On the day that it announced a major expansion of the areas covered by its same-day delivery service, eBay also said it was buying a courier services agent specialising in offering such deliveries.
Within hours of Theverge.com reporting that the online marketplace had unveiled plans to start scheduled and same-day delivery services in the English capital, London, early next year, it announced it had bought a company called Shutl.
This firm started out by offering exactly these services in the English capital, and has since expanded them to several American cities.
Observers were impressed by the deal, and its implications, with Chris Dawson of Tamebay.com writing: "What is fascinating and important is that with this deal eBay has taken a big leap ahead of Amazon in the same-day stakes in the UK."
"Amazon has been building a new infrastructure to accommodate faster deliveries. But over here has been less speedy."
Shutl founder and CEO, Tom Allason, announcing the deal on his firm's website, said: "eBay’s bold vision to redefine local commerce is one that fits perfectly with what we have set out to achieve at Shutl.
"Approximately 75 per cent of commerce happens within 15 miles of the consumer’s home. E-commerce is quick and convenient, two things that delivery is not. Together with eBay, we believe that we can transform this market."
'Gerry007', a Tamebay.com user, pointed out, however, that at present Shutl's maximum delivery distance is 50 miles, adding that his own comparisons had suggested "they may be a tad expensive".