Flipkart launches mobile web-based platform for refurbished goods

The logo of Flipkart is seen on the company's office in Bengaluru | Photo: Reuters
Online retailer Flipkart has launched a new platform for selling certified refurbished products, a little over a week after it shut eBay India that too served as an online platform for used products.

Called ‘2Gud’, the new platform will be independent from Flipkart’s main marketplace and will initially sell refurbished smartphones, tablets, laptops and other electronics. The company said it will manage the process of certifying, packaging, storing and shipping these used goods end-to-end.

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart, said the launch of 2Gud was in line with the company’s focus on tapping the next 100-200 million online shoppers in the country. He added it was the first-of-its-kind service in the country that addressed the trust deficit consumers had with buying used products.

“Today the biggest thought process within the company is how do we get the next 100-200 million users, who are already online but not buying products online, into the e-commerce fold. A few days ago we announced a new native language voice platform and 2Gud is the next step in that direction,” said Krishnamurthy.

2Gud will leverage F1 Info Solutions, the mobile repair and service company Flipkart had acquired back in September 2017. All devices sold on the platform will be tested and fixed, if needed, before they are shipped to customers across the country. Customers will receive the packages just as they do any other item bought on Flipkart.

In order to ensure faulty devices are not shipped to customers, Flipkart says it has set up a 46-point test and the product has to pass each level. Further, the company will grade devices in terms of their condition, which it says will increase transparency.

Flipkart will also offer between three and 12 months of warranty on every device it sells on 2Gud, at times in partnership with the brand and even on its own on other occasions.

While 2Gud will give Flipkart a foothold in the used goods market, which it expects to grow to $20 billion in the next five-six years, the platform will now function as a customer-to-customer marketplace like eBay or Olx and Quikr. While Flipkart says it will largely focus on the value conscious buyer, it won’t restrict itself in terms of price of devices it sells.

“We don’t want to restrict our buyers. There will always be someone out there who for instance wants to own an iPhone, it might not be the latest model, but are willing to buy a used device for a significant reduction over the price of the device,” said Anil Goteti, Vice President at Flipkart, who will be heading 2Gud.

The refurbished devices sold on 2Gud will cost anywhere between 50-80 per cent of the sticker price of the item when new, depending on the grade under which they fall. For now Flipkart is attacking the market largely with smartphones. It says it will expand the offering to include categories such as televisions, large appliances and even furniture.

For now, 2Gud is available only on mobile web, since Flipkart expects the target audience for the service to be largely on low-cost mobile devices and with no access to desktop computers. In time, the company says it will roll out an app as well as a desktop website for the service.

Apart from selling certified used products to cater to more users who fall into lower income categories than the traditional online shopper, Flipkart is also working on several other initiatives such as easier access to finance and even its own private labels which serve as a more compelling offering to customers over unbranded or goods from smaller brands.