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eBay Tries to Placate Shoppers after Coupon Bungle

A marketing campaign designed to get eBay customers re-engaged went terribly wrong recently, and shoppers are underwhelmed by eBay’s attempt to placate them after it reneged on the offer.

eBay UK had sent shoppers coupons for 20% off a purchase of 20 pounds or more, with a maximum coupon value of 50 pounds. But it quickly pulled the offer, and shoppers were unable to get the coupon redemption code to work on their purchases.

eBay UK provided EcommerceBytes with a statement, telling us it suspended the promotion “due to huge customer demand. And, it said, “we will contact and reimburse any UK customer who processed a transaction on June 15th and tried to redeem the coupon but didn’t receive the 20% discount. We know our buyers love to shop and those customers who attempted to redeem the coupon code but were unable to do so on June 15th, will receive an additional voucher in July.”

Now, a customer who did make a purchase on June 15th but was unable to redeem the coupon sent us an email he received from eBay for the July coupon.

Hello (user name redacted)
We know you were not able to redeem our 20% off coupon on Monday 15th June. This was due to high demand.

We’re sorry for any disappointment caused. We have another 20% off coupon, when you spend £20, coming in July especially for you.
Kind regards,
The eBay Team

He remains hopeful that eBay will honor its promise to him to send him a refund for 20% of his purchase. “Will let you know as the eBay CS rep did say it would take 2 weeks so they have more time to send us the refund.”

It’s not the first time eBay failed to honor coupons it had promised shoppers – this article from March 2014 details another instance when shoppers received $10 coupons from eBay but were unable to successfully redeem them.

eBay also experienced other technical issues the same week; eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore confirmed that eBay would compensate sellers, but provided no details beyond stating that eBay was emailing sellers who were impacted.

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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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.