Amazon and eBay aren’t really direct competitors, but they still compete with each other. That’s why its only natural for eBay to counter Amazon’s most effective tool, Amazon Prime, with a premium service of its own, known as eBay Plus. However, this services is geared more towards the sellers themselves, rather than the buyers, as it doesn’t oversee the shipping of products and therefore can’t make it go any faster.
Amazon’s Prime shipping program has not only spawned a generation of loyal buyers, but, more recently, imitators. The latest to jump into the mix is eBay, which is testing a Prime-like program in Germany that it plans to roll out more broadly in that country in this year’s second half. The offering, known as eBay+, promises free, fast shipping and returns for customers who, according to local press in Germany, pay €15 to €20 (about $17 to $22) a year. Ebay is promising better product placement for sellers’ merchandise, and also discounts on selling fees and a subsidy to help cut the cost of shipping and returns, according to a spokeswoman. Sellers will have to agree to dispatch goods on the day they are purchased and offer free returns within one month. The spokeswoman declined to disclose the price, and said eBay will have more details to share once it is introduced in the second half.