eBay UK has announced the launch of a new service later this year, aimed at helping small businesses compete with larger online and offline stores.
Unlike the current main eBay UK site, the Express version is intended to be a "virtual high street" with goods sold at a fixed price, rather than via traditional auctions. In return, companies using the service will have to meet a variety of service levels, such as guaranteed delivery times and standard refund and return policies.
Although many small business retailers may already have an online presence, eBay points out that the new service will help smaller stores access millions of potential customers, where many small companies find it hard to drive customers to their own websites.
eBay Express has already been rolled out in the USA.Unlike the main eBay auction sites, customers can buy multipile items from multiple sellers and pay once for everything, including shipping.
There is no doubt that the new system offers a simple alternative to eBay, cutting out the need to bid and wait for items. For small business owners, this could also be an opportunity to access a large customer base without the need to pay expensive online marketing costs.
We will report further when eBay Express (UK) is due to launch here.
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