In a blog post about a survey it conducted in January, eBay revealed it is working on tools to help sellers sell locally, which may come as a surprise to people who buy and sell on the marketplace.
"We are creating tools that help our sellers across their entire business," according to Wednesday's post, "including competitive price-setting, creating compelling listings to better target buyers, selling locally and more options for shipping needs."
Sellers have long reported that eBay's platform is not ideal for in-person selling, unlike sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, so it will be interesting to see what features it thinks will make a difference.
Even sites conducive to local selling are no replacement for robust online marketplaces, many sellers report (see the Auction Professor's latest column in EcommerceBytes
to see some examples of why).
Is it worth the investment for eBay to try to capture local sales? The biggest challenge for EcommerceBytes readers would likely be seller protection (or lack thereof): eBay requires sellers to provide a shipping tracking number to prove when they shipped an item and to see if the item arrived at its destination.
To help overcome that challenge, last year eBay introduced QR codes in the eBay mobile app to serve as proof of delivery for Local Pickup
orders for US users, later expanding it internationally.
According to eBay's survey conducted in January
, sellers said what would be most
helpful to growing their business in the future were technology applications and features to support shipping (72%) and listing management tools (61%).
What areas would you like to see eBay invest technology resources in when it comes helping you grow your business?
And what do you think about local selling through eBay?