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Rakuten to open UK and DE site this year

By Chris Dawson May 26, 2011 - 11:24 pm

Rakuten are reported in The Japan Times as intending to launch sites this year in the UK and Germany to directly compete with eBay and Amazon.

Rakuten opened a retail site aimed at attracting UK buyers in September 2010. The site is translated into English by Google, but the trading currency is still Japenese Yen.

The company have been on the acquisition trial for a number of years and already own Buy.com and PriceMinister. Between them these two companies give Rakuten a presence in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Rakuten say they’re open to more acquisitions, but will also build their own site. Recruiting enough sellers to stock new sites in the UK and Germany won’t be a problem. Not only do they have Buy.com and PriceMinister to supply product, but Rakuten is already the biggest online retailer/marketplace in Japan so can instantly port those products to European sites.

It will be interesting to see if there’s room for a third player in Europe and how quickly they’ll gain traction amongst buyers. One thing’s for sure though, they have fairly deep pockets and the chances are high that they’ll do all they can initially to buy market share.

  • 9 years ago

    Never heard of them. Most people don’t buy from eBid for the same reason.

  • Chris
    9 years ago

    We keep on saying that there are problems with ebay. So lets wait and see just what they have on offer. Obviously if the final version is to gain any market share at all in the UK it has to be in £sterling and not yen. But lets keep an open mind. People don’t use ibid because it is not user friendly, I can never find what I am looking for whenever I try it.

  • northumbrian
    9 years ago

    ebay works because its in English or most that use it can understand at least a small amount of english
    I cant think of any country in the world that speaks Japanese as a second language, or teach japanese other than the japanese,
    the only japanese words I know is honda toyota ,nissan, sony, etc

    • Chris
      9 years ago

      Wasn’t Korea ruled by the Japanese for many years before World War II possibly Koreans(certainly the older ones) are likely to speak Japanese but my reading of the posting was that while the original site was in Japanese the UK version would go through a Japanese – English translation or am I reading it wrong. A while ago we were being told about a Tesco Site. It has not appeared. So we are still waiting for the perfect site. I do not know if this proposed site will be perfect but lets wait until we see it before judging it. After all we might be pleasantly surprised.

    • northumbrian
      9 years ago

      its going to get dark tonight
      argue against that!

    • 9 years ago

      Can I answer for Chris? It would all depend on how close to the North Pole you are this time of year as the further north you are the longer the sun stays in the sky. Thanks for letting me answer the question. You can get on with winding each other up now.

    • northumbrian
      9 years ago

      its constant day if it does not get dark and I said “tonight”

    • 9 years ago

      I’ll set Chris on to ya.

    • Chris
      9 years ago

      Woof Woof

    • Chris
      9 years ago

      Now about the Sun and Night. Isn’t somewhere called the Land of the Midnight Sun. That as Warren so correctly says is because in Summer the further North you go the longer the days are(the length of daylight) until you get to the position where the Sun does not set so there is no dark during what might be called Night. Of course in those areas they have long periods during the Winter when the Sun Never Rises so it is continuously Dark throughout the 24 hours. I’m not certain just how far northumbrian is but I do not think that either the Shetland or Orkney Islands are far enough North for them to have 24 hour Sunlight during the day during Summer or 24 hour darkness during the Winter. However if I am wrong on this I am happy to be corrected.

  • Chris
    9 years ago

    I found myself thinking about the assertion that sellers in the UK and Germany would be easy to recruit. I wonder if that is true? Obviously they would need to offer inducements to get large numbers onto the site. Free Listings Lower FVF less silly rules and continuous changes etc might make getting onto the site attractive. But at the end of the day we want to sell our product. So that needs Buyers. To attract Buyers in large enough numbers is going to be a problem. Without Buyers those Sellers who are attracted will soon start to drift away again. Perhaps they are going to offer Free T-shirts(and hats)

    • Chris
      9 years ago

      Thinking about Free T-Shirts if they are due to open during the “Summer” perhaps Free Sweat Shirts and Thermal Underwear might be more appropriate.

    • 9 years ago

      I’m still waiting for my free eBid t-shirt.

  • 9 years ago

    I love Rakuten, and shop there at least once a month.

    I have fed back to them on the pain points that UK consumers face with the site.

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