RealTime IT News

eBay Extends Quick-Buy Program

Online auction giant eBay, in an announcement to users, said its Buy It Now feature, launched last November on a trial basis, will become a permanent part of the service.

Buy It Now is, for the moment at least, a free service that lets auction listers post a price for the immediate sale of an item. Buyers willing to pay the price do not have to wait for an auction to end.

In its notice to users, eBay said that "Use of Buy It Now has continued to grow steadily, and reaction to the feature has been overwhelmingly positive. Buyers love the convenience of an immediate transaction, particularly when shopping for gifts. Sellers have benefited from faster auctions and the option to offer another way to buy."

eBay said that it introduced Buy It Now for Mister Lister on Dec. 29 and will "make further enhancements by enabling Buy It Now for Dutch auctions and offering a Buy It Now search tool."

How long the service will remain free is another matter, however.

"We will continue to offer Buy It Now as a free feature through the first quarter of this year, after which we will evaluate pricing against the cost of enhancements and maintaining the feature," the company said in its notice to users.

eBay requires that the Buy It Now price must be greater or equal to the minimum bid price or the reserve price. Buy It Now is only available before the first bid is placed on the item. As soon as a bid is placed, the item is sold through the normal process.

Separately, eBay launched a Valentine's Day promotion called "Ultimate Romantic Gifts" by teaming up with Disney Auctions, Take To Auction and Ultimatebid, among others. The promo site offers "a variety of gifts that satisfy different interests and hobbies," eBay said.

Among the unique gifts: A week in France that includes a visit to the Galimard Perfumerie and a trip to spring training in Florida with New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine and his wife.