Sales of SME-made appliances surge online

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Sales of SME-made appliances surge online


Clockwise from left: a television manufactured by Tiena, a refrigerator by Midea and a laundry machine by Shinil. Provided by Auction

Home appliances made by small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) are selling robustly as consumers look for cheaper options amid the sluggish economy, a study by a leading online marketplace operator showed on Monday.

Sales of SME-brand electronics and home appliances jumped 25 percent during the one-month period from early-April to early-May, said Auction, an online marketplace owned by eBay. Best-selling items were LED televisions, refrigerators and laundry machines.

Sales of LED televisions were up 25 percent year-on-year, as SME brands like Smatra offered similar features as big name brands at prices 20 to 30 percent cheaper.

Smatra’s 32-inch LED television, for instance, uses the same type of panels used by LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics in their televisions. Its 32-inch LED models have a long lifespan and offer high-definition quality, according to Auction.

The model, priced 215,000 won ($197), can also be connected to smartphones through MHL cables, so that users can play computer games or surf the web on their TVs.

Sales of other home electronics like refrigerators and laundry machines also grew.

Sales of typical home refrigerators rose 87 percent, while commercial models jumped 157 percent. Sales of laundry machines jumped 69 percent overall.

Small home appliances for one-person households - such as a mini laundry machine weighing only 3 to 5.6 kilograms (6.6 to 12 pounds) and costing less than 100,000 won - were popular as well, Auction said.

“As more people move around more frequently and as interior design trends change, consumers’ preference for high quality but reasonably priced home appliances is growing,” said Kim Choong-il, a senior manager in charge of electronics at Auction.

A leading SME television brand Tiva, which according to Auction has sold the most televisions online among SMEs in recent years, recently changed its name to Tiena to upgrade its brand image. Auction is planning a Tiena brand event where a limited number of UHD (ultra-high definition) and LED televisions will be sold.

The event will be held through May 13, and two types of Tiena full high-definition LED televisions, UHD LED televisions, and LED televisions will be sold at prices ranging from 199,000 won to 399,000 won.

Auction will also give away one 55-inch UHD television, three 48-inch UHD televisions and five 40-inch UHD televisions, as well as 1,000 wireless smartphone battery chargers, to customers who post photo reviews of products on their blogs.

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