Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon May 18 2015 07:53:38

eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is testing a membership program similar to Amazon Prime, according to Wall Street analyst Shawn Milne of Janney. The loyalty membership program could potentially debut in the fall and cost $25/year for Free Next Day delivery on certain orders.

The report comes on the heels of reports that Walmart is going to launch a shipping membership program like Prime too. Amazon had raised Prime from $79 to $99 last year - reports said Walmart would charge $50/year for its program.

But how would eBay manage to fulfill next-day delivery on orders? Amazon Prime only includes items that are in the marketplace's own warehouse - though rumors also surfaced last week that it was considering adding third-party merchant fulfilled items to the program on a very limited basis.

Most likely any such program from Amazon or eBay would be limited to certain large brands and retailers. 

eBay actually has a shipping membership program already - in Chile. As we reported last year, eBay partnered with eShopex in  a program called eBay 365 that allows Chilean customers to pay an annual fee to receive an unlimited number of packages (up to 3 kg) purchased from eBay sellers in the U.S. "The program offers tracking on international shipments, as well as delivery protections should an item arrive damaged. The eBay 365 program, powered by eShopex, also offers a pay-as-you-go shipping plan (Plan 24/7) for discounted rates."

How do you see a Prime-like membership program working on eBay? Would you as a seller be interested in participating? And would you join the program as a shopper?




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

by: GotToGetOut This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 18 08:15:18 2015

I can't see this working for Ebay at all unless they succeed in wiping out their little Ebay sellers and all low priced purchases.  The only people who will lose will be the sellers because Ebay will somehow pass the high cost on to sellers while pocketing the $25 membership fees. At the very least, Ebay will highlight the sellers who are willing to do the free shipping for them (big sellers most likely) and the small seller will be screwed again.

A big percentage of Amazon's inventory is their own and in their own warehouses so they're in control of the shipping and can do it.  

It won't work!  My guess, they'll take the $25 from buyers, the buyers will find out there are very few orders where they get the benefit of this membership and Ebay will alienate more buyers and will have to refund their membership fees.  2) they will somehow pass the cost on to the sellers and, once again, they will make us do something we don't want to do (maybe take away the 20% fee discount if we don't do this, etc. because just when we think Ebay can't come up with another charge for us, they do!!) or 3) take the $25 membership fees this year making it look like they are making money but have very few purchases that qualify.  If they eat the costs (highly unlikely), then they will eventually be losing money on the program because I can't see Ebay encouraging their buyers to buy more with this program and that's what the hope is.  

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

This user has validated their user name. by: Beanie

Mon May 18 08:24:57 2015

The difference between Ebay, Walmart and Amazon is Ebay has NO inventory to sell, unless something has changed around there.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon May 18 08:45:25 2015

I would NEVER join such a program with eBay due to several issues...

First, eBay does not have any inventory thus their shipping promises will be impossible to deliver upon.

Second, many sellers offer "free shipping" which , as we all know is not free since the cost of shipping is included in the selling price of the item.  Paying a membership fee for a "fee shipping" program with eBay amounts to payi9ng for shipping twice on items listed with "free shipping".

Third, eBay has the absolute worst customer service.  eBay CSA's are poorly trained, unfamiliar with how eBay works, and severely uninformed as to current events with regard to system "glitches".

If there were any issues with an eBay free shipping program purchase, the nightmare with regard to contacting eBay and receiving accurate and  

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon May 18 08:47:11 2015

(sorry for the split post)

timely information makes it impossible to consider paying the company  a new fee only to be so poorly and terribly served.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

by: LJM This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 18 09:41:29 2015

As a shopper or buyer I wouldn't be interested.Just for the fact that any "new" idea Ebay puts out never works...plain and simple.Plus their customer service is so uninformed and unaware of what the mothership is doing it would be pointless to contact them if there ever was an issue.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon May 18 10:05:09 2015

No way in hell.  Not as a seller or a buyer.

People need to see these programs as what they are: vendor lock-in.  You're committed to spending enough per year to at least pay for the membership itself, otherwise you've thrown that money away.  Having experienced Amazon's abusive fee structure firsthand, I find it very difficult to pull the trigger on anything listed there.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 18 10:21:50 2015

Never happen here.  As a seller I don't need ebay involved anymore than what they are with my shipping.

As a buyer, well what can I say, haven't shopped on ebay for so much as a paper clip in over 2 years.

We are happy with Amazon Prime and have no reason to change especially if its to Fleecebay who is only famous for lip service.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon May 18 11:02:10 2015

FBE

Just like Amazon eBay will need to start buying/building warehouses and have members ship items to them for fulfillment.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon May 18 11:05:38 2015

Did you know

Amazon get s 58% discount on USPS shipping.

A lot of my eBay purchases have been coming from Amazon Fulfillment centers.

eBay sellers playing on Amazons free shipping. I LOVE IT

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

by: Orwellwasright This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 18 11:18:43 2015


Actually it a good idea
Its something that should have been done a long time ago

The problem is the lack of trust and support ebay has in its dealing with 90% of its seller base

If fact ebay hates and despises us, They throttle us, black us out, defect us to death, velocity limit us, give us no meaningful support whatsoever, and now want us to participate in a program which will cost us money and NO DOUBT WILL BE USED AS ANOTHER EXCUSE TO IMPLEMENT PUNISHING STATISTICS AGAINST US

I definatley think this should be done..

BUT ebay needs to start with square 1 and restore the covenant with the seller base. Withut trust they can spin their wheels all they want, nothing will work

You cannot add a room on a ruined house

EBAY!
restore your reputation FIRST!

