June 11 - Amazon plans to launch a marketplace for local services later this year, competing against the likes of Yelp, Angie's List and Home Depot. Fred Katayama reports.
Need a birthday clown or a baby-sitter? You may soon be able to get them off Amazon. Reuters has learned the online retailer is planning to launch a marketplace for local services later this year. It'll first test its system in certain cities before rolling it out nationwide. Amazon already serves as a middleman for third-party vendors for products, and it runs the daily deals service, Amazon Local. A source says Amazon has yearned to tie services to every product it sells. It recently tried selling installation services to customers who bought thermostats. Amazon would compete head on against the likes of local sites like Yelp and Angie's List and home improvement chains like Home Depot and Lowes. Amazon's stock, which was upgraded today by Goldman Sachs, rose at the start of trade, extending the 15 percent rally over roughly the last four weeks. Although the local services market is worth hundreds of billions of dollars, marketplaces don't exactly mint money. Angie's List has only had two profitable quarters since going public in 2011. And Amazon has had limited success with Amazon Local.