Team Purchase : A Case of Consumer Empowerment in China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-538
Journal / PublicationJournal of Consumer Affairs
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


This research examines the phenomenon of team purchasing, a collective action initiated and organized by consumers. Chinese consumers use team purchase to counteract the imbalance of information and power that exists in China's consumer market. Through in-depth interviews with 30 team buyers, we find that they engage in collective information search and product evaluation, jointly uncover market fraud, seek to avoid deceptive practices and price manipulation and actively defend their rights as consumers. Their collective efforts empower them in an opaque market with inadequate government regulation. This research sheds light on this innovative, bottom-up approach to protecting consumer interests. © 2011 by The American Council on Consumer Interests.