EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2746 - February 23, 2012     2 of 3

Ruby Lane Shelves Gift Cards

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Antiques marketplace Ruby Lane has decided to shelve its gift card solution, which it had soft launched earlier this month. The gift cards, which could be used for purchases in any Ruby Lane shop, were designed to increase sales throughout the site.

Ruby Lane spokesperson Palmer Pekarek said that while feedback and requests over the past several years from shop owners showed they wanted a gift card solution, the logistics of the Advantage card was not jibing with what shop owners wanted. A survey showed shop owners did not believe the card would drive traffic to the shops.

In a letter to dealers, Ruby Lane CEO Tom Johnson said the survey results showed three issues surrounded the Gift Cards:

  • Less than half of shop owners felt the Gift Card would drive traffic to their shop.
  • Less than half of shop owners would purchase a Gift Card as a gift.
  • Shop owners did not feel comfortable about when they would be paid from a Gift Card transaction.

"Like you, we want all sales tool available on Ruby Lane to drive sales and to be successful. We have determined that some of the Gift Card logistics simply do not meet the needs of many of our shop owners," Johnson wrote.

The Gift Card is no longer available for sale or use on the site, and Ruby Lane is refunding the "handful" of customers who purchased a Gift Card, most of which had been issued for use by Ruby Lane staff during the pre-launch phase.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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