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: marty This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 8 07:23:00 2019

Much ado about nothing.
1. You have three months to redeem the coupon. If you can't remember to redeem the coupon, you do not need the supplies.
2. On each item page, there is  link at the bottom to the instructions where to find the coupon. 'Learn how' is a clickable link:
"eBay Store subscribers: Don't forget to use your coupon to save even more on shipping supplies. Learn how."  
3. Even if you don't know how to find the coupon, if you just place your items in the cart, during the check out there is a big button which automatically applies the coupon.

Ebay couldn't have made it easier.

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

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

Mon Jul 8 07:51:23 2019

For once it wasn't just eBay. I don't sell there anymore, but I do shop at the Goodwills in my area. They currently have a program for giving a discount based upon your purchases, you get a % off.  So on June 26, I was shopping at one while hubby had a Dr. appt. across the street. When it was time for checkout, and I knew I had a hefty amount of a discount and I told her who I was, etc. turns out I had no discount. Then she reveals that even though the receipts showing the discount amount and when they expire on the register tape with the expiration day on the last day of the month, they actually clear them out ahead of time so on the 25th or 26th they zero them out. I lost probably $10 that I couldn't use on a $50+ purchase. I'm not sure why they don't just show them expiring on the day that they really do!

I do not understand companies that pull this nonsense on their customers, and their most loyal customers. If in GW case, if they can't afford to give the discount, why offer it anyhow.  Apparently, eBay can't 'afford' it either if so many sellers are having difficulties cashing them in!

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: toolguy

Mon Jul 8 09:31:47 2019

"Apparently, eBay can't 'afford' it either if so many sellers are having difficulties cashing them in!"

eBay makes about $2.4 Billion a year in profit. . . .I think they can afford the coupon!

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

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 8 10:41:48 2019

I always google for it, the location of the code because I can never remember where it is. Being stuck in their sucky Seller Hub, it's difficult to find anything!!

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 12:51:12 2019

@pace

Funny, A notification that you have a Vero violation or a notification that there is a Return Request is completely different than reminding you to use your Store benefits.

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 12:52:55 2019

@moonwishes

That wasn't legal.

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

Mon Jul 8 13:17:07 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. "

I'm not sure that's what people are saying. It's about how you treat your customers.

Ill-will vs. feeling a company has your back.

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 13:37:51 2019

Ina,

From the title and what has been said by some.  It is a discussion on Ebay Suppressing this coupon which is a perk of having a store level between Basic and Enterprise.  

So if some think Ebay is suppressing the use of this coupon because they don't get an email to remind them to use it, is Ebay then also suppressing the use of the Free Auctions in specific categories offered for store owners because of no email reminders to use them?

All I'm saying is that our own forgetfulness should not be blamed on Ebay.  If you don't choose to use the benefits offered to you for whatever store level you have, that is a decision for each of us to make.  Speaking for myself only, I don' t need email reminders to tell me when to use the coupon, pay a bill, file a report, etc. etc.  Anything that is a regular and reoccurring thing, I'm pretty good about remembering.  

Personally I think it is just an excuse for some as they get mad they forgot to use the coupon, so it must be Ebay's fault because they didn't remind them to use it.  I don't think that would hold any value if you missed your car payment, house payment, rent, etc.  But just my opinion.

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

Mon Jul 8 13:54:22 2019

Aside from ebay's psychotic obsession to turn things on and off every hour. If they are indeed not responsible for the coupon email then why did they send them in the first place and why did they stop? Too busy with the 32 ads pile-on in every listing perhaps.

To start a program with quarterly reminders then suddenly stop is obviously meant to be yet another thing they hope sellers will forget just like GTC. Given ebay's history, this is not rocket science.

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.

Mon Jul 8 13:59:25 2019

@toolguy

eBay makes about $2.4 Billion a year in profit. . . .I think they can afford the coupon!

Obviously you didn't look at the 2017 Final Audited Financial Statements or even read an article about it, cause Ebay lost over $1 BILLION that year.  Sure they can blame it on some one time accounting change, but either way the company lost equity to the tune of over $1 BILLION that year and they have not been blowing anybody's socks off since then either.

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.

Mon Jul 8 14:07:39 2019

@Marie,

I am not holding Ebay responsible for any perk or thing that i get for having a store, that is my responsibility.  But when you receive 2-3 emails EVERYDAY over things that you might have looked at a month ago just for comparison purposes for pricing, or even to help out one of their buyers/sellers on the discussion boards, then they can afford the time to send out a reminder Email for those that actually need it.  I have Ebay emails as restricted as I possibly can in my preferences and yet still receive 2-3 emails in my personal Email account trying to get me to spend my money on their site.

This is just another case of Wenig showing the world just how cheap Ebay is and little their care about their customers.  Oh sorry, that's right, we are not customers, we are supposedly their partners...ROFLMAO!!  Ebay is just solidifying its reputation as a dying platform with executives who have no clue how to run it.

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

by: kenhotlanta This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 8 14:59:02 2019

Yes. I forgot to use the Coupon last month because I didn't get a notification and, when I remembered, I couldn't find the coupon.  

