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eBay tests own daily deal service and Pinterest-like feature

Updated: November 12, 2012 12:01PM

Ebay has started testing a service called Lifestyle Deals, which offers Groupon-style daily deals in select cities such as San Francisco, Boston and New York, giving the e-commerce giant an opening into the competitive online local services market.

Chicago-based Groupon’s stock dropped 4.2 percent, or 22 cents, on Wednesday, to end the day at $5.05. Ebay’s stock edged up 1.2 percent, or 54 cents, to close at $46.76.

The daily deals test became public Wednesday when eBay unveiled a major redesign of its website, which includes a Pinterest-like feature encouraging visitors to collect items they might want to buy later, and as it announced a smartphone app that lets people order items from Macy’s, Target and Walgreens.

The Pinteret-like feature shows users items based on things they purchased in the past or items they’ve clicked on the site. Shoppers can edit their so-called “feed” by adding or removing categories and individual items.

Ebay’s old search feature, which helps shoppers who already know what they are looking for, is not going away. Rather, the company says it wants online shopping to feel more like window-shopping or browsing in a brick-and-mortar store.

San Jose, Calif.-based eBay Inc. unveiled the new site Wednesday at an event in New York’s trendy Meatpacking district. It will be available to eBay’s U.S. users gradually over the next 100 days and to international users after that. EBay says it has 105 million active users worldwide. And it has about 25 million sellers ranging from large brands to individuals.

The company is also launching a smartphone and tablet computer app called eBay Now. The app lets people order items from retailers such as Macy’s, Target and Walgreens. In most cases, eBay promises delivery within an hour. eBay Now is being tested in San Francisco but the company will likely roll it out elsewhere in the future.

The company also simplified its shopping site so that it takes fewer clicks of the mouse to buy items. The redesign also looks cleaner and with larger photos than the previous version.

Contributing: AP and Business Reporter Sandra Guy

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