Feeds

eBay.ie introduces 'Skype Me' function

Haggle via VoIP

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Buyers and sellers cruising the dedicated Irish eBay site can now haggle using Skype free internet voice calls and instant messaging service. Sellers will be able to include a "Skype Me" button on the eBay.ie listings page accessible to buyers.

By clicking the button, buyers can talk to sellers or use Skype instant messenger at no extra cost to ask about items and discuss arrangements for the delivery of goods.

These "click to call" features through which eBay customers can contact sellers directly via text message or voice calls are perhaps the first manifestation of eBay's expensive $2.6bn acquisition of Skype in October.

Users of eBay who wish to use the free voice call service will probably have to invest in earphones or microphones if their computer does not already have a Skype phone.

Skype Me will go live on 4 July in Ireland, Britain, France, the United States, the Benelux countries, Canada, China, Taiwan and the Philippines. It is understood the service will be a pilot programme and used to evaluate Skype amongst different types of goods and user communities.

The eBay.ie Skype service will be trialled in the art, antiques, stamps, coins, pottery and glass, sports memorabilia, real estate, baby products, musical instruments, and audio consumer electronics categories. A spokeswoman explained these categories had been chosen because of the high value of goods traded and the possible necessity of buyer and seller getting in contact to negotiate issues such as shipment.

"This is a really exciting area of integration for Skype and eBay and will make it even easier for buyers and sellers to communicate," eBay Ireland customer development head John McElligott said. "We expect it will reassure buyers while dramatically increasing both the number and value of sales."

A statement from eBay.ie said the introduction of Skype follows extensive research amongst buyers and sellers. Sellers felt the opportunity to communicate more with buyers and share information about their products would smooth the purchase process. Buyers agreed the service would help them learn more about both seller and product.

Skype head of developer relations Len Pryor said in an interview last week that the company has been testing Skype integration with eBay in five small markets in Asia and Europe, including Belgium.

eBay is not the only internet giant experimenting with internet telephony (VoIP). Google recently launched its Google Talk service, which allows users of its instant messenger program to chat over the internet. Microsoft has also got in on the act, acquiring small VoIP company Teleo, while rival Yahoo recently bought DialPad.

Skype has become increasingly popular in recent months, as more users join the VoIP craze. According to a report from Analysys, up to 32m workers in Europe will be using VoIP by 2010, while spending in the sector will surge to €12bn within the next four years.

In Ireland, eBay has 200,000 registered Irish users. According to the auction site, an item in the computing and music categories is sold by an Irish seller every four minutes, while an item of clothing or an object from the collectible category is bought every two minutes. DVDs and auto parts are also popular purchases for Irish buyers.

Copyright © 2006, ENN

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.