PayPal tests Amazon Prime-like service; Groupon hires Prime VP

|By:, SA News Editor

PayPal (EBAY -0.1%) is partnering with a handful of retailers to provide free two-day shipping within the U.S. for a limited time on purchases paid via PayPal. Partners include Levi's, Sports Authority, Aeropostale, and iRobot.

No word on whether PayPal plans to expand the test, or eventually offer some kind of permanent service (perhaps for a fee). The test appears squarely aimed at Amazon Prime (AMZN -0.2%), which provides free two-day shipping on millions of items on Amazon's site, in exchange for a $79/year fee. Amazon was estimated in March to have 10M Prime subs.

Separately, Groupon (GRPN +2.4%) announces it has hired Amazon Prime VP Robbie Schweitzer to be its SVP of operations. The company has also hired Angie's List (ANGI -14.7%) e-commerce exec David Kerr to help create "a marketplace experience for Groupon customers to find, schedule and purchase deals from local service providers" (will likely compete with Angie's).

Two other hires: A VP to head the Groupon Reserve high-end restaurant reservation/deals service (Lisa Kennedy), and one to head Groupon's commercial finance ops (Hoke Horne).

Yesterday: Angie's List testing price cuts