eBay launched a new loyalty program one month after decimating its eBay Bucks program last year, but what’s startling is how narrow it is: the eBay Top Star new program is available in only two categories, according to its website.
eBay all but eliminated its longtime loyalty program for buyers called eBay Bucks in April 2021. A quick check of the eBay discussion board on Sunday showed buyers are still asking why they no longer receive eBay Buck rewards, such as a longtime member who called the lack of Bucks for purchases “very frustrating.”
eBay’s new loyalty program is called Top Star, which is by invitation only and is available only to top buyers of sneakers. As we wrote last year, it got off to a bit of a rocky start by publicizing perks that were not available to everyone.
Those left out were not pleased, but others, such as this seller who posted a video to YouTube about his experience being in the Top Star program this month, are pleased with their membership.
As a side note, the letter eBay sent to the seller announcing his membership in eBay Top Star program was signed by Mark Flaa, Director of Sneakers at eBay, whose LinkedIn profile shows he’s no longer employed at eBay as of April 2022.
The eBay Top Star program calls itself “Our invite-only loyalty program for watches and sneakers.” The landing page describes three benefits of membership:
Exclusive access to a curated collection of covetable sneakers.
One-of-a-kind events featuring sneaker celebrities that you won’t want to miss. Plus, a chance to chat with fellow enthusiasts.
Top Star service
Personalized support from a dedicated customer support team.
Unlike eBay Bucks, a search for “Top Star” on eBay discussion boards and on social media had us wondering if the program was still active. However, during this month’s eBay Seller Check-In, an eBay executive referenced the program, saying it was available to the highest spenders in sneakers and would be expanding to other categories.
Watches and sneakers are part of eBay’s “focus category” strategy. While eBay CEO Jamie Iannone referenced the strategy in his second-quarter post-earnings call with Wall Street analysts on August 3, he didn’t specifically mention the Top Star loyalty program.
The CEO did say that focus categories performed 9% better than rest of the marketplace – but since GMV was down 18% as a whole, does that mean focus categories simply did less poorly than the rest of the marketplace, or did eBay see real growth in focus categories?
The number of eBay active buyers declined again in the second quarter – would bringing back eBay Bucks benefits help bring back absent buyers?
Let us know if you’ve encountered the Top Star program on eBay and if you believe the end of eBay Bucks’ main benefit has had an impact on your sales.