Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun May 19 2013 23:28:51

eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

By: Ina Steiner

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Readers have reported an email sent by eBay with the line "Treat Yourself" and a message stating they'd earned x amount of dollars. Sellers discussing the issue say they aren't sure how they earned the cash, since they aren't members of the eBay Bucks program.

"The number kinda threw me. I've sold a lot more than that last month, also the next line of the email said "treat yourself". It sounded like I'd won something." Another wrote, "The email said I'd earned 159.50 as a seller. Then a page came up that said "Shop Now".  I'm guessing I really didn't win anything, did I?"

One poster on another eBay board had a theory that eBay wasn't rewarding the recipients at all, rather, "I think they are saying your last few sales added up to $78.19, and you should use the money you received from those recent sales to buy yourself something on eBay ... so you can generate more fees for eBay to collect."

Along with the rather confusing message and encouraging them to shop on eBay, at least one email included four listings that the recipient had looked at this morning under the line, "Still interested in what you recently looked at?"

It looks like eBay is using personalized email marketing to encourage sellers to buy on eBay. Amazon has personalization down to a science, and Etsy is trying it as well. It will be interesting to see if eBay continues to send personalized messages and if they will work when they are targeted at sellers rather than buyers.



After just looking an one of the emails that an eBay seller forwarded to me, it does indeed look like eBay is NOT giving away cash. The subject line reads, "You earned $(redacted). Treat yourself, (name redacted)," and the graphic in the body of the email starts off, "Congratulations on selling Celebrate your success - treat yourself!"

One reader said a customer service rep told her the email was a spoof, but it wouldn't be the first time a customer service rep misidentified legitimate eBay mailings as spoof email.

I've reached out to eBay to get more information, in the meantime, let us know if you've received a Treat Yourself reward email!




Comments (26) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

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

Sun May 19 23:46:17 2013

Hey, the customer reps can't help it if ebay emails look like spoofs, can they?  

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

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

Mon May 20 00:26:18 2013

I received this email as well.

It has NOTHING whatsoever to do with ebafia bucks.

The forum poster was correct when he or she said it's based on a certain amount of that recipient's sales.

This is, IMO, a legally actionable email that was unquestionably and intentionally designed to deceive recipients and mislead them into thinking they could hundreds of thousands of dollars and get free merchandise.

The scams targeting sellers continue only it's crystal clear in this case who's directly responsible.

Ebafia owes every seller who received this bait and switch fraud email an apology and should be required to cancel any sales that may have resulted where the buyer thought they had "credit" and would pay nothing.

This is one of the most blatant and egregious ebafia scam yet and the person(s) responsible should be terminated tomorrow.

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Mon May 20 00:36:07 2013

It is an act of desperation from eBay. I got this email also and I am sure that many others did too.
eBay right now is dead and they are trying to do anything at all to get sales.
I did some searches today for completed collectable items and was amazed of the lack of sales on these. There were even items that started at $0.99 that had no bids. You check 100 items and there are only 2 sales and one sold for $0.99 with one bid that should have sold for at least $9.99. I bet you that seller was really happy. It is a shame and a disgrace.

Bill

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 20 00:40:12 2013

@MING--

Tell us how you REALLY feel!  

Greed knows no bounds at ebay

I was looking at other sites that do consumer complaints and saw one that actually files lawsuite--CONSUMER WATCHDOG--and I must say--I was kinda shocked at how FEW complaints they had on ebay/PP.

Hustle on over now and let 'em have it!  If they get enough complaints they just might launch an investigation and sue the pants off of them--but they don't know what's WRONG until WE tell them--and THIS email seems the perfect first step to alert them to the hot mess that is ebay.  

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Mon May 20 00:42:53 2013

Very deceptive and should show buyers ebays true lying colors. I received this and wondered how this cash ebay was giving me could be redeemed. I also wonder if buyers will be making a purchase thinking the credit will show up in checkout. The CSR is right saying this is a spoof only ebay is doing their own spoofing.

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

This user has validated their user name. by: Forestt

Mon May 20 00:50:44 2013

eBay is dead in the water. I just went 4 days without a single sale with over 3500 items listed. At this point, eBay is just a cash grab on listing fees.

In all my life, I've never seen such a shoddily run, greedy company. That being said, Amazon isn't really any better. Etsy? That's baby eBay. Bonanza? Guess if they would advertise, they might gain traction but in all honesty, there isn't a single online marketplace worth it's salt.

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 20 04:48:40 2013

it said i had $205, lol.  i thought it was a phisher at first too.

very deceptive, did nothing but annoy me and certainly didn't make me want to buy anything.

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

by: ejholden This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 20 06:58:36 2013

I had one of these emails grace my inbox.
Read it ... Thought - Yeah .. AS IF !!!
Pressed DELETE ....
Moved on ...

