January 03, 2013

eBay Testing New Ways to Sell: Home Pick-Up and Drop- Off Points


If you have trouble selling items on eBay, or you are unsure of how to do it, not to worry because eBay is testing a few new pilot programs to expand and reach new customers. With these pilots, eBay hopes to stay competitive against larger commerce companies but also hopes to expand its selection of items available for sale. 

The first pilot is a pick-up service, where eBay will send an employee to your home, carefully log your entire inventory, and sell them for you. This pilot is just in a test phase in certain markets to see if it can be successful. Customers will not be charged for the pick-up of the items, but they must pay the seller 25 percent of the profits.

There were 70 total pick-ups in December, and not one customer had questioned the percentage of the cut according to Vikram Singh, director of eBay’s consumer business. Once the items are sold, the customer would either receive a check or be paid through PayPal three weeks after the sale. If items are not sold, customers can either choose to have the items be returned or donated. 


Image via Shutterstock

The mall pilot works a little bit differently. Customers were allowed to drop of their clothing or small electronics to be evaluated while they shopped. When they returned, customers could sell the contents of the bag right then and there, or decide to list the items on eBay themselves.

If customers chose to sell the items on their own, the eBay representative offers advice on how to price and list the items to garner the most attention possible. This pilot ran for only a month from November 26th until Christmas Day at a mall in San Jose. There were 2,000 customers who stopped by the store, and according to the director of new business pilots at eBay, Amanda Thomas, 30-40 percent of them were new to eBay.

A third experiment is called eBay Now, where customers can place orders at large retail stores and have the items delivered to their home in a matter of hours. This experiment is only available in San Francisco and some parts of New York, with no word on whether it will be expanded to other markets.

In an effort to keep pace with eBay, Amazon and Wal-Mart also offer same day delivery in certain markets. Moves like these are in hopes to provide better customer service, but to also keep up with the ever evolving marketplace.

Amazon began testing their same day delivery way back in 2009, and it has been successful enough to expand into 10 markets including Seattle and Chicago. Amazon’s same day delivery will require an $8.99 delivery fee, and 99 cents for each additional item.

With Wal-Mart’s same day delivery, customers are able to place an order up until noon, and then choose a four hour window in which to receive the purchase. The delivery charge will be $10 with no additional costs for extra items. Wal-Mart is currently testing in five markets and four of them, Philadelphia, Northern Virginia, Denver, and Minneapolis, will not have a minimum order number. The San Francisco and San Jose market will require a minimum purchase of $45.




Edited by Brooke Neuman



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