Ecommerce giant eBay is continuing its longstanding battle with Amazon by rolling out a new “Guaranteed Delivery” service for shoppers.
Beginning in the U.S. this summer, eBay will allow some sellers to offer a “3 days or less” option, which will enable buyers to filter search results by items that promise delivery within a set period of time. The company notes that sellers “must meet a required set of shipping standards to participate,” though eBay is a little vague about what that actually means. A FAQ on the upcoming service does say that those who “currently meet their handling time and delivery promises” will have the option to participate in Guaranteed Delivery, and that to prepare for the launch sellers should start offering same-business day or one-business day handling time, as well as multiple shipping options.
Guaranteed Delivery will be completely free for sellers and buyers who participate, though normal shipping charges will apply.
While eBay and Amazon began as very different ecommerce propositions, the two companies have converged somewhat — anyone can buy or sell almost anything through either platform. And we’ve seen eBay shift closer toward Amazon’s model in recent times. Back in 2015, eBay first debuted a new speedy delivery subscription service in Germany, called eBay Plus, which is similar to Amazon Prime. And last year eBay introduced branded packaging for sellers, similar to what Amazon offers.
In terms of consequences for sellers who do not meet their guaranteed delivery time, well, the buyer can request a refund for their shipping cost. And if shipping was already included as part of the total cost, the buyer can elect to receive a coupon for use against a subsequent eBay purchase or they can send the item back for free.
“While the majority of items on eBay already ship within three days or less, as well as for free, Guaranteed Delivery will give shoppers even faster delivery options and the confidence that their items will arrive on time,” said Hal Lawton, senior vice president of North America at eBay.
Today’s news comes a couple of months after eBay announced plans to counter another longstanding issue when it revealed a new program to combat counterfeiters using professional authenticators that inspect high-end goods.