eBay are going back to Japan having pulled out of the territory in 2002. This time however they’re not going it alone but will partner with Yahoo!
By March next year the Japanese will be able to bid for items listed on eBay through Yahoo! Auctions, and in a reciprocal arrangement by the middle of 2008 US eBay users will be able to bid for Yahoo Japan auction items through the eBay. Meg Whitman said of the deal, “We are excited to partner with Yahoo Japan in providing Japanese users with localized site designed to enable them to shop on the eBay marketplace with ease and convenience”.
It’ll be interesting to see how the differences between the site mesh, and how clear it will be if an item is listed on eBay or Yahoo! One thing is for sure though, and that’s that a whole load of new buyers and sellers in Japan will be accessing eBay in their own language.
To attract even more Japanese buyers a new site called Sekaimon is being jointly launched. A collaboration between Yahoo! and eBay the Sekaimon site will translate items on listed on eBay into Japanese and help with payments, shipping and customs clearance for Japanese shoppers. Sekaimon literally means “Global Shopping”, which is after all eBay’s ultimate aim.
Too little, too late!
I was in Japan while eBay Japan was (briefly) alive and operating. eBay management I met were totally clueless about how the Japanese market operated and addressing customer’s expectations. I still do good business in Japan on eBay but only because my auctions offer Â¥en based payments and I have a local agent (in Tokyo) that helps with any problems or questions.
This new service seems tacked on to the existing structure and will simply lump Japanese customers with more fees. Fortunately my customers can also buy direct and avoid all the added costs.
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