This year sure is a marking of many ‘firsts’ and ‘lasts’ in the Indian e-commerce market. And the latest e-commerce news to hit us all is Flipkart’s recent announcement of its decision to discontinue its eBay operations from/in India. In other words, the joint partnership between eBay and Flipkart that had originated the previous year will end after just a year of being operational.
On the same note, the announcement from eBay included it’s decision to end its partnership with Flipkart along with a hint that it would return with another launch of eBay India operations wherein the main aim would be on cross-border sales or trading, that is, selling into India from abroad and from India to other markets or the exploration of bringing import inventory into India. They see this as a huge profitable opportunity and will take cross border trade as a priority with their re-launch of eBay India.
Now as per the official announcement by Flipkart, this discontinuation would become effective from August 14 onwards. If one remembers well, this sure was a wealthy deal back then as eBay had invested some $ 500 million for acquiring the equity stakes in Flipkart after which it handed over the control of its India operations to Flipkart. For that matter, Flipkart played out its role in this wealthy partnership with eBay and raised the original funding of $ 1.4 billion from varied technology major giants such as Tencent, Microsoft and lastly from eBay itself.
Coming back to the major announcement, what does it mean for the existing users of this facility in India? Well, for starters no new orders would be accepted from August 14, 2018. This simply means that none of the existing eBay account holders would be able to make any direct purchases on Flipkart as Flipkart will cease to function on eBay India from this date henceforth. Then the next option here is for users to register and open a new account separately on the Flipkart site for purchases from this site.
However, the silver lining for such existing users is that any purchases or returns made or processed till August 14th would still be protected by eBay Guarantee which would remain valid until the given or stated time period. This is why eBay India has also maintained that it would keep a record of all purchases history of every user, both on My PaisaPay and My eBay for better services of providing the eBay Guarantee to its users.
Even better, inspite of such a discontinuance of partnership between Flipkart and eBay, the users also have a chance to make any claims, if any, for any refunds on any products purchased or any transactions made during this period until August 30, 2018.
The online site at eBay India also mentions that purchases worth less than Rs. 250 and more than Rs.8,000 would not be allowed, henceforth. For better clarity, one can clear their queries related to this new development on switching to the new platform on the FAQs section at eBay.in.With regard to the sellers on the eBay site, it has been notified that they would have to register newly on the Flipkart platform if they wished to sell any of their products on Flipkart.
So coming back to the big announcement, the hype is around this new platform that’s being getting ready to be launched by Flipkart for selling refurbished goods with the aim of targeting this kind of a market and its allied target audience with renewed marketing techniques by maximum investments in this independent platform.
Flipkart has further maintained that it would not to be rigid or stationary, but rather flexible enough, perhaps with new launch categories and allied features so as to meet the expectations of the average Indian middle class consumers. Further, Flipkart authorities have also stated that their jointly managed eBay.in sellers and customers would be facilitated to migrate with ease, over to the new upcoming platform in time. As of now, the estimated time for the much awaited public use of the new platform for refurbished goods is six months from now, though its launch might take place this month end or next month.
This announcement by Flipkart also brings forward a reality in the form of probable competition in the Indian e-commerce market for refurbished goods market, that is, Quikr, OLX, Amazon India, Green Dust, Reboot etc. Even though the broader image is an unorganized market for refurbished goods, times and e-services have changed considerably due to technology along with the entry of top organized refurbished goods market players, as mentioned above.
It has been estimated that this entry of such organized players have raised the growth rate and valuation of the refurbished goods market to some $12-15 billion by 2020. A steady development is in the offing which can’t be stopped at any cost. Therefore, Flipkart sure can expect some initial highs and lows when it finally starts operating its new platform. Of course, only time can tell the success probabilities of this new much awaited launch from Flipkart in the online refurbished goods market.