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

by: Valencia57 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 20 08:03:00 2013

I received this email also and first thought it to be phishing. Decided to click on ''Shop Now'' and it actually took me directly into ebay (not to a sign-in page). Upon calling ebay, I was told it WAS spoof and that I should change my ebay password, as well as ALL of the passwords on my computer, as computer security had been breached. I asked how a scammer could know exactly what I'd looked at (pictures showing as to items I'd searched for that same day) and I was told my computer must have a virus/trojan & that specific shopping information would be very easy to get. In fact, the CR told me I should take my computer to a repair shop & have it thoroughly checked!! Little did he know that I have a software engineer in the family who came over & did some digging into the email. Turns out it came from Austria, from the company who actually does marketing for ebay (Emarsys Marketing Systems). I  have the IP address the email came from also.

Actually, I'm most angry about the CR telling me it was MY computer with the problem and actually saying to change my password on ebay, gmail, and all other password protected areas on my computer.  What do I expect though - just like ebay to pass the blame from themselves!

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Mon May 20 08:58:03 2013

With apologies to Tom Waits:

Step right up, step right up, step right up,
Everyone's a winner, bargains galore
That's right, you too can be the proud owner
Of the quality goes in before the name goes on
One-tenth of a dollar, one-tenth of a dollar, we got service after sales
You need perfume? we got perfume, how 'bout an engagement ring?
Something for the little lady, something for the little lady,
Something for the little lady, hmm
Three for a dollar
We got a year-end clearance, we got a white sale
And a smoke-damaged furniture, you can drive it away today
Act now, act now, and receive as our gift, our gift to you
They come in all colors, one size fits all
No muss, no fuss, no spills, you're tired of kitchen drudgery
Everything must go, going out of business, going out of business
Going out of business sale
Fifty percent off original retail price, skip the middle man
Don't settle for less
How do we do it? how do we do it? volume, volume, turn up the volume
Now you've heard it advertised, don't hesitate
Don't be caught with your drawers down,
Don't be caught with your drawers down
You can step right up, step right up

That's right, it filets, it chops, it dices, slices,
Never stops, lasts a lifetime, mows your lawn
And it mows your lawn and it picks up the kids from school
It gets rid of unwanted facial hair, it gets rid of embarrassing age spots,
It delivers a pizza, and it lengthens, and it strengthens
And it finds that slipper that's been at large
under the chaise lounge for several weeks
And it plays a mean Rhythm Master,
It makes excuses for unwanted lipstick on your collar
And it's only a dollar, step right up, it's only a dollar, step right up

'Cause it forges your signature
If not completely satisfied, mail back unused portion of product
For complete refund of price of purchase
Step right up
Please allow thirty days for delivery, don't be fooled by cheap imitations
You can live in it, live in it, laugh in it, love in it
Swim in it, sleep in it,
Live in it, swim in it, laugh in it, love in it
Removes embarrassing stains from contour sheets, that's right
And it entertains visiting relatives, it turns a sandwich into a banquet
Tired of being the life of the party?
Change your shorts, change your life, change your life
Change into a nine-year-old Hindu boy, get rid of your wife,
And it walks your dog, and it doubles on sax
Doubles on sax, you can jump back Jack, see you later alligator
See you later alligator
And it steals your car
It gets rid of your gambling debts, it quits smoking
It's a friend, and it's a companion,
And it's the only product you will ever need
Follow these easy assembly instructions it never needs ironing
Well it takes weights off hips, bust, thighs, chin, midriff,
Gives you dandruff, and it finds you a job, it is a job
And it strips the phone company free take ten for five exchange,
And it gives you denture breath
And you know it's a friend, and it's a companion
And it gets rid of your traveler's checks
It's new, it's improved, it's old-fashioned
Well it takes care of business, never needs winding,
Never needs winding, never needs winding
Gets rid of blackheads, the heartbreak of psoriasis,
Christ, you don't know the meaning of heartbreak, buddy,
C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon
'Cause it's effective, it's defective, it creates household odors,
It disinfects, it sanitizes for your protection
It gives you an erection, it wins the election
Why put up with painful corns any longer?
It's a redeemable coupon, no obligation, no salesman will visit your home
We got a jackpot, jackpot, jackpot, prizes, prizes, prizes, all work guaranteed
How do we do it, how do we do it, how do we do it, how do we do it
We need your business, we're going out of business
We'll give you the business
Get on the business end of our going-out-of-business sale
Receive our free brochure, free brochure
Read the easy-to-follow assembly instructions, batteries not included
Send before midnight tomorrow, terms available,
Step right up, step right up, step right up
You got it buddy: the large print giveth, and the small print taketh away
Step right up, you can step right up, you can step right up
C'mon step right up
(Get away from me kid, you bother me...)
Step right up, step right up, step right up, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon
Step right up, you can step right up, c'mon and step right up,
C'mon and step right up

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

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

Mon May 20 10:17:34 2013

As to those 'personalized emails' about what else you might be interested in, Even Amazon doesn't have that figured out. Just see what happens when you buy a present for someone off their wish list! You will forever be getting emails urging you to buy those same kind of products. You would think that Amazon at least would know what was something you bought off your own wish list than something you got off some one else's. If they were really smart around the same time each year they would be telling You what is on that person's wish list this year (with the assumption being you bought them a birthday present before). But no, so I keep getting suggestions for crap that my son would like. I doubt that ebay can even begin to be as good at that as Amazon and this current letter they sent out stinks!

