September 2021 | latest update: 08.09.2023 | by Lili & Felix
And we’ve arrived at the final stop of our journey of online marketplaces. But what a stop this is! We have lesser-known African marketplaces and popular, yet still surprising American e-Commerce giants for you.
Let’s get started.
Jiji.ng is one of the biggest platforms of classified ads in Africa. You can find just about anything on Jiji.ng from electronics, cars, beauty products, fashion, to houses for rent and even job opportunities.
Screenshot of Jiji.ng’s homepage
The marketplace has 3.5 million monthly visits, and an estimated annual revenue of $109.1 million. Although Jiji.ng is free for consumers, businesses can also register for a fee and sell a larger volume of products as classifieds.
This, as well as the lack of trackable online transactions (e.g. sending payment or products, since most of these take place off-platform) create opportunities for counterfeiters and traders of cracked software. Not to mention the fact that seller accounts only provide sparse information and it’s hard to track down individual sellers.
With 1.7 million monthly visits and an annual revenue of $27 million, bidorbuy is one of South Africa’s largest online marketplaces. As its name suggests, bidorbuy customers can shop via bidding or direct buying.
The platform has a B2C as well as a C2C orientation, and offers a vast array of products ranging from automotive and furniture to fashion and jewellery, even property.
Screenshot of bidorbuy.co.za’s homepag
Thanks to our test purchase service we’ve had a lot of experience with this platform. The problem, as in many other cases, is the fact that the third party sellers present on the platform don’t disclose a lot of information about themselves, and communication is often difficult.
Bidorbuy itself is often seen as a middle man, trying to aid the sales process and communication between the parties. However, buying something often takes a long time, caused by the fact that sellers tend to offer products they don’t even have yet but have to import to the country first.
Similarly to Kaufland in Germany, everybody associates Walmart with large physical stores where people push around shopping carts filled to the brink. But Walmart has an online marketplace as well, and true to its nature, not a small one.
The marketplace has 407.6 million monthly visitors and an annual net sales figure of $52,396.7 million in 2022. Walmart.com offers thousands of products in many categories, like electronics, furniture, toys, hobby, books, garden, fashion, and more.
But you can’t simply buy what you would buy in the physical store. No, like many other marketplaces, Walmart.com works with third party sellers and therefore faces the same problem of counterfeits as all the others. Sellers don’t readily share their information and we’ve encountered several cases of grey market products as well as fakes on the platform.
Screenshot of products on Walmart.com offered by third party sellers
Having started out with mainly electronics and software, the marketplace has now widened its product range and offers a large array of categories, including automotive parts, toys, apparel, home appliances, and sports equipment.
Similarly to Amazon, Newegg both acts as a vendor and offers its platform to third party sellers. These latter usually don’t provide a lot of information on their seller pages, but with our test purchase service, we’ve been able to gather data on vendors with suspicious listings.
We’ve encountered counterfeits on this platform, but it’s mostly grey market products that infringe our clients’ IP rights on Newegg. Thanks to their IP policy, removal of these listings isn’t too difficult for us.
Although this platform is active in most of Latin America, we had the most dealings with them in Mexico. Mercado Libre is a popular online marketplace with 662.9 million monthly visits and an annual revenue of $10.537 billion from all of its national sites in South America.
As a general online marketplace, Mercado Libre offers a vast array of products ranging from cars through fashion to furniture. The presence of third party sellers on the platform has increased the likelihood of running into counterfeit products. We tend to find small infringers on this marketplace, and not a lot of big timers.
Luckily, Mercado Libre has a good system for searching and removing counterfeits and our cooperation is excellent. We have to be on our toes though; the seller has the right to respond to our claim of them selling fakes and if we don’t notice and address their reply within three days, our removal request is invalidated and we have to start from scratch.
But when all goes smoothly with enforcement, disgruntled sellers on Mercado Libre have a habit of reaching out to us and letting their opinion known.
Screenshot of a Mercado Libre fraudulent seller’s message, which roughly translates as “F**k your f***ing mother”
Another important online marketplace in Latin America is Linio. With headquarters in Mexico, Linio is active in several countries of the region, including Colombia, Chile and Peru.
This B2C marketplace has over 24 million monthly visits and an annual revenue of $128.6 million. Offering a wide range of products from electronics to furniture, kitchen equipment and fashion, Linio is popular among buyers and sellers alike. Contrary to Amazon, Linio itself doesn’t appear as the seller of goods, it only provides a platform for third party sellers, including international vendors from all over the world.
Although Linio has an IP protection policy, we’ve encountered several listings where counterfeited products of our clients were offered for sale. Luckily, our cooperation with Linio is excellent and the listings in question were removed promptly.
Americanas has 41.92 million monthly visitors and a global net sales value of $2.62 billion. The marketplace sells just about anything, including the usual electronics, toys, fashion, home decor, and furniture.
Working with third party sellers, Americanas is vulnerable to the threat of counterfeits and grey market products appearing on the platform. In fact, we’ve encountered fake products of our clients several times on this marketplace, and thanks to Americanas’ IP right policy, removal was easy.
Shopee needs no introduction. The marketplace is known for its cheap prices and wide array of goods ranging from electronics to fashion, jewellery, toys, even car parts.
Shopee and its various domains, including the one registered in Brazil (shopee.com.br) have regularly been featured on the USTR’s list for notorious markets. This is due to the large amount of counterfeits on the platform, and Shopee’s inability to install sufficient measures to protect IP right holders.
And that’s a wrap for our grand tour of interesting online marketplaces of the world. Thank you for coming along for the ride; we hope you enjoyed it as much as we had.
If your brand faces trouble on any of these (or any other) marketplaces, or you want to take proactive steps to detect and eliminate IP infringements hurting your brand, get in touch with us.