What if that pile of clothes you’ve been meaning to sell on eBay just appeared there and shipped themselves? Seems like magic, right? In order to keep new sellers and customers coming in, eBay is testing a few new services, including picking up and selling your junk for you.
The program employs a “selling assistant” who takes inventory of, picks up, and sells your items on your behalf, as first reported by All Things D. These selling assistants choose a price to sell the items, and after the sales are completed, they take a 25 percent cut. It’s convenience in exchange for profits (like you haven’t ever paid for convenience before) and makes a lot of sense if you’re trying to sell something like an outdoor grill — something cumbersome and hard to ship. If the item doesn’t sell, you can donate it, or the selling assistant can return it to you.
Devin Wenig, eBay’s president of global marketplaces, told All Things D that this is a way to keep innovating, a way to keep up with and hopefully surpass Amazon. The e-commerce industry is more than filled with eBay competitors, from item-specific companies such as Poshmark to hyper-local e-commerce startups.
The point is to keep new items coming into the system, which means finding new sellers.
Over the holiday season the company tried out another service, which let potential sellers drop off their bags of tchotchkes to a kiosk at the mall. While the owners went off and shopped, an eBay representative sifted through the items and determined a value. When the owner returned, eBay offered them a price for the whole bag, to be paid out on PayPal, or the owner could list the items on eBay with the representative’s help.
Thirty to 40 percent of the people who participated hadn’t used eBay before.