Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

EBay Valet app outsources selling process to appointed experts


Online marketplace eBay released a mobile application called eBay Valet to assist sellers and improve the entire selling process.


The app connects eBay sellers to experts, otherwise known as valets, to follow a system of three steps to ensure a profitable and speedy sale. As one of the first signs of mobile presence, eBay offers a systematic solution to online vendors.


“The Valet app provides convenience and comprehensive service for customers who are looking for a quick and simple way to sell their items on eBay,” said Steve Yankovich, vice president of innovation and new ventures at eBay, San Francisco.


Expertise on command
 EBay Valet’s three-step process involves pricing and shipping the item and then cashing out the sale.


To determine the price of the item, users send a photo of the product to the expert, who then analyzes the merchandise. Users ship the item through a free prepaid box or using a free shipping label to send items to the eBay Valet free-of-charge.


Valets then take over the process entirely and list the item for sale on eBay. Valets will ship the item once it is sold, and sellers will receive 70 percent of the sale price within three weeks after the buyer receives the goods.


This app could lend a helping hand to sellers with less experience and knowledge of the online marketplace. However, it is a possibility that more experienced sellers, particularly do-it-yourself enthusiasts, will seek to save money by not using the innovation.


The most common users of this app will likely be routine sellers who appreciate the timesaving solution of outsourcing the task of listing items and maintaining an eBay profile.


eBay’s app is currently only available on the iOS platform.


Building its presence
EBay has shown multiple efforts recently to encourage more viewers on mobile.

For instance, eBay doubled down in Latin America with new versions of the company’s mobile and Web platforms that play up local and tailored content.


The online giant brought language-specific content to eBay’s Latin American markets, which gives the company a presence in 19 countries within the area, including Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. The new deal was the latest example showing how eBay is betting on its aggressive push into mobile within developed markets to propel new international efforts (see story).


Prior to this announcement, analysts often wondered about eBay’s minimal mobile online presence.


The online marketplace expanded its Collections feature to Britain and Germany, but it had yet to carry the feature over to its mobile site, missing out on a key medium for social engagement.


EBay introduced the Collections feature to its United States site this past October to let consumers create collections of products and view others’ collections as well, which is similar to what Pinterest offers. The recent expansion to Britain and Germany showed that eBay is pushing forward with this social integration, but it remained to be seen whether or not it could compete with the already-established Pinterest, especially without a mobile version of the feature (see story).


An app that motivates sellers to improve their process will likely give eBay the push it needs to attract more followers across mobile.


“By providing customers with a seamless, easy-to-use service for selling their items through eBay, the Valet app helps customers sell their items anytime, anywhere, while getting them the most bang for their buck through the auction format,” Mr. Yanovich said.


“In addition to our core mobile app and other mobile offerings, eBay Valet is another way that we are continuing to deliver consumers the choice and convenience that they want,” he said.


Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Commerce Daily, New York