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So long to a bunch of eBay services, including eBay Now

With PayPal gone, eBay is getting back to the basics and streamlining operations

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
July 27, 2015
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3f16

(Updated to reflect comment from eBay)

When eBay and PayPal split last week, the former company championed the move as "a new beginning," and the next chapter for eBay. What that really meant, it seems, getting back to its roots as a place for people to buy and sell goods. It also meant getting rid of some of the other applications it had launched in recent years.

In a blog post entitled, "Simplifying the eBay Commerce Experience," eBay outlined four services that it will be shutting down: eBay Valet, eBay Fashion (which will be decommissioned in the coming weeks) eBay Motors (which will be decommissioned later this year) and its on-demand delivery service eBay Now.

Acting as a standlone business once again provides an "opportunity to further simplify the buying and selling experiences for customers," RJ PIttman, Chief Product Officer at eBay, wrote. 

"We are starting with a focused effort to bring the best of eBay’s features and functionality together in one easy place for our customers. We will do this by retiring some of our vertical mobile apps and migrating the functionality into our flagship eBay app."

The eBay Now was announced in 2012, and was only available San Francisco, San Jose and New York upon its initial launch, before being  expanded to the Bay Area Peninsula, Brooklyn and Queens in July of 2013.

For a while it looked like on-demand delivery would be a space where eBay could make a big impact. The company even made acquisitions, buying up same-day delivery company Shutl. Now, which offered $5 rate on orders of at least $25 stuggled to gain traction in a crowded space, with Google and Amazon as major competitors, and the stand-alone app was pulled from the App Store last year. 

While eBay Now was integrated into the company's website and flagship app, something that Pittman says "significantly reduced our dependency on a separate standalone service," it now done for good. Instead eBay will be "exploring delivery and pick-up/drop-off programs that are relevant to many more of our 25 million sellers, and that cover a wider variety of inventory that consumers tell us they want."

EBay Valet is much more recent service, launched just under a year ago, essentially as a mobile version of eBay's Sell for Me valet service. 

All the user had to do was take a picture on their phone of the item that they wanted to sell, and then use the app to send the photo to a valet.  That valet would then respond within a half an hour with a valuation range for the item. The user would then be asked if they want to sell it for that price.

There is no specific reason why that service, or Fashion or Motors, are being discontinued, except that they are cumbersome and make the idea of eBay seem more complicated. Many of the functions of these services, including Valet and Motors, are going to be integrated into the main eBay app.

"We are confident these changes will lead to a simplified eBay experience for our customers, while preserving and extending the powerful commerce features unique to eBay," said PIttman. "This is about empowering our customers and igniting the future of commerce to help eBay become the most inspiring place to shop."

With PayPal gone, eBay has a lot to prove. It also has a lot of revenue to make up, as PayPal made up as much as a third of the company's revenue. Streamlining operations, getting back to its mission and making the service less confusing, and more welcoming, are good first steps in that process.

Update: an eBay spokesperson has informed VatorNews hat the eBay Valet service is not shutting down, just the app.

iIn regards to Valet, to be clear, we are not shutting down the service. Consumers can still go to ebay.com/valet and we have plans to incorporate it into the core app," the spokesperson said,

(Image source: fastcompany.com)


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