fine-jewelry-and-silks_-pearls-gold-silver-jewelry-and-luxurious-silks-from-shanghai-china-online-at-shangbycom.jpgIf you’ve ever been about to buy an extravagant piece of jewelry at an American store and wished you had a personal shopper on the ground in China to buy it for you at a lower price, check out ShangBy.

Prices for jewelry in Shanghai are between a half and a tenth the cost here in the U.S., and the Austin, Texas company, which just raised $1 million from G-51 Capital and Draper Richards, has found an unconventional way to let you shop live in China without being there.

You go to the site to book a “shopping event,” and if you’re cool and stylish enough, the company might choose you to be the virtual host of one of these shopping events. This makes you a “ShangBuyer.”

Being a ShangBuyer involves sending a video crew and a Swedish guide named Nina into a top-quality Shanghai jewelry wholesaler to browse the merchandise while you watch live online and tell Nina and the crew what to do.

As a ShangBuyer, you tell them what items to zoom in on, which products Nina should try on, what questions to ask the merchants, and which products you’d like to buy. The items the ShangBuyer chooses then become available for anyone else to buy on the site. These are not cheap knock-offs, either; the company only works with reputable merchants that sell non-branded merchandise.

The company earns a handling charge” of 15 percent of each purchase, and a $30 shipping fee for orders under $400.

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