Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat July 6 2019 23:07:37

eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

By: Ina Steiner

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A seller recently asked eBay why it stopped sending out notices to Store owners about their quarterly coupons good for free shipping supplies, a perk that eBay began offering in 2016 after it raised the cost of Store subscriptions.

"Many store subscribers do not know how to find their coupon OR that they even are entitled to one," the seller asked during the July 3rd weekly chat session.

"I'm not really sure why those emails aren't sent anymore," an eBay moderator replied, "but I can send this feedback over to the right team."

The subject of eBay Store coupons had come up earlier in the chat session when a seller suggested eBay increase the value of coupons:

"Since the day eBay started this program, which I like VERY much, the prices of the supplies have increased significantly but our coupons remain the same. The buying power has dramatically changed.

"Not only have prices gone up significantly the quantities in which you can purchase have changed. We use to be able to purchase smaller quantities on many of the products offered but now the minimum is 100 on all the envelopes.

"I humbly suggest that eBay give us an increase in the value of our coupons. In the Summer Seller Update would be awesome."

The questions about eBay Store coupons came a day after we wrote about the subject in a post titled, "Is Inflation Eroding eBay Shipping-Supplies Perk?" In the comments, one seller reported as an example that 200 (9"x13'') Airjacket envelopes cost $63.10 on October 11, 2016, and said today they cost $71.60. Sellers also noted that they must now pay sales tax on their supplies - even when not required by their state. And some sellers said the coupon cannot be applied toward the tax, making it an extra cost for the "free" perk.

When researching the topic, we too had noticed that eBay Store subscribers were confused about where to find their coupon so they could take advantage of the perk that comes with their subscription. In fact, we even found YouTube videos explaining where to find the code (one YouTuber called it "elusive"), further evidence that sellers find it difficult to find.

Why do you think eBay stopped notifying Store owners of their free shipping-supplies coupon and makes it so hard to find the code? Have you ever forgotten to take advantage of the perk?

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 7 00:03:10 2019

Actually ebay made it easier.

I went to subscriber discounts and grabbed the coupon code. However, when I added my shipping supplies to cart and was on the checkout page there was a banner that said "apply shipping supplies coupon" or something similar. If this was not merely a limited test sellers need only add the supplies to the cart and go to the checkout page.

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Sun Jul 7 00:06:05 2019

@comments That would be a positive step forward. Did you remember on your own, or did you get a reminder about the coupon?

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 7 01:46:37 2019

As for those that are  having to pay Sales Tax when they should not be charged on these purchases, I contacted the Seller and informed them that California does not charge Sales Tax on Shipping Supplies if you have a Resale Certificate.  They got back with me and had me fill out the form for Sales Tax Exemption and it was approved a few days later.  

But Ebay made it more difficult shortly after this by not allowing me to request a total for my purchases because the shipping was free.  So the Seller said to order and pay the full amount with the Sales Tax and then file a SNAD claim so they can refund the sales tax.  At least i was able to pay with my Paypal Balance and not give Ebay a Credit Card which is what I refused to do previously, so lost out on that quarters supplies.

So I will be filing my SNADs so they can refund the sales tax on all of my stores next week.  I hate having to do that but since there is still no way for Sellers to issue a partial refund on Mangled Payments unless the buyer files a SNAD, that is what I have to do.  To me this just sounds like another way for Ebay to get more Sellers into the 5% FVF penalty for having to many SNAD's because they have had plenty of time to fix this issue and once again if it is not costing Ebay money, they don't bother to fix it.

What a pathetic platform where a Seller cannot give discounts to a buyer for any reason if they offer Free Shipping except to have the Buyer file a SNAD claim against the Seller.  Ebay has really sunk to complete and total desperation in their attempts to increase revenues.  Also, I placed my order on the last day and no, I did not receive a reminder notice from Ebay at any time during the quarter about the shipping supplies, just had it on my cell phone as a reminder at the end of the quarter.

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

by: Beth This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 7 02:25:10 2019

@Comments, I wouldn't check out without adding the coupon code in the appropriate box.  I did that with an account I manage for a family member and they got charged the full price and it was taken from their paypal account.  

My mistake so I reimbursed them.

Ina btw, they stopped sending reminders because there are old fogies like me who will forget without the reminder so they saved that miniscule discount for last quarter.. cause I did forget.

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Sun Jul 7 03:46:55 2019

I can't remember the last time I received an email reminding me to use my coupon code.  Easily could have been incorporated into the emails for the monthly invoice, but maybe no one looks at those.

I have 2 alerts set on my phone per coupon period.  I set the first alert for the first day of the quarter, but have a Reminder attached that goes off a day ahead.  The second one is set a week before it would be due to expire.  

It takes a couple of minutes to set it up, and then it just goes on repeatedly each quarter.  Not taking a chance on forgetting to get SOME of my store fee back, even if it is in supplies instead of cash.

If you use GMail, you could get that to remind you.  Just make a label that says REDEEM COUPON.  Put a filter on your monthly incoming eBay invoice email.  That can apply the label as it arrives, reminding you.  I presume other email clients work the same way, but not sure.  

