Ebay Now, the e-commerce site’s same-day delivery service, is shutting down. As of Monday, eBay has put the brakes on the service, which offered courier delivery of popular items like T-shirts and toilet paper from local retail stores in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Dallas.
In a statement, Chief Product Officer R.J. Pittman explained that eBay Now was considered a pilot program:
Today we are retiring the eBay Now service in the U.S., including the local Brooklyn pilot program. Last year, we retired our eBay Now app and brought the program’s delivery capabilities and many participating merchants’ inventory into our core mobile apps. This significantly reduced our dependency on a separate standalone service. While we saw encouraging results with the eBay Now service, we always intended it as a pilot, and we are now exploring delivery and pick-up/drop-off programs that are relevant to many more of our 25 million sellers, and that cover a wider variety of inventory that consumers tell us they want. We will continue to pilot scheduled delivery in the UK.
A better explanation, however, may be that the delivery space is now oversaturated with behemoths like Amazon and Google, along with a slew of more specialized startups. An eBay spokeswoman told CNET that same-day delivery wasn’t lucrative enough for the company, given that most customers used it for home necessities, as opposed to the kind of fare that users usually flock to eBay for–say, antiques or vintage clothes. Coordinating deliveries from individual sellers–that is, people who sell items from their homes as opposed to big retail outlets–was also tricky.
The move was widely expected; eBay stopped offering its eBay Now mobile application late last year. Its cancellation is part of a wider restructuring of the company’s sprawling product line, which included nixing eBay’s Valet, Fashion, and Motors apps.