Flipkart is set to formally shut down the operations of eBay India today, i.e. 14 August, terminating the strategic partnership that began in August, last year. eBay India (ebay.in) has now stopped accepting new orders from today.
eBay merged with Flipkart back in April 2017 is no longer taking any orders from customers. The last date for raising eBay Guarantee claims is also set for August 30. This means buyers won’t be able to raise any refunds or claims after August 30 for any transactions done so far.
Moreover, customers in India will not be able to use their pre-existing eBay account to make purchases on Flipkart and will have to register as a new user for the same.
Meanwhile, Flipkart will now launch a new platform to sell pre-owned goods by refurbishing them. The move is an attempt to tap into the market of pre-owned goods, which as of now, is largely unorganized.
Late last month, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy in an email to his employees stated that the company will launch a new platform for refurbished goods, immediately succeeding the termination of all customer transactions on eBay.in.
“Based on our learning at eBay.in, we have built a brand new value platform launching with refurbished goods – a large market which is predominantly unorganised… As part of this launch, we will be stopping all customer transactions on eBay.in on 14th August 2018 and transitioning to the new platform,” wrote Krishnamurthy in the mail.
The Flipkart-eBay India merger was announced in August last year when the Indian e-commerce giant had raised USD 1.4 billion from global technology majors such as eBay, Microsoft, and Tencent.
As part of the deal, eBay invested USD 500 million for an equity stake in Flipkart and handed over all operations of eBay India to Flipkart.
In May, eBay announced about its plans to relaunch its India business after notifying Walmart about its intention of selling its stake in Flipkart to Walmart for around US$1.1 billion. eBay announced the end of the strategic partnership stating that it will relaunch eBay India with a differentiated offering to focus on cross-border trade.
Refurbished Market & Players in India
Largely driven by unorganized local brick & mortar retailers, the refurbished products market is expected to reach $12-15 billion in the year 2020. The online refurbished products space id getting taken up by organised players slowly and steadily.
Starting from GreenDust, Reboot, Overcart, Togofogo, Surpluss (individual entrants) on one hand and eBay and Amazon (eCommerce portals) on the other, many organised players are tapping into the opportunity.
In August last year, it was reported that Flipkart as well as ShopClues are also entering the refurbished electronic gadgets category.
Flipkart’s decided to start selling refurbished electronics in the Indian subcontinent after seeing the high rate of handset returns in the country accompanied by the absence of any pricing advantage with the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST).
Last month, Delhi based startup Yaantra has launched its mobile app enabling end users to sell their old mobile phones instantly.
In October last year, Benagluru-based Refurbished furniture and appliance marketplace Zefo raised $9.2 million in Series B funding round led by Sequoia India and Helion Venture Partners.
In 2015-16, technology giant Apple Inc too was contemplating selling used refurbished iPhones in India, however telecommunications ministry declined the company to do. It is interesting to note that Apple had made a similar proposal in year 2015 to, which was rejected by the environment ministry back then.
The global market for refurbished smartphones grew 13% year-on-year in 2017, reaching close to 140 million units, , according to research from Counterpoint’s Refurbished Smartphone tracker. The refurbished mobile phone segment of Amazon alone has grown by 400 per cent year-on-year, says a report published in The Economic Times.