When the time comes around, I try to throw out a blurb to all on this blog to redeem the coupon.  This quarter, there was already an article on the coupon in progress, and other people mentioning ordering their supplies.  

Not a fan of the program - funded by inflated store fees, overpriced supplies, poor selection, one place to buy them.  But that was all part of a different topic, hashed out earlier.  

I see people mentioning that they can't even USE their coupon because they got on Bascom's blocked bidder list.  They left negative feedback for poor service, or poor quality products, got blocked, and now can't use the coupon.  They have PAID for that coupon in their fees.  Sounds illegal to me.  

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 7 06:15:14 2019

@Ina

I remembered on my own. But still saw the option at checkout to apply the coupon. I thought it was a nice gesture by ebay at the time but didn't think much else about it until I saw this story. Hopefully more users can report they saw the same thing.

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 7 06:21:45 2019

Yep its Ebays responsibility not the sellers. How many times a day does one hear that.

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 7 06:31:40 2019

Hold your brickbats.  FOR ME the $50 per quarter CREDIT toward purchasing shipping Padded Mailers and Light-Weight Cardboard Boxes is ONE of the VERY FEW BRIGHT SPOTS in continuing to USE eBay.
The THREE sizes of AirJacket / Padded Mailers are of SUPERIOR quality as compared to ALL Kraft-Paper padded mailers is that the PAPER ones TEAR more easily and are subject to basically disintegrating if subjected to RAIN damage.
I am PERPLEXED why soooooo many eBay sellers who DO have stores and DO receive this 4x a year coupon work themselves into a TIZZY trying to use EXACTLY the $$ value and do NOT take advantage of the COST reductions already factored into Bascomb's Volume Discount as buying 400 of any one size offers NICE $$ per item reductions vs. buying 100 of the same item.
I would MUCH rather (example only) buy 400 whereby the cost of a padded mailer costs UNDER $0.20 DELIVERED to my doorstep vs 100 FREE ones that leave me to BUY more from Sam's Wholesale where I just drive 6 miles  Round-Trip and buy as MANY or as FEW of the 3M Kraft-Paper padded mailers.
FLIPPING OUT over being charged Sales Tax strikes me as an even SILLIER complaint.  SEE NEXT POST for SUGGESTION on how Bascomb could BETTER handle "refund" of Sales Tax for such  EBAYERS who do have legitimate Sales Tax Numbers AND MORE IMPORTANTLY live in states where Shipping Supplies are UN-TAXED.   Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Louisiana and TEXAS are all states where my experience in business meant that THOSE STATES did not CARVE OUT sales tax exemptions for shipping supplies.

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 7 06:41:48 2019

Bascomb suggesting that this BUYER file a SNAD claim after arrival is just the sort of CLUELESS/INSANE suggestion/fix that  NO EBAY SELLER SHOULD EVER DO.... not even a captive service/seller like BASCOMB.

Dollars to Doughnuts a certain fraction of such FIXES via SNADs will RISE UP and BITE 'em with HOURS or $$ wasted when eBay's INSANE computer "judge" will just Auto-Refund the ENTIRE purchase price AND tell the complaining buyer to KEEP them to boot.

RATHER Bascomb should interact with such a buyer who DOES have the Tax Number on file and SEND THAT BUYER an INVOICE for exactly the CORRECT $ price once the TAX has been "zero'd out".  Voila.  Done and Dusted with no WRONG amount paid followed weeks later by a SNAD claim and PARTIAL refund.

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

This user has validated their user name. by: unsuckEBAY
Web Site

Sun Jul 7 08:15:03 2019

Q: “Why do you think eBay stopped notifying Store owners of their free shipping-supplies coupon and makes it so hard to find the code?”

A: Like manufacture rebates, eBay counts on a certain amount of ‘breakage’ (unredeemed coupons) with their ‘free’ shipping supplies promotion.
By now eBay has solid data on what the redemption rates are with and without sending reminders.

There’s little doubt halting email reminders is another eBay cost-savings exercise at seller’s expense (literally).

Q: “Have you ever forgotten to take advantage of the perk?”

