eBay takes on Groupon over daily deals

SAN FRANCISCO, Wed Oct 10, 2012 – EBay Inc. has quietly launched an online marketplace for deals on local services, taking on Groupon Inc. and expanding into a potentially big category.

Groupon shares fell 4.3 percent to $5.05 in afternoon trading.

The news of eBay’s deals service emerged as the e-commerce company unveiled a major re-design of its website, adding Facebook-like features it hopes will spur more sales.

Called eBay Lifestyle Deals, the daily deal offers are being run in a limited number of urban areas, including the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.

Recent deals included $12 for a one-hour dog-walking service worth $25; $50 for a month of Yoga classes worth $110; and $180 for six private gym sessions worth $360.

The move is potentially a big step for eBay, which has traditionally focused on products rather than services.

“We have a big marketplace and a lot of people who come to eBay don’t just come for one thing – they stay and buy across categories,” said Devin Wenig, president of eBay Marketplaces.