kalahari.net launches used site

2010-07-22 21:45


Cape Town - Online retailer kalahari.net has officially launched its used books platform and says it's giving consumers a wider choice in their purchases.

Kalahari has built its reputation as an online bookseller and rejected suggestions that it was entering the territories of auction sites like eBay.

"The difference between us and a site like eBay is like market to flea market," kalahari.net General Manger Gary Novitzkas told News24.

"They're an auction site and we serve slightly different market," he added.

Novitzkas said that initially, the site would sell books, CDs, DVDs and games, and would look to expand into electronics - probably gaming consoles - by September.


Sellers register and their banking details are verified.  Once this step is complete, they upload their products by entering the name of the book, DVD, CD or game or by entering the ISBN number on the product. 

The system searches for the product and once found, the seller nominates a price that he or she would like to sell the item for, as well as the delivery method (courier or postal service). Once uploaded, the item is automatically live on the kalahari.net website.

As a demonstration that it has ambitions of being a trading platform, kalahari.net announced that it will allow other companies to upload their entire inventory for sale, but will add cyber storefronts toward the end of year.

To protect both buyers and sellers, Novitzkas said that the company would use an escrow account. Buyers pay into the account and once they're happy with the purchase Kalahari will release the cash into the seller's account.

Also the company would actively use reviews where buyers can rate sellers.

"We'll allow for negative review and we may block a seller if they get several negative reviews. We have suspended accounts," said Novitzkas.

Currently, there are 3 500 registered sellers registered on kalahari.net and there are no fees for users of the platform, but Novitzkas said they may introduce a fee structure in the future.

News24 and kalahari.net are wholly owned subsidiaries of Naspers

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