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eBay to Guarantee Delivery in Three Days

eBay just moved one step closer to fulfilling shoppers’ desire for immediate gratification.

The global marketplace announced it would now guarantee three-day shipping on more than 20 million items. Guaranteed Delivery will roll out over the summer, allowing consumers to filter their search results for those goods that will make it to them in three days or fewer. Some items will even carry a one or two-day promise and/or free shipping.

“We know from people all around the world that they know it’s rare that you won’t get a better choice or better price on eBay, but they want more certainty in shipping, and everybody likes speed,” said eBay CEO Devin Wenig at this week’s ShopTalk retail conference in Las Vegas.

Acknowledging the inevitable comparison between this new initiative and Amazon’s two-day shipping, Wenig said the goal isn’t to compete with players like that but to deliver on consumer expectations.

There’s no doubt though that shipping is a key battleground among e-commerce businesses. In January, Walmart announced free two-day shipping on more than 2 million items and decreased its minimum eligibility for free three to five-day shipping to $35. Then, Amazon countered with an offer of free shipping on transactions as low as $35. Just this week, the online behemoth announced that Amazon Prime Now customers can receive orders in two hours through Alexa, the company’s digital assistant.

Unlike retailers that manage their own logistics, eBay is reliant on its sellers to hit the new delivery targets. Wenig feels confident that they will for several reasons, including the increased visibility that being a part of Guaranteed Deliveries will provide. Also, because sellers must opt into Guaranteed Delivery, only those that are willing and able are likely to join the initiative. And, as it does in all other aspects of transactions on the site, the community will keep sellers compliant. Wenig says sellers know, “you can’t deliver bad experiences because it hurts everybody in our marketplace.”