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Xiaomi’s Mi 3 sells out in 5 seconds in India, frustrates would-be buyers

Xiaomi has a history of its devices selling out within minutes of going on sale. Yesterday in India was no exception. This was the second time it went for an online flash sale in the country, and the Mi 3 went out of stock in five seconds, according to Mi India’s Facebook page.

A week ago,  when Mi 3 first went on sale in India, the story was similar. It went out of stock in under 40 minutes, leaving a lot of eager Indian customers dejected. A furious few took to online fora complaining about Xiaomi’s tactic of getting tens of thousands of people to register and leaving a large majority of them high and dry.

OOS

A quick visit to the Flipkart page on Facebook will tell you just how frustrated Indian customers are getting.  Xiaomi has made no secret of the fact that it sells small numbers of phones in a new market – this was made clear during the launch event in Delhi two weeks back. The Chinese phone-maker hasn’t disclosed how many phones were sold in the two flash sales so far.

And now Xiaomi has said that customers will have to register afresh for the third flash sale scheduled for August 5. And the Mi 3 rush has begun all over again. This also stimulated some interesting and hilarious reactions from India-based Twitterati, like the ones below:

— Kingslayer (@Goddamittt) July 29, 2014

 

 

The ‘flash sale’ model has worked for Xiaomi in most of its markets, resulting in exaggerated media coverage each time. Xiaomi believes in saving on marketing, and passing that on to the end user.

The demand for  the Mi 3 in a cost-conscious market like India is understandable, given the high value for money it brings. The device goes for INR13,999 (US$232). To put that into perspective, the Nexus 5, which has a similar specs set, goes for about double the amount, whereas the Motorola Moto G with lower specs, which is also being sold exclusively on Flipkart costs just INR500 (US$8) less than the Mi 3.

For consumers in India, these teaser flash sales online are a new experience, and so far it hasn’t been a happy one.

Tech in Asia has reached out to Xiaomi for a response to these complaints.

Editing by Malavika Velayanikal

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