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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.
"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.
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.
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).