eBay launched an online “outlet store” for brands at eBay.com/BrandOutlet where shoppers can find “incredible” deals on thousands of items. eBay announced on Monday, “The “Summer Brand Outlet” features big discounts on top brands, including adidas, Bose, Samsonite, Ray-Ban, Michael Kors, and Rolex; Launches “Hot Deals for Hot Days” offering can’t-miss deals in every category through July 22.”
The move is in keeping with eBay’s strategy of offering gated areas where a majority of sellers are not allowed to sell. eBay doesn’t sell its own inventory and can’t force sellers to offer steep discounts with free shipping, which is why it launched its eBay Deals portal where a tiny percentage of sellers can offer such terms. That way, eBay can advertise free shipping, but it must point to eBay.com/Deals rather than eBay.com.
The eBay Brand Outlet store is similar – eBay can point to items from stores set up by brands and their authorized resellers.
But cozying up to brands doesn’t guarantee eBay a better buying experience, as shoppers of Hasbro and Reebok recently discovered. Both brands found themselves unable to fulfill eBay orders on a massive scale, leading them to cancel orders and receive negative feedback from disappointed buyers.
In fact, Reebok’s feedback as of this writing (Monday afternoon) is a measly 89.8%, despite what appeared to be feedback scrubbing by eBay.
In today’s Brand Outlet announcement, the head of eBay Marketplaces Americas Jay Hanson said “Our new outlet gives eBay customers amazing discounts on quality products from trusted brands they know and love. The new destination offers shoppers who love the thrill of the hunt for discounts, big savings during the prime summer shopping season across dozens of categories from electronics, apparel, shoes, accessories, health, toys, home to appliances.”
You can read the full announcement on the eBay corporate blog including a list of deals currently available.