Tesco quietly launches online marketplace

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Tesco Direct MarketplaceTesco is now officially a competitor to Amazon and eBay having opened up Tesco Direct to third party retailers. So far on Tesco I’ve spotted products from both Maplin and from online gardening retailer Crocus. You’ll also notice that every product on Tesco Direct now carries the message “Buy from Tesco”, which is exchanged for “Buy from Maplin” or “Buy from Crocus” on products from 3rd party suppliers. This changes to “Supplied by….” as soon as you get to the shopping basket to check out.

As a bonus to customers they can earn club card points for purchases from any seller on the Tesco marketplace. It does of course mean that Tesco will be sharing their customers details with third party suppliers and they’ve updated their privacy policy to include “If you buy a product or service from a Seller at Tesco we will only share relevant personal information with the seller for the purpose of processing your order“.

So far I have yet to see a product offered by Tesco and a third party, so I don’t know whether they ban competing products or only display them from a third party if Tesco themselves are out of stock. This also means we currently have no insight into their pricing policy, although the products I have seen are offered on the retailers own sites at the same price point as on Tesco Direct. However if you collect Tesco Club Card Points you are better off purchasing on Tesco as third party products still earn you points, but other than that price parity with a retailers own website appears to be in place.

Tesco have been very quiet about the launch of their marketplace, although they’ve had plenty of stories over the last couple of years saying it was going to happen. However just a few weeks ago, at the Internet Retailing Expo in Birmingham, Dan spoke to them and they had nothing to say about the pending launch of their marketplace.

It looks very unlikely that Tesco will open up their website as a proper marketplace open for large numbers of sellers to list on, which is a shame. From the current third party sellers it looks like they’re going for large non-competing high street retailers. There is currently no information available as to the criteria for selling on Tesco Direct or what the fees are so we can only assume that it’s currently an invitation only marketplace.

Tesco are due to announce their full year results this week so it’s likely that they will include an announcement of their new marketplace, but don’t forget you heard about it first here on Tamebay and we’ll keep you updated as and when we hear more.

26 Responses

  1. hm if tesco ban competing products (and its not confirmed yet) they will end up with everything because you can bet anything you want if someone sells thousands of one item and tesco don’t sell it they will have the technology to see what it is and guess what they will sell it next and then ban the other seller from selling it.

  2. Also must add because of the way ebay have treated sellers over the years if Tesco were to become a rival then i can see them pulling thousands of sellers from ebay.

    But this is all speculation for now untill it opens up for everyone and what are the fees etc etc

  3. Ebay sucked up to the outlets, deserted there main user base. Now over the next few years watch what happens.

    Ebay will be squeezed and competition from the supermarkets will cause them the most damage. They have branding and a massive customer base.

    They have a taste of the cake now they want more.

  4. If Tesco are to open up their marketplace and draw in sellers from ebay (and even Amazon?) they will need a subsection on their website with systems designed for the ebay (and Amazon?) seller.

    At the moment it looks like invite only to a marketplace with systems and processes not suitable for ad hoc sales.

    Will the lack of a feedback arrangement put potential buyers off?

    Probably not because of the Tesco branding. Tesco are going to make sure that their brand is not harmed by rogue sellers and for this reason I am struggling with the idea of Tesco opening up their marketplace to all.

    But I would like them to.

    One thing is for sure. Amazon and eBay will be watching closely.

    I do like the Clubcard points idea for all sales.

  5. How do we work out your delivery costs?

    Delivery costs are based on the type of delivery you choose, your address, and the seller you’re buying from.
    Seller charges vary by seller. Tesco delivery costs are listed below:
    Delivery type Books All other products
    Standard delivery £1.75 £3.00
    Express delivery £2.75 £5.00
    Pick your delivery day – £5.00 – 19.00
    We will call you – £5.00 – 19.00
    Click & collect – Free

    Some postcodes may incur a surcharge. We will show you the total delivery charge during checkout.

    For items sold by Tesco you only pay for delivery once, but if you choose to have your order split or delivered to more than one address, you’ll be charged for each delivery.

  6. Some greater flexibility required around postage – maplin postage was £2.99 – Tesco advertised a fixed cost of £3

    So it looks like Maplin not bound by Tescos pricing policy for delivery but not clear on the listing.

  7. I’m not sure how exciting this really is unless Tesco open the gates and let it become a secondary marketplace like eBay or a little like Amazon. With the clout they have in retail, that would be almost as interesting as if Google created a marketplace of their own.

    I don’t think they are interested in doing this, after all, their main priority is to offload stock that cannot be sold through their retail stores and recover as much margin as possible.

    I can’t think they are interested in running & maintaining an open marketplace, but they are every bit interested in increasing recovery rates on stock that cannot be sold through primary markets.

  8. All of Tesco’s larger stores could have subcontracted ‘collect+’ type depots in each store [bit like they sublet to opticians, etc]

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