Recommerce outperforms stuff sites in Germany

20 Mar 2017

Recommerce is growing strongly in Germany, and its larger recommerce players are generating much more revenue from used goods than its general classified sites. Recommerce sites buy used goods from consumers and re-sell the goods (mostly on other sites) for a profit.

Momox GmbH, owner of Momox.de, Germany’s largest recommerce site, grew its revenue by almost 30 percent to €150 million ($161 million U.S.) in FY2016. That was the seventh consecutive year of double-digit revenue growth for the private company (news release here in German).

ReBuy, another major recommerce player, grew its revenue 27 percent to €70 million in FY2015 from FY2014, according to online magazine Internetworld. (These are the latest numbers we could get hold of for ReBuy.)

In comparison, Quoka.de, Germany’s third largest stuff site, reported revenue of $6.3 million U.S. in 2015.

Momox.de buys used clothes, DVDs, CDs, books and games directly from consumers, and resells those items on (1) its own used-goods sites Medimops.de (CDs, DVDs, games, books) and Ubup.com (clothing, accessories), and on (2) EBay.de and Amazon.de.

It also operates sites in Austria, the U.K. and France. Momox has 1,200 employees and three logistics centers.

Momox leads the German recommerce market by a healthy margin. It claims to purchase 150,000 articles daily from private sellers, compared to the No. 2 site Rebuy.de, which buys 100,000 each day (its own figures).

Together, the fast-growing recommerce sites are putting competitive pressure on Germany’s free stuff sites. For consumers, they take the headache out of posting and selling their stuff online – even if they earn less per transaction. By showing sellers the purchase price up-front, and paying for the shipping with printable labels, the recommerce companies make it very easy for consumers to offload old stuff.

In their marketing, they also push the sustainability message of extending the life of products, rather than throwing them away.

Recognizing opportunity, EBay moved into the recommerce game early on. EBay.de hosts the B-Ware Center, a dedicated hub for recommerce companies. It lists pre-screened, used electronics from a host of partner recommerce sites, including ReBuy.de, AsGoodAsNew.com (the e-commerce site of recommerce site WirKaufens.de) and Flip4New.de. (EBay does something similar on its so-called Luxury Vintage fashion hub.)

Most of Germany’s other 45-odd recommerce players also have shops on EBay. Momox, with its shops for Ubup and Medimops, is the largest seller on EBay and Amazon in Germany.

Other popular sites, such as Zoxs.de (electronics), DuVerkaufst.de (mobile phones and tablets), Cashfix.de (books and games), and BuddyAndSelly.com (clothing) sell on EBay or Amazon – or both.

Last week, Momox GmbH announced the appointment of Christian von Hohnhorst as CFO. He took up the post at the beginning of January, and oversees the financial divisions of the three brands Momox, Medimops and Ubup, the company said (here in German).

Christian von Hohnhorst, CFO at Momox (from Xing with thanks)

Hohnhorst joined Stepstone, Germany’s No. 1 job site, in 2000, and stayed for 13 years. The last three years he served as CFO. Then he took up the same position at Gutefrage.net, the Holzbrinck-controlled, question-answer platform, that is the largest in the German-speaking region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), where he worked for three years before joining Momox.

Along with announcing Hohnhorst’s appointment, Momox’s CEO Heiner Kroke stated that the fashion segment and international businesses will be the driving forces for growth for Momox this year.

Currently, book sales contribute the majority of Momox’s revenue. The company is planning further international expansion, too, but Kroke did not specify which markets.

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