It looks like eBay isn’t too concerned about its competitor’s audacious plans to have fleets of aerial drones delivering products to customers’ doorsteps.
— Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) December 6, 2013
EBay CEO John Donahoe tells me Amazon drones are a "long-term fantasy" on @BloombergWest
— Emily Chang (@emilychangtv) December 6, 2013
“We’re focusing on things that will change consumers’ experience today,” Donahoe added.
Some say Amazon’s drone announcement on 60 Minutes last week was merely a PR stunt to spur Cyber Monday sales, but Amazon actually has a team of employees working on a project called “Amazon Prime Air.” Though it will take at least four or five years for the idea to come to fruition, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the project is realistic.
Earlier this week, Bill Gates said that Bezos’ plan may be overly optimistic — but, the Microsoft co-founder did talk about the potential of drones to have a positive impact on the world.
eBay, meanwhile, is aiming to deliver products faster not with drones, but rather through its eBay Now program that guarantees delivery in just one hour. eBay’s courier service can deliver any product that will fit inside of a car, but cannot chauffeur items like alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs, major appliances, TVs bigger than 42 inches and items requiring a service contract like cell phones.
eBay Now delivers items from more than 100 retailers are is available in the Bay Area, New York, and Chicago. Dallas will have the service live later this year, and other markets, including London, will have access to the service some time in 2014.
Normally, consumers must pay eBay $5 to have those products delivered to their doorstep, but eBay is waiving that fee for the next month.