Photo: Twitter profile
eBay has quietly launched a test of eBay Now, a same-day shipping service which delivers goods from local stores to consumers. It’s only available in San Francisco.Rocky Agrawal, a product strategist and keen observer of the local market, first reported eBay’s launch on Twitter, and TechCrunch’s Josh Constine picked up on his report.
A top eBay executive has confirmed that it’s the brainchild of Jack Abraham, an entrepreneur who sold local shopping-search startup Milo.com to eBay in December 2010 for $75 million.
Milo launched as a service that looked into local stores’ inventories to show which goods were available nearby. So the delivery service—perhaps inspired by competing offerings from startups like TaskRabbit and Postmates—was a natural extension.
But the real target here is Amazon.com, which is widely believed to be prepping for same-day delivery—likely in conjunction with some nationwide move to reform sales-tax collection. Currently online merchants don’t have to collect local sales tax unless they have a physical presence, or “nexus,” such as a warehouse in a state.
Abraham, who now heads up local at eBay, has beaten Amazon to the punch with eBay Now. And he is an example of how the e-commerce giant is reinvigorating itself with startup DNA.