eBay is launching an Amazon Prime-like membership program in Australia. eBay Plus will provide members with free delivery and returns on 15 million eligible products.
Some crucial information is missing from the public announcement: which sellers will be included in the program, and will sellers be able to opt in? That's important information for buyers who want to know if the program's cost is worth it.
eBay didn't disclose details about who is paying for shipping - we would have surmised that merchants who are part of eBay Plus would have to pay for shipping.
But eBay Australia Senior Director of Product and Shipping David Ramadge told the International Business Times
that there was "no incremental cost to the seller at all."
That seems disingenuous, since as we further perused today's eBay Australia Winter Seller Update announcement, we learned only* items that already offer free shipping and free returns are eligible for the program. Like Guaranteed Delivery, sellers don't opt in - instead, eBay puts the eBay Plus badge on all listings that qualify.
From the eBay Plus FAQs:
I don't want to offer eBay Plus. How can I opt out?
It's not possible to opt out of this feature. An eBay Plus badge on your listing tells customers that your item comes with best-in-class service, such as free delivery and free returns, so it should encourage people to buy from you.
See more details from the Seller point of view on this page
As the IB Times article noted, the program already launched in Germany - we covered the news in 2015, writing at the time
, "Qualified sellers can choose which items to make available through the program; they receive a 15% discount on commission fees on eBay Plus transactions."
eBay Australia describes the eBay Plus program as follows: "eBay Plus is a new feature-packed membership, aimed at helping you get the most out of shopping on eBay, with exclusive benefits on Australia's biggest range of products. Members get free delivery and free returns on all eBay Plus listings, as well as double flybuys points, exclusive deals and premium customer service."
costs $49 a year, with a 30-day free trial and an introductory price of $29. Shoppers can find eligible eBay Plus items using the eBay plus filter when searching, or they can look for the eBay Plus logo on items they want to buy.
: eBay also announced its Winter Seller Update
in Australia this week. (It's called winter update because northern and southern hemispheres experience opposite seasons.)
Update 5/30/18: In the seller FAQs about eBay Plus, eBay writes: "Listings can still qualify for eBay Plus if you've specified a postage cost. eBay Plus members get free delivery as one of the benefits of their subscription, so we'll cover the difference." We're not sure which items that will impact.