A portion of this post is from The Verge, posted just yesterday morning. Relevant for eBay and Amazon sellers, as this is potentially an early-stage version of eBay’s equivalent of Amazon Prime.
Alright, from The Verge:
eBay tests subscription loyalty scheme to match Amazon Prime
eBay is testing a customer loyalty program to rival Amazon’s Prime initiative, offering buyers speedy delivery and free returns on items for an annual fee. The program reportedly dubbed eBay+ is currently being trialled in parts of Germany, with plans to roll out the service to the whole of the country scheduled for the second half of the year. The loyalty program is being tested with a handful of top-rated sellers, and although pricing has yet to be announced, it’s thought that the annual subscription fee for buyers could be somewhere between €15 and €20 (around $17 to $22).
Participating sellers will get preferential treatment in search results
“Through this new program, sellers will have the opportunity to commit existing customers even more strongly to themselves and to gain new customers in addition,” Maike Fuest, eBay Germany’s director of communications, told The Street. According to the company’s website, participating sellers will receive an unspecified discount on the sales commission they pay to eBay, while their products will also be “marked and highlighted” in search results.
What does this mean? (Not from the Verge)
As it currently is, Amazon’s logistical network enables FBA shipments (products solid via Fulfillment by Amazon) to ship in two days, an option for everyone but free for Prime users. We end up with a huge market of Amazon buyers, partially due to this move and a few others as well. If eBay provides the equivalent to free two-day shipping on its part, then eBay becomes that much more attractive for potential buyers, not just ones from Amazon but those from Walmart or elsewhere. eBay stays in the game.
But of course, this program is just rolling out in Germany for the time being. If successful, a rollout in the US market would perhaps occur sometime later.
If you are selling on both Amazon + eBay: then you would want this to happen. An increase in buyers on eBay could translate to increased sales, and perhaps Amazon would compete even more aggressively by implementing newer programs (such as Prime Now, which is currently doing two-hour delivery in Manhattan/Brooklyn/Baltimore/Miami). Being on both platforms would be a plus, as you’d have access to buyers in both markets. JoeLister is one of the ways to do this, although other options are available.