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EBay Expects 82% Russian User Growth

The number of Russians using online auction site eBay will surge 82 percent in 2012, the head of the local eBay office, Vladimir Dolgov, said Tuesday, Interfax reported.

This result will be achieved without significant investment in marketing, he said. Russia is on the list of priority countries for eBay. The company sees great potential in Russia and plans to strengthen its position in Russia.

The volume of online sales in Russia is growing about 25 percent per year, but e-commerce remains very fragmented. A market leader such as Ozon accounts for 2 to 3 percent of the total, Dolgov said without specifying eBay's market position.

The most popular categories of goods for Russian customers are electronics and clothes. The most popular searches from Russia are associated with Apple products, he said. More than half the goods purchased by Russians are from sellers in the United States, 13 percent are from China, 6 percent from Hong Kong, 8 percent from Britain and 6 percent from Germany.

From January to September, the eBay app from the AppStore had 200,000 downloads in Russia, Dolgov said. The online auction site has existed in the Russian market since 2010, when the eBay.ru website was launched.

The company is also looking to improve delivery services and is looking for a partner for that. Dolgov called Russian Post a "stumbling block."

Dolgov also expects localization of eBay-owned payment system PayPal. Market players expect PayPal to set up a local entity, as it now only allows funds to be transferred to U.S. banks, making the sale of Russian goods difficult.

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