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 15:45:27 2019

Marie

"Funny, A notification that you have a Vero violation or a notification that there is a Return Request is completely different than reminding you to use your Store benefits."

Why is it different?

eBay is motivated when it suites them and ONLY when its in THEIR best interest. How about a little customer service? Or are all the programmers/CS agents to busy getting drunk at the eBay bar?

Why cant it just be on the front page of the Seller Hub - why make it 3 levels deep on some other page?

When you as a seller owe eBay money, or they have a theft-tastic way to "get you" - then they are "johnny on the spot" to send you notice after notice and they remove the REPLY field in the emails (in most cases) ... so yeh theres that ....

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 15:51:56 2019

"So if some think Ebay is suppressing the use of this coupon because they don't get an email to remind them to use it, is Ebay then also suppressing the use of the Free Auctions in specific categories offered for store owners because of no email reminders to use them?"

Would you apply he same standard to your insurance/electric/gas company? If you have a credit - its on the FIRST page with the line listing of what they are charging you.

No they dont have to do it more then 1x a quarter
2) as Ina said - its about Customer Service or lack there of
3) its about how "it feels sleazy" even if it isnt ie a calculated move
4) eBay charges you HIGH fees then rebates you - that in itself is a game .... why cant things just be on the "up n up"

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: toolguy

Mon Jul 8 15:56:34 2019

It's impossible for me to forget to use my coupon.

At the end of 3 months I'm out of bubble mailers!

I order (100) 8.5 x 11.25 and cut most of them in 1/2

The quality is so so but they're still very usable. . . .

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

Mon Jul 8 16:37:38 2019

eBay set the customer-friendly precedent by sending email reminders. Did it advise sellers it would no longer send those reminders when it stopped doing so?

Saying sellers should remember they qualify for a shipping supplies coupon misses the point, which is, why did eBay stop sending reminders?

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

Mon Jul 8 22:04:41 2019

Many retailers (Amazon, Costco, Kohls, Target etc), airlines (Southwest, Air-Canada etc), credit-cards (Amex), and even restaurants (Brinker, Bloomin' Brands, etc) and other companies notify customers prior to loyalty points or rewards expiring. It's a common practice to 'remind' customers of the 'value' (real or perceived) they're getting for participation and loyalty.

These companies didn't have to do this, but let's sal that reminder was an unnecessary but appreciated ''value-added service'' engendering customer loyalty.

Ebay, for a couple years also apparently reliably provided this helpful and appreciated value-added service.

Until they didn't. Thus eBay suppressed the coupon, leaving little doubt as to the ''why' in recapturing whatever expense delta exists between the redemption breakage with notification reminder and without.

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

Mon Jul 8 22:20:44 2019

Also, although the coupon banner reminder is definitely handy when checking out, as previously discussed, despite the checkout convenience it isn't really at all there for seller-customers who are in the "redemption pool" (redeeming their coupon) and not the "breakage bucket' (allowed their coupon to elapse).

Its true purpose is to provide eBay SG&A customer support cost mitigation (which is a good thing).

~~~~~~~~~~~

Let's soon talk about that single-use coupon eBay has long been promising (and by virtue of this banner-coupon insertion thingamajig, obviously has most the underlying capabilities to implement).

Since early last year there's been a vestigial 'Ebay coupon" drop-down selector in the "All offers" Promotion Manager page we've been expecting to be released to production.

~~~~~~~~~~

Has anyone with multiple stores attempted to 'redeem' a coupon from a different store?
A different linked account?
A different user entirely?

Curious if that works or not, or if eBay has linked redemption to the assigned account?

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.

Tue Jul 9 07:38:37 2019

@UnsuckEbay

You must log into that account which you are ordering the supplies for.  I have to place my supply order for each individual account, not in aggregate.  The supplies are linked to each individual account.  I tried to use the other stores code to make a purchase in my main account hoping to allow them to ship all the items in one box but the code did not work unless I was logged in to that specific account.

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

Tue Jul 9 08:46:18 2019

@SIK thanks for that info.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Also, another data point further reinforcing (in my view, confirming) eBay's intentional move to suppress shipping supplies coupon redemption - previously the redemption URL was static, now it's dynamic.

A bookmark from early 2018 points to the static destination of (2018 basic store):

👇👇👇
www.sd.ebay.com/subscriberdiscounts/vie
wOffer/ShippingSuppliesBasic

Whereas
the current coupon URL includes the quarter & year preventing it from being used as a bookmark and requiring the user to click through the landing page (2019 Q3 Premium store):

👇👇👇
www.sd.ebay.com/subscriberdiscounts/vie
wOffer/Q3Premium2019

I'm
going to assume other store levels have similarly constructed URLs.

So for the time being the simplest way I know of to bookmark or put in your calendar or email reminders is to use the "subscriber discounts" landing page:

👇👇👇
www.sd.ebay.com/subscriberdiscounts
R>and/or
the Shipping Supplies store page (provided the redemption coupon continues to appear directly in checkout)

👇👇👇
www.ebay.com/str/ebayshippingsupplies


If
anyone has a better method please do share

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