When was the last time you visited a local dealer to sell your old phone but came back ridiculing the price offered? These local dealers prefer giving buy-back offers as against fair price for old phones.
You can try putting ads in online classified websites like Quikr and OLX but it’s a tedious process. Most of the times, you aren’t sure of what price your old product would fetch if sold now. Rohit Bageria realized this problem and came up with his venture, Budli.in in June 2013 based out of Kolkata. It’s one of India’s early re-commerce platform that allows users trade their old products for a fair price.
In simple words, ‘re-commerce’ is exactly the opposite of e-commerce. In re-commerce, customer sells his old devices to the company for a fair price. It isn’t a classified website where customers have to post ad and wait for some other customer to buy the device. Wikipedia terms re-commerce as a medium to recover products over electronic systems, such as the Internet, or through physical distribution channels.
What makes re-commerce interesting is its business model – C2B. In C2B model, a consumer selling his old devices to the companies is exactly the opposite of e-commerce model where companies sell products to the consumers. This business model caters to the same audience, which uses online classifieds with C2C business models like Quikr and OLX. While OLX and Quikr are online classifieds where users post an advertisement to sell new or old stuff, these companies are not actually involved in the transaction.
When asked about the competition and Budli’s competitive advantage, Rohit says that users need a reliable and convenient solution against the prevalent marketplaces. After a user lists his device on a marketplace, he isn’t sure when the device would get sold and has to manage the required logistics too. Rohit finds this inconvenience a nuisance and feels Budli.in will provide an alternative to such users.
After his post graduation from UC Berkeley, Rohit worked in various sectors, including software, manufacturing and e-commerce in India and the US before starting Budli.in. Rohit explains that it’s easy to sell old gadgets on budli.in in a few clicks. A user can log on to the website, select the specific product he owns, add extra information needed and submit. A system-generated price pops up which becomes a shipping label on acceptance.
Budli.in team collects the product from the customer’s door and ships for inspection free of cost. They have tied up with reliable courier service providers to ship products in any part of the country. The condition of the used product and market price of a new model of the product are two of the many factors which govern the price of the product. The money transaction either happens online or through a cheque. The company has appropriate resale channels to dispose the bought products.
Recent Indian e-commerce surge indirectly carved a path for re-commerce companies. In India, through various online and offline merchants, 100 million new gadgets are sold every year but there are fewer options to dispose used gadgets. Most of the second hand commerce is currently managed by small retailers, repair shops etc, hence providing a huge opportunity to be tapped online. These re-commerce startups are addressing this unfulfilled need in the market. Though the industry is still in its early days, it’s interesting to see that majority users are from non-metros confirming the widespread reach of re-commerce.
At present, Budli.in has competition in this market from reglobe.in, YNew and a couple more in India. There are various companies across the world working in the re-commerce industry like Re-commerce Solutions in France, Gazelle in the US and Rebuy in Germany.
With changing lifestyles, Indians have started to buy and change electronic devices frequently. On an average, people change their smartphones every 13 to 18 months providing huge inventory and opportunity for these re-commerce companies.
We are curious to know what you think about the future of re-commerce market in India. Feel free to share your opinions below.