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Play.com To Cease Trading

Jonathan Lester
Play.com, UK retail

Play.com To Cease Trading

Marketplace Only From March

Play.com has announced that they'll have to shut down their retail business now that the Jersey tax loophole has been closed.

The company originally set up in the Channel Islands to take advantage of a generous VAT loophole that saw them paying almost nothing in the way of tax on items under £15. Since April 2012, however, the loophole has been closed, and the company has been suffering financially ever since. Things have gotten so bad (despite a buyout by the Rakuten group) that retail selling will cease as of March 2013.

Play.com will still operate as a middle man marketplace, which is apparently still a profitable business.

"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," said a Play.com spokesperson.

Well, it looks like the Amazon vs Play.com price wars will soon be a thing of the past. Will there be a stock clearance sale?

Add a comment5 comments
Late  Jan. 9, 2013 at 15:44

As a tax payer, it's nice to see the government closing tax loopholes.
Shame, though. Play has been a great company to buy from over the past decade or so. Not only that, but most of Amazon's best deals in recent years have (imo) been reactionary price cuts to match Play - so we'll likely see less good deals at Amazon, too, after March.
I imagine there'll be quite a few jobs lost, too. :(

musicrabbie  Jan. 9, 2013 at 16:11

So Amazons's master plan comes to fruition; match prices of competitors, despite making losses themselves ($300million last year); the competition dissappears and Amazon push their prices up.

theslickmeister  Jan. 10, 2013 at 08:17

I thought the marketplace was Play's PlayTrade system; which doesn't necessarily imply secondhand(?) :/

Quoling  Jan. 10, 2013 at 11:52

I used play from the very start and they were fantastic. Quick delivery, cheap prices and great customer service. Since they were taken over by the Rakuten group they have become more expensive, deleveries take twice as long (if turn up at all) and there is no customer service! and this happened BEFORE the tax loophole was closed....so this is just an "excuse" for their own mess! - I hate to say this but Amazon are 200 times better than Play.

Ilium  Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:53

Agreed. Rakuten ruined Play. Not due to the tax loop at all, just f*cking awful management.

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