Toilets, sneakers, baby food: what products are sold on the "gray" marketsPictolic
Everyone knows about the existence of so-called "black markets", where everything is sold that is prohibited, illegal and sometimes dangerous. Usually such products can be found on the Internet, if you search very well. In rare cases, "black markets" can operate directly in the city. Of course, we are talking about countries where everything is not smooth with the laws. However, not everyone will be able to buy goods in such places.
But in the" gray markets " things are much easier with the implementation, because such trade is not prohibited by law, but at the same time it is not controlled in any way. And what do you think is sold there-equipment, jewelry, antiques? And here it is not! You can find a list of the most unusual "gray" markets below.
It is rare to hear anything positive about prison food. Usually these are chowders and porridges, which, when frozen, can easily replace a hammer for hammering nails. But there is also something in the local cuisine that criminals do not want to part with even after they "kick back".
We are talking about the legendary prison chips that the Keefe Group company once produced specifically for sale in correctional institutions. Prison residents called them "the best chips in the world." It is not surprising that soon especially enterprising guys began to buy chips in prison stores and sell them on eBay, of course, at an inflated price. But there were customers! And so much so that the Keefe Group had no choice but to make its chips available to ordinary people.
The father of triplets born from a surrogate mother noticed that his children were suitable for baby food, which was fed in the hospital. When he returned home, he found that one of the pharmacies did not have such a mixture. Searches on the Internet did not yield results.
Then a young and extremely caring father began to look for this baby food in other countries. So he became the first and only reseller in the United States selling mixtures that are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And their parents bought them, who found themselves in the same hopeless situation. There was nothing harmful or illegal in the mixture itself – on the contrary, the product was of high quality and suitable for children. It just wasn't approved by the FDA, since the organization primarily welcomes American-made goods.
In any market, you can find clothes and shoes from Abibas, Daiads, Haik and other fashionable Chinese "brands". Such wardrobe items appeared as a cheap alternative to original things, although they have nothing to do with them. Well, who wouldn't like to have original Nike sneakers? That's just the price is too painful to bite – from 15 thousand rubles per pair. It's better to have a "Haik" for a thousand…
However, the StockX online store solved this problem. The site sells the most popular sneakers, clothing, electronics, collectibles, collectible cards and accessories at their "real market price". The seller puts up the goods, and the buyer offers the price himself. The auction takes place in the auction format, which often allows you to save well on the purchase of branded items.
In 2021, the reseller's turnover amounted to $ 3.8 billion, with most of the profit coming from sneakers. We can say that this makes StockX the largest "gray market" for sports shoes.
The piano is a rather niche product and is in demand only among a certain category of buyers. It would seem that it is unlikely that such a product can be very popular. However, over the past year, the volume of sales of these musical instruments in the United States exceeded $ 200 million!
The cost of a piano is different – from a couple of hundred to several tens of thousands of dollars. Those who do not want to spend money go to the "gray market", where you can buy a good piano even for twenty. Especially popular are the tools brought from Asia. However, there is one problem in them: the wood that is used in the manufacture can crack in conditions of too dry climate. But when a piano for 5 thousand dollars is on one side of the scale, and the probability that the piano will crack someday is on the other, the choice is obvious.
Almost everywhere you can see copies of famous fragrances. Most often they are packaged as original perfumes, and smell almost the same. Less often there are originals at a low price. They are bought up by resellers for the purpose of resale. Usually these are the remnants of perfume in warehouses, marriage, etc. And representatives of both these categories belong to the" gray " market.
Naturally, the sale of fake fragrances causes huge damage to famous brands. Who wants to buy perfume for $ 100 when there is an exact copy of it for $ 20? In addition, the reputation of brands also suffers: any perfume has a "shelf life" – the period until the fragrance sounds as the manufacturer intended. After this time, the spirits acquire a different shade, sometimes even unpleasant. But no one reseller will specify that the jar is already five years old. The buyer, noticing the low price and the mark "original", will also not ask such questions.
It is difficult to admit the idea that there may be a "gray" market for toilet bowls, but it is so. It was in 1994 in the USA. Then the Congress just passed the law on energy policy and energy conservation. According to this law, in order to save water, each toilet flush was limited to six liters. This is almost half as much as is usually required for flushing. But the law is the law, so soon standard toilets completely disappeared from stores, and "energy-saving" variations took their place.
The sale and purchase of ordinary toilet bowls were officially prohibited by law. The Americans were not satisfied with the new toilets, since the volume of water in them, although it was less, had to be flushed 2-3 times. Then people had to go to a trick: since only the purchase was prohibited, and not the possession itself, they went to buy toilet bowls in neighboring countries, for example, to Canada.
Until recently, everyone's favorite "kinder surprises"were officially banned in the United States. The reason for the ban is a small toy that is inside a chocolate egg. The authorities considered it dangerous for children. Since 1936, there has been a law that prohibits hiding inedible items inside food. However, eggs with a surprise were successfully imported from other countries and sold on "gray" markets.
One more problem with sweets in the US is related to pricing. In America, many products are often cheaper than in Canada. Therefore, people buy in the states, and then resell what they bought at a markup in other countries. This was the case, for example, with Mars products. A certain Aizik Ebert bought sweets in the United States and sold them in Canada at a price lower than that set by official Canadian retailers. However, the Mars branch sued him and won the case.