AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Fri July 8 2016 10:23:13

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

As everyone scrambles to get ready for Amazon Prime Day, including Amazon rivals, eBay is taking an interesting approach by reminding shoppers that it always offers deals. It's pinned a graphic on its home page reading "Deals - NO membership fees - Just smiles." 

The graphic includes what looks like a spoof of the yellow "smile" on Amazon's logo (and Walmart's Smiley, for that matter).

eBay also includes a slide on its homepage slider with the words, "Exclusively for everyone - Deals up to 70% off. Always Free Shipping. No membership required."

Throughout the rest of the site, a small graphic appears at the top of the page reading "Thousands of deals, no membership." It links to eBay's regular Deals page at Deals.eBay.com

RetailDive.com took a look at how other companies are responding: "Retailers including Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney, Kohl's and e-commerce tech vendor Newegg are seizing on the buzz generated by Amazon's July 12 Prime Day event to launch their own major midsummer sales." 

Newegg is calling its sale "Fantastech," J.C. Penney is calling theirs "Penney Palooza" and Wal-Mart is going with "Dare to Compare," the publication explains.

What do you think of eBay's approach - and what would you do in response to Amazon Prime Day if you were eBay?




Comments (21) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

by: Bidderboy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 8 11:56:52 2016

eBay will be imitating Amazon and implementing something like this within a year...

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 8 12:12:30 2016

If Ebay ever had an original idea wallstreet would have a major heart attack.

As ususal its all hype but no substance whatever.

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Jul 8 12:57:10 2016

I think bidderboy is on to something.  Since eBay have always used Amazon's playbook look for something similar soon.

Sad.....eBay had something special and even Meg said "a monkey could drive this train" (and coincidentally a lot have) and then came Donahoe, disruption, disaster, doom and dormancy.

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 8 15:44:27 2016

Just more noise from ebay

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Fri Jul 8 18:54:39 2016

Rexford, I always enjoy the wittiness and spot on observations in your posts but this one was among your best!

Ebay can't figure out a way to squeeze money out of buyers.

All they need to do since "free shipping" is no longer a TRS requirement is to charge buyers for 'Fast n Free' and allow sellers to print labels free of charge.

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Jul 8 19:28:41 2016

Thank you Ming. I thoroughly enjoy your posts as well. Most here clearly see what the problem is. Too bad eBay management can't...or won't.

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 9 13:06:05 2016

I like eBay's approach. I'm glad someone in management is finally starting to realize Amazon and eBay are not the same thing.

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 10 01:07:40 2016

What's with this 'always free shipping' nonsense?

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Jul 10 14:55:14 2016

@volvo351

It is just on the promoted items.  There was an invitation that went out a couple weeks ago or something.  Asking sellers to join in the promotion.  It is Ebay's response to Amazon's Prime Day.

Do not fear, they aren't forcing everyone to offer free shipping.  And no matter what anyone says here, they can never force everything on Ebay to be free shipping anymore than Amazon can do that.  Well let me qualify that.  If they changed the structure of the two sites and only allowed listings with free shipping, then they could, but both sites would lose a whole lot of money with a move like that.

I actually don't think the promotion is that bad.  They are marketing the difference between the sites.  NO FEES for membership.  There is a big fee for being part of Amazon Prime.  Personally I think it is a good move on Ebay's part.  Celebrate the differences is how to get Ebay to grow.

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Jul 10 20:22:46 2016

Marie writes: "There is a big fee for being part of Amazon Prime."

I assume Amazon still has the 30-day free trial membership. I know last year they were really advertising the heck out of signing up for the free trial to get the Prime benefits. And the membership fee is not bad since you get tons of free streaming movies, plus their music playlists. eBay may not have a membership fee, but they can't provide all the perks that Prime does.

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 10 23:23:48 2016

Didn't they create a monthly prime subscription this year?

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Jul 11 10:01:35 2016

Marie observes: "  And no matter what anyone says here, they can never force everything on Ebay to be free shipping...."

The reality is that "Free Shipping" amounts to little more than sellers choosing to include shipping costs into the selling price of their item.

eBay COULD make it appear that every item is offered with free shipping if they chose to do so.

In fact, this very concept was floated to eBay years ago when they began carrot and sticking sellers to offer free shipping in order to deceive Wall Street and artificially boost their GMV.  

Instead of having a one time spurt of growth by automatically including shipping costs into the selling price, eBay chose instead to gradually encourage sellers to go with "Free Shipping". This allowed eBay to show Wall Street a incremental boost in GMV as sellers came on board.  

This decision by eBay worked for a while and share prices grew as GMV was slowly but steadily inflated as sellers slowly accepted the concept.

