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Ease in online shopping keeps Indonesian customers hooked
Publication Date : 03-09-2013
Despite a crackdown by the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) on online pharmacies selling illegal and counterfeit drugs, consumers say it will not stop them from buying the products over the Internet.
Most online shoppers looking for supplements, cosmetics and sexual enhancement pills said that buying the items over the Internet provided them with convenience and anonymity.
A 25-year-old female private company employee said she would continue buying slimming pills from klinikion.com.
She said a friend had recommended the pills to her and she was satisfied with the product.
“I’m a young female and I want to look good. I don’t know whether the product is original, but I am quite sure it is,” she said, requesting anonymity.
The website also provides other services, such as consultations with a health expert via Yahoo Messenger or BlackBerry Messenger.
Dwi Ariyansah, 21, said he would unlikely heed the BPOM warning against buying drugs from online pharmacies.
He said he would continue buying protein supplements from an online seller that advertised on a Facebook page as SuplemenFitnessIndonesia.
“I don’t know whether the supplement I use is counterfeit or not, but I don’t feel any bad effects. Besides, I really want to work on my body,” he said.
Dwi said buying supplements online was the only way for him to source products as decent pharmacies were not common in his area, Lubuklinggau regency, South Sumatra.
“If it was available here and the price was about the same or even less, I would definitely buy it at a local pharmacy,” he said.
Another online shopper, Desy Kencanawati, 25, who likes Japanese and Korean beauty products, said she would continue shopping online at her favorite shopping destination www.qoo10.co.id as it was not included on the list of 129 websites shut down by the BPOM for selling counterfeit drugs or beauty products.
“I’m pretty sure that the beauty products I use, such as Etude, Shara-Shara and Wakilala, are safe and original. I actively engage in discussions on several blogs that review products and I never see bad comments about these products,” she said.
Desy, who is a graduate student living in Yogyakarta, added that most products she bought were not widely available in the country, particularly in Yogyakarta.
She said that buying online enabled her to thoroughly review products and move from one store to another.
“I don’t like being asked a lot of questions by shopkeepers, like ‘what do you want to buy?’, ‘which one do you like?’, ‘what about this one?’, because in many cases, I just want to window shop. On the Internet, I can do that freely,” she said.
In the recent Operation Pangea VI, in six major provinces across the country, BPOM identified 129 websites and 20 stores selling or producing 721 types of counterfeit drugs, supplements or beauty products in a market worth 5.59 billion Indonesian rupiah (US$485,184).
In collaboration with the Communication and Technology Ministry (Menkominfo), the agency decided to shut down the websites.