There's so much about trying to sell your old stuff online that's no fun.
Spending time listing items is a chore. Then there's finding the right box and heading over to the local post office. And dealing with returns.
eBay, one of the biggest resale marketplaces in the world, knows this is a problem and is trying to fix it. In its latest push to make the process easier for small-time sellers, the San Jose, California, company said Tuesday that it's expanding a partnership with logistics startup Shyp to help people mail out their stuff with less hassle.
"Even if you know what you're doing, it's a pain. If you're selling for the first time, it's complicated," Vincent Payen, head of consumer selling for eBay in North America, said about shipping.
eBay sellers in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles can now use Shyp's mobile app to get a courier to come by in 20 minutes and take up to 20 sold items. Shyp will then package and ship each item. The cost for the service, typically about $5 per pickup, will be waived for eBay users through June 30.
eBay's push to simplify its selling experience comes as the company is facing heavy competition, not just from e-commerce powerhouse Amazon, but from a slew of startups, including Poshmark, LetGo and OfferUp, all of which are looking to assist people in reselling their old junk. Even Facebook is now part of the resale game, helping users create local online tag sale groups.
With all those companies fighting over our old electronics and no-longer-cherished antiques, it's no wonder eBay has struggled to grow sales on its site for years and has been slow to attract new active buyers. Focusing on making life simpler for casual sellers could help bring in more buyers, though, since sellers tend to turn into regular purchasers on the site, too.
The Shyp partnership follows a program rolled out by eBay in 2014 called eBay Valet, which lets people send their stuff to experienced eBay sellers, who then list and ship the items.
Shyp and eBay started working together in December under a pilot program in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, though they avoided promoting the effort while they worked out the kinks in the service. After seeing a positive response from sellers who find shipping stuff annoying, eBay and Shyp said Tuesday they agreed to expand their partnership to Los Angeles and to start talking up the new program.
The response from sellers so far has been strong, said Shyp CEO Kevin Gibbon, though he declined to offer specific numbers on users. So far, nearly half of the eBay sellers using Shyp had never sold on eBay before.