eBay’s Presidents Day sale kicked off Tuesday (Feb. 15), but it isn’t open to all sellers. Prior to processing payments on behalf of sellers, that made sense, but with managed payments, it could follow Etsy’s lead by opening sales events to all sellers who wish to opt in.
eBay has generally held two types of sales. Sitewide flash sales were subsidized by eBay – since it couldn’t control whether every seller would be willing to put their items on sale, it ponied up the discounts buyers received. (eBay embraced such sales in a big way in 2018, here’s a look at a massive December campaign that closed out the year, but it rarely if ever runs such sales these days.)
The other type of sale eBay holds is limited to a small number of invited sellers willing to participate, as appears to be the case in this year’s President Day sale.
Understanding how eBay could introduce a more inclusive type of sale, one can look at rival marketplace Etsy. Once Etsy took over payment processing, it began allowing sellers to opt-in to sales (as long as they met certain criteria).
eBay isn’t there yet, as its Presidents Day sales event indicates. The landing page for the sale explains that shoppers can use the coupon code “PREZDAY15” to get save 15% off eligible items, and it lists “Eligible Events” that lead to over 40 landing pages that display the listings participating in the sale.
Studying the URLs, you can see the sale applies to certain categories (Fashion, Electronics, Home and Garden, and Sporting Goods); certain categories and brands in its Daily Deals program; and certain categories in its Certified Refurbished program.
eBay vets sellers before they can participate in its Daily Deals and Certified Refurbished programs, which immediately prevents the majority of sellers from participating in the sale.
There are five URLs that don’t mention “Daily Deals” or “Refurbished,” but they lead to landing pages that show a small number of results. For example, the first URL leads to a landing page for the Presidents Day sale in Fashion/Jewelry, where there were only slightly over 900 results when we visited the page.
The transition to eBay Managed Payments hasn’t been easy for sellers, but there could be some benefits, as Etsy has shown – coupons and sales being some examples. The question is whether eBay will begin leveraging its position as payment-processor on its marketplace to provide such benefits to all of its sellers.
Let us know if you’d be interested in participating in such sales on eBay, and if you’ve had luck with such events on other platforms such as Etsy.