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Recession pushes Hong Kong shoppers to sell their luxury goods

Consumers seeking quick cash unload designer bags, jewelry and luxury watches

Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, Hong Kong's largest jeweler, says there has recently been more customers selling their gold jewelry at its retail stores, citing higher gold prices as the primary reason.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- Rachel, a 30-year-old flight attendant in Hong Kong, used to carry a suitcase back home packed with luxury goods that she purchased on every trip to Europe. She would resell most of the items to local buyers for a profit and keep her favorite ones.

Yet, her lucrative side business of daigou -- Chinese for "buying on behalf of" -- has suffered a major blow since the financial hub entered a recession amid the prolonged anti-government protests last year. Now her full-time job is also at risk as the coronavirus outbreak has grounded flights, and her employer -- like many other airlines -- has asked all staff to take unpaid leave.

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