Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Dec 28 2013 18:46:22

Buyers Call eBay Greedy over Loyalty Program Scale-Back

By: Ina Steiner

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The word "greed" was tossed around by eBay buyers on discussion boards on Saturday in protest of a new policy. You read that right - it was buyers who were making their voices heard in protest over eBay's latest policy change, though some sellers weighed in as well.

eBay is scaling back its eBay Bucks loyalty program, making it harder to earn rewards and also making it harder to keep them. eBay Bucks offers consumers 2% back on qualifying items purchased through the site with PayPal. There are three components to Saturday's announcement:

1) Members must spend a minimum of $250 in Bucks-eligible purchases in a period in order to receive eBay Bucks;

2) Members must spend $250 in Bucks-eligible purchases a period or they will lose ("forfeit") their entire account balance;

3) eBay is making it harder to achieve that $250 level of spending by eliminating eBay Motors Parts & Accessories from the program.

It's the second change that has members of the program most upset. One buyer said they sometimes spend $400 and sometimes spend only $100 in a quarter, "but now eBay is just gonna wipe out our eBay buck credit if we don't reach the minimum spending."

The fact that the announcement came 3 days after Christmas did not go down well with eBay buyers either. An eBay member wrote, "As for announcing this 3 days after Christmas - SCROOGE has arrived at eBay....if ya have to have a $5 min....then for heavens sake....rollover those dollars."

"Good job eBay! What's up? Business is that bad? Is my meager $1.71 eBay bucks eating into corporate profits. I have been a member for almost 15 years and I thought the eBay bucks was a great idea even when it was just a small amount. Bah Humbug! Boo! Hiss!"

One seller said eliminating eBay Motors Parts & Accessories from the eBay Bucks program would hurt his business. "Yep, this little straw may be the one that runs me off. I mostly sell in auto parts and people say that with the eBay bucks they feel like they are getting a really good deal. I mostly buy in the same category. So there goes my little fun money. With shipping going up this coming month, I am barely getting a few bucks an hour for my time. Now I will have to drop my prices more. I won't do it. I will just throw it away before I work to make money for the post office and eBay and none for me."

The move comes as eBay rival Amazon launched television ads promoting its Prime shipping program - shoppers can pay $79/year and receive free 2-day shipping on purchases, which has proven to be a powerful incentive to members to use Amazon for future purchases.

eBay first tested eBay Bucks in 2008, launched it in beta in 2009, and officially launched the program in the U.S. in 2010. It has since scaled back the program by eliminating other categories as well, look for Monday's Newsflash story for more.




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Perminate Link for Buyers Call eBay Greedy over Loyalty Program Scale-Back   Buyers Call eBay Greedy over Loyalty Program Scale-Back

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 28 19:17:55 2013

eBay to-do list:
1. Shoot self in foot.
2: Repeat.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Sat Dec 28 19:38:20 2013

Could things possibly be getting even more desperate at the 'bay ...

No doubt Johnna Hoff will mouth a perfectly satisfactory and logical explanation for this change—LOL ...

What a shame it is that not a word any of them speak can be believed ...

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

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by: fordat1 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 28 19:42:08 2013

Why am I not surprised.  The company is doing everything in it's power to drive off customers as well as sellers and THEY JUST DON'T CARE…  

You read that correctly, they just don't care and until they do there isn't much we can do to change it.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sat Dec 28 21:31:18 2013

At first glance it appears that eBay is trying to stop hemorrhaging.

Logic tells me that this is eBay's reaction to some sort of crisis and a dire need to increase cash-flow.

This isn't greed. It's preservation.

Common sense also tells me that this is just the first phase of eliminating the eBay Bucks program entirely.

Think about it... there's quite an uproar already based on these changes. Imagine the reaction if eBay had just unceremoniously cancelled it.

This tactic of ''starving-it-to-death'' is one that eBay has used before. --- They'll basically make the Bucks program so difficult to use and maintain that people will just give up on it and abandon it.

After a suitable number of months... when participation is at its lowest point... eBay will announce that people are no longer interested in the Bucks program and therefore it will be discontinued.

