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eBay to Offer Services to Marketplace Buyers

eBay CEO Devin Wenig said Tuesday the company will experiment with offering services on its marketplace as a complement to its products. “There are emerging categories that we’re just starting to experiment with that are super interesting in ecommerce. I point to services as an emerging opportunity,” he said during a presentation at RBC Capital Markets.

Services on its own doesn’t necessarily makes sense, he said, “but when you nest services into our goods flywheel, it makes immense sense.”

As an example, he said, eBay might offer a coupon from a local mechanic to a buyer of four tires on eBay, “who for $25 will put your tires on and balance them.” Likewise, he said, “if you’re buying plumbing supplies, here’s a home contractor to help you with that.”

eBay’s rival Amazon already launched such a service earlier this year called Amazon Home Services. As we noted, it has the potential to boost conversions since it can reach shoppers at the point of purchase for items that require installation or other types of professional assistance. Amazon handpicks the service providers; interestingly it offers a tire installation in the zip code 90210 for $56 from Exclusive Motors, which has 6 customer reviews – the earliest in April and the latest on October 30th.

According to the Amazon Home Services website, services are available to customers in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, San Jose, Tampa, and Washington DC.

Tuesday’s revelation is not the first time eBay has talked about offering services on its site. In 2013 it began testing offering local services on hire.ebay.com, which now redirects to ebay.com.

In July of 2014, Wenig, then President of eBay Marketplaces, told Bloomberg that eBay was planning to experiment with offering services from auto mechanics alongside car parts. He said eBay would start a small test in the fall of 2014 in a couple of U.S. cities for providing mechanics’ services.

And in 2007, eBay UK (and eBay Australia) launched “Local Services.” eBay UK shut it down in 2010, advising members to use its Gumtree classifieds sites if they wished to advertise their local services.

This week Wenig said it makes a lot of sense to put a services sale into a goods flywheel. “You’ll see us increasingly experiment with that in the coming months,” he said, though he didn’t reference previous tests or how they had performed.

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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/.