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Amazon testing bike messengers and price haggling


New York - Amazon is testing new features, one for the way it delivers goods, and the other a new pricing option that enables shoppers to haggle directly with third-party marketplace sellers for lower prices.

The online giant is testing bike messengers deliveries in New York City, according to various media reports.

The new service is being referred to as Amazon Prime Now, MarketWatch reported, and provides for the delivery of select goods to customers in Manhattan in about one hour. Amazon has been holding time trials with at least three courier services to pick the speediest and most careful for its delivery fleet, the report said.

And on Tuesday, Amazon debuted its new pricing option, called Make an Offer, which allows customers to negotiate lower prices for certain items sold by third-party marketplace sellers on Amazon’s marketplace. (Third-party sales represent more than 40% of the company’s unit sales, according to some analysts estimates.)

The new pricing feature is currently available for about 150,000 sports and entertainment collectibles and fine art. But Amazon said it plans to expand the program to 2015 to cover "hundreds of thousands of items."

“The new ‘Make an Offer’ experience is a game-changer for Amazon customers looking for great prices on one-of-a-kind items, and for sellers looking to communicate and negotiate directly with customers in an online marketplace environment just like they do normally in their own physical store or gallery,” stated Peter Faricy, VP for Amazon Marketplace. “In a recent survey of our sellers, nearly half of the respondents told us that the ability to negotiate prices with customers would be important to drive more sales on Amazon.

Amazon emphasized that the new feature is “not an auction format” as shoppers are not actively bidding against each other.

“All negotiations are 1:1 and private between individual customers and sellers,” the company said. “A seller is able to accept a customer’s offer at any time. The intention is to lower prices, and a customer negotiating with a seller will never pay more than the listed price.”
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