eBay India introduces new category for refurbished goods

eBay has partnered eight firms in a move to increase its offerings and boost sales, specifically in the smaller markets


For now, eBay will offer refurbished and secondhand goods such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops. Photo: Bloomberg
For now, eBay will offer refurbished and secondhand goods such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops. Photo: Bloomberg

New Delhi: eBay India, the local arm of the US-based online marketplace, has introduced refurbished goods as a category and has partnered eight firms including Greendust, ValueCart, Budli and My Return Solutions, in a move to increase its offerings and boost sales, specifically in the smaller markets.

Aspirations in the smaller cities are high, but affordability is a challenge, said Latif Nathani, vice president and managing director, eBay.

Refurbished goods are usually priced about 30% below the marked prices of the products.

For now, the company will offer refurbished and secondhand goods such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops. However, it plans to expand its offering to include home appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators and gaming consoles by end of December.

In India, eBay has taken a late plunge into the refurbished goods category, from which it gets 24% of its business across the globe.

E-commerce companies in India are increasingly adding refurbished goods as a category in a move to get new customers. Earlier this month, e-commerce marketplaces Amazon and Snapdeal announced plans to launch a refurbished goods category.

Earlier this month, Taiwanese contract manufacturing company Foxconn committed to refurbishing of goods in the Indian market to support government’s clean India initiative. The company will work with multiple refurbished goods companies and said it was close to finalizing a deal with refurbished goods seller Greendust, run by Reverse Logistics Co.

Refurbished goods are repaired or professionally restored goods, or the ones that go back in the supply chain because of customer returns. These products are not secondhand goods and come with a warranty of the refurbishing company.

“While e-commerce in India is anticipated to be a $7 billion market by end of the year, refurbished goods market, on the other hand, is pegged at about $15 billion,” said Latif Nathani, vice president and managing director eBay.

The company sold used and refurbished products on its platform earlier as well but did not have any organized players or a dedicated category. “So far 4% of our annual business came from refurbished and used products,” said Nathani. Close to 10% of products listed on eBay are refurbished and the company expects the number to touch 20% by the end of the year.

The platform will be called eBay choices and have products listed by eight companies Greendust, Baobab, i2cworld, MoSwap.in, Sriram Eco-Raksha Computer Services Pvt Ltd, Budli Int. Pvt Ltd and Value Cart.

eBay, which currently has over 30 million product listings, will add 1000 live listings of refurbished goods and second-hand goods.

According to Hitendra Chaturvedi, founder and chief executive officer of Greendust, about 400 million units of electronics will be returned by 2020.

According to IDC’s quarterly report on smartphone for the second quarter ended June, India shipped 26.5 million units up from 18.4 million in the year ago period.

The refurbished goods companies also help e-commerce firms liquidate some of the inventory returned by consumers. Companies like My Return Solutions and Budli works with Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal too for liquidation of products or refurbishing of goods.

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