News24 launches used site

2010-07-22 21:45

Cape Town - Online retailer 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," 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 website.

As a demonstration that it has ambitions of being a trading platform, 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 and there are no fees for users of the platform, but Novitzkas said they may introduce a fee structure in the future.

News24 and are wholly owned subsidiaries of Naspers

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  • taurus - 2010-07-23 06:48

    Kalahari fails to mention that only products which are already in their database (as new products) are accepted. Here they lose a golden opportunity to create a much-needed selling place for self-publishers.

  • - 2010-07-23 09:40

    Taurus, you make a valid point. While we do have a huge database of over 12 million items, we are also open to including self-publishers later in the year. If you'd like to discuss your requirements we'd be happy to chat. You can contact us on marketplace at
    The kalahari team

  • Revive - 2010-07-23 12:58

    Great idea...I dont like buying games brand new as I feel they can be hectically over-priced sometimes. So I will definitely give this a bash ;)

  • Jack E. Black - 2010-07-23 14:03

    If only would fix their website. Every time I check my order status, and error is generated and automatically logs me off their website. This has been happening for more than a week. Calls to their call centre have been fruitless.

  • tigra - 2010-07-23 14:51

    Kalahari has such a bad service record that I wonder how they will deal with the additional service load? I'd rather go buy new somewhere else.

  • Noordhang - 2010-07-23 15:43

    I am amazed at tigra's comment about bad service as I have always found their service to be exceptionally good in every way. A second-hand section will be great fun to have.

  • legacy - 2010-07-23 22:35

    I also find to have excellent service and i like the idea of selling used items. However i have to state that their website does take long to load, slow and less presentable than other e-tailers such as take2.

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