eBay Express challenges online retailers

Online auction giant eBay has announced a move into instant-purchase retail with the launch of eBay Express.

Online auction giant eBay has announced a move into instant-purchase retail with the launch of eBay Express.

The launch comes just days after the company posted record first quarter revenues of $1.39bn, up 35% on the same period last year. It will put the firm into more direct competition with traditional online retailers.

The new eBay Express website ebayexpress.com is operating in a “preview” stage for US shoppers, expected to last several weeks, with the site functioning fully while the company gathers user feedback and makes adjustments to the system.

The new service allows shoppers to buy new items instantly, without waiting for a bidding process. The site uses an online shopping cart, in which customers collect items before paying in a single transaction. The site has been launched with items for sale ranging from cookware to designer jeans.

The goods on sale are provided by US-based eBay merchants which sell items at fixed prices and accept online payment through eBay’s electronic cash system, PayPal. Eligible suppliers must have a history of selling successfully on eBay, with a positive customer feedback score of at least 98% and a total feedback score of 100 points.

The eBay Express site will automatically carry eBay.com items from qualified sellers that meet its listing criteria, unless suppliers choose to opt out.

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