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eBay is testing an Amazon Prime competitor in Germany

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Amazon’s Prime delivery service is unrivalled for those willing to hand over an annual fee to get unlimited speedy delivery for items ordered online. However, eBay might soon give Prime a run for its money.

A new eBay+ pilot scheme is offering fast, free delivery and returns to customers in Germany for 15-20 Euros a year. That’s around £10-13.

An eBay representative said (via WSJ) the scheme is just a “local pilot” that’ll come to other parts of the country later this year. There are no plans in place for a full roll out as yet, according to the company.

It’s easy to see the potential appeal for regular eBay shoppers, who’re forking out varying shipping rates with wildly varying delivery estimates from independent sellers.

Sellers will have to agree to shipping goods on the day they’re sold and offer free returns within a month in order to qualify for the program. For that they’ll receive improved product placement within listings as well as subsidised fees.

eBay, of course, would find it more difficult than Amazon to guarantee delivery dates as it does not control shipping from its warehouses as Jeff Bezos’ company is able to provide. Presumably, only sellers of a certain ilk and repuation will be invited to sign up.

The affordable costs of the pilot could also be a big pull for regular eBay shoppers, if it becomes available to a wider audience. The current rates being significantly undercut Amazon’s £79 a year offering, but cannot provide any of the added value provided by access to Kindle books as well as video and music streaming services.

Would you sign up for an eBay+ subscription? Share your thoughts below.

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