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eBay Hands Out Coupons Like Candy in Wake of Security Breach

eBay is sending buyers and sellers $20 coupons in the wake of the high profile security breach that it revealed publicly in a May 21st announcement. eBay also attempted to stimulate sales by awarding members of its loyalty program a 4-times eBay Bucks offer for purchases over a certain amount ($150 in one case).

eBay didn’t specifically mention the hack, but the email to buyers apologized to them for any interruption they might have recently experienced in their shopping – eBay is requiring all users to reset their passwords due to the breach.

The email continued, “To show our appreciation, we want to offer you a $20 Coupon that can be applied toward any future purchase on eBay. We’re glad to have you as part of the eBay community and thank you for choosing to shop with us.” The coupon is good through the end of June (which is also the end of eBay’s fiscal quarter).

The coupon marketing campaign could be quite costly – this is not a seller promotion where it discount fees – eBay is actually funding up to $20 per purchase when the coupon is used, and it has 145 million active users. eBay did not respond to our inquiry about the coupons, so it’s unclear if the company sent coupons to all active users.

Shoppers discussed the coupons on deal sites such as SlickDeals.net and FatWallet. The coupon code is CSAVINGS20 and eBay must clearly be limiting one code per User ID. Some eBay members said they received two coupons (possibly for multiple accounts), others said they had yet to receive a coupon.

The coupon for sellers is slightly different:

“We appreciate your business. To thank you for being a part of the eBay community, we have a special offer for you. List an item through June 24 and we’ll send you a $10 eBay Coupon. Sell your item by July 4 and you’ll get an additional $10. The Coupon can be used to shop in any category on eBay.com. Activate your offer and start selling again today.”

Unlike retailer Target whose system was hacked, eBay has had less media attention paid to its security breach aside from the initial period following its announcement. eBay CEO avoiding the issue at a recent ecommerce conference by not taking questions from the audience or reporters.

However, John Donahoe faces Wall Street analysts next month when eBay releases second-quarter earnings and may be asked about the cost of the security breach and marketing efforts such as this designed to stimulate sales.

Note that eBay members who receive any marketing emails should not click on links but rather sign into their accounts as they normally would and check their My Messages.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.