The German branch of eBay is preparing to unveil a loyalty programme that will take on Amazon’s Prime membership scheme.

The eBay Plus shipping service will offer delivery and returns benefits and is expected to launch in the second half of the year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

It is understood members will receive fast and free delivery and returns as part of the service, but eBay has declined to disclose the price.

Sellers will have to dispatch goods on the day they are ordered and will be offered free returns within a month.

There is no indication whether eBay has plans to launch the service outside of Germany.

The launch of such a service follows on from Walmart emulating Amazon Prime with a free and unlimited shipping service for an annual membership fee.

Walmart’s services costs $50 a year, about half the price of Amazon Prime.