Flat Screen Support

Flat Screen Mounts, AV Furniture, Stands & Trolleys Sales & Consultancy

Is the Rakuten owned www.play.com, the new Ebay?

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Following the UK’s government closure of the Value Added Tax (VAT) loophole, that had allowed companies in the Channel Islands to import low value goods into the UK, without the need to charging UK VAT, it was predicted by many that the future prospects of www.play.com were very gloomy.

The Japanese owner of Play.com, Rakuten thought differently, rather than continuing an attempt to sell directly to customers, Play.com was developed into a kind-of Ebay or Amazon, offering consumers a virtual market-place, where independent traders sell their products. Unlike Ebay, Play.com is not an auction website, it’s more like a community of hand-selected specialist retailers, selling a wide range of consumer and business products.

Flat Screen Support was approached a few months ago by Play.com, as it was looking for suppliers of office furniture and audiovisual mounting hardware. After due consideration, Flat Screen Support ‘signed-up’, to give it a go. To be honest, we didn’t have a great deal to lose, apart from a good many man hours uploading our ranges, a job that is still to be fully completed.

So, we initially uploaded our Alphason and B-Tech offerings, just to see what happened…

Well, it was a bit of a shock really, the first weekend saw our Play.com sales, actually exceed our Ebay and our own website sales.

The beauty of the Play.com ‘marketplace’ is that it’s not saturated by thousands of individuals operating from their bedrooms, selling mobile phone accessories and dodgy autographs, or thousands of people selling-off their entire wardrobe collection, or their catalogue of CDs and DVDs. Play.com appears to be different, serviced by real companies, offering new stock from current ranges, albeit discounted from the High St.

The only downsides to trading on Play.com is that there are several legal hoops to be jumped through. Also, there’s a need for a healthy company cash-flow, as payments can take up to 10~14 days to hit the company bank account. It’s great to sell a few £350 TV cabinets, but that’s a sizeable chunk of cash missing from your cash flow for a couple of weeks.

Well, we’ll have to see how it goes…. It’s certainly started off well enough.

And for all those companies thinking of jumping on the mounting hardware and office furniture Play.com bandwagon, sadly, you’re just too late.

For more information, please call us on 0845 835 0266

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This entry was posted on March 1, 2013 by in Product News and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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