eBay Gets on the Groupon Bandwagon with Lifestyle Deals
By Ina Steiner
eBay is launching a new local-deals feature similar to Groupon, Living Social and Google Offers, called Lifestyle Deals. The page of local deals on the eBay Lifestyle Deals homepage links to eBay listings from the new eBay seller "signpostoffers," which is a player in the local deals space.
Signpost powers deals not only on eBay and on its own website, but it also says it powers Google Offers. The company is located in New York City and is funded by Google Ventures, Spark Capital and a group of angel investors including Jason Calacanis (Mahalo, Launch Conference), Jack Herrick (eHow) and Thomas Lehrman (Gerson Lehrman).
eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore said Lifestyle Deals is in beta with one provider, and had this to say about the new offering:
"As a marketplace and payment platform, eBay and PayPal offer a unique and powerful opportunity for Deal Providers to extend their reach and promote their brand. Generally, anyone can sell a lifestyle-oriented deal on eBay. However we've created a new Lifestyle Deals experience on eBay that will offer a wide selection of high quality deals from reputable sellers. This experience is currently being offered to established Deal Providers looking for additional distribution through the eBay Marketplace."
Lifestyle Deals are delivered via downloadable vouchers. Once a buyer purchases a voucher for the local deal, they receive a confirmation message within one hour in My eBay Messages and in their registered email account. The confirmation messages contain a link to the printable voucher for the purchased deal.
Similar to other local-deals sites, visitors to the eBay Lifestyle Deals select a location. In Boston, deals currently include "50% Off Two Acupuncture Sessions at Open Space Community," and "$10 for Two Tickets for Boston Civil War Tour ($24 value)."
The local-deal listings are searchable in eBay's main search box. A search for "Schoolhouse Ice Cream & Yogurt" on eBay.com brought back the local deal for "$5 for $10 at Schoolhouse Ice Cream & Yogurt" for a Burlington, Massachusetts ice cream store.
Lifestyle Deal categories include Arts & Entertainment; Automotive; Food & Drink; Health & Beauty; Home & Garden; Kids & Family; Pets; Professional Services; Shopping; Sports & Recreation; Travel & Adventure. Subcategories include such services as Auto Detailing, Fine Dining, Day Spa, Tanning Salon and Veterinarian Services.
However, all Lifestyle Deal listings show up on the eBay category list in "Deal Vouchers" under "Gift Cards & Coupons."
Updated to add eBay response on 9/1/12.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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