eBay Bids on Shipping Services

In an attempt to provide more comprehensive services, online auctioneer eBay Monday signed a five-year agreement with Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE) and iShip to provide e-commerce shipping options to eBay users.

The terms of the agreement call for iShip to offer users upfront information about shipping costs and options via a co-branded interface integrated into the eBay site. MBE will provide the bricks-and-mortar infrastructure for packing and shipping, and will offer its franchises as a place for delivery and inspection of goods. No financial terms were disclosed.

The co-branded page will give members access to shipping rates and service alternatives, pricing information, shipping help features and package tracking status, the companies said.

“The growth of eBay’s person-to-person online trading has created a demand for improved shipping solutions for our community of 2.1 million users,” said Meg Whitman, eBay’s president and chief executive officer.

“MBE, with its network of more than 3,000 centers across the
country, and iShip.com, with its innovative online-shipping, pricing and tracking solutions, are the ideal partners for eBay to join with in developing an integrated, full-service retail shipping service to handle this demand.”

eBay’s build-up of services comes after a period of bad press for the company. In March a federal investigation was launched into possible fraud issues, and the company has been criticized for its customer service and items sold in the past as well.

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