eBay recently announced a new partnership with three companies that would give customers the ability to book home install services along with their purchases.
Be it televisions, bikes, or a new dining set, there’s no need to worry about your ability to lift big boxes or work an Allen wrench into an impossibly small corner.
The online marketplace is expanding its offerings, adding an extra convenience for shoppers who don’t quite know their way around a physical toolbox.
eBay adds installation services to big purchases
How does it work?
Various product pages now host a drop-down menu that allows customers to select an assembly service from Handy, InstallerNet or Porch, adding the service to your purchase like a protection plan.
After you complete your purchase, someone from your chosen assembly service will contact you to set up an appointment.
Handy is an NY-based company that will handle things like TV mounting, furniture assembly, and setting up your smart home devices. Porch is based in Seattle and does roughly the same thing. And InstallerNet, a Massachusetts company, is a network of independent contractors you can use to coordinate consumer and commercial electronic installation.
We came across some online shoppers expressing concern over whether the platform would be using unlicensed freelancers a la TaskRabbit to perform the installs.
Handy’s site mentions that all professionals are background-checked and experienced, though there’s nothing on the site stating that these folks are licensed, bonded, and insured.
InstallerNet’s site is just plain confusing. For example, there’s little information and it reads like a business jargon algorithm put the whole thing together.
Installs are par for the course now
Home installs aren’t exactly an innovative move these days. Rather, it’s become a natural extension of the buyer journey, something users have increasingly come to expect.
REI, for example, offers installation services along with their purchases, and IKEA’s site allows you to pay extra for assembly. eBay itself has had a tire installation service available on the website since 2017.
However, what eBay has done well here is that they’ve streamlined the process—putting everything together on one page, turning a multi-stage process into something that can be done within a matter of clicks.
Amazon competitor once again?
The new service aims to compete with Amazon’s Home Services, and it appears to be a move to keep the company in the game—as Amazon expands its reach into more and more markets.
Interestingly, this announcement comes about a month later than eBay’s lawsuit against Amazon, where the auction site alleges that Amazon engaged in a scheme to poach eBay sellers by infiltrating its internal messaging system.
That said, eBay has been on a dramatic kick to revitalize and rebrand as a membership-fee-free go-to marketplace. CEO Devin Wenig is aiming high, using an influencer marketing strategy to grow its 175 million user base to 500M.
Wenig, however, doesn’t necessarily want to compete with Amazon, stating that he sees eBay as a destination for people can discover the things that they want, not necessarily the things they need.
While it’s unlikely that eBay will overtake Amazon, it’s nice to see that they’re making some changes that stand to boost the customer experience.