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

by: mazelgirl This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 20 10:43:59 2013

All it did for me was to remind me how badly eBay is performing for me as a sales platform. If that's all I sold then something is very wrong at eBay

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 20 10:58:14 2013

Deceptive yes. ebay thinks all the sellers and buyers are stupid and will do anything they are told.
Free Shipping. Why doesn't ebay tell USPS to have free shipping. Due to ebay collecting fees on shipping why even bother pushing free shipping? Unless they are copying Amazon prime. But, again, you have to pay for that, so free it is not.
There is nothing free in this life. There is even fees to die.
As someone said - ebay is so desperate, they are grabbing at anything.
There should be a pool going around as to when ebay will finally sink, get rid of JD, break apart, sell to China?????

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

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

Mon May 20 11:11:51 2013

eBay's choice of the word ''earned'' appears to be intentional.

A more accurate word would be ''sold''... and even then, eBay is asking sellers to spend 100% of what an item sold for.

Why would I do that? When I sell an item, I haven't ''earned'' the full selling price. Instead, I have only ''earned'' the profit. (And as far as my eBay sales were concerned, the profit was continually shrinking... outpaced only by the shrinking sales-volume.)

Clearly, the writer of that email message is oblivious to the fact that the ''earned'' (or ''sold'') amount is simply the gross... and that it does not take into consideration FVF's on the selling price; FVF's on the shipping cost; PP transaction fees; listing fees; store fees; actual shipping costs; cost of shipping materials; cost to acquire the merchandise; cost to replace the merchandise, etc.

It appears that in eBay-land, they believe that 100% of the item's selling price is pure profit for the sellers... or ''found money'' that we can immediately use to splurge and go on a spending-spree.

WRONG!

When I left eBay, eBay lost TWICE! They lost the FVF's, store fees, listing fees, and PP transaction fees. They ALSO lost the fees that were generated when I spent my profits at eBay!

Read between the lines, folks. --- eBay's recent email is NOT just a ''feel good about yourself'' and ''reward yourself'' message. It's a CRY FOR HELP! It reeks of panic and desperation.

In spite of their clever, misleading and inaccurate phrasing... they might as well have written:

''Dear Seller, Please-oh-PLEASE spend your money here! We NEED you! We never realized that you resented and distrusted us SO MUCH! We never actually believed that you'd take your business elsewhere, and now we're making this last-ditch effort to bring you back.''

''Hey, what about this item? Do you like it? It's a bargain! You looked at something similar to this about two years ago... maybe you want another one?''

''Are you still interested in newborn onesies? We see you bought some a couple of years ago. Never mind the fact that your child is probably 2 years old now... here... look at these newborn clothes.''

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

by: joyful17 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 20 11:57:00 2013

I received this too! I thought I was being given a 'gift' of $576! Ha!
And please tell me ( again) how they know every site I have ben on and what I was 'interested' in on eBay!
This is scary stuff...was it really from eBay? If so, this $$ grabbing idea is really lousy and a very cheap way to contact sellers! FEH!

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon May 20 15:54:38 2013

Someone need to ask JD how his "disruptive innovation" is going. That's someone turnaround JD.  Ebay is a ghost town.  Way to go.

Sales are pathetic.

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

by: Terry in Texas This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 20 17:40:36 2013

I received it and saw it immediately for what it was---an attempt for me to take my "EARNED" money and turn around and spend it willy nilly on ebay. didn't even have to read more of it. my paltry "earnings" are going to pay bills. meanwhile, i now have to look for a real job.....

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon May 20 22:08:28 2013

Isn't it spot on.  Every prediction that small sellers vocalized over the years since he took over have come to fruition.  Sellers knew that he would ruin it and in my opinion he did.  Cheap Chinese trinkets and items that anyone could find at a local Walmart have taken over.  There are no buyers and our items are invisible.  He broke up a vibrant community of buyers and sellers, and he ran many thousands of buying sellers away.

The interesting unique items are gone, and that goose that laid the golden eggs has flat lined.  I'm guessing at the point that he finally admits to himself that he ruined it, he will leave.  As someone stated the other day, I hope it is in hand cuffs.

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Mon May 20 22:29:46 2013

fooled me for about seconds.  VERY VERY scummy, even for them.

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself   eBay Sends Sellers Personalized Emails to Treat Yourself

by: LJM This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 21 07:50:15 2013

Everytime Ebay does something like this..I go buy something elsewhere..usually Etsy.Plus,I can't find anything on Ebay anymore,anyways..search is too frustrating and if I find something.. now with the GSP,items are much too costly.I miss the old days when you enter your search paremeters..tons of items would come back and you actually shopped.

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