eBay is running a "collectibles event" coinciding with the New York Comic Con and is running a 20% off sale on a selection of items in Art, Comics, Entertainment Memorabilia, Funko Pops, and Coins. However, shoppers quickly discovered they could apply the coupon code to any item in the Collectibles category and get 20% off.
eBay displayed the curated listings on a NY Comic Con event page
- on Monday afternoon, it showed 674 listings. But it went one step further: it also displayed a Green Dollar Sign in all collectibles listings highlighting the promotion.
In what was clearly a glitch, the Green Dollar Sign showing up on all listings in the Collectibles category.
We saw a killer clown Halloween mask for $59.99 listed in Collectibles that featured the Green Dollar Sign with the message: "Pay only $47.99 / Show me how." Clicking the link brought up a pop-up box that displayed the following:
Buy it now price: $59.99
20% off coupon: -$12.00
Your price: $47.99
Enter code at checkout, and pay with PayPal to redeem. Hurry, your coupon expires 10/9/17.
For coupon details and terms, go to My eBay Summary.
We also saw collectible knives, cookbooks, and other items that featured the PROMONYCC coupon offer that were not included on the sale event page.
eBay had budgeted money to fund the coupon sale for the items it had chosen to include in the event. How many customers who were shopping collectibles over the weekend purchased items not intended to be part of the sale, but who entered the code as instructed by eBay?
The listing for the Halloween mask indicates 2 had been sold, but it isn't clear if they were sold over the weekend using the PROMONYCC coupon - if so, that would have cost eBay $42 out of pocket - and that's just one listing. (The coupon had a maximum value of $50 and could be used only once per buyer.)
Someone posted the Coupon code
on Reddit 2 days ago - and yesterday, an astute poster responded, "Can't you just contact sellers to revise listings you want to buy so they're in these categories? Win/win?"
This morning, a shopper on another site published the code and wrote, "Stumbled upon another eBay code that is good until 11:59pm PDT tonight, 10/9. It's supposed to be for 20% comics and toys, but I just used it on a nos Plumb axe. It can only be used once." Two other shoppers reported back that they had used the coupon code on items in Collectibles categories eBay had not intended to be part of the promotion.
As we were researching this story today, the Green Dollar Sign disappeared from listings in the Collectibles category (approximately 2:45 pm EST), so it appears eBay finally noticed the glitch. However, even the listings featured as part of the PROMONYCC event are missing the link that shows shoppers the code to get the discount - for now, the sale, which was set to end at 11:59 PM PST tonight, is over!
(It occurs to us that the code may still work even though eBay isn't displaying it in listings - if it does work, we wonder if it still works for all collectibles.)
One wonders how much this debacle will cost eBay, as it shouldn't expect buyers or sellers to compensate it for discounts it offered to buyers by mistake.