Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Mar 26 2019 16:53:11

eBay Tries Different Approaches with New Promos

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is running several promotions, some targeting new buyers and at least one targeting sellers - specifically, collectibles dealers. 

In one instance, eBay is offering a $3 coupon (PERFECT3) for customers' first purchase on eBay. ("This Coupon is a $3 discount off a minimum purchase of $3.01 valid from 12:00 AM Pacific Time on March 25, 2019 until 11:59 PM Pacific Time on March 26, 2019.")

In another promotion, eBay is giving away $5 coupons (FREE4U) with *zero* minimum purchase to select customers - by invitation only. ("This Coupon is a $5 discount off a minimum purchase of $0, valid from 12:00 AM PT on March 12, 2019 until 11:59 PM PT on March 31, 2019.")

What makes that second promotion so interesting is that it presents shoppers with a gallery of low-cost goods for sale on its site with the header, "Choose a free gift from below or explore eBay.com to find that perfect item."

The items that eBay chose to feature on the page include a $3.99 5-ml bottle of essential oil; a $4.99 "rose gold" ring (scroll down the listing page to see it's made of alloy); and a $4.68 pad of 3M Post-It Notes consisting of 90 sheets.

While the promotion may boost eBay's new-buyer metric, it's hard to see who's making money. One could even argue that eBay might be better off without these "extreme" bargain hunters, or that these cheap goods might actually disappoint new buyers,...

In a third promotion, eBay targets sellers. The invitation-only promotion advertises: "Extra $20 for Your Treasures. Get a coupon when you sell collectibles totaling $100. It kicked off on March 21 and runs through March 31. ("Invited sellers ("Sellers") who first activate the offer, list pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth herein in a qualifying category ("Qualifying Categories"), and then sell one (1) or more items on www.ebay.com for a cumulative total of $100 or more, are eligible to earn a single eBay Coupon ("Coupon") worth $20.")

Last year, eBay ran a lot of site-wide flash sales that it subsidized. What promotions are you seeing and what do you think of their effectiveness?



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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 26 19:50:25 2019

Hey Greedbay I have an idea for a great new promotion. Quit THROTTLING LISTINGS FOR A MONTH.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 26 19:50:32 2019

When you attract the bottom feeders, you have destined to become a dollar store.

If Nordstrom started to sell 1 dollar t shirts, and 5 dollar jeans, it will quickly lose its higher paying customers.

I think e-commerce malls like ebay should try to keep the balance between deals but also a place to find great stuff no matter the cost. Instead, they love the chinese 15 cent free shipping items.

In the end, I cant fault them for trying to get business, but I do fault them for not having a clue how, when the first step would be fix search.

Their goal ISNT to increase business for all, its to increase business for china and its teacher pet sellers.






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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 26 20:21:45 2019

Broken Arrow.  

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 26 20:24:50 2019

ok let's get real shall we? After today's podcast with eBay being only interested in sellers with 30,000+ listings - where are we going? They certainly do not want small sellers anymore

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 26 20:39:59 2019

handing out a few cheap coupons,,, will never make ebay great again,,,

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Mar 26 20:41:55 2019

@Whatever - eBay hasn't wanted small sellers on the site since they labeled us all as "noise."  

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by: geoffreymason This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 26 20:47:14 2019

Well, we're all leaving anyway.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Mar 27 06:16:46 2019

Whatever says "They certainly do not want small sellers anymore"

What Iheartjacksparrow said AND I think that this is why they (outside of a money grab) moved to GTC.  Into the black hole you go, never to be seen. (how is that any different from a few moments of exposure each month thanks to their broken search and their throttling.

I wonder how they will pitch their giant advertising billboard without the "placeholders" (small sellers).   How will they replace their cash cow (small sellers) if all small sellers leave.  Who will they blame for their ineptitude if small sellers leave?

FIX SEARCH!  STOP THROTTLING!

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 27 07:02:13 2019

eBays policies speak directly on whom they want as sellers - the ones they REALLY want, and who is "throw away".

Large brands and sellers dont have to complain - they get to have feedbacks hidden, can use their own payment methods, can bring customers offsite with direct and indirect marketing, have their own CS agents and rules, can control their own returns policies and more.

The rest of us are stuck with the garbage Mary Oh Hubris put in the TOS.

eBay TOS isnt a way to do business, its a control method to make sure "that the children sellers behave".

eBay doesnt like ANY small seller - they are just something they MUST deal with, while getting big brands and large sellers a clear field to do business.

