EBay Now offers free delivery for holiday shoppers

EBay’s same-day delivery service has all your last-minute Christmas shoppers covered.

EBay Now, the company’s delivery arm that serves San Francisco and most of the Peninsula and South Bay, will be offering free delivery through Christmas Eve.

“With six fewer shopping days this year, every minute of the holiday rush matters and eBay Now offers a convenient way for consumers to get whatever they need and love this holiday season delivered to them anywhere in about an hour,” said spokesman Roman Skuratovskiy.

EBay contracts drivers who act as personal shoppers to pick up customer orders from Target, Home Depot, Walgreens, Toys R Us and several other retailers. They deliver to just about anywhere — a bar, park, coffee shop or business office — in about an hour. Normally, delivery is $5 for a $25 minimum purchase.

Free delivery doesn’t exactly separate eBay from the crowd this holiday shopping season — more than one-third of retailers already offers free shipping for online orders, according to the National Retail Federation. That number is expected to double during the holidays.

“Retailers know their customers today almost request it,” Kathy Grannis, senior director of media relations at the National Retail Federation, said on a recent conference call with reporters. “Retailers don’t have much of a choice but to start looking into free shipping year-round.”

Google Shopping Express, which launched publicly in much of the Bay Area in September, is also offering free delivery through the holidays and for the first six months after a user signs up. Google delivers from many of the same retailers that eBay offers, but Google Shopping Express users can also get groceries from Costco, Whole Foods and Raley’s Supermarkets.

The free delivery fad has spread to ride-sharing services. Uber, the San Francisco-based hire-a-car mobile app, is offering free rides on its UberX fleet (the hybrid and compact cars, not the fancy black sedans) in the South Bay from Redwood City to San Jose, starting today through Sunday.

Photo: EBay Now valet Audrey Zupancic shops at Office Depot to fill an order on Thursday, April 18, 2013 in San Francisco. Valets buy products from area stores for clients and deliver them in about one hour. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)

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