EBay will begin its integration of Skype's VoIP service with its US auction site next week, giving sellers the option to add a "Skype Me" button alongside their product listings.
The pilot program will be offered in 14 categories of products, including real estate, cars and trucks, and cameras and camera equipment, the company said.
EBay chose categories where it thinks a quick conversation will help sellers to close deals more quickly. They include higher-priced or complex goods, or products involving new technologies that might need explaining.
The pilot program will allow eBay to evaluate how the VoIP telephony service is used before it rolls it out across other product categories. The company has said it will offer the Skype feature in other countries too.
The Skype feature will be offered for free, EBay said. It will also appear in the following categories: automotive GPS (global positioning system) devices, wired routers, Skype devices, VoIP and Internet telephony devices, diamond solitaire rings, manufacturing and metalworking, beds, basketball cards, silver coins, "Lost in Space" collectibles, and radio-controlled toys.
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