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Thu May 8 2008 15:27:54

Why Is QXL Closing in the UK?

By: Ina Steiner

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Someone wrote in with a question. Did eBay's relationship with Naspers Limited have anything to do with the closing of QXL in the UK? I'm guessing that the only people who would have an interest in the answer to this question are users of QXL UK, since the auction site's closing means less competition. Tradus gave no reason for closing the site, perhaps UK readers could fill us in on how QXL was doing and whether the closure was inevitable? 

May 27, 2007: eBay enters into agreement with a subsidiary of Naspers Limited in Thailand (Sanook)

December 2007: UK press report Tradus in acquisition talks, Naspers named as one possible suitor

December 5, 2007: CFO of eBay Germany jumps ship to become Tradus Director and Group CFO.

March 7, 2008: Naspers subsidiary acquires Tradus

May 6, 2008: Tradus announces closure of QXL site in UK effective May 30, 2008.

Comments (6) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Why Is QXL Closing in the UK?   Why Is QXL Closing in the UK?

by: Ray

Thu May 8 17:09:04 2008

QXL has very few auctions, no wonder they are closing.

Perminate Link for Why Is QXL Closing in the UK?   Why Is QXL Closing in the UK?

by: Chairman

Fri May 9 02:21:00 2008

That seems a bit odd , QXL has done well in so many markets such as Switz and Pol ,you would think with all eBay.Uk's dispiriting actions over past couple years QXL would be in position for a push.

Perminate Link for Why Is QXL Closing in the UK?   Why Is QXL Closing in the UK?

by: Tim

Fri May 9 02:32:25 2008

Yep, they might have been in a position to take market share away from eBay...and now they're gone. Coincidence? I don't think so:  Let's see, eBay has an arrangement - and a former employee - with the new owners of QXL.  And now QXL is gone. How convenient.

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by: Dan Wilson

Fri May 9 07:23:37 2008

I'm not sure that eBay's relationship with Naspers is even common knowledge and I'd be very surprised if it played a part.

QXL was well established, advertising strongly, well-funded and getting very good media coverage in the UK media when eBay landed in the UK in 1999. As part of the team working to establish eBay back then I recall being quite dispirited by the success they were enjoying. I also recall that many QXL sellers were very reluctant to move to eBay, or even experiment, such was their  success on the site in 1999/2000. From my viewpoint, eBay success certainly didn’t seem inevitable.

eBay started to really get traction in 2000/2001 and very quickly surpassed QXL in terms of GMV, profile and number of sellers. Of course, eBay had spending money but the culture wasn’t lavish and we had to prove we were getting traction before the wallet was really opened wide. In the early days QXL was definitely outspending eBay.

My view is that QXL failed to succeed in those critical years for two reasons. Firstly, it was purely European and didn't enjoy transatlantic trade. The USA was vital to building the eBay UK business. Secondly, they muddied the waters. eBay was always pure-play person-to-person: QXL experimented with selling its own goods and that didn’t play well with smaller merchants.

This death has been a long time coming. I believe that since 2003 (perhaps even before) that QXL in the UK has been operating with what can be described generously as a skeleton staff expecting little. Success elsewhere in Europe has been respectable but, I’d say honestly, that QXL has been dead in the water in the UK for at least five years from a consumer's point of view. The question might better be: what took them so long?

A QXL insider's view would be of interest.

Perminate Link for Why Is QXL Closing in the UK?   Why Is QXL Closing in the UK?

by: Ed

Tue May 13 14:35:43 2008

I go along with everything Dan says - I tried hard to build QXL as another channel back in 2003, but getting sales on there was like pulling teeth.

The post on our blog (with traffic graph) says it all really -


Perminate Link for Why Is QXL Closing in the UK?   Why Is QXL Closing in the UK?

by: Alex

Fri Aug 1 06:54:15 2008

I have come accross this site inspiration of ebay they are look alike and im baffled, so now this explains that maybe qxl is behind or somthing who knows. I believe to take on ebay you have to be like ebay. cant wait to check out this zbid site. Thats all i have to say

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