EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2599 - August 02, 2011     1 of 6

eBay Tests Book-Rental Program on Half.com

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eBay is testing a rental program on Half.com in the books and textbooks categories. The company announced the test in mid-July, at which point the rental program was being shown to 25% of traffic on the site. Half.com is only allowing rentals to be offered by "established book rental companies" that it has partnered with, according to the announcement.

Sellers posting their reaction to the new program expressed disappointment that eBay was not allowing them to participate in the Half.com rental program, and some did not like the concept of a Half.com book-rental program at all. Alibris allows its third-party booksellers to participate in book rentals on its platform.

Online booksellers already face competition from textbook rental programs such as Chegg and Bookrenter, and Amazon.com recently announced a textbook rental program available through its Kindle ebook reader.

To rent items through Half.com, users must be registered with the site and have a residence and shipping address in the U.S. - see the rental landing page on Half.com.


About the author:

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.


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