Last night, I bought a relatively cheap laptop on eBay. Priced at £299.00 it seemed reasonable but it was only when I added it to my shopping basket I received a totally unexpected £10 discount through seller funded eBay Promotions.
You can view the original eBay listing here, and I’ve revisited it but can’t see any sign of an offer. It’s nice to receive a discount, but surely seller funded eBay Promotions should be used to incentivise buyers to purchase, not as surprise discounts when they’ve already decided to make the purchase.
In fact, in some ways the offer is a distraction as it contains a link to all of the items included in the offer. It makes an awful lot of sense to advertise an offer to attract buyers to make a purchase, but surely applying the offer in checkout when it hasn’t incentivised me to make a purchase is giving profit away for no discernible advantage.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen offers unexpectedly given to buyers and a real problem is that buyers, whilst welcoming of any discount, often can’t figure out how they got the discount or even how the discount was calculated. This is because eBay have a set order in which eBay Promotions are applied so whilst the buyer might see one particular promotion an entirely different one might be applied to their purchase.
Promotions are also made more complicated as the same promotion with the same discount could be set up for two sets of products which means that while both are included in a promotion, they may actually be in different sale events even though they appear to have an identical offer. Buyers simply have no way to figuring all this out meaning sellers may be giving money away without it being directly attributable to an increase in sales.
Order of visibility for eBay Promotions
- Order discounts
- Sale event + markdown
- Shipping discounts
With Multi-buy, Targeted coupons and Order discounts, only the best discount will be applied based on what’s in the buyers cart, regardless of which one is shown to buyers.
If you’re also running a markdown sale, the Multi-buy offer will be applied on top of your discounted price.
If you’re also running a shipping discount, the Multi-buy discount may also be applied.