eBay is taking the fight right to Amazon with the release of its members program called eBay Plus. Free delivery and returns with exclusive offers and deals headlines the pitch to eBay’s users.
You can sign up for 30 days free right now and after the 30 days you pay $29 for the first year. Otherwise you pay $49 for a year of eBay Plus. Great introduction, essentially making it accessible to everyone as they do not have to pay a cent up front. I would be inclined to think the $29 introductory offer is satisfying and will be popular but eBay needs to keep the benefit or even perceived benefit of being an eBay Plus member viable.
I first heard of eBay Plus from OzBargain since then the website has been a buzz with eBay deals flowing through. For the first time in a long time I was back using eBay, of course I signed up to the free 30 days of eBay plus and even indulged in some incredibly cheap micro sd cards and an ssd.
The other side to eBay Plus is the postage price jacking, without being an eBay Plus user you would have to pay $15 to ship a micro sd card which just gets put in an envelope with two $1 stamps anyway. eBay appears to be running a tight line, risking turning away sales from no Plus members who see the overpriced shipping and haven’t been convinced or looked into eBay Plus.
Shipping prices up for non Plus users
The sellers get reimbursed the price of shipping if an eBay Plus member buys and gets the free shipping benefit, perhaps this is the reason to higher shipping prices? Easy money for the sellers.
Judging by the deals and eBay’s popularity on OzBargain the Plus program is off to a good start. At least in terms of getting sales and users for the trial period. The real challenge is keeping it up, Can eBay keep running the 20% and 15% offs? Can they sustain having to pay their sellers for the shipping costs? and most importantly can eBay manage to not push away those in the Plus program? That is the tough one.