eBay's Christmas promotion pushes buyers to favoured merchants

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Greg FanteBays all over the world begin their Christmas marketing campaigns today. eBay UK put out an announcement this morning about theirs (though you read it here first) highlighting their message that

eBay is on average 25% cheaper than the high street on like for like new items

“eBay is cheap” was very unpopular with sellers last year; will this credit crunch Christmas be any different?

Meanwhile, over the pond, Greg Fant from the Marketing and Buyer Experience team has details of what eBay.com will be doing. “Millions of eligible customers” are to receive coupons for money-off their eBay purchases; the coupons will appear throughout the site and in buyers’ My eBay accounts. Presumably there’s some targetting going on, as the actual percentage discounts offered will vary; several UK members I know have received vouchers for 10% off in specific categories. The coupons will be valid for both auctions and BINs, “for a very limited time” to get shoppers out spending as soon as possible.

from top rated sellers
from top rated sellers

The Bid From $1 promotion, featured on eBay.com’s front page, sees a range of small electronics sold on auction starting at $1, with free shipping. Any sellers thinking of adopting that as a listing strategy in order to gain the extra promotion, however, can forget it: these are specific products from specific big sellers, eforcity and henrys.com, for example. You can see this even on the ones that are sold out: check out the URLs, all of which currently contain the “SpecificSeller” criterion.

The Daily Deal will also highlight a deep-discounted product again with free shipping; a different product, available in limited quantities, will be featured each day. So far, this promo appears to be entirely of buy.com.

Frankly, Mr Fant’s AB post is, at best, disingenuous. These promotions are not for all eBay sellers: they’re of specific, selected sellers, whose IDs are coded into the links from eBay’s home page. Presenting this to eBay sellers generally as “special deals to increase excitement, drive buzz, and keep buyers coming back to eBay for more” is missing the point entirely: what’s being driven is buyers straight from the home page to the listings of eBay’s favoured merchants.

14 Responses

  1. Cheap, cheap, cheap, eBay’s beginning to sound like a budgie on acid. 😆

    If sellers want to follow ebay on this race to the bottom that’s fine by me, but I wont be amongst those going bust.

  2. I’m more than happy to avoid “eBay is cheap” buyers who expect to buy on the 24th December to give items as presents on the 25th.

  3. And am I the only person that would feel a lot more confident doing business with a gentleman in a nice suit, shirt and tie rather than some geek in a polo shirt ? He looks like he should be working in some c**p retail store.

  4. I really can’t understand why the TV campaign that usually graces our screens at Christmas is on hold.

    The marketing budget may not be as large as last year but I would have thought TV is the most powerful media to let people know about the extra changes this year to reassure those buyers who fell foul of unscroupulous sellers.

    My sales aren’t as good as last year but that is the fault of my own fat lazy ass rather than ebay.

  5. #3 That photo was taken at eBay Live! and it’s a generally casual affair there…. we’ll put in a request that all eBay employees come suited and booted next time TameBay has a camera about 😉

  6. I just got kicked off of eBay for trying to introduce me own merchant account. I first sent in my Authorize.net information and they told me that was not an authorized ISO, so I gave them my merchant id and login in with Bank Of America, and they used the fact that my son had been suspended months ago as reason to suspend me, indefinitely. I sell mens authentic diesel, true religion, dolce and gabbana. Its called essentialemblems.com

    All my feedback was flawless and I sold 3000 in just 2 weeks, I was up to 5 thousand for the month and my score was 29. My id was letsdeal786. They have to be stopped, this is wrong on so many levels. Now I am creating ads to advertise and get my site out for the holidays. I contracted with a genuine brick and mortar in Florida. Are they making it hard or impossible not to use paypal over in Europe as well?

  7. #6 What the hell has all of that got to do with the ebay Christmas promotion?

    And I’m confused – you had sold 3000 in 2 weeks but had just 29 feedback? What happened to the other 2971 buyers? Don’t they leave feedback?

  8. #6 Sorry to hear you’ve been barred, in the UK all listings HAVE to offer PayPal, although we can also offer alternative payment methods including cheques and postal orders (money orders) which are prohibited on eBay.com

  9. Cheap – yuk! When I shop I want ‘Good Value’ for my money, not ‘Cheap’. Will eBay ever be able to tell the difference, I wonder?

  10. eBay are saying that they are “cheaper” for “like for like”. I don’t have a problem with that.

  11. I think the most concerning thing here is that specific sellers are being given preference.

    Why should they get a preferential promotion or placement to the exclusion of the competition.


  12. #6 tell me about it. im in the same boat. i have signed up to all the alternatives outlined here;

    and am primarily hammering adwords and SEO for my own site;

    eBay is great until you get caught up in the grinder. Careful not to slip or worse still – an ignorant / aggressive buyer may push you in – it sucks you in and shreds your business to pieces. Good luck talking to the robots aka customer support.

    a tip – take a look at eBay’s and the other site’s traffic trends here;

    eBay are in big trouble! Get rid of John Donahoe! Make eBay eBay once again!

  13. #8 , I sold 3 thousand dollars within a 2 week period, and I only had 29 feedback because I had only started a month prior to that. It only took me 30 days to get to 5 thousand in sales. Your right, it has nothing to do with the christmas promotion, but I figured I would share my story, that is what we are here to do. Sorry, I should have been more specific.


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Best wishes for 2024

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