Amazon Prime subscribers get free 2-day shipping on millions of items, plus a bunch of other perks including access to streaming movies and videos. But the $99 per year subscription fee might be a bit high for some.
Wait… how’s that supposed to work? Isn’t eBay a sort of online marketplace that lets a variety of independent individuals and retailers hawk their goods? Yep. But this could work anyway.
While eBay doesn’t actually handle shipping, it does have plenty of data about its top sellers so it can keep track of which ones have the best customer satisfaction ratings.
In the second half of 2015, eBay plans to launch a new loyalty plan in Germany. In order to participate, sellers will have to promise to offer free next-day shipping. They’ll also have to promise to offer refunds for items returned within one month of purchase.
In exchange, eBay will promote those items throughout its site, giving sellers more exposure than they might otherwise have, which could help them gain new customers. The company will also offer discounts on its sales commissions.
Customers, meanwhile, will have to pay “a small annual fee” in exchange for the free and fast shipping.
It’s unclear if eBay has plans to offer the program beyond Germany… but if it proves popular with buyers and sellers in that country, it seems likely that we could see eBay’s answer to Amazon Prime expand to other markets.
via The Street