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EBay launches auction-less online store

EBay Inc. Monday said it is launching its instant-purchasing service to supplement bid-and-wait online auctions, pitting it more directly against online retailers.
/ Source: Reuters

To attract more shoppers, online auctioneer eBay Inc. on Monday launched “eBay Express,” an online store to sell new items ranging from cookware and books to electronics — all with no bidding involved.

The new store will feature a subset of items from merchants who already hawk new products at fixed prices on eBay. But unlike the regular eBay setup, purchased items from multiple sellers on eBay Express can all be placed into a single shopping cart, mirroring the checkout systems used by more conventional Internet shopping sites.

Express shoppers also would not have to wait for an auction-style listing to end — a wait that can take days. Items could be purchased with either PayPal, eBay’s online payment service, or a credit card.

“We wanted to build a shopping experience toward convenience-oriented buyers who wanted to buy new items and make the purchases really quickly,” said Jamie Iannone, eBay’s senior director of product marketing.

More than 10 million items were available at the Express store’s launch, Iannone said.

The offering, which will be initially available only in the United States, comes as the e-commerce giant faces stiffening competition.

San Jose-based eBay sold about $12.5 billion worth of merchandise during the fiscal first quarter that ended in March, up 18 percent from the year-ago period. Its registered users increased 31 percent to 192.9 million in the quarter.

But eBay has seen its stock price plunge by more than 30 percent from its highs reached in late 2004 as its once high-flying growth has slowed.

The Express store “is a window into the larger eBay marketplace,” said eBay spokesman Brad Williams. “We think it’ll attract those who have never tried eBay before because it’s more of a traditional e-commerce site.”

EBay merchants, which include individuals and stores, will now be able to display items on both the new Express storefront as well as the traditional listings on

Only qualified merchants who have a history of selling successfully on eBay and meet certain levels of positive feedback scores will be eligible to sell on eBay Express, the company said.