eBay goes offline to lure new customers

Meanwhile, Amazon expands pickup locations

by Kate Lunau

More people than ever are shopping on the Internet: Canadians placed nearly 114 million orders online in 2010, worth $15 billion, says Statistics Canada, in its most recent tally. To target those who might still be wary of online shopping, eBay is turning its attention to face-to-face contact. The online marketplace is trying out new services in the U.S., according to All Things D, including a pickup service that sends eBay employees into people’s homes to collect items, which are then sold by “expert sellers” for a cut. Another encourages people to drop off clothes and electronics at mall kiosks, where they’re offered a set price for their goods. eBay is also testing a same-day delivery service so buyers can get the same kind of instant gratification as in-store shopping. Meanwhile, Amazon is expanding its locker service, which allows customers to pick up packages at stores like 7-Eleven. For online giants, future growth seems to be in the offline world.




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