What if a retailer allowed customers to resell their past purchases on its marketplace? Swiss electronics retailer Digitec Galaxus is offering such a service for products purchased from their websites digitec.ch and galaxus.ch.
According to the company's announcement, the customer can select an item from the list of purchases in their account under the "My Products" section. Since the retailer already knows the details of the product, the customer only has to provide information about its condition and the desired selling price, though they do have the option of uploading additional photos.
Once listed, the items appear on the retailer's site with an indication that the item is "Used." Digitec Galaxus even passes along the item's warranty to the next customer. Products that customers purchased for at least 50 francs going back to August 2014 are eligible for resale through the program. The seller can set their own price, and they have the option of participating in a Dutch auction where the price drops over a 1- or 4-week period.
The service is seamlessly embedded in the retailer's existing online shops.
We discovered the service through a tweet from Jochen Krisch
of German publication Exciting Commerce who linked to a story about the service in a Swiss blog called Carpathia.
Retailers like Best Buy have long had trade-in programs, understanding that some consumers like to upgrade to the latest gadget or generate cash to buy more things. But Digitec Galaxus takes this to another level - closer to the eBay model, but much easier.
Digitec Galaxus says all used items are backed by a wealth of detailed product data, as only items that were once purchased from digitec or Galaxus can be recycled. The buyer sees, for example, how old a used smartphone is, whether it has one or two SIM card slots or with how many megapixels the mobile phone camera shoots photos. Furthermore, all existing warranty services are passed on to the buyer.
The Swiss retailer uses an escrow model and will mediate in cases where the condition of the item has not been described accurately.
If retailers like Best Buy try this model, it could have an impact on the "consumer sellers" that eBay is trying so hard to attract. It could also impact professional sellers of certain categories, since customers would be drawn to retailers' website rather than marketplaces knowing they could peruse a mix of new and used goods and get service from the retailer, even for the used items.