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Startup Idea of the Day: There's a huge untapped market waiting to be utilized There's huge potential to this amazing startup idea that nobody's explored in India yet

By Rustam Singh

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When the concept of startups suddenly rose to extreme popularity, and virtually every segment of life came under at least one form of startup already established, the race to be the "first" in something had razor sharp margins. Unfortunately, it seems creativity has been constantly declining in the startup incubator spheres steadily.

Virtually every new startup popping-up now has been cloning someone else's concept, services/goods, sales mechanism, promotions, pricing and even interface and yet expecting to work. Unfortunately, some even manage to get funding and work on it for a few months (or years), before eventually shutting down. That leaves us with a question- where has the excitement, charm, and untapped market of a completely new idea for a startup gone? Have we actually run out of great new ideas?

A few days ago, I had a package import stuck with the Indian customs at a port near me for undisclosed reasons, even though all custom duty fees was exempt for such packages by law, and naturally I grew frustrated. After a few wayward searches, my curiosity led me to a completely untapped market out – custom seized goods. After a few days of research, these were my findings:

What are customs seized goods?

As the title suggests, the customs often seizes parcels coming to India as imports on accounts of various reasons, such as:

  • Custom duty not paid
  • Responder address not found
  • Receipt did not accept the package
  • No response/ lack of communication from recipient

By law, your courier service providers retains these goods for an x amount of time, usually 3 months, after which these good are auctioned to the general public.

Are these damaged goods?

In most cases, goods are not damaged. These are imported by Indian consumers, and naturally anyone, even a giant company would only want to import goods that are worth a value, since they would have paid huge courier costs. However, these packages may also be damaged in transit, damaged and sent to India for the purpose of repair, or just with parts missing intentionally or unintentionally by the sender.

What about guarantees?

Goods are auctioned strictly on the basis of "as it is" basis. The buyer must be aware of this. However, you're usually invited a day before to inspect goods to your satisfaction, including checks and click photos, verify serial numbers etc to your satisfaction. If the goods are brand new, there might even be guarantees left with them. Legality of ownership

When you buy from an official auction, you become the legal owner of the said good and all previous disputes are resolved. Thus you are legally allowed to sell the goods further or keep them for yourself.

What's the advantage over refurbished, second hand, factory second products?

There are several advantages:

  • Goods maybe be extremely rare or new, or even impossible to buy in India
  • Goods can be actually brand new, even in their original wrapper
  • You're allowed to inspect goods before buying to your satisfaction
  • Dirt cheap prices
  • You never know what you might find

Startups – here's what you do

Since these auctions are pretty scattered across several locations in India, there's an uncertainty of pricing, uncertainty of products and often held during obscure office hours on working days, a majority population is excluded form the sweet deals. Maybe a startup can act as an aggregator in between this process – buy all the good stuff from auctions and alter sell them to the public at a fixed price which includes the price they paid along with some profit. The possibilities of cheaper and brand new working goods are an endless market.

Advanatges of such a business

There are several promising startup potentials for this, such as:

  • Exemption of customs duty – you've bypassed paying huge amounts of customs duty!
  • Instant purchase – no more waiting for your courier to take weeks to reach you
  • No paperwork required – you can legally buy as much as you want easily
  • No licensing required for resale – you're legally allowed to resell the goods you buy from the auctions
  • Chances very high of dirt cheap prices
  • Extremely high profit margins
  • Regular sales volume – goods are always coming in to the auctions
  • Chances of just released products being available for purchase
  • Completely unexplored market for startups

Does this create any curiosity in you? Or do you prefer the surety and confidence of brand new products that come with guarantees? Let us know if it's worth the price on our official Facebook page Entrepreneur India

Rustam Singh


Tech reporter.

Contact me if you have a truly unique technology related startup looking for a review and coverage, especially a crowd-funded project looking to launch and coverage.

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