Ebay’s India programme — Global Easy Buy — has more than 28 million products listed, from more than 50,000 sellers from the US
As the Indian e-commerce competition grows, Ebay, which started operations in India as early as 2004, has turned to global sellers, mainly from the US, to corner a larger portion of the online buyer base.
A programme that started a few years back exclusively for India, has become a well-sized business for Ebay India.
Global Easy Buy (GEB), as it is called, has more than 28 million product listing, from more than 50,000 sellers from the US. “We started imported inventory with the advent of GEB. It is like an end-to-end concierge service, where the seller takes care of shipping and other clearances like customs duty,” said Vidmay Naini, director and business head of Ebay. The products are available in the rupees, which is inclusive of all custom duty and shipment cost.
Some of the products that are unaffordable otherwise are available at a throw away prices. For example, an Apple iPhone 5S, which is normally available at R53,000, is available at R23,000 on GEB. The catch is that most of these phones are refurbished by Apple. But it is not only about iPhones — GEB has products like DJ mixing equipment, clay moulds, tattoo guns and origami kits — products that are not easily available, either online or offline, in India.
There are brands that were available on GEB even before they were launched in India. “Xiaomi phones were available in India much before Flipkart launched it,” said Naini.
Analysts say that the real potential of e-commerce is only if people in India can order from anywhere, however companies like Snapdeal and Flipkart are not signing up international sellers. Even Amazon, which is headquartered in the US, has not started listing American sellers.
The GEB programme was initially started in 2009, but has only picked up in the last one year, when sellers have been aggressively added to the platform. Over the years, it perfected the logistics and clearance processes. A product usually gets delivered within a couple of weeks.
Ebay has appointed two international resellers, both based in the US, who collect all the orders placed from India and send it to Mumbai, from where it is dispatched across the country by the domestic courier services. Until the order is delivered, the amount that a customer pays stays in an escrow account with Ebay.
International sellers have seen a growing interest in India. Paytm, owned by One97, has done a strategic tie-up with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, where Ali Express, the online wholesale market place, will list 100 million stock-keeping-units on Paytm. Like GEB, even Paytm will have rupee pricing, —inclusive of all cost.