Thanks to the Internet, waiting is quickly becoming an endangered species. And eBay is eager to help the death of patience with its newly announced, same-day shipping service, eBay Now.
First unveiled by TechCrunch, eBay Now exists as an iOS app, is still in its beta testing phase, and is only available to residents of San Francisco who sign up to receive an invitation code through the eBay Now website. Those lucky eBay users will have access to same-day merchandise delivery from select retailers for a cost of $5. EBay Now currently only works for orders over $25 — however, early adopters get $15 off their first purchase, and free shipping off the first three.
Here is the email sent out to eBay Now beta testers:
We know you love shopping on eBay. But sometimes you just can’t wait for shipping. Sound familiar?
If so, we’ve created an exciting new way to shop. Starting today, for purchases of $25 or more, San Francisco shoppers can order products from local stores and have them delivered to their door — at home, at work, or anywhere else in San Francisco. The new service is called eBay Now, and you can download it here for your iPhone®, iPad®, or iPod® touch.
Since eBay Now is in beta, we’re taking $15 off your first order and offering FREE delivery for your first three! After that, each delivery during the beta period is only $5. Your orders arrive fast — usually within an hour! Pretty convenient, huh?
Download the app now and try it out. If you like it, share it!
You have three invites for friends and family.
The eBay Now Team
Current eBay Now retailers include Macy’s, Target, Toys R’ Us, and Best Buy. Beta users of the service can also order through Milo, a local delivery service owned by eBay.
An eBay representative told CNet that the company plans to use eBay Now’s beta testing period to “”gauge user interest, inform product enhancements, and evaluate the future of this innovative local shopping experience.”
News of eBay Now follows reports that Amazon plans to offer same-day shipping for some buyers in major metropolitan areas, like New York City or Boston. However, during a recent earnings call, Amazon’s chief financial officer Tom Zzkutak said that “same-day delivery on a broad-scale” was economically unrealistic. Amazon currently offers free two-day shipping, and $4 next-day delivery for Amazon Prime customers, who pay a $79-per-year fee.
Do you think eBay Now is a good plan, or simply another force driving local businesses down the path to destruction? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.