Of course, any observant person will be able to tell that eBay itself created the circumstances in which the Bucks program became untenable and worthless.

But, most likely, the folks on WS will marvel at the what a genius the boy-wonder JS is.

Gag me.  

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

Sat Dec 28 22:07:26 2013

We all got along just fine for many years without ebafia bounty money.

Many buyers have no sympathy for the monthly shafting ebay gives sellers, and the shoe is on the other foot for one policy change.

I'm not exactly weeping alligator tears for these poor abused buyers.

But I do agree with others here. It's just another indication of how desperate ebay is. It must time or nearly time for The Ho to dump more free stock.

We shouldn't forget, however, that leasing Deliver Me NOW ebay branded vans, space in newspaper trucks, paying Lithium blogging snipers, and free snacks for employees don't come cheap.

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by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 28 22:49:12 2013


An oxymoron is a figure of speech that juxtaposes apparently contradictory elements.

''eBay Bucks loyalty program''

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by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 28 23:13:37 2013

I just started a new, OPEN group on Facebook called Former Ebay Sellers and everyone here is welcome to visit, join, and post there: https://www.facebook.com/groups/formerebaysellers/

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Sun Dec 29 00:29:03 2013

To me it means buyers are NOT WELCOME on ebay unless they are willing to spend $250 a quarter. Anything less to JD is chump change. Donahoe's only interest is in monetizing ebay any which way he can and now at EVERYONE'S expense. What do you expect from someone coming from Bain? Whether it is greed or desperation, does not matter. They will strip a corpse of their gold fillings and jewelry. They will take sellers money and not show their listings. And now buyers not willing to spend mega bucks on ebay are no longer wanted. They will take everything away from you .. and your little dog Toto too!  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Dec 29 02:55:59 2013

It certainly does absolutely nothing to encourage casual buyers.  They are very important customers too.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Captain Nemo

Sun Dec 29 06:55:29 2013

Somehow ebay has managed to take a minor "good will" program and turn it into a negative.

I don't think anyone was buying anything because of earning "ebay bucks", but when you did have a balance - even if it was only $2 - you wanted to buy something to use them up.

Now it's just a frustrating carrot on a stick that ebay yanks away from buyers at the last minute.

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by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 29 10:42:20 2013

They should have just rolled over to following month. Looks bad. They have to be really hurting - will wall street pick up on that?  (doubt it). I use to get some very nice amounts. Couple over $100.00 in the past year. But I will not be getting them anymore as I stopped buying on ebay. Don't like what they do to sellers. I was one of them. Don't like their business policies. As said before - ebay sandbox - don't like it leave - so that's what I did.

Problem with Amazon Prime is that buyers think that EVERYTHING is free shipping if you have Prime. Had a neg removed because buyer complained that it was supposed to be free shipping-not always from 3rd party sellers. This buyer wasn't smart enough to question during check out.  Amazon doesn't emphasize that fact. I always look at the third party prices as a lot of the time they are cheaper even adding in the shipping.    

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by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 29 11:01:02 2013

I think this program, like those ridiculous supermarket card programs are a pita and should be just done away with.  

Why the heck should ebay give anyone any money because someone bought from us?  Not from them, but from a seller.  Sure ebay got paid their commission but if anyone should offer a loyalty program it should be us not them. We made most of the money.  

The sooner all these programs are done away with the better. They are contrived.  

The supermarket ones are worse, where if you don't have the card you *can't* shop at all, because the regular price for something might be $1, but they have it marked up to $1.89 and they give it to you for the real price with the card.  That's dopey.  Should be made illegal.  

Someone got the bright idea at ebay to do something similar but it's just silly.  I am sure they are getting rid of it because it resulted in no good results at all. I doubt seriously that they *ever* have any good results.  

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 29 11:24:42 2013

Ebay needs my 2.00 each quarter. So be it.

Just another reason to shop elsewhere.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sun Dec 29 11:55:15 2013

Does eBay's Board of Directors actually have confidence that their CEO has the marketplace on the right track?

