eBay India explores offline presence

By , agencyfaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | September 18, 2007
eBay India will create an offline presence for itself through a pilot project on Trading Posts and a tie-up with Reliance Web World

Online & #BANNER1 & # auctioneer eBay India is planning to create an offline presence in the country through a series of initiatives, including a pilot project for Trading Posts (offline centres where members can walk in and place their listings on eBay).

Speaking to agencyfaqs!, Rathin Lahiri, chief marketing officer, eBay India, said, "These Trading Posts will be launched in the last quarter of 2007. Here, customers can put up their product for sale on eBay through an agent." eBay India is launching the pilot in two cities, Surat and Pune, in association with an entrepreneur, whom Lahiri did not name. How does it work? A customer who wants to sell a product can do so at a Trading Post, where it will be put on sale by an agent. The consumer will then get paid for the product, after deducting the agent's fee.

The Trading Posts are particularly targeted at people looking to sell unwanted gifts and second-hand items. Compared to the proportion of second-hand sales globally, the proportion in India is skewed in favour of new products. Fixed price products account for 70 per cent of sales, while second-hand products make up 15 per cent.

Rathin Lahiri
In another offline initiative, eBay is setting up Trading Points in 150 Reliance Web World cyber cafes in 28 cities. In these outlets, a designated person called the Web Guide will help eBay members and other people in conducting transactions on the site.

The company has also initiated a Power Mentor Program in Ahmedabad, where eBay sellers will be mentored in processes like choosing the inventory for sale and setting prices.

Lahiri says, "This is the second phase for eBay India, after we have set up our infrastructure and marketing programmes." He adds that the company is also planning a viral campaign on mobile, and is in talks with operators. Apart from this, eBay India will also be advertising on other portals, on search and through affiliate marketing. The company is also exploring content partnerships, Lahiri added.

eBay India was launched in March 2005 (it was formerly known as, and has 20,00,000 registered members.

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