejoice: they finally found their gold mine, discovered "limitless possibilities".

A ban with exorbitant markups poured onto popular advertising platforms.

Victoria Pavlova

Modern merchants from under the floor do not look like mysterious strangers in the alleys of the USSR, but like hundreds and thousands of ads on popular online sites.

Over the past month, Avito has been full of "last chance" ads to taste the blessings of Western civilization - often in a literal sense. A frozen cheeseburger from McDonald's, for example, is ready to be sold for 1,000,000 rubles.

At fantastic prices they sell portioned sauces, bags and napkins from well-known fast food restaurant chains. On virtual counters, you can even find empty packages “with traces of food eaten” that “remind you of the taste of your favorite burgers in the old days”.

Some items are already positioned as collectibles. So, "nostalgic" for the first McDonald's menu - "taken on the opening day of the first restaurant on Pushkin Square" [in Moscow] - is offered for 5,000,000 rubles (with a lifetime ransom).

Prices for branded IKEA sharks (soft toys) start at 40,000 rubles and reach several million.

Fans of Coca-Cola are already considering strategies for further mining of their favorite product. "There are channels where it will be, even when it disappears," they mysteriously explain.

Among other things, you can find branded clothes and shoes on Avito - prices for used ones are the same as for new ones: Levis men's jeans for 512,50,000 rubles, Nike Airforce 1 Pixel sneakers for 200,000 rubles. And how do you, for example, a plastic bag from Zara for 1 million rubles?

Resourceful merchants say that, despite the supercharges, there is a demand for goods, calls are coming.

A pack of office paper during the special operation went up from 270 rubles to 1,000 rubles - at wholesale price tags, at retail prices - at least up to 2,000 rubles.

For example, a pack of Sveto Copy, A4, 500 sheets on OZON now costs from 1290 to 3015 rubles. "Snow Maiden", 500 l, A4 - from 1230 to 3031 rubles (and this is at a discount). Ballet Classic, A4, 500l - 1549 rubles (without discount - 1698 rubles). IQ Premium, A4, 250 l - from 1590 to 4803 rubles (this is with a 25% discount). Even discounted A4 paper of appropriate quality costs more than 1,000 rubles, Stalingulag monitored.

At the end of March, the Federal Antimonopoly Service announced an audit due to rising paper prices, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade reported that there could be no shortage of paper in Russia, since domestic producers are able to completely cover the needs of Russians for this product. However, these measures of repurchase, apparently, did not stop. Even a high-ranking policeman was found among the speculators.

Ivan Lednev, head of logistics support of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Yaroslavl region, is accused of stealing 20 boxes of paper from the balance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for resale. Initially, there were 74 boxes, but an accomplice-entrepreneur entered the case third, the business plan of the police was interrupted on her - the operatives caught her red-handed.

To fight speculation in food was invented so far only by introducing restrictions on the sale of units of socially significant products in one hand. However, before that, as the head of the Rostov-on-Don Department and Consumer Services Konstantin Tikhonov noted, in the hypermarkets Auchan and Lenta, sugar was bought by trucks.

"The purpose of such actions is clear - to create a shortage, rush demand, raise prices and cash in on its resale, which is unacceptable," the official said.

In the meantime, the security forces began to catch sugar traders on social networks "for live bait". A man who tried to sell a bag of sugar weighing 50 kg at a price higher than the market price was detained by operational officers.

The Antimonopoly Service, in turn, sent letters to sugar producers with recommendations to prevent price increases. According to the agency, 70 companies were to receive recommendations on the rules for working with distributors, which establish a maximum margin and a ban on the resale of sugar to further retailers.

Outbid got to children's and feminine hygiene. After a significant increase in Procter & Gamble's selling prices for this category of goods and the creation of some rush demand, products from store shelves partially migrated to private advertisements. Moreover, even men sell tampons and pads on Avito. Meanwhile, on Ozon, Always pads cost 4,600 rubles (excluding discounts).

But the Ministry of Industry and Trade reassured everyone by announcing that there was no reason for concern:

"Now in Russia there are more than 15 enterprises producing women's pads, as well as children's and adult diapers. For example, Essity, which produces 10 million pieces per month of Tena Original diapers and 30 million pieces per month of Libress pads, has stocks of the necessary raw materials and finished products, to avoid shortages.

Instagram and Facebook ( whose activities are recognized as extremist and banned in Russia ) were almost the main distribution channel for small businesses and housewives - beauty masters, home bakers, confectioners, florists, various workshops, etc. In the very first days after the blocking, specialists became more active, promising to solve the problem by installing a VPN.

On Avito, proposals for disenchantment of social networks and sites were not moderated for a long time, they began to be deleted and banned literally the day before.

Western iPhones, computers, motherboards, video cards, processors, etc., which have risen in price, are promised to be replaced with affordable Chinese ones soon. But zoomers remember well that the first iPhones came to Russia from the Middle East, Southeast Asia. “Everything will continue to be imported using workarounds. In the new realities, this gray market will not be repressed, but encouraged. New generation shuttles are not people with checkered bags, but people with gadgets,” experts comment.

With the suspension of the work of automobile concerns in Russia, with the blocking of the supply of auto parts from the European Union, the car market is also expected to activate scammers. All spare parts have risen in price by an average of 20-40%. But the demand for them is only growing - you need to repair cars, change components and consumables regularly. A shortage of cars from dealers and a shortage of auto parts are opening up abysses for car thieves and the black market in general, insurers say.

“Literally on the third day of the story with Ukraine, the problem of a sharp increase in the cost of spare parts began to manifest itself very clearly. A part that cost 15,000, an ordinary speed sensor, a small piece of metal, now costs 51,000 in small wholesale,” comments Andrey Degtyarev, general director of SpetsDrive. and production, the market froze in suspense, the lines at many factories stopped.

Many fellow citizens would probably like to explain to speculators what they are doing wrong now. Many dealers, however, have justifications at the level of unicellular consciousness: "We also want to eat" ...

We asked Avito to sum up how many speculative announcements have appeared in the last month, what limits reach the margins on the remains of goods and services of Western companies that have suspended their activities in Russia. And most importantly - does anyone buy products with huge margins, what is the demand for it in reality?

Two representatives of Avito answered "NOT" that they "probably don't have such data".