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'Insane' trend emerging at Aussie markets: 'Sell it for $45, cost me $3.50'

She realised a necklace being sold for $45 at a community market stall was exactly the same as one she bought recently for $3.50.

Aussie shopper next to range of necklaces at market stall
An Aussie shopper has revealed how some market stalls are selling cheap jewellery from fast fashion outlets and marking up the price by more than 10 times. (Source: TikTok)

An Aussie shopper has highlighted a "scam" that appears to be spreading at marketplaces across the country. When you peruse the aisles at your local community's weekend markets, you'll likely come across stalls selling handmade jewellery, clothing and other household items.

But a TikToker, who uses the name lilosmumma, has exposed how some of these products might not be as "handmade" as they claim. During a recent trip to the Manly markets, her friend spotted a gorgeous necklace and wanted to buy it.

"I immediately pulled her away and I said, 'I'm not kidding you, I literally got a delivery last week for that exact necklace from AliExpress and it cost me, I think, $3.50, including shipping'," she recalled in a video.

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"And [the market seller was] trying to sell it for $45 and advertised it as 18 karat gold and waterproof when it is certainly not."

She said she understands that businesses have to source their products from somewhere, but she called the price markup on some of the items "insane".

Lilosmumma believes it's a "scary scam" because many shoppers won't be able to tell the difference between what is really handmade and what was bought from a fast fashion outlet like AliExpress.

A spokesperson for Manly Markets told Yahoo Finance it will be conducting an investigation to "make sure none of our stall holders is claiming to have handmade when it isn’t".

"We vet all our stall holders at the approval process and continually check on anything added or changed later as much as possible," the spokesperson said.

It appears this trend isn't isolated to Manly.

"Same thing happened to me from Glebe markets! Found the rings on Alibaba for 1/5 of the price," wrote one person in the comments section.

"These markets are just filled with junk it's so heartbreaking, where is all the vintage and handmade?" asked another.

A third added: "The same in Melbs, Vic markets is 70 per cent AliExpress. I also went to a local ‘makers market’ and half of it was AliExpress."

Fast fashion refers to retailers like AliExpress, Shein and Temu who sell products at extremely low prices. A lot of the items up for grabs are exact replicas of expensive brands or just mass-produced products like rings or necklaces.

Lilosmumma admitted it's hard to verify exactly where a product is from at community markets but she reckons if a stall has a 'No Photography' sign then that's a "dead giveaway" that the items are from an online site like AliExpress.

The e-commerce site's app allows you to upload a picture of virtually anything and it will search its database to see if there's a match. If the exact item comes up then it's either a dupe of an original item or the product at a marketplace came from AliExpress.

A Sydney jewellery maker expressed how frustrating it is to be competing against other stalls trying to sell cheap products for hugely inflated prices.

"I used to sell at markets and it was embarrassing to see how many stalls were selling “handmade” jewellery and people were being fooled. Thank goodness I always sold really well cause people could see my stuff is different and handmade in Sydney by myself," she said.

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