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eBay Opts In All UK Sellers to In-Store Pickup Program

eBay is expanding its in-store pickup program in the UK and is opting in all sellers. Click & Collect lets shoppers purchase from eBay UK sellers and pick up their goods at one of hundreds of brick-and-mortar stores belonging to eBay’s partner, British retail chain Argos. Sellers send the item to an Argos store instead of sending it directly to the buyer.

As EcommerceBytes previously reported, eBay created the pilot program in the fall in which eligible merchandise from a group of 50 pre-selected sellers would be displayed to shoppers as being available for pick-up from 150 of Argos’ 735 UK stores.

Giving customers flexible delivery and pickup options for online orders is all the rage – delivery lockers and even drones are on the table thanks to Amazon. What makes eBay’s program unique is that small online-only merchants are now able to participate.

eBay UK explains to sellers how the program works in this YouTube video. As it explains on its website, “When your buyer chooses Click & Collect, a unique 6 digit identifier code is generated by eBay and inserted into the second line of the Argos delivery address automatically. Just prepare the order for dispatch as normal ensuring the 6 digit code is clearly visible. This code is important because it enables Argos to identify your item and let the buyer know that their order is ready to collect.”

To qualify, sellers must offer “Fast & Free”; use one of the five designated carriers (Royal Mail, Yodel, UPS, Parcelforce or DPD) along with a specified service; and the package must meet size and weight requirements.

For those sellers who don’t wish to participate in the program, they can opt-out: “In the unlikely event you don’t want to offer a Click & Collect service for your buyers, you can opt-out from Site Preferences in My eBay. You can also edit individual listings if you only want to offer Click & Collect for certain listings. If you change your mind, you can always opt back in to offer Click & Collect.”

Sellers should note that offering Click & Collect “may make your items surface higher in search results,” and eBay gives shoppers 7 days to experience buyer’s remorse. “If a buyer doesn’t collect the item after 7 days, we’ll return the item to you and you’ll need to issue the buyer a refund.”

In a statement about the expansion of the program, eBay UK wrote, “The trial service proved successful operationally and incredibly popular with customers. A clear majority of those who have used the service and other click & collect services rate eBay’s Click & Collect at Argos as one of the best available.”

While eBay offerings might be seen as competing with Argos’ own inventory, the program results in more traffic to the retailer’s brick-and-mortar stores. While picking up their online orders at the store, shoppers might be tempted to pick up a few more items. Seen in that light, the program could give Argos an edge over other chains.

It won’t happen overnight, however. eBay estimates that by the end of this year, 65,000 eBay sellers will offer items for collection at Argos, rising to about 80,000 in 2015. Argos plans to make the Click & Collect service available in about 650 of its stores.

Sellers can learn more on the eBay website.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.