Monday, August 13, 2012

eBay Offers (Almost) Instant Gratification to Some Buyers

Image courtesy of

A few lucky eBay buyers have received an invitation for a new program from eBay. eBay Now was just launched to beta testers in the San Francisco, California area. eBay Now will allow eBay buyers to receive your purchases the same day the order is placed.

eBay buyers received an e-mail that sent them an invitation to download a mobile app that will connect them to the eBay now program. Those users will be able to buy new products sold by local stores. The stores include Toys R Us, Target, Walgreens, and many others. Once the buyer finds the item they wish to purchase, they click as the “Bring It” button. In an hour or more, a personal shopping valet will deliver the purchase to the buyer. Currently, there is a $25.00 minimum for purchases. eBay is offering the beta testers who currently have access to the program $15.00 off their first eBay order and no delivery fee for the first three orders. After the first three orders, the delivery fee is a $5.00 charge. Here’s a copy of the email that was sent to the invited buyers:

Hi [Name],

We know you love shopping on eBay. But sometimes you just can’t wait for shipping. Sound familiar?

If so, we’ve created an exciting new way to shop. Starting today, for purchases of $25 or more, San Francisco shoppers can order products from local stores and have them delivered to their door — at home, at work, or anywhere else in San Francisco. The new service is called eBay Now, and you can download it here for your iPhone®, iPad®, or iPod® touch.

Since eBay Now is in beta, we’re taking $15 off your first order and offering FREE delivery for your first three! After that, each delivery during the beta period is only $5. Your orders arrive fast — usually within an hour! Pretty convenient, huh?

Download the app now [link removed] and try it out. If you like it, share it!

You have three invites for friends and family.

Happy shopping!
The eBay Now Team

The eBay Now service is available Monday through Saturday from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM and Sunday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The items can be delivered in as little as an hour but the store from which the item was purchased must be open for at least 30 minutes after the order is received. Here are a couple of screen shots that show what the app looks like on the iPhone.

Image courtesy of TechCrunch

In order to make this possible, eBay is using its Milo platform. Milo is a website that allows its users to search for a particular item and find out which nearby stores carry it. It also lets the website user know if the item is in stock and how much the item costs. eBay purchased Milo in late 2010 for $75 million.

This new service is in line to go the head to head with Amazon’s Same Day Shipping program that is currently in development for major cities across the country. While eBay Now is only offered to San Francisco area residents right now, anyone can sign up. Please click this link to be notified of when eBay Now will be available in your area. eBay will be using these registrations to determine if there is any interest in expanding this program throughout the country in future.

What impact will this service have on eBay Sellers? Will eBay’s marketplace become dominated by big-time retailers? Will the availability of new products and quick shipping impact Amazon's FBA business model? At this point, it’s a guessing game. What do you think? What impact do you think this will have on your business? Feel free to comment below to share your views.

Related posts:

Amazon Considers Same-day Delivery

Is Branding on eBay Important?

Tips for Selling on eBay - Huge List of Resources

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