After securing enough buyers and sellers, Amazon’s next target market in India is resellers.
Amazon launched a “Sell as Individual” service in India, which makes it convenient for users to sell secondhand laptops, phones, tablets, books, and more. The company picks up the item, packages it, and ships it to the recipient for a nominal fee: Rs10 ($0.15) for orders under Rs1,000 ($15), a Rs50 ($0.74) for items valued between Rs1,000 and Rs5,000($74), and Rs100 ($1.50) for those priced above Rs5,000. Returns are brought back to the doorstep of the sellers at no additional cost to them.
For now, the company is piloting the service in Bengaluru. If successful, Amazon could expand the feature to other cities.
India’s secondhand goods market is currently estimated at nearly $17 billion. With the latest endeavor, it is tapping an individual market that e-commerce competitors like Flipkart and Snapdeal have not yet ventured into. And even though the secondhand goods market is already saturated by the likes of popular sites like OLX, Quikr, and eBay India, Amazon’s sheer size could give it a competitive edge over other players.
The new platform is reminiscent of shopping portal Junglee, an Amazon subsidiary, launched in India in 2012. When asked about the relationship between the two nearly identical services, the e-retailer told the Verge that Junglee was a pilot of sorts for Amazon.in’s latest offering. Amazon did not respond to Quartz’s requests about whether it has plans to shutter Junglee or merge the two sites in the future.
The Seattle-based company has spent billions of dollars on infrastructure and technology in its second-biggest market after the US. Amazon has committed investments worth more than the total funding raised by Flipkart and Snapdeal—India’s two biggest domestic e-commerce companies—put together. Thanks to partnerships etched with Bollywood studios and its low price point, Amazon’s Prime Video offering is tough competition for Netflix. And with this latest endeavor, Amazon could soon be the biggest player in India’s individual sellers market.
The hassle-free, door-to-door service could also dissuade people from scrapping old electronics. India produces nearly 1.8 million tons of electronic waste every year, a number set to nearly double by 2018, according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India. By encouraging the easy resale of used products within the country, the online retailer could curb huge mounds of e-waste.