PRIME MOVER: eBay is about to offer Australians free delivery and returns

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The online shopping war has begun. eBay is about to offer Australians free delivery and returns.

In its “biggest announcement in recent memory”, the original online retail giant will launch a new membership option called eBay Plus in “mid-June”.

For a $49 annual fee (or $29 with the introductory offer), Australian shoppers will get free delivery and returns on over 15 million eligible eBay products.

The mid-June launch date puts it at least a couple of weeks ahead of the expected arrival of Amazon Prime in Australia.

eBay says its research shows more than a third of the Australian site’s 13.6 million shoppers spend more than $71 on shipping per year, and one in 10 spend more than $200.

But there’s no doubt the timing of the announcement is all you need to know about why eBay Australia has suddenly become so interested in offering free delivery.

It also come just after eBay slapped an exclusively Australian ban on sellers using Amazon’s fulfillment service. SmartCompany reports US sellers “can safely use Amazon fulfillment to stock products sold by eBay, but sellers in Australia cannot”. (eBay would prefer to use the word “restriction”.)

A recent advertisement for someone to lead Amazon Prime in Australia showed it was on track for its promised mid-2018 rollout. At $US99.99 for an annual sub, Prime membership is notably more expensive than eBay Plus – and there’s a good chance the Australian version will be even more expensive – but it also gets you Amazon’s Prime Video and Twitch Prime services:

But eBay Plus has a couple of added bonuses as well. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Free delivery: Delivery included on all eBay Plus purchases, with over 15 million products listed
  • Free returns: Benefit from free returns on all eBay Plus purchases
  • Exclusive deals: Access special deals and discounts only available to eBay Plus members. Examples of offers include up to 60% off on popular items and early access to new products
  • Bonus flybuys points: Collect double flybuys points on all eBay Plus purchases
  • Premium customer service: A dedicated customer support team

You can register your interest in eBay Plus right now, here.

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