January 4, 2013–Brace yourself eBay sellers, the online marketplace is trying something new. eBay.com is testing out a new business model called eBay Selling Assistant program which works like an eBay drop off store for sellers. Similar to the eBay store in the film 40 Year Old Virgin, the store will work as a “pick up” service that works in conjunction with consignment sellers to list and sell their items on eBay for a fee. The new pilot program is being tested among a variety of sellers across the U.S.
How it works: When a consignor wants to sell their items on eBay they call a number (855-EBAY-VAN) that arranages for an eBay employee to pick up their items from their home or business. The items are then delivered to a participating store which lists the items on eBay for sale. Consignors are then given 75% of the item’s selling price from eBay and the store is given 25%.
eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff said eBay has opened up the “buy side” in local markets and the new pilot program is giving people new ways to sell on eBay and attracting “people who wouldn’t have previously interacted with eBay as a destination.”
Because eBay requires sellers to use PayPal, it’s hard to see how this program could be profitable as the seller will have to pay both the eBay fees and PayPal fees.