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eBay to Offer Free 2-Day Shipping in Germany Via eBay Plus

This is going to be an eventful week for the Germans!

The week will begin with eBay Inc.EBAY launching a speedy shipping membership program in Germany - eBay Plus - on Tuesday, and end with the famous beer festival, Oktoberfest, starting on Friday (Slurp!).

eBay Plus

eBay is finally tackling one of its long-standing challenges - shipping - with eBay Plus. (Well, at least in Germany!)

eBay Plus will offer free delivery within two days on several items, and free returns within a month of purchase for 19.90 euro ($22) per year.

According to eBay's worldwide Vice President of Shipping, Carl Gish, the company has been testing the program since May and thousands of sellers have already signed up. He also stated that the membership fee will cover the costs for shipping and returns, usually borne by customers.

Per the company, this program could actually lead to retailers becoming more dependable as sellers will have to ship goods the same day, if an order is placed by 2 p.m. The sellers, in exchange, will get a discount on their listing fees and enhanced product-listing placement.

eBay Plus vs. Amazon Prime

eBay does not store goods in warehouses and is thus dependent on millions of merchants for deliveries. As a result, eBay has long been dogged by shipping woes, like missed or late deliveries.

This could be an attempt on eBay's part to challenge Amazon.com Inc. AMZN and its admired $99-per-annum Prime program, which guarantees unlimited two-day deliveries in addition to services like streaming video and music.

Going Ahead

eBay is desperately trying to turn around its marketplace of approximately 800 million new and used goods after the split from its fast-growing PayPal PYPL unit in July.

The new program could be another way for the company to stimulate sales growth and ward off new-fangled start-up competitors, like Poshmark.

eBay Plus, according to Gish, aims to increase the activity on eBay, and not generate a new revenue stream through membership fees. Much of those fees will be used to pay for the free returns.

Whether eBay Plus will be expanded to other cities is yet to be seen, but for now it's time for revelry in Germany!

eBay currently holds a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). Investors may consider Autobytel Inc. ABTL which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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