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon May 18 11:23:07 2015

If Bezos jumped off of a cliff would  Donahoe also jump off of a cliff?

eBay....still wanting to be Amazon.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon May 18 11:39:14 2015

As others have already stated, eBay doesn't own anything they can sell. So unless they start FBE (Fulfillment by eBay), I don't see how this new plan (devised on a JD thinking day no doubt) will work. Also, I am a Prime member mainly because my husband enjoys the free streaming movies and now music; I don't buy enough each year to make the free shipping worth the membership fee.

The skeptic in me says this is just a scheme to make their financials look better after the PayPal split, and will eventually be another bad idea that doesn't last long.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 18 11:54:25 2015

Another ebay money grab feature, that will end up costing sellers more, with the final result ending in a typical ebay dismal failure,, regardless, it's just another nail in their coffin, and I am good with that.


Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

by: meci This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 18 14:15:58 2015

Another eBay original idea...not!

Suppose your a member of this new prime club and see an item you want listed by several sellers, some ship in one day, some in three days - but inorder for this idea to work you are going to have to ship the same day.  How many sellers are going to up the ante and jump through this hula hoop for same day shipping ?  My guess is none unless eBay drops all fees.  

I will never understand eBay, why they keep trying to re-invent the wheel when they already did it 18 years ago and moved away from almost every aspect of the "venue" to what we have today.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

by: Sellerofall This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 18 14:24:52 2015

EBay Enterprise / GSI Commerce is their fulfillment , warehousing, processing company. That is clearly what they are going to use to compete since almost every single major brand, designer, or store you see selling directly on eBay is run and fulfilled by them.  

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 18 16:10:20 2015

I no longer even shop on ebay so NO their little shipping carrot does NOT appeal to me in the slightest. besides, everything ebay does they do very BADLY so I would not expect this to be any different. When it fails to deliver they will just blame the sellers as they do with everything they break and screw up.

As for Wal-Mart. Maybe. There are things I do buy from Wal-Mart so depending on how the program works I would consider it. But if there are a ton of restrictions then no, I would not consider Wal-Mart either.  

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 18 16:22:52 2015

.... The FBE idea was floated ALONG time ago - 3 years to be exact.

In fact I mentioned it here a few times. How do I know? A visit from the 3 wise men. No not the Christmas story - thats 3 (REAL) WISE men, the 3 visiting angels ... no that's the story of Abraham. I mean the 3 MORONS from eBay who came by to see the comapny my brother works for. eBay was visting large acounts on the east coast and spilled the beans about many items - most have come true including Global Shipping, and FORCED RETURNS.

RIC  ... :) what he said!

BUT, if you get Internet Retailer magazine - then you know the REAL answer. Its the SAME ANSWER as to why eBay doesnt care about small sellers and why the phoney caring about Marketplace "shrinkage" goes on unabated.

GIS

eBay's GIS program is robust and healthy, its also ... VERY PROFITABLE. If it would have been a bust then there would be no FBE, plus eBay would have to rely on its sellers. GIS MORE then picks up the slack according to internetretailer.com.

eBays GIS unit is packing and shipping for MANY large retailers, and FBE will start there - any of those items that are already IN its GIS wharehouses, PLUS as we know (since eBay is anything but ON THE LEVEL) Im sure a few special BELOVEDS will get the ability to have eBay drop ship for them from there as well.

I DOUBT HIGHLY that its designed for smaller sellers, as RIC said so well - its impossible.

This is another eBay deal to cut out small sellers ... its just that simple.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 18 18:14:07 2015

Lets not all forget , ebay had 3.5 billion in acquisitions recently. I dont know what all it is , or what the names have been changed to. Could be anything we see everyday. ????

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 18 20:01:07 2015

STUPID BUYERS will destroy this idea just like strangling kittens before they get their eyes open. Right today they do NOT READ the descriptions and then BLAME the seller for what was fully addressed in the ad.  Does anyone believe that those who get into this program of FREE NEXT DAY delivery will undertand that only about 7 percent of the entire eBay site is actually IN the program?  I certainly do not. Rather I think buyers will assault, pester and NEG sellers who have just what they WANT, but are not in the program. Does anybody think that ADDITIONAL confusion as to WHO sells WHAT and WHICH sellers can fulfill the Next Day promise will actually GENERATE additional Sales ?  Overnight AIR for any product as a STANDARD SERVICE is just INSANE in the MEMBRANE. I had an order go out today where MEDIA MAIL to NJ from TX was $4.38 .. $10.73 by Priority Mail, $13.51 by FedEx Ground or... $88.13 by Overnight FedEx.  I don't care HOW big a discount  that  $88.13 on a FOUR POUND PACKAGE is just astronomically out of reach for any SANE buyer / seller to control.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime   eBay Tests Shipping Membership Similar to Amazon Prime

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue May 19 01:03:42 2015

Crazy, stupid idea and I can see ebay implementing this with great big fonts telling everyone they can get FREE next day delivery for a yearly fee of only $25!!!!, and then in tiny 6-8 font letters, saying on selected items/sellers/etc. only. Those that don't read the fine print will scream bloody murder when they buy a widget for $1.99 and can't understand why it didn't arrive the next day.

The only way that ebay could get this to work is to have their own inventory, but wait since they think the buyers are their customers, maybe they also think the seller's inventories are theirs as well.

If Amazon had to increase the Prime rate to $99 and Walmart is looking at $50/year, why does ebay think it can do this on $25??? Has anyone there even checked what next day shipping actually costs and have they negotiated with the supposedly broke PO to have discounted fees that the rest of us don't get.?

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