closure – commercial pitch for sellers

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UPDATED: Rakuten/ have been in touch with us and asked us to remove the confidential briefing document that was originally included in this post. In a spirit of cooperation, and with a promise of more information soon, we acceded to their request.

Rakuten Play FeatLast week we reported that Japanese owned firm Rakuten would be closing the doors on their marketplace

This came as something of a surprise to some sellers on, who hadn’t been informed. They got the news in the first instance from Tamebay.

It was then revealed that a new marketplace from the same firm was coming our way: Again, that was the first plenty of sellers heard.

We got in contact with Rakuten for more details on their new marketplace but we haven’t heard back on what they plan exactly: we got a ‘watch this space’ statement.

Now, thanks to a Tamebay reader sending it in, we have the PDF commercial pitch document that is being circulated to (we imagine) prospective sellers on

Have a look and make your own mind up. It includes fees and subscription rates as well as some practical information on how existing sellers can transition to the new website.

It also explains the timescales they are proposing for sellers.

It’s a bit of light on what many of us would consider big questions. What is the launch plan to drag in the buyers?

Are all sellers on going to get a share of the new marketplace? What’s the big idea? (There are some clues in the doc but no overriding vision.)

But what is most striking is the fact that isn’t talking openly.

We’ve not had any information or an offer of a briefing from the team. Plenty of sellers have commented that the first they have heard about the change has been Tamebay.

So, take a read and digest the commercial pitch. Is it something you want to be part of? I know many sellers want to see a challenger to eBay and Amazon. I agree there because competition is vital.

But why are Rakuten not keeping the ecommerce community involved, excited and signed up?

9 Responses

  1. I don’t understand this company, destroy an established brand name and name it something the general public has no knowledge of. Remember Consignia anyone?

    The play marketplace died when the government’s war on online retailers ended the tax loop holes, what is going to make this one better? Perhaps it’s a good time as I’m sure eBaye sellers will be loosing their ‘defects’ accounts soon, or perhaps it will just attract all the dodgy NARU ebayers. I think I will sit this one out and see the proportion of Chinese sellers to UK sellers.

  2. My six month Play subscription is due in September even before this news I was planning on not renewing as sales have dried up. I really can’t understand why they have chosen to leave as a zombie marketplace in the run up to Christmas. I have never heard from my account manager since the last renewal was due and have not been informed of the closure or the migration to

    Looking at the new commission structure (Starter @ £30 a month plus 15% commission) it does not look competitive considering it will be a new marketplace which will take time to establish and build traffic.

    The way Play has been left to decline over the last year means I will be unlikely to sign up for as I can make more productive use of my time.

  3. We almost joined play but decided not to because of the 6 month subscription. We opted for fruugo instead and its a slow start but with absolutely no charges other than 10% commission on sales its worth a try. I don’t see working to be honest but who knows.

  4. We’ve been with Play/Rakuten for 18 months, sales have fallen off a cliff since Christmas and we’ve not heard a peep from them regarding these changes. Thanks to Tamebay for letting us know!

    They really need to sharpen up their game before we renew our subscription.


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