eBay are running an eBay Selling Assistant trial in San Jose CA and Topeka KS in the US, where an eBay employee will come and collect your unwanted goods from your home and get them listed on eBay for you.
Once collected by eBay your goods will be handled by an experienced eBay Trading Assistant who will list them on a $0.99 start 7 day auction (and relist if there’s no bidder). Once your goods are sold you’ll receive the selling price less a 25% deduction for the service.
This is a real easy simple way for a consumer to get selling on eBay, although currently it’s only in trial until the end of January in the two US cities. eBay have a dedicated hot line (1-855-EBAY-VAN) and once you call they’ll arrange to collect your items. It’s long been known that a buyer that sells just once on eBay is a much more loyal buyer than someone who’s never sold on the site, so this is a great way for consumers not only to declutter and gain some spare cash to spend on eBay, but also to increase brand awareness and customer loyalty.
25% is a pretty low commission rate too, someone has to pay for the van and driver to make the pick up, eBay listing, final value and PayPal fees, and of course some profit in the deal for the trading assistant along with any taxes that become due. I’m not sure if I was a trading assistant I’d actually want to participate at those rates, but perhaps the influx of free stock to sell would make the economics work.
It’s a pretty innovative move on eBay’s part though, normally they are “just a venue” and steer clear of any handling of stock or management of the sale. In this pilot they actually take the first call from the potential consumer seller and to be honest, selling on eBay has become pretty complex these days. How easy would it be to make a phone call, not pay 10% eBay fees plus 3.4% to PayPal, waive just 11.6% for the service and wait for the money to roll in?