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eBay Arrives In Indonesia, But Without Auctions

What is eBay without the auctions, like the famed broken laser pointer that was the first item sold on the site? According to Tech in Asia via Yahoo News, it’s Blanja.com, which recently unveiled itself to the Indonesia market.

Blanja.com arrived as a joint venture between eBay and Telkom Indonesia. The name appears to be a competitive play on words when compared to an existing Indonesian ecommerce venture called Blandja.com, operated by BNI (Indonesian State Bank).

The currently-in-beta Blanja.com offers visitors three main categories where shoppers can go to make a purchase. The customer to customer one, Social Shop, operates differently than what the typical eBay visitor would expect to find.

Think of Social Shop as a site where everything is available on a “Buy It Now” basis. There are no auctions; rather, prices are set and purchases take place as a customary buy and sell transaction.

There’s also a small hurdle for would-be Blanja sellers. Only new items may be sold on the site (so no legendary broken laser pointer stories in the making here.) And those wishing to become merchants must first obtain a government business permit.

This requirement may or may not present a great obstacle, depending both upon the persistence of the merchant and the difficulty level of applying for and obtaining the desired permit. The report contends this limitation may be in place to help combat potential seller fraud, as buyers would know that any merchant they transact with has at least made themselves known to the government as a Blanja.com seller.

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David A Utter
David A Utter
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.