Play.com: No longer selling to the public

January 9th, 2013 15 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Play com logo Play.com: No longer selling to the publicPlay.com has made a pretty bold move and decided to shut down its retail business. Basically, it has become a marketplace only (from March 2013), which means it has stopped selling to the public.

The retailer has said that this move comes about after the ending of Low Value Consignment Relief (shut by the UK government in April 2012), which allows items less than £15 to be sold to the UK VAT free, meaning that Play.com will be more like a shopping centre rather than selling directly to customers.

In a statement Play.com said: “Moving forward we are intending to focus exclusively on our successful marketplace, which is our main business area, and to phase out the direct retail part of our business.”

Comments (15) Jump to most recent comment
  1. Posted by Inspector Gadget January 9, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    …so…Play.com can no longer make a profit selling stuff online, but are more than happy to let others sell online and for Play to take a slice. Something’s not quite right here.

  2. Posted by Her name was Lola January 9, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Inspector Gadget, it was the tax loophole along with Play.com’s buying power that gave them the profits they once enjoyed. The trading site model puts the onus onto the merchants to keep their tax in order whilst operating with smaller overheads.

    From experience the marketplaces like eBay, Tesco and Amazon are full of shysters that supply the same poor quality products and offer little to no customer service. The only reason I have continued to purchase from Amazon despite their tax avoidance shenanigans is that they also sell directly and offer exemplary customer service. Buying through marketplaces from third parties is a mug’s game.

  3. Posted by Pizza D Action January 9, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Her name was Lola has got it spot on, can’t argue with any of that.

    I like Play and did use them a fair bit, but won’t bother any more. I too only use Amazon for stuff direct from Amazon.

  4. Posted by Warwick Hunt January 9, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    I used to but from Play but their customer service was appaling so I gave it up a long time ago. Her name was Lola hits nail on head.

  5. Posted by chewbacca January 9, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    This has been coming since Rakuten took over. It’s their business model over in japland and has been for years. No surprises, then.

  6. Posted by Darren January 9, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Used play.com once in 2012 and the service was shoddy to say the least, they used to be good back in the day.

    no real loss at all!

  7. Posted by Kevin January 9, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Play used to be good, went downhill. Had a couple of occasions of identity theft with them that was their fault, dodgy pirate copies being sold by members sales as well so I stopped buying from them. Bought a couple of the really good deals since but it’s not a site I want to use when there are others that are much better.

    Good business sense though isn’t it.

  8. Posted by Bob January 9, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I used to buy a lot from Play…. but have not used them for a long time now. I don’t even bother checking out their site at all when browsing for stuff to buy. No great loss to me.

  9. Posted by klingelton January 9, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    had a nightmare once when they over sold on a pre-ordered item and left me high and dry. their customer services were childish and irritating. I cancelled my account and insisted they delete all information on me – not sure if that happened, but I’ve never been back since to check.

    it’s a shame for them, because I bought a lot of games, and they were the first stop. I’ve since shopped at Amazon and not looked back.

  10. Posted by Sicknote January 9, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    I last shopped on Play.com about 2 years ago and at that time I was struck at the high number of dubious, fly-by-night, shady merchants touting the latest in refurbished tat.

    Oh, and what the fuck about that constant SALE..!!! they used to have; marketing claptrap.

  11. Posted by Dave Manley January 9, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    I remember getting my region 1 DVDs from play(247) back in the day. Certainly not the same company any more

  12. Posted by Muckbain January 9, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Play used to be ok until Rakuten took over. The marketplace was a shambles when we last bought something and we ended up losing £25 to a dodgy seller – Play were less than helpful and despite their FairPlay policy, we never got our money back.

  13. Posted by Studley January 9, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    So the only bit they’re keeping is the shit bit?

    List item for sale at reasonable price > watch as zoverstocks bots undercut your price by 1p each time > fuck it and take it to CeX instead

  14. Posted by Alex B January 10, 2013 at 11:24 am

    I’ve done OK buying from eBay vendors, Amazon Marketplace sellers and PlayTrade sellers. Zoverstocks is a favourite as a buyer, though I can appreciate their behaviour would annoy a seller! Discs have arrived promptly, usually in excellent condition, and on the one occasion they sent through one that didn’t play, they sent a perfect duplicate out without complaint.

    My only problematic eBay transactions have been private sellers, or sellers based in China/HK that were overly-skeptical of my non-delivery reports. I’ve bought from sellers in Texas, Mexico, Canada, Germany along with UK based sellers with no issues. I always have a scan of feedback, and don’t automatically go for the very cheapest seller, though.

  15. Posted by Justin Manchester AfterDark January 16, 2013 at 11:54 am

    If all this is true, shouldn’t play remove all those pre-order items such as Xbox games that are released from April onwards? They’re taking orders for items that supposedly they won’t sell directly after the March watershed.

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