eBay Botches $10 off $50 Holiday Discount With Magical Disappearing Coupon

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


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UPDATE 12-24-23

At least one buyer reports they were able to contact eBay customer support to retrieve the missing coupon code.

$10 Code Disappeared
I had a $10 off show on the ebay screen for $10 from ebay with a $50 purchase expiring 12/29/23. I used it for an “offer” on a product that was not accepted. I called the phone number and was never able to get a person. Somehow in the Contact Us area I was able to have the “Chat bot” icon show up…

I had a $10 off show on the ebay screen for $10 from ebay with a $50 purchase expiring 12/29/23.

I used it for an "offer" on a product that was not accepted. I called the phone number and was never able to get a person. Somehow in the Contact Us area I was able to have the "Chat bot" icon show up so clicked there. I got past the e-bot and asked to be called back, and an Agent called me back.

My code didn't just disappear, although once I entered it in my offer it never showed on the screen again. It was not in a message / email nor was it PayPal. It was $10 off from ebay with a $50 or more purchase by 12/29.

The Agent I talked to couldn't see the code in my online offer, so she contacted the buying department. They were able to look up my offer and see the code, so she gave me the original code back, I tried to use. I just used the code and am very happy. Every little bit helps.

Maybe if you can get thru to an actual person / Agent, maybe they can re-issue you a code. It seems others are having that problem too. It shows up sometimes, then goes away. Can't hurt to try asking an ebay person / Agent to get the code for you or give you another.


eBay buyers are having a less than magical holiday experience as discount offer goes up in smoke. The discount was only offered to select buyers who were notified via email and/or on site messaging that they qualified for $10 off $50+ sitewide, excluding Real Estate, Coins and Paper Money, Gift Cards and Coupons, or Vehicles.

Eligible accounts should see a purple banner at the top of a web browser or the bottom of the eBay mobile app