Friday, October 26, 2012

Top Story

eBay sellers get FedEx discount to encourage free shipping

In 2011, eBay sellers sold nearly $69 billion in merchandise, significantly higher than the $48 billion in net sales Amazon moved during the same period.

Sellers can now print mailing labels without leaving home with eBay's FedEx-at-home option, at 37 percent off standard FedEx rates.

At a Stanford conference yesterday, eBay's Carl Gish, vice president of global shipping, said that about half of eBay's sellers now offer free shipping and eBay is pushing for more.

"We retailers have to compete on other factors than just price and selection," Gish said. "Shipping and the whole delivery experience becomes one of those powerful, important ways to compete."

Zappo's is an example Gish pointed to, as an online retailer that offers free shipping and a good return policy, raising the bar for other companies. Gish said often shoppers shop online, filling shopping carts only to cancel orders after the shipping cost is added.

Because eBay has millions of sellers, each with diverse shipping prices and policies, it is more of a reach for them to get everyone on board the free shipping bandwagon. However, the FedEx discount and similar UPS and USPS discounts will help eBay sellers offer a better customer experience.

For more of the Wired story:

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