eBay on Monday said it is launching its previously announced instant-purchasing service to supplement bid-and-wait online auctions, pitting it more directly against online retailers.
The San Jose, Calif.-based company said the service, known as eBay Express, aims to woo convenience-oriented shoppers interested in snap-buying decisions on fixed price products rather than its traditional online auction format.
Interesting. I guess they are starting to feel heat from G et al… This functionality existed before; I think this is essentially just a filter on listings with fancy front end for” buy it now” and store items. Actually they say as much
"We are taking this subset of eBay and marketing it in new ways to both existing eBay buyers and new audiences," Jamie Iannone, the director in charge of eBay Express said in a phone interview.
I just designed a crazy auction/buy-it-now site for a niche industry. The client was constantly trying to get us to make everything look eBay-ish so that users would know what to do. Too bad I didn't see this before-hand. Dang.
eBay Express works, but eBay is desparately working out some technical issues where many seller items are excluded even though tye meet all the criterias for inclusion. Sellers are also required to meta-categorize every listing which can take a lot of time, especially in categories like Cameras & DVD Movies. The final major issue is sellers are required to take "unconfirmed" Paypal payment which some sellers do not want to do.
But to provide a consistent buying experience, sellers are required to do this for inclusion. What's nifty about eBay Express is that an eBay seller only need a Paypal Premier or Business account to accept direct credit card payments. This is the only aspect of the selling process that has improved for the seller.
The difference between eBay and other retailers is that with other retailers users generally have a fair idea of postage costs.
I just tried eBay Express. I selected the DVD category, choose the Under $5.00 section. Up pops Band of Brothers for $5 (and many others). So I click on it and, sure enough, discover the shipping/postage cost is $44.
Many sellers will list items for next to nothing to get people to click on an item. They make the money by putting the real price into their shipping cost (which I think may either be tax exempt or doesn't count when eBays charging them - but I'm not sure).