Now you can buy from eBay- at Argos
eBay have come under fire recently- not just for charging ever-higher fees, both directly and through eBay-owned Paypal, but also for charging final value fees on the cost of postage. As if that wasn’t expensive enough. But alongside the added costs, are eBay actually trying to develop a better service for eBay shoppers as well?
The new partnership with Argos will allow shoppers to ‘click and collect’ their eBay purchases from a local Argos store, instead of waiting for a while-you-were-out card from the postman and queueing on a Saturday morning at the sorting office. With 740 stores, and many of them open after office hours, this could be a far more convenient way of getting your internet crap really important purchase home.
But before you get too excited, the scheme is initially being run as a trial, for six months (so we get Christmas in), in 150 Argos stores and with just 50 as-yet unnamed eBay sellers. It is in no way a direct response to the surprisingly successful Amazon Lockers programme.
Devin Wenig, president of eBay said “We know from our data and our experience around the world, consumers love choice and this will given them an entirely new option for thousands of items that previously could not be delivered in this way,”
“This is a snippet of what is going to happen all around the world,” he added, mysteriously.
While some might ponder why Argos would want to get into bed with a company who is potentially stealing some of their business, MD John Walden pooh-poohed this idea, suggesting they were a natural partner in this venture as they invented (“pioneered”) the click and collect (or as they like to call it, check and reserve) idea in 2000, and it now forms 33% of their business. He also revealed that Argos is looking forward to the “opportunity for increased customer footfall."
As well as this announcement, eBay also revealed plans to test a one-hour delivery service in London some time in 2014, but had no other details as yet. However, those in the know might surmise a UK-copy of the US 'eBay Now' programme available in New York and San Francisco which allows products bought through eBay from ToysRUs, Urban Outfitters, The Home Depot and some local stores to be delivered within about 60 minutes of ordering for a $5 charge.
Still, once all these new services come online, perhaps eBay will decide to put its fees up. Again.