The fact remains that if a decent number of sellers decided to organize and revert from "Free Shipping" back to separating shipping costs at the same time, they could do significant damage to eBay's stock price as GMV would take a nose dive.


eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 11 10:14:47 2016

I like it! eBay is finally showing that it has some balls! But then again, it's kinda like standing up to a bully but having it backfire on you when the bully punches you in the face! LOL

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Jul 11 11:36:12 2016

@ Ric

It would NOT matter if we all stopped offering FREE shipping & separated that cost because eBay now charges fees on any shipping amount be it separate or included in the price.

eBay was very smart when they did this even though I don't approve of it!

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Jul 12 13:02:47 2016

@ric

You still talk as if Ebay started this program of what is called Free Shipping on the internet.  They didn't.  It was around for awhile on other sites [to include Amazon] before Ebay threw its hand into the ring.  So if Ebay incentive was to drive up their GMV, then the other sites were doing that long before Ebay adopted it.

Studies have shown that many buyers / customers like Free Shipping.  Google it, you will some of them.  So if, as a seller on Ebay it works for you, why would you hurt your sales just to spite Ebay.  Free shipping works very well on some types of products and not so much on others.  As a seller you need to decide for yourself which works best for the type of stuff you sell.

I have a few product lines I sell.  And on some I offer free shipping as it seems to be what the buyers want and on other I don't.

I don't see this as some carrot Ebay holds out there.  I see it as a business decision each of us needs to make for the health of our respective businesses.  It is a great tool for some and not so much for others.  You need to figure this out for yourself what will work best.

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 12 16:02:55 2016

eBay can of course FORCE "free shipping" on items - and it does similar things all the time - BY HIDDING THE LISTINGS THAT DONT OFFER IT!

Cassini was built to manipulate listings - NOTHING on eBay is "organic". Its not about best price or even closest location (unless you purposely check that option - something most people dont do) - its about WHO eBay wants to show first.

I routinely have the best pics and prices on my items - but because eBay "sticks me" (carrot & stick) due to my trying to protect myself from their criminal buyers - Im a lot of times in the middle of the page, sometimes hidden way down on the bottom of the page!

eBay could AT ANY MOMENT, hide any listing that doesnt have "free shipping" and then what? You could complain till your blue in the face - and you'de be right ... but EVERYONE here (myself included) agrees to let them do so - its in the TOS.

The TOS says that there is NO guarantee that any listing will be shown OR shown at any specific time - you cant "argue" when you agree to it.

eBay hasnt yet had the guts to try that game - but it doesnt mean that as sales and figures continue to slide that they WONT try such a game. It will simply be switched on one night - just like the GSP changes were - but here - theres nothing to "change" to correct the issue.

The mental midgets in eBay have NO BOUNDARIES, as indicated by their acquiescence to theft from their buyers - this trick would be NOTHING compared to that.

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Jul 12 16:11:11 2016

@pace

Free Shipping has nothing to do with listings being hidden.  As I stated before, I have some with FS and some without.  They all get hidden from time to time.  

Ebay has never hidden the fact that their searches play favorites.  They have always said certain things will get you a higher return for any given return.  

But it is important to remember that is ONLY if a buyer has their search set for Best Match.  I'm not sure how many buyers really use that search perimeter. Probably new buyers until they learn they can change that to Lowest first.

I'm really not that concerned about how a search returns when someone has it set on Best Match.  To me it is far more disturbing that they hide listings without any explanation to how they determine when and what gets hidden.  Free reign on something without justification or explanation always concerns me as it is way to easy to abuse it.

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 12 19:34:02 2016

Marie :)  I though I said (maybe I didnt) that eBay COULD - not "is doing" - apologies if I was unclear!

My main point was that eBay can and would do ANYTHING - nothing is "off limits"

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Jul 13 21:10:41 2016

@toolguy  Once again, you miss the point.

When shipping is included in the selling price of an item, eBay's GMV as reported to Wall Street is higher.

If an item sells with shipping separated from the selling price, eBay is not able to use the amount of shipping to count as GMV.

Thus, if significant numbers of sellers currently offering "free shipping" were to revert to listing items with shipping added, eBay's GMV would take a precipitous drop.

This would undermine the value of eBay stock as Wall Street would demand an explanation.

The associated fees one way or another are a moot point given that the revenue eBay would collect on added shipping cost would not be sufficient to offset the drop in GMV.

eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day   eBay Jab in Response to Amazon Prime Day

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Jul 13 21:19:36 2016

@ Marie  For the record, I did not in any way state or imply the eBay invented free shipping.

As far as hurting sales to spite eBay, I simply pointed out that sellers could influence eBay by applying negative pressure on their beloved stock price.

This is one method sellers could possibly employ to get the attention of eBay executives who are otherwise more interested in seeing stock prices increase than they are interested in seller success.

eBay does in fact carrot and stick sellers to incentivize "free shipping" as they claim they offer higher placement in search to those sellers who participate.

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.