I love the idea of Kalahari Marketplace. Even the way it’s integrated and run is great. The main problem I’ve found is a lack of people buying. Kalahari have been punting their Marketplace for quite a while, but it wasn’t till a few months ago, when I sat with a shelf full of textbooks I didn’t think I was going to use, and no easy way to sell them, that I decided to give it a go.
The system is fairly straightforward. You signup for R5, then you look through the stuff you want to sell and match it up to products on Kalahari.com(formerly net)’s website. You click a button saying you have one to sell, list the price you want to sell it for and how you’re willing to send it. Then it gets listed on the Kalahari’s website. No other costs, unless you make a sale, where 6% of the product’s sale value is charged. It is then up to you to go and post the product.6% is small enough that people are willing to let it slide, although it is a fairly large amount. And for Kalahari, it’s 6% on every sale, for doing pretty much nothing. In return you’re put in a fairly risk free position. Kalahari take the money straight from the seller, and you get it a while later. This is one issue, as you can wait two to three weeks after you ship the package before you get disbursed, but if you’re not in a hurry for the money it’s ok.
Kalahari appear to also be marketing this service to commercial companies, as there’s a mass upload tool available, and I have seen certain items listed with company names that one can buy from as opposed to private sales.
I’ve read several articles that claim Kalahari are making a good amount of money from the service, with large volumes of products being listed, and matched by good sales. Personally I’ve had a list of 12 text books up for the last 2 months, and I just made my first sale. A friend of mine has had products up for over 8 months, including DVDs and Text Books, and hasn’t made one sale, so it’s difficult to know.
I made sure that with each of my products I put up, there was a noticeable difference in price between my product and the new product, making sure that the profit still made it viable for me. So the lack of sales shouldn’t be price related, but more desirability of the products I’m selling, and more that people either don’t notice the products for sale, or for some reason feel it’s not a safe choice. Hopefully after my first sale now, I’ll have a rating to match the products.
Either way it looks like Kalahari is here to stay, and if you’re not in a hurry to sell seems like a safer method to sell certain products than a service like Gumtree.