In Australia, it's estimated there are 40,000 daigou.
The online shopping agents are almost exclusively from the Chinese mainland, and are young migrants or international students looking for flexible ways to help cover their rent and university fees.
Daigou came to prominence in Europe by shipping luxury goods such as Gucci handbags to China. In Australia, the trade revolves around everyday items including food, beauty products, wine and clothes.
Wenjing, a 24-year-old accountancy graduate from Wuhan has worked part-time for the past two years as a daigou, a freelance retail consultant.
She is glued to her phone and tablet, using the messaging app WeChat to build a network of 300 clients who aren't afraid to pay premium prices for trustworthy Australian goods.
"In the beginning I just had my friends and my aunty to buy baby formula or unique brands from Australia, like Ugg boots. Then I wanted to build a platform to show more products to them," she told the BBC. "I don't want just to earn money, I want to provide products to my friends."
The industry does have its challenges. Customers must be convinced the goods they receive are genuine, and not fake, and that the supplier is reliable.
Consultants often livestream their visits to supermarkets and chemists to prove the authenticity of the goods they send. It is an industry founded on trust.
Some of the daigou establish their own logistics, own e-commerce website and try to formally distribute the products. It is all about trust, that is what daigou is doing – building trust between their clients.
In the Sydney suburb of Yagoona, Bob Sun, originally from the city of Dalian but now studying accountancy at Macquarie University, is renting a warehouse with three Chinese friends for their expanding business.
These freelance exporters have created thousands of trading routes both small and big into China, a market that can be almost impenetrable for some Australian companies, and others from New Zealand. Increasingly firms are collaborating with specialist consultants to harness their contacts and expertise.
"We think daigou are good for both the local economy… and they are very good for our business." says Peter Nathan, chief executive of A2 Milk, a New Zealand baby formula manufacturer that also operates in Australia.