Report: Amazon Testing Marketplace That Connects Consumers To Local Service Providers

Move over Angie’s List and Yelp, Amazon is reportedly launching a new marketplace to connect consumers with everyday service providers such as plumbers, babysitters and magicians.

According to a report by Reuters, Amazon will begin testing the new venture this fall in order to gauge consumer interest and iron out logistics for the service.

The new service will be direct competition for consumer review sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List, as well as traditional retailers Home Depot and Lowe’s, both of which have worked to link consumers with local service providers in the past.

Services promoted in the marketplace would reportedly be backed by Amazon’s “A-to-Z Guarantee,” already used to vouch for items sold by third-party sellers on the site.

While officials with Amazon declined to comment on the matter, Reuters reports that the e-tailer has also been exploring ways to connect the new service with products already for sale on through the site. For example, Amazon recently ran a promotion offering installation serves to users who bought Nest thermostats.

Amazon reportedly reached out to several service companies and startups in recent months to get a feel for the operations of the marketplace. Officials with San Francisco-based startup Thumbtack say representatives from Amazon asked them several questions about the company’s growth strategy and consumers’ reception for services.

Reuters adds that a local services venture has long been the goal of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who has personally invested in a Seattle-based startup that helps customers find contractors and estimated costs for home improvements.

Exclusive: Amazon.com plans local services marketplace this year – sources [Reuters]