On Friday, the world’s largest online marketplace announced the launch of its U.S. exclusive eBay Bucks Rewards Program. The cashback incentive gives the consumer a 2% return on most items available for sale on the site.
"We're giving eBay's most loyal shoppers something special in return -- money to spend on eBay," said Lorrie Norrington, president of eBay Marketplaces. "eBay Bucks Rewards Program is free to join and easy to use, providing customers with even greater value when they shop the great selection and deals on eBay. With redemption rates well above industry average for comparable loyalty programs, eBay Bucks is a big hit with both buyers and sellers on eBay. It's seamless, simple and rewarding."
Once shoppers enroll in the rewards program, they can receive up to $200 for any single item and up to $500 per calendar quarter. Users are then presented with an eBay Bucks Certificate at the end of the three months, redeemable up to 30 days for eBay purchases through PayPal, the company’s payment processing sister site which now has over 87 million active accounts. Purchases not qualified under the promotion include all Classifieds, Business & Industrial Capital Equipment, Real Estate, and eBay Motors categories.
Over the course of the beta program, which was made available to a select group of customers for the past year, eBay discovered that consumers taking part in the program spent five times more on eBay purchases than average customers. When it was released in eBay’s Q2 earnings report back in July that U.S. growth was slower than expected, coupled with the data they poled from the trial program, the decision to make their cashback program solely available to an American audience for the interim was a no-brainer.
Dubbing it a “cashback” program though is really a misleading title considering you don’t actually receive any cash. The eBay Bucks Certificate is the equivalent of Disney dollars to an $8 chocolate Mickey Mouse ice cream pops at Disneyland, or in this case, discount designer jeans, collectible action figures, and baseball card auctions. It takes away any real worth or value and makes its spending seem purposeless and carefree, ultimately stimulating the eBay economy with your frivolous spending.
This isn’t the first we've heard of a cashback program being in the news recently. Microsoft’s Bing Cashback, a similar yet ill-fated attempt at enticing users with discounts on purchases made through the Bing search engine, recently shut down on July 30, 2010 after lack of public interest left the venture stranded in the limbo of public appeal. eBay is hoping for better results.
The very many problematic issues of eBay are hardly worth discussing any more. Clearly, the headless turkeys have taken over the eBay farmyard and since the sociopath John Donahoe—whose arrogance is only outweighed by his incompetence—has been given a key to the executive wash room, eBay has, relatively speaking, every quarter, been flushed further and further down the toilet.
eBay’s new US data center, since the dumping of store items into core (aka the eBay April Fools Day Data Centre Massacre), has apparently been effectively crippled, or if it is functioning as planned, it’s a very strange plan. The fact is, in the US at least, the eBay whale is high and dry on the beach, has died, and is now stinking.
It has been inferred by a supposedly astute investor that a monkey could run such an organization. My only question then is, how long will it be before the eBay Board realizes that they should replace the current monkey with one that is not already brain dead?
In the meantime, for anyone seriously interested in the utter deviousness and incompetence of eBay’s executive management generally, and in particular eBay’s deliberate and demonstrable criminal facilitation of the rampant shill bidding fraud being perpetrated on unsuspecting buyers by a great many unscrupulous professional sellers via nominal-start auctions, an introduction thereto (along with some Pay-Pal horror stories thrown in for good measure) can be found at
Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #4
This latest study demonstrates eBay’s utter desperation for revenue, and eBay’s effective aiding and abetting of this criminal activity at