eBay is closing its marketplace platform in Turkey, losing 4 million active buyers as a result. It comes 15 years after eBay’s initial investment in GittiGidiyor, and 3 months after Amazon announced it would build its first fulfillment center in Turkey.
At the time of its first investment in 2007, Lorrie Norrington, then eBay’s international marketplaces president, called GittiGidiyor’s business model and community-centric approach “an excellent complement” to eBay’s marketplaces business. In 2011, eBay acquired a 93% stake in GittiGidiyor.
Despite the head start, the platform could not sustain its early lead. eBay said in today’s announcement that it “regularly reviews its business operations globally and made this difficult but strategic decision based on the ongoing competitive dynamics in the market.”
Amazon, which launched its Prime service in Turkey in 2020, will open a fulfillment center in Istanbul this fall. A Turkish-language website that covered today’s news detailed competitive pressures on eBay’s platform in the country.
Today’s news seems unrelated to PayPal’s exit of Turkey in 2016 after what the Wall Street Journal called pressure from Turkish authorities for Western companies “to move data centers inside the country to facilitate more efficient compliance with government and court orders to block content, and to generate tax revenue.”
GittiGidiyor was founded in Istanbul in 2000 by Serkan Borancili, Burak Divanlioglu and Tolga Kabatas.
In its announcement, eBay said it would provide details to customers today:
“eBay will work closely with GittiGidiyor buyers and sellers to assist in the migration off the platform, and will share more detailed information with them directly later today. As of today, sellers will no longer be able to list new items and as of July 18, buyers will no longer be able to make new purchases. Buyers and sellers will be able to access their My Account page until September 5, 2022.”