Xianyu is no longer satisfied with just building a second-hand trading platform online.
On the evening of January 23rd, Xianyu’s WeChat official account announced that the first Xianyu recycling store will officially open on January 28th, offering a full range of consignment services for second-hand items. This is also the first time since its establishment in 2014 that the platform has extended its trading channels offline.
The offline store will be located in Gongshu District, Hangzhou. Currently, it is in the trial operation stage and mainly serves users within a radius of two kilometers or even the entire city in the form of community stores. The company has not disclosed whether there are plans to open stores in other areas.
The specific consignment process is that users deliver the goods to the store for consignment by scanning the code. The store will select and recommend an estimated price. After the user confirms the estimated price within the Xianyu App, the store will clean and display it for sale until it is successfully sold and payment is received.
Throughout the process, the seller does not need to intervene in the transaction between the buyer and wait for payment after the offline store sells the item. This is more suitable for busy people who do not have time to deal with online transactions. In addition to physical goods, stores can also provide services such as running errands and walking dogs.
It is not uncommon for second-hand e-commerce platforms to open offline stores, such as Zhuanzhuan and AHS Recycle, which specialize in second-hand digital electronic products. Some luxury second-hand e-commerce platforms have also opened offline stores in popular areas like supermarkets. As of the end of June 2023, AHS Recycle has opened 1944 offline stores, and the number of Zhuanzhuan’s offline stores has exceeded 300.
Considering the varying difficulty of reselling different products, Xianyu stores have set a consignment period of one month. If the item is not sold within the first month, there will be an additional 30-day clearance period. After that, the price of the item will gradually decrease until it reaches 10% off the initial selling price. Unsold items can be retrieved from the store or donated to charity.
Of course, not all products can be consigned in this store. Xianyu has marked 13 prohibited categories, including food, tea, alcohol, health supplements, live animals and plants, as well as valuable items such as gold and jewelry. It also includes categories like underwear that may pose safety and hygiene risks.
Xianyu is one of the first strategic innovative businesses planned by Alibaba‘s newly appointed CEO, Eddie Wu. The other two are 1688, which focuses on wholesale business, and Quark, a search engine product. Alibaba plans to operate these three businesses as independent subsidiaries and continue investing in them for a period of 3 to 5 years.
The successor of Daniel Zhang, the helmsman of Alibaba, not only hopes that Xianyu can attract more young consumers to engage in second-hand transactions here but also hopes that it can become a lifestyle platform. According to the data disclosed by Xianyu earlier, the current number of platform users exceeds 500 million, with post-95 users accounting for over 40%, and post-00 users accounting for 22%.
Last year, Xianyu confirmed two development directions: “transactions” and “community,” with plans to further expand its user base in the future. The company believes that the current scale of China’s idle trading market has not yet reached its ceiling.
Ji Shan, the General Manager of Xianyu, has previously stated that for the current and foreseeable future, pure commercialization is not the core objective of Xianyu. However, commercialization attempts are necessary.
The number of users on Xianyu currently ranks first among second-hand e-commerce platforms, but due to factors affecting trustworthiness, the cost of transaction conversion remains high. While offline transactions have official endorsements that can avoid many risks, they also face challenges such as heavy assets and high operating costs.
As for whether this platform can open more offline stores in the future, it depends on the specific market performance.