UPDATED: Rakuten/Play.com 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.
Last week we reported that Japanese owned firm Rakuten would be closing the doors on their marketplace play.com.
This came as something of a surprise to some sellers on play.com, 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: rakuten.co.uk. Again, that was the first plenty of play.com 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 rakuten.co.uk.
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 play.com going to get a share of the new rakuten.co.uk 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 Rakuten.co.uk isn’t talking openly.
We’ve not had any information or an offer of a briefing from the team. Plenty of play.com 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?