No eBay plans to expand the Amazon Prime style German trial

Last year eBay began testing a paid shipping membership program in Germany that was rather like Amazon Prime saying that it was a response to shoppers’ ever more increasing demand for faster delivery.

Billed as eBay+ it was trialled amongst a small group of eBay buyers and reportedly cost something like £20 to be part of the scheme that offered expedited and guaranteed speedy shipping and free returns on purchases.

As we said at the time: “It’s good to see eBay experimenting with loyalty schemes for buyers because retaining those good and honest, and high spending customers, is good news as the ecommerce market matures. It makes much more sense to tie-in buyers than try and win over new ones.”

But in reporting eBay’s latest financial results CEO Devin Wenig has stymied the trial and also says there will be no expansion by saying there are “no plans for now” to expand the program.

And he expanded on that in a recent talk: “The last thing we should do is compete with Amazon by putting concrete in the ground. There’s plenty of concrete already in the ground… we use partners and we don’t build our own warehouses.”

There is some merit in the idea that competing with Amazon is a bad thing. But keeping high-rolling big spending eBay buyers happy is a good thing. There’s a circle to be squared somewhere here.