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The California-headquartered eBay started its India innings on a decent note.
One of India’s oldest running ecommerce sites eBay is shutting shop in India today. eBay entered India in 2004 by acquiring online auction company Baazee.com.
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eBay India changed hands in August last year when Indian ecommerce major Flipkart raised $1.4 billion from global technology majors such as eBay, Microsoft, and Tencent.
But after retail giant Walmart began talks to acquire Flipkart for $16 billion, eBay began to look for an exit. Soon after the Walmart-Flipkart deal was unveiled in May, eBay announced the end of the strategic partnership. The company said it will relaunch its India offshoot with a differentiated offering to focus on cross-border trade.
Flipkart itself is also planning to start an online platform for refurbished or used products, which will be pitted against the likes of the current market leaders in online secondhand goods space — OLX and Quikr.
"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," Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy wrote in an email to his employees.
The California-headquartered eBay started its India innings on a decent note. The company recorded decent growth and it managed to build a loyal user base in the country in the initial years.
The platform also recorded more than 2 million registered users at one point, according to Exchange4media.
eBay was a place to sell and buy things. Even before smartphones became common in India, its website attracted people as it became easy for them to sell and buy a product sitting in the comfort of your house, along with hassle-free return option.
For me, it was one of the places where I went to quality electronic items and clothing for a reasonably decent price, sometimes with amazing offers.
Buying a quality headphone or a T-shirt online was not a bad idea when that item cost at least 25 percent less in eBay than normal retail shops.
The ease of buying and selling made eBay one of the attractive destinations on the internet.
But the good times didn't last for long. The arrival of Flipkart (2007), Snapdeal (2010) and Amazon (2013) eventually affected eBay’s business.
In 2013, eBay went on to invest in Snapdeal, but did not find gold there either. The end was nigh.
Flipkart and Amazon are dominating the ecommerce space now. But eBay was the harbinger of the online shopping experience in India.
The company is planning a second stint in India. Here is to second beginnings.