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Rakuten closes Play & cancels 7.8 million listings

By Chris Dawson March 24, 2015 - 8:57 am

Play logoPlay.com has closed. Buyers are now diverted to Rakuten.co.uk and that’s where sellers will have to list in the future if they want to sell on the platform.

That being the case, it’s time to take another look at how the migration of listings went and sadly it’s not great news. Yesterday before Play.com closed they had 8,920,474 listings. Rakuten.co.uk has just 1,105,412 listings, that’s a difference of 7,815,062 listings.

Whilst a million listings might sound like a lot, in reality it’s not. Exclude a few categories such as books, clothing, CDs/DVDs, video games, groceries, tech and motors and there are just 94,186 general merchandise products available to buy.

As a comparison with Rakuten’s 94,186 listings, Play.com had 124,971 listings in the Home and Garden category alone! That’s without the baby, gifts, groceries, beauty, hobbies, jewellery, musical instruments, pets sports and toys categories. eBay have 4,613,889 listings in Home and Garden, although this comparison is a little unfair as eBay don’t have product listings so each seller lists the same item on a separate listing. 94,186 listings is however tiny.

Tamebay’s Rakuten listings growth tracker

Good news! In the past two weeks inventory in four of the five key categories we’ve been tracking has grown.

The greatest growth is the laptops category which almost quadrupled it’s listing numbers from 57 to 199. That’s still however far short of Play.com which closed today with 16,627 products in the laptop category.

Rakuten Inventory Growth

Category Rakuten
October 2014
Rakuten
January 2015
Rakuten
9th March 2015
Rakuten
24th March 2015
Laptops 27 52 57 199
Pets – Cats 456 498 508 513
Women – Footware 3 151 177 350
Home & Garden – Cookware 463 594 678 714
Baby – Pushchairs & Accessories
(NB No actual pushchairs listed)
30 136 156 155

Comparison of Play.com closing inventory vs Rakuten.co.uk inventory

Here’s the full breakdown of Play.com listings the day they shut up shop compared to Rakuten.co.uk listings on the same day. The only two categories where there are more products on Rakuten then Play.com are DVDs and Groceries.

Play.com vs Rakuten.co.uk

Category

Play.com
Listing Total

Rakuten.co.uk
Listing Total

Difference

Baby 6,391 2,521

-3,870

Books 5,456,754 206,344

-5,250,410

Clothing & Jewellery 869,716 118,429

-795,639

DVD/Blu-Ray 227,005 227,918 +913
Video Games 25,817 15,106

-10,711

CDs 442,521 394,932

-475,89

Gifts & Gadgets 632,713 17,375

-615,338

Groceries 5,075 18,946 +13,871
Beauty 49,783 25,434

-24,349

Hobbies 14,647 924

-13,723

Home & Garden 124,971 25,467

-99,504

Motoring 48,476 1,034

-47,442

Musical Instruments 3,386 1,629

-1,757

Pets 11,041 8,367

-2,674

Sports 40,136 4,359

-35,777

Electronics 944,219 28,517

-915,702

Toys 62,175 8,110

-54,065

  • Rachael
    2 years ago

    We are one of the retailers that have not jumped into the new Rakuten (so our listings are some of those that ended yesterday) and are watching to see what happens -I don’t like the points (never did with play), as I don’t think customers really buy into this, -and just look at pricing,

    They made such a hash of the last two years with play that I am not putting any more time or effort until it looks like it might move upwards again, as they destroyed what was a decent platform looking back on our sales over the last 5 years,

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      I gotta laugh! And we thought eBay is bad? At least it works (mostly) and produces sales (loads if cheapest).

      Maybe you all on Play and Rackertum (stupid name & no idea how to spell it so it’s no sup many don’t use it) should be happier about eBay. Yes, eBay is expensive. Yes, CS is shit. Yes, sellers are treated like shit, etc, etc…. But at least eBay produces sales.

      All I hear is bitching about this, more about that, moaning about this, complaining about that….. It makes me wonder: What ARE you happy about?

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

  • 2 years ago

    I think the issue is, many have registered ( including myself atleast 6 months ago ) to trade on Ratuken, but as of yet are still to hear a thing back.

