EBay shutters eBay Now, will rely on couriers such as FedEx and possibly Uber

EBay’s house cleaning continues, and the latest item to be tossed out is the company’s same-day delivery service.

San Jose-based eBay announced on Monday it is shuttering eBay Now, an on-demand delivery service that launched in 2012 and quickly fell flat. Indeed, the end of eBay Now has been predicted for months.

EBay launched the service in 2012 in San Francisco and hired drivers to pick up and deliver purchases online shoppers made from a handful of stores, such as Staples or Target, to pretty much any place the customer wanted — a house, business, bar or park — within an hour. But eBay fired its  drivers just months after hiring them, and in November, the company discontinued the stand-alone eBay Now app. However, until today, one-hour delivery remained an option for some purchases made on ebay.com.

In an interview this month with the Mercury News, eBay CEO Devin Wenig said the company would cease offering its own same-day delivery services and instead rely on courier services including FedEx, the U.S. Post Office and possibly one day Uber.

“We’ll use anyone who wants to plug into eBay and be competitive,” Wenig said. “Let them compete on behalf of our customers.”

Wenig acknowledged the same-day delivery field had gotten crowded and increasingly competitive since eBay began its service three years ago.

“There are multiple players doing local delivery,” he said. “You can’t wake up in the morning without a local delivery company announcement. So, we’re going to use all those players.”

Wenig said eBay’s 2013 acquisition of Shutl, a service that appears as a widget on retailer websites to offer quick delivery, will help the company forge partnerships with couriers.

Also on Monday, eBay announced it was discontinuing its apps for motors, fashion and valet service. Interestingly, eBay just last week acquired used clothing e-retailer Twice with the plan to use Twice’s core technology to improve eBay Valet, a platform where people can send collectibles, electronics other items to third-party merchants to sell for them.  It appears that service will no longer have a standalone app anymore, either, but will be available through the main ebay.com website.

With the spinoff of PayPal as a standalone company, which was completed July 17, eBay has been shedding services with the intent to narrow eBay’s focus to become a more pure retail business and a website for mom-and-pop sellers and boutique retailers. eBay spun off its Enterprises unit this month in a $925 million deal and sold the 28 percent of Craigslist it owned back to that company. It could also be preparing to sell its ownership of Stubhub.

 

 

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