Rakuten expects to defy European gloom


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Having had the displeasure of using Rakuten, I think they have a tough time ahead of them in Europe. First of all, Europe has stricter commerce laws than Japan ever will have. They are in place to protect customers from dubious merchants. On Japanese Rakuten it is all up to the specific merchants good will when handling claims and returns. Internet shopping in Japan is still not regulated with customer rights in mind.

In Europe it is.

Second problem is that Internet commerce is not as common as in Japan. I don't know if it is because people generally are more skeptical of everything by experience or some other reason but you gotta earn trust as the man said. Amazon has built their brand by excellent customer service through the years and had an easier time entering the European market than a middle man like Rakuten will have.

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they tried it in china and they pulled out because quote, "the intense competition" dont see how they plan to take on the big boys like Ebay which is 4 times the size of Rakuten. very difficult to your brand name known, me thinks theyll have to make losses and sell really cheap to get people to use them. they do well in Japan because Yahoo is the only other real competitor.

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@Knox Harrington - absolutely - I think their customer service & returns policy in Europe will have a huge impact on how well they do there. The UK has really strict consumer protection laws in place (as the does the US - though not quite as tough as the EU) so Rakuten had better focus on its customer service & returns policies & logistics (i.e. delivery times) if it wants to succeed. If they can run things like Amazon does, they might pull it off.

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