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08/06/2012

eBay Tests Same-Day Delivery Mobile App with Target, Best Buy, Macy's

Talk about real-time retailing: eBay is testing a mobile app that promises same-day delivery of items from major retailers – with some deliveries taking as little as one hour.

For its eBay Now app, being tested by a limited number of eBay members in the San Francisco market, the online marketplace is teaming up with some of the biggest names in brick-and-mortar retail: Target, Best Buy, Toys "R" Us, Macy's, Nordstrom, Walgreen, Crate & Barrel and Fry's Electronics, according to published reports. The retailers have uploaded their local stores' inventory data onto eBay's online marketplace through Milo, a local shopping start-up that eBay acquired in late 2010.

The test is occurring at a time when pure-play e-tailer Amazon.com is building more distribution centers, increasing its ability to offer rapid delivery of orders. A number of the new DCs are located near major metropolitan centers, fueling speculation that Amazon is planning to expand into same-day delivery services.

With eBay Now, shoppers download the app onto their Apple iPhone or iPad, then search for products from local San Francisco stores, according to Reuters. When they find the product they want, they press a "Bring It" button that relays their order to couriers. The courier located closest to the product accepts the order, drives to the store to pick it up and then delivers it to the shopper's home.

Customers pay when the product arrives. Couriers are equipped with iPhones that can accept payments via PayPal Here, a service developed by eBay's PayPal unit that accepts credit and debit card payments via a small swipe device attached to iPhones. Consumers can also pay by logging into their PayPal accounts through their own iPhones.

eBay is offering $15 off the first order through eBay Now and free delivery for the first three orders that are placed. After that, delivery costs $5 for the test period with a minimum order amount of $25, according to eBay spokesperson Lina Shustarovich.

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