Ebay on Thursday unveiled "Under $10," a new webpage featuring millions of items priced $10 or lower in hundreds of categories with free shipping and no bidding required.
Shoppers can browse trending items with searches like "tech under $3" and "$5 sunglasses" across men's and women's apparel, fitness, home decor and more, according to a company press release.
The move follows a similar effort in January by Amazon featuring a curated "$10 and Under" section, with small, inexpensive items in the women's, men's, electronics, gifts, home décor, household and watches categories. "$10 and Under" is available to all Amazon customers, Prime and non-Prime, who benefit from the free shipping.
Amazon and now Ebay appear to making defensive moves against not just Walmart but also Wish, a mobile e-commerce platform that has built much of its fortunes so far on bringing Chinese sellers to customers in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Wish doesn't often pop up in stories about U.S. e-commerce, which is dominated by Amazon and, these days, Walmart's efforts to combat Amazon. But Wish has proven to be a destination for shoppers looking online for small, cheap items. Two years ago, when Amazon registered as an ocean freighter forwarder, Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen said then that he saw the move as an answer to Wish as it would cut Chinese factories a more direct path to American consumers.
Walmart, meanwhile, has made a counter move, reportedly turning to its vendors last month for more consumer products like sauces and soaps and general merchandise like toys and home goods, priced at least $5 but preferably $10 or more, to boost online profits. That may be a result of Walmart's squeezed e-commerce margins. E-commerce sales growth slowed markedly in its most recent quarter, and the retail giant is grappling with the higher expenses of digital retail.
The new spaces online for cheap goods could also be e-commerce's answer to dollar stores, which have been doing a booming business since the recession without much of an online game. In fact, deep discounters like Dollar General have been building physical stores at a red-hot clip, compared to most retail sectors.