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eBay Sellers Get Surprise Gift Cards

eBay sellers spent 3 days speculating about why the marketplace had given out gift cards to some sellers. A discussion thread began with a seller posting, “Did anyone else get a gift card from eBay? It says “Thank you for Selling”, and is for more than $100! What a nice surprise, and if all sellers are getting this, I can’t believe nobody has mentioned it here yet. Anyone else get one? Thanks eBay!”

The mystery deepened as fellow sellers wondered why it was for an odd amount ($135.18). “Can you clue us into what you did that may have gotten you this special reward? I assume you’ve sold for many years and this is the first time. What was different about this year from the previous years as far as your selling performance?”

Theories emerged:

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“Maybe it is for something they over charged you for, or a credit amount they gave a buyer and are reimbursing you, or some type of billing error, or something like that?”

“I wouldn’t put it past them to start sending these “thank you” gift cards which are actually nothing more than invoice credits that they owe sellers for whatever reason.”

Others wondered if it was for a promotion, or part of a class action settlement.

And of course sellers wondered why eBay wasn’t more transparent about what the gift card was for. “The T&C only link back to a generic Gift Card T&C,” the recipient of the card wrote. “No explanation of what this is from whatsoever.”

Only one other seller in the thread said they had also received a gift card from eBay in a strange amount – $37.35.

So what’s our theory? In early December we wrote about a holiday selling promotioneBay ran that provided invited sellers with the opportunity to sell certain popular items and receive 50% off Final Value Fees – with the discount in the form of credits via gift cards.

Here’s a page on eBay providing some examples.

The real mystery is why the gift cards didn’t come with an explanation of how the seller qualified for them.

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to

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