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eBay without the bidding

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Wednesday April 26, 2006 )

eBay has just launched eBay Express, a new service tacked onto their marketplace that offers items at a fixed price. Although in “preview” release, which the company states will last for a few weeks, it is fully functional.

I took a trip out to eBay Express and was quite impressed with it’s layout. I’m not a bidding type of buyer usually, I find myself scanning through the traditional eBay listings for “buy it now” listings, so this service is great for shoppers like me! eBay Express also hopes to attracts shoppers who are nervous about auctions and may not have ever bothered with visiting eBay before.

Currently only USA based merchants are accepted into the program, and not just any merchant – eBay states that the merchant must have a solid history, a feedback score of 98% or higher and feedback points of 100 or more. I’ve written previously on auction feedback scams, so I’m glad the company does screen the merchants a little more thoroughly than just a cursory glance at their feedback :).

All transactions are covered by purchase protection on eBay Express, which allows buyers to be reimbursed the full purchase amount from merchants who do not deliver as promised.

Another interesting feature was live help – available on their customer service page.

The good news for qualified merchants is that items listed in auctions (I assume the “buy it now” items) will automatically appear on eBay Express. If you’re a merchant and would like to learn more about selling on eBay Express, here’s the link.

I found the interfaces very easy to use and super quick to load; it has more of the feel of a traditional online store rather than a bazaar – nice one eBay, looking forward to Express being available for Australian merchants too – we get tired of being the poor cousins when it comes to these new services :)


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