    The migration is obviously taking longer than anticipated.

    At this point however, just give me access to list my products myself.

  • 2 years ago

    Im not surprised by this. They have *completely* messed this up.

    We are STILL WAITING to be contacted by them to either transition/setup etc but nothing.
    Absolute disaster.

    I would love to see a comment here on Tamebay from anyone at Rakuten, to see what they have to say.

  • alan
    2 years ago

    I’m gonna wait until I can spell ratkuten before I list. There can’t be many buyers who can spell it either!

  • Mike
    2 years ago

    Rakuten,

    The pre-pay subscription model is so 2000s. Please adopt a commission only fee structure and I’ll add a million SKUs overnight … till then, Amazon and eBay rule the roost.

  • Stuart
    2 years ago

    I think we could really do with hearing some comments on here from Rakuten, or perhaps for Chris to contact them, which I am sure he has many times.

    We just want an honest answer as to what is happening, I would rather they just said there is some upload issues with adding stock they are fixing first before inviting the rest of us.

    No news in this case is not ‘good’ news, it’s really pi**ing sellers off and making them not want to sell on there when they eventually get in touch.

    There a lot of us sellers out there who put real effort in to selling on play, this just feels like a big kick in the you know what’s.

  • Nick Talley
    2 years ago

    It s absolutely disgraceful the way Rakuten have treated it’s sellers. We have been on Play since 2007 and still have not had any information about moving to the new platform despite many emails and phone calls.

    We went to the London launch when Rakuten purchased Play a few years back and had such high hopes but it all turned out to be BS. What a disappointment.

  • fusion
    2 years ago

    I was contacted by Rakuten the day before play closed. We contacted them many months back but I guess they are finally getting the time to get back to sellers. I guess there should be some growth in the next few months but i doubt they will get to the level of play products

  • The new site is awful. You search for a DVD for example and you get half a dozen “entries” for the same title come up, one for each seller. Nobody wants that, they want it the way it was on Play with a break down of used/new sellers (eg like Amazon).

    It’s atrocious. Also they should be contacting potential sellers and they’re not. A complete dog’s breakfast in my opinion.

  • Daniel Faraday
    2 years ago

    It’s worth keeping in mind that a lot of those Play.com listings was crap that no one wanted accumulated over fifteen years.

    Also, Rakuten isn’t product based (currently), it’s listing based, just like ebay, so it is fair to compare them.

  • Claudia
    2 years ago

    I’m not a seller,just a buyer, but so far this whole transition sucks. My buying history: gone. Ability to watch prices in euros: non existent (or impossible to find). Searching for items: absolute drama. Free shipping outside of the UK: part of the past.
    Play.com used to be my go-to website for buying books, movies and music – I can only hope Rakuten will be as good, but I fear the worst. And what ticks me off as well; not even an email was sent to inform of the transition – how’s that for customer service?

    • jak
      2 years ago

      completely agree! used to be a great site with great selection, great pricing and free shipping, i used it every week. now: searching is terrible, products are wrongly tagged, prices are hilarious, selection is much more limited and there is no free shipping… don’t see why anyone would buy anything there… some specific cds which used to cost EUR 5 (with free shipping) on Play.com now cost 14 plus shipping.. good luck with that…

  • fin-buyer
    2 years ago

    This was my one and only stop for books.

    I cannot find any of the titles I’m now after. Add the abolished free delivery and I’m looking for new home for my money.

    Also the issue with not accepting Mastercard (and taking a month to tell me, “whatta you know, it really does not work – as you said”) helped them prevent me from ever using my play.com points collected over seven years.

    Any sugggestions? Amazon.de /co.uk /.com is rubbish here in cold Finland.

  • Paige
    2 years ago

    I am a buyer and I am so upset with the change!!
    Play.com was my go-to for DVDs and books. I love reading, but never keep my books pristine so I would always buy the used books- at such a good price!! where are these now?!
    I also have lost all the points I had accumulated over the few years and all my order history is gone!
    The prices are stupid now. DVDs for example, Play.com was the best place to get them as the DVDs were always sold at an unbeatable price! Now its just expensive and not worth it.

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