eBay intend to extend their Click and Collect partnership at Argos to enable sellers to Click and Drop items for despatch.
The intention is to pilot a scheme with a few selected Argos stores where sellers would be able to drop off items that they’ve sold to their nearest Argos store for packing and shipping. If the scheme proves popular it would be extended to 700 Argos outlets across the country.
Tanya Lawler, VP of eBay marketplaces, says in the Telegraph “We’ve created a service that makes it quick for sellers to drop off items so they can focus on growing their businesses and targeting domestic and international buyers, rather than waiting in a line”. This is an obvious reference to Post Office queues, although Royal Mail have done their best to mitigate waiting times with their Drop and Go services.
This is of course likely to be most attractive to smaller business sellers and more likely casual sellers. As soon as a business exceeds relatively low volumes the effort of dropping your day’s sales at an Argos store is likely to exceed the time needed to pack the items and ship them yourself or to sign up for a collection service. There’s also the obvious limitation of how much you can fit into your car and carry into an Argos store.
Pricing for the service will be key, it’s a halfway house between a true fulfilment service as you’ll still be doing the storage and picking, but the packing and shipping will be taken care of for you.
Seller protection will be the other key element that will determine how attractive this service is. Will sellers be granted automatic 5 star ratings for P&P costs and despatch times? Also what about damage in transit, whilst for some items it will be obvious if the item is damaged before despatch, will Argos be recording details of every chip or crack in items to determine if the item had imperfections before despatch or if it was damaged en route?
It’s an interesting proposition and one we’ll be watching with interest. We’ve requested more information from eBay and will update as soon as details become available on pricing, T’s & Cs, the drop off process and seller protections.