A: Yes, unfortunately. Now we have reminders set so we don’t forget and also tweeted a reminder on the 30th 👉http://bit.ly/2S0sQRF

~~~~~~~~~~

Can confidently confirm comment’s correct comment (😄) - there’s a yellow banner that appears at the top of the page that will apply the coupon for you.

Theory on this seeming contradiction to the halted email reminders is that it’s simply less costly for eBay to employ a mechanism for eligible store subscribers to apply the coupon in checkout proactively (since that’s the reason they’re buying from that page anyway), than it is for eBay to reactively handle issues after placing the order (costly calls to CS and social media support).

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

by: grumpwell This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 7 09:05:51 2019

The day my coupon arrives I use it. (I wouldn't want eBay to change their mind and take it back!) If someone is paying for a store every month, and doesn't keep track of the few benefits they receive from it, they have much bigger problems that just not using their shipping coupon.

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 7 09:17:57 2019

@Angryllama

RATHER Bascomb should interact with such a buyer who DOES have the Tax Number on file and SEND THAT BUYER an INVOICE for exactly the CORRECT $ price once the TAX has been "zero'd out".  Voila.  Done and Dusted with no WRONG amount paid followed weeks later by a SNAD claim and PARTIAL refund.

Ebay has it set up so that is not possible now because a buyer can no longer request a total or an invoice because Bascom offers free shipping.  This is just another ploy on Ebays part to force more Sellers into the FVF penalty because this could have been fixed ages ago.  They have known about this joke in the program for over a year now and still refuse to fix it, which seems to indicate they have no intention of fixing it.

Also padded envelopes can be purchased on Ebay for as little as $0.04 each delivered, so why would you pay $0.20 each to Bascomb?  I purchase much better quality padded envelopes online and pay $0.08 each delivered because that happens to be my preference on the type of padded envelope I want to use for better protection of my product.  I would never buy them from Sams Club at those inflated prices that they charge for theirs, especially when I can buy 500 very good quality padded envelopes delivered for $40.  You might want to check out those other offers on Ebay as you will find that Ebay is way overcharging for the quality of products they put out.

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Sun Jul 7 09:42:38 2019

Wenig sitting in his office wondering if there is anything, anything no matter how minor he can squeeze to get more money from his train wreck. He's hit fees, promotions, penalties, extortion, GTC. What's left?

I know, how about hiding seller perks and eliminating all emails. Everything else that's not bringing in immediate profit is hidden, why not perks too. So raise the prices of said perks, hide the emails and that should save an additional 8 million in outflow and prop up the GMV, a number surely to be a wall street nightmare, a little higher.

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

by: industrystones This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 7 11:10:20 2019

Haaa
You can SURE count on getting the OTHER one thousand annoying manipulating emails. The desperate pleas to make a few cents off of you.
The famous best offer email when your offer is declined: "How bad do you want? " insert item here"  OR  the proverbial supposed "watchers" on your items email -"There are eyes on your item! Go for the sale!"
--Losers

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 7 12:55:19 2019

I almost forgot - and redeemed it the day before it expired.

eBay counts on people being busy and forgetting to redeem the coupons. Each time you forget, eBay saves that $25, that can buy more beer for the insane eBay employees to get drunk on (and then come back to "help sellers").

I used rubbing alcohol to remove the eBay branding from the envelopes as needed, Im not going to give eBay any free advertising at my expense.

EVERYTHING in eBay is harder then needed - theres ZERO excuse for any coupons/credits etc to not be in Seller Hub. Everything ELSE is (including how many times DW blew his nose/went to the bathroom/ordered a rum & coke at OUR bar) so theres no excuse to hide it as they do.

Funny how no matter what eBay does - there are people who still praise them to the roof. Its nice to "get free stuff from eBay", except its NOT free, and you shouldnt have to log on to some forum to "figure it out".

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 7 19:24:08 2019

Count me among those who stopped receiving notices / messages about the shipping supplies coupon.  My last purchase was in September 2018, which means I missed the coupons that arrived in October 2018, January 2019 and April 2019.  Shame on me.  But no big loss.  
In the past, the perk was pretty much useless since they stopped offering the cube sized boxes (8x8x8) that I use most of the time.  I spent the last few coupons on tissue paper and envelopes and a larger odd sized box that I have yet to use.  But the good news is that the 8x8x8 box is back and I will be spending my coupon on those boxes.    

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 7 23:48:23 2019

I keep track of it quarterly, and as Comments said, it's pretty much a no-brainer to go into subscriber discounts, and the coupon code is automatically applied as an option on checkout. Not sure how much hand-holding people really need - it's your store, keep track of it, pay attention.

Agree that the prices have gone up - it's tough to really get a complete order of any kind if you're just a basic store owner as I am, but still $25 off on something I need, I'll take it.  

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Jul 8 02:11:01 2019

For me, I got the email reminder the first few times after they started the program and then after that, they went away.  Ebay did send out an email at that time explaining that we can always find the coupon code in our subscriptions tab on our account.

I'm unsure why some feel that it is Ebay's responsibility to remind you to use a perk offered for whatever store level you have.  Are those same sellers upset with Ebay because they don't send you emails reminding you to take advance of other perks from the various store levels?

I haven't placed my order yet this quarter, but the coupons are good for calendar quarters and I find that pretty easy to remember all on my own.  It is a pretty typical thing in running a business.  The concept of quarters.  And as Comments stated it shows in your shopping cart as an available coupon to be used.  Much like when you have Ebay Bucks available.  That makes it even easier to use IMHO.

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

by: thriftyattireandstuff This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 8 03:32:26 2019

Um.. January April July October.. But seriously.. The automatic thing is good on the checkout page, but I'm wondering whether that appears if you don't muddle your way to suscriber discounts to open the code first.

Perminate Link for eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?   eBay Suppresses Coupon: A Calculated Move to Save Money?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 8 06:49:12 2019

"I'm unsure why some feel that it is Ebay's responsibility to remind you to use a perk offered for whatever store level you have. "

Funny - its somehow eBays responsibility to tell you about VERO, to remind you 24/7/365 about returns " a return is STILL open!" and bombard you with inventory suggestions and just about everything else - but when it comes to this (giving you money) - its "ok" that they dont?

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