ebay has launched eBay Hire. It is a new offering from eBay that lets you advertise your services on eBay to customers who are local to your area. Those customers will be able to directly buy your services from eBay, like they buy products, and you will provide the service.
Like eBay charges for products, there will be a fee for each successful booking of service. However, eBay hire is currently in beta period, so there is no fee at this time (of course, Paypal fee would still be there).
The way eBay Hire works is that you first register your interest with eBay. Then you create your profile page on eBay. This is the page where potential customers will be redirected to. On this profile page, you will tell about yourself, the service that you provide, some photos, and price for your service. The potential customers will directly book your service from this page. The payment will be done via Paypal.
Now, eBay has not clarified when will it transfer that payment to service provider’s account; will it be as soon as a customer buys the service, or will there be a way for customer to confirm that you have provided the service satisfactorily and eBay may release the payment.
Now, basic question: how do potential customers find you on eBay. At the moment, eBay has said that it will advertise your services on the product search results page, based on type of product customer is searching for and location of the customer. Let’s say you are a Soccer coach in New York. Then if someone in New York searches for soccer goods, then they might see your advertisement on right side of the page. Clicking on that will take them to your profile page.
eBay has mentioned that in future it might decide to add a ratings type system for customers to rate service providers.
My Opinion About eBay Hire:
I think eBay Hire could turn out to be a win-win situation for both customers as well as service providers, if done right. First of all, I hope eBay hire also let service providers list their services as products, so that users can specifically search for services, instead of just relying on ads to show up on page. Let’s assume that will happen. Now, I as a customer can go to eBay and look for any service provider in my area – let’s say Plumber. I can see which all plumbers are available and compare their rates. More importantly, I would be able to see testimonials of other customers about the plumbers and can decide which one I want to go with.
For service providers as well, let’s say same Plumbers, they will have an incentive for providing better service as this will lead to better ratings for them and they can potentially charge higher than other Plumbers.
I know YellowPages.com already has such a service, exclusively for service providers, but entry of eBay in this arena will make it a whole different ball game.
What do you think of eBay Hire? Will you book service providers through eBay Hire? Let me know in comments below.