Since September, John Donahoe's eBay has been purging sellers by the thousands, pulled Gift Cards from store shelves immediately before the busiest gift card selling season of the year, and now is alienating buyers with this latest scale back in the eBay Bucks Reward Program.

Fact of the matter is that eBay has been gradually scaling the eBay Bucks program back.

Remember it was not too long ago that eBay stopped offering eBay Bucks for purchases of Gold Bullion due to the price increases in the value of gold.

Not long after, eBay announced that purchases of items in the Business & Industrial category would no longer qualify for eBay Bucks Rewards.

Now eBay is cutting back the program in two ways.... Elimination of another eligible category and denying buyers the ability to collect and use eBay Buck balances which are less than $5.00.

This is an obvious money grab for eBay and a sign that management has run out of ideas as to how to increase revenues.

eBay's steady erosion of their eBay Bucks Reward program will certainly act to further alienate, annoy and insult buyers.

Can John Donahoe and his management team become any more disconnected from reality than they already appear to be?

Their latest moves to purge sellers and alienate buyers can be compared to a mall manager who decides the mall needs   some disruptive innovation to grow, so he orders the mall doors to remain locked at all times. Later, in his ignorance, he wonders why the mall has no customers.

Brilliant moves John Donahoe!

Meg Whitman once said that a monkey could run eBay. Too bad she did not select a monkey as her successor and gave us an MBA ( Master of Business Assassination) instead.

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by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 29 12:03:17 2013

Ebay has gone from bad to worse to unbearable. This is greed but it is not new. The executives of this company have huge bonus checks dangled in front of them and they are willing to do anything.
It has become so unbearable to sell or buy on ebay. I thought the changes were suppose to weed out bad sellers instead it has made the bad sellers TRS and the honest sellers have lost positions in the search and created a legion of shoplifting scamming buyers.
Ebay must be desperate, just how much money will they save.
They chased away so many sellers with their Donahoe, Swan policy bombs and their Bain and Company assault on small business and their addiction to deceptive business practices.
I urge everyone to begin listing elsewhere, ebay is losing a bundle to the buyer protection program which is being deluged with buyers trying to get a free item. They are holding sellers funds but sellers are winning claims and ebay is eating the costs.
I urge every seller today to file a complaint with the FTC, and the agency in your state that regulates paypal a money transmitter is what they claim they are.
C'mon they continously do things that are just unbelievable.
Did you opt out of ebay's no class action lawsuit or lawsuit I hope so because this is just the beginning of outrageous behavior that is going to come from this company. Rumor has it that paid search position will be installed in the spring along with a hefty FVF increase.
I have been told also that a investigative news reporter is digging in to ebay and paypal and that a bombshell is looming.

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by: OldCrabapple This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 29 12:18:03 2013

I got the message from ebay and was only surprised that it didn't begin with ''GOOD NEWS!'' and ''YOU SPOKE AND WE LISTENED'' and an explanation that surveys show that 82% of buyers don't like ebay bucks.

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by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 29 12:44:17 2013


"Loyalty" program? give me a break , eBay is loyal to one thing only .... your money!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Sun Dec 29 12:50:33 2013

Probably almost everything eBay now does is directed at trying to slow the hemorrhaging of their revenue stream caused by all their self-inflicted wounds ...

And what does the "smart money" on Wall Street think about eBay? Well, in August 2007, as Bain’s Johnny Joe Ho was about to take the captain’s chair, the share prices of both eBay and Amazon were ~$40; today, eBay is ~$54; Amazon is ~$398 …

With people like this in control of major corporations, is it any wonder that the US economy is having trouble recovering? And Obama has appointed this headless turkey to another governmental advisory position!—LOL

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

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by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 29 14:32:35 2013

Sounds like ebay's way of saying "Beat it you pipsqueaks! We don't need your kind around here."

They are hoping to increase average sale price that everyone with ebay bucks right now make a mad dash to redeem/spend them before the end of the year/Q.

All the rejects can go to Amazon or wherever.  For each small spender they alienate, 10 big spenders will join and buy original paintings by infamous, instant artists and whatnot.  

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by: LAbay This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 29 14:55:45 2013

eBay needs a program that give true value for the buyer like Amazon Prime.

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