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Ecommerce business Zwipit launches in South Africa

Ecommerce business Zwipit launches in South Africa.

Zwipit South Africa, a 100% South African-owned arm of the multinational brand Zwipit, announced its launch today. South Africa is the 10th country in the fast growing list of territories of where Zwipit operates.

Zwipit specialises in the acquisition of used mobile devices (tablets, feature phones and smartphones) for refurbishment and resale. Zwipit South Africa will offer cash to consumers and businesses for their old devices.

The Company categorises items based on their condition (working, broken or in good condition) and then will pay the consumer the relevant amount.

All merchandise acquired is refurbished in facilities in Spain and resold to customers, with guarantees, across international markets.

Felix Martin-Aguilar, Zwipit South Africa's Managing Director, said phase 2 of their operations involves bringing the entire value chain to South Africa, with plans to establish refurbishment facilities in the country. However, this will only take place once the Company has established itself and its offering locally, and will be driven by demand.

Martin-Aguilar explained that South Africa represented a strong option as a base because the company has knowledge of the market, with partners including Microsoft Devices Group and UTi Worldwide Inc., an international, non-asset based supply chain services and solutions company.

"Our model is certainly repeatable and we are looking in the future at the obvious markets like Kenya and Nigeria, but the timing has to be right," he added.

Time is right for SA launch

Martin-Aguilar explains that from an ecommerce point of view, in terms of direct-to-consumers and direct-to-corporates, there are not a lot of competitors locally.

Mobile operators have begun to initiate trade-in programs, but are brand-specific. "Whereas we are device agnostic," Martin-Aguilar says.

The Company has said its ecommerce site is secure and it has partnered with Nedbank globally. The exchange of consumer information is limited to only specific data that cannot be compromised he adds.

The falling costs and growing availability of reliable, fast mobile Internet access has created a viable market for refurbished tablets, feature phones and smartphones. People in the emerging world are eager to acquire affordable, yet high-quality mobile devices so that they can take advantage of online resources for information, education, entertainment, payments, and communication.

"Our goal is to extend the useful life of devices already in the market, to the benefit of the person who sells it and its new owner," says Nothando Moleketi, Zwipit South Africa's Executive of Marketing and Operations.

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