People cry theres no business on eBay - oh yes there is - it just doesnt come to sellers such as ourselves.

Cassini isnt "broken", it was specifically created to push business to those that eBay likes/cares about/thinks its who their partner REALLY are.

These promos are ridiculous. If what ever they are offering is "so good", why not offer it to every seller? why $3 off $0? makes no sense.

By now (except for one certain individual who still thinks eBay makes BILLIONS every year) we all know that eBay isnt your partner. Its sad to have to view "your partner" as a roadblock to making sales. ANY logical, smart thing - eBay does the opposite - so you make sales DESPITE them not because of them.

With promos like this - its easy to see why eBay is what it is ....

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by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 27 09:31:23 2019

Let's consider the timing, it is the last week of March, the end of the quarter. Ebay is merely trying to bring eyeballs to the site and goose some activity. Large sellers offer cross selling opportunities. I am not sure how offering 3 and 5 dollar coupons to push trinkets of garbage are going to help much. I won't even open the note for $3.

I think the multiple promotions show the identity crisis where eBay continues to struggle. On one hand, they are pushing buyers to larger enterprise sellers. Then use another promo encouraging smaller sellers to sell on the site. Well, where is your focus eBay? Who are you targeting?

Pace is correct, Cassini is not broken. It is doing exactly everything it was designed to do. It is not a true search engine, but it is a means to control the flow of traffic and control the practices of individual sellers. As such it does those things very well.

The dolts at eBay have never appreciated the smaller sellers on the site. It is oh so tempting to go after the big juicy sellers. Lots of merchandise, fewer headaches, easy money. But how many of those large sellers just up and left over the years? How much business do they take off of the site never to return? How many of them offer crummy service?

I would place more faith in 10,000 small sellers, who NEED to sell and be good at it to pay for a roof over their heads and put food on the table over one large corporation that sees it at another line item on their Income Statement.

The chairman of Chase stated that 60 percent of Americans earn minimum wage ($7.25 an hour in most of the country mind you) and have zero savings. There is a huge opportunity, and a need, for eBay. There is no excuse for them to be going anywhere but up.

Some perspective, Devin Wenig will show up for work today, and earn another $47,000. Sellers, what will you earn today?

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by: Mark4 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 27 09:54:56 2019

The desperation of a dying company and marketplace.....

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Mar 27 10:39:51 2019

@Mark4

Dying companies don't make over $2 billion in profit a year. . .

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 27 14:28:34 2019

You're right Tool.

They have to steal it.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 27 19:20:28 2019

Ebay profits only 2 billion a year? in today's money that is like a middle class company who is prime for the pickings.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Mar 27 21:49:49 2019

@toolguy - Dying companies only have 1% growth. And they only got there because of all their non-stop money grabs.

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by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 28 00:49:45 2019

The effectiveness on the promos last year caused them a surge of profits to them from my store.

During promo times last year I sold a very large amount of stale inventory freeing up capital. I converted the funds to fresh and popular items that have already turned over several times. The end result of those promos have led to a steady stream of increased sales.


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by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 28 01:41:50 2019

My 3000 or so listings have been GTC for years and I am busy shipping 15 to 30 items every day.  GTC surely presents other problems for some sellers but it does not cause items to disappear into a black hole, unless they are likely unsalable as listed.  Overpriced items, those with ridiculous TOS, poor photos and descriptions, yep. black hole them to the benefit of everyone else.  But stuff that sells, just keeps on selling.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 28 05:07:26 2019

Nobody knows who Ebay is anymore; it won't matter.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 28 05:09:36 2019

@PaulW -- it makes sense if you have a store of OVER 400+ listings to have a GTC, but for those of us with either NO stores; or a basic or starter store, it makes no sense.  So the sensible thing for EB to have done was this:  If your store is 400+ listings mandate the GTC.  If it's a small store or no store, keep the 30 days FP.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Mar 28 07:26:40 2019

Paul W says "GTC surely presents other problems for some sellers but it does not cause items to disappear into a black hole, unless they are likely unsalable as listed."

You are using "Tool" logic Paul W.  Once size does not fit all.  What works for you may not work for others and it has nothing to do with photo or listing quality.   Or have eBay just been blowing hot air all these years telling sellers to "keep those listings fresh"?    

GTC aside, eBay search is a rigged card game and it was clearly orchestrated to favor the larger enterprise sellers.  Sellers are dependent on the almighty algorithm to be found in search.  My guess is that there have been so many iterations of the drivers of eBay search  (manipulation + AI and algorithm integration) that eBay management do not even know how it works.

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