EBay launches shipping membership program

EBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) launched a new program called eBay Plus, a membership service that offers free express shipping and 30-day returns. The membership program launched on the marketplace's 20th birthday, will begin in Germany and will be available on thousands of items shipped from mid-size and large retailers.

The program, similar to Amazon Prime (NASDAQ:AMZN), will cost $22.50 a year (much cheaper than the Amazon version which sets Prime members back $99 a year), reported CNET. EBay will also be in direct competition with Walmart, which recently began testing its unlimited shipping program in the United States.

Membership will soon be available throughout Germany. The program aims to help revive slow sales growth and improve shipping. EBay has experienced tough economic times since splitting with PayPal back in July.

Buzz about the program began in May as eBay was looking for vendor partners. EBay has not yet revealed if the program will expand beyond Germany. EBay sellers who qualify for eBay Plus don't have to pay extra but need to offer free one-day shipping on orders that arrive before 2 p.m. EBay Plus partners will receive a 15 percent discount on their selling fees given to the marketplace.

The news comes just a few months after eBay announced it would shut down eBay Now, the company's pilot program that explored same-day delivery.

For more:
-See this CNET article

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