Microsoft Expands Online Retail Presence with eBay Store
- By Gladys Rama
- November 20, 2013
In anticipation of the holiday shopping period, Microsoft on Tuesday announced the launch of an online Microsoft Store on eBay.
"We are excited to work with eBay to help expand our retail footprint and give even more customers another complementary, convenient and safe online shopping destination to purchase their favorite Microsoft first-party products" such as the Surface tablet and the Xbox, wrote Kevin Eagan, vice president of Online Commerce at Microsoft, in a blog post.
The store is open to eBay customers in the United States, Eagan said, adding that like Microsoft's own online store, the eBay Microsoft Store will offer free shipping and returns and follow the same return policy.
Eagan did not detail how the eBay store will vary from Microsoft's own online store -- for instance, whether the product selections and services on offer will be different between the two. However, SuperSite for Windows' Paul Thurrott noted on Tuesday that "while the Microsoft Store online is offering various versions of the Surface RT for $299 and up, the eBay version of the store only offers the 64 GB version for $339."
The eBay store will also sell refurbished Surface devices with one-year warranties.
Since late 2012, closely coinciding with the launches of the Windows 8 operating system and the Surface, Microsoft has been making an effort to increase its retail presence. Eagan noted that Microsoft now has 81 physical stores, comprising both brick-and-mortar locations and smaller mall kiosks. Microsoft also inked a deal with major tech retailer Best Buy this summer to open "Windows Stores" inside Best Buy locations in the United States and Canada.
Microsoft has also been focusing on expanding the retail availability of its Surface line in particular. Last December, Microsoft announced it would allow some third-party retailers to stock the tablet. In recent months, it began allowing select partners to resell the Surface, with plans to expand the program to more partners eventually.