eBay Thailand to launch this year

No primary category set

eBay announced their 38th local marketplace will be Thailand, operated in conjunction with a Thai portal – Sanook! The site will be branded “Sanook! eBay” and should be launched in Thai-language by the end of the year. Sanook! is a leading Internet brand and the most trafficked Internet destination for Thais, it would be similar to cobranding a site with Google in the UK.

eBay have had mixed results with moves into new territories, 2006 saw eBay shut down it’s Chinese eBay Eachnet website to be replaced by one run by local partner Tom Group. It looks like lessons have been learnt and partnering with a local established Internet presence in Thailand should ensure a faster takeup of the site.

3 Responses

  1. Such a move does of course exclude the vast majority of existing eBay users in Thailand – the foreign expatriates who pioneered the use of eBay from Thai territories, battling against former non-availability of PayPal services linked to Thai accounts, and even PayPal suspending and freezing accounts (and funds) if an eBay member logged into PayPal via a Thai ISP.
    The reason the expats are excluded is because so few are able to master the complex Thai alphabet and writen language. Thais too may shun the service while PayPal continues to shave a 12% (ish) portion of all funds withdrawn to Thai bank accounts (in addition to the regular currency conversion and payment receipt percentages) causing Thai bank users to lose up to 18% of the money paid to them by buyers.

    The switch from a solely eBay-created site (www.eBay.co.th) in both Thai and English, to a Thai-language-only site co-owned with Sanook will be viewed by the largely cynical and suspicious expat community as either having been government enforced (nationalist issues), or a further stab in the back for the people who drove the growth of eBay in SE Asia, following (as it does) after the same-site-only visibility cuts hitting North Atlantic countries, the shops/stores visibility withdrawals of last year, and the quarterly fee hikes being implemented by San Jose.

    As eBay represents one of the few “employment” opportunities for retired foreigners in SE Asia’s highly labour-protectionist countries, the switch to Thai language only will be met with dismay by the tens of thousands of existing eBay sellers residing here. No doubt the expat forums at http://www.thaivisa.com will be ablaze with condemnation of this move before the month ends.

  2. Am I reading that incorrectly then – because what I’m seeing is the local Thai-language site AND the “cross border” one. Which frankly would make a lot more sense.

  3. Hi Sue
    Sanook is a Thai-language only site that already has it’s own online auction service (in Thai language only) – the announcement on the existing eBay Thailand portal states that the entire eBay Thailand service will move to Sanook and be in Thai language only.

    BTW – the current eBay Thailand site (www.ebay.co.th) is in both English and Thai, with different levels of content in each language (there are offers in Thai that are not made in English). Any attempt to register an eBay or PayPal account through eBay.co.th bounces you through to the US dot com site, as does any attempt to list or bid on items.

    Although I have no proof, I’m suspecting the tie-up with Sanook is due to the military coup last September, and punitive foreign-business control measures that have been added to the statutes book since then. Certainly when the PowerSeller roadshow (hosted by eBay & PayPal Singapore staff) hit Thailand last summer (before the coup) the staff were saying that the intention was for Thailand to have it’s own fully functioning and staffed site this year, with eBay and PayPal personnel officed in Bangkok. The new co-op proposal would seem to scupper that.

    For examples of how these local-company co-op efforts work, use eBay UK’s home page and the list of countries at the bottom, and click through to any of the South American sites.




SEND TO AMAZON China to FBA service


Fortnum & Mason accelerate digital transformation


Join Alibaba in Manchester for an event on exporting to China


The pet industry in China is booming


Pitney Bowes BOXpoll – Continued demand for UK online retailers among overseas shoppers

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars