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Auction website eBay has today launched the UK version of its new online shopping service, eBay Express. The site will sell both new and used goods at fixed prices. 

All of the sellers on the site have been signed up to a professional code of conduct by eBay, to ensure that they all offer returns policies and guaranteed delivery dates.

The company hopes that the site will attract those shoppers who prefer a more more conventional e-commerce shopping experience.

The US version of the site launched earlier this year, and the British version, ebayexpress.co.uk, arrives just in time to catch the Christmas market.

It is the first new service eBay has launched in the UK since the main website, some seven years ago. Currently, eBay has more than 15m registered users in the UK.

As well as having items immediately available for purchase at a fixed price, the new service will allow customers to fill their ‘shopping carts’ with items from a variety of sellers before paying for them all in a single transaction.

Listings in eBay Express will also be displayed on the normal auction site, and buyers and sellers will still be able to leave feedback after transactions.

According to eBay UK small business director Aita Qadri, this new service will allow small and medium businesses to compete with bigger retailers: "A small player will be able to take on a large player and compete on an equal footing. A small retailer in Essex will be able to look like John Lewis online."

This new service may improve the buying experience by removing the things that are a pain to regular eBay users, such as being outbid at the last minute, having to check seller’s reputations, and looking out for outrageous postage charges.

By publishing only 'Buy it now' listings from sellers with 98% or more positive feedback, eBay Express is filtering out some of the less trustworthy traders, though customers are still more likely to bag a bargain at the main site.

We believe eBay has an increasingly large problem with regards to spam listings. More on that in due course...

Graham Charlton

Published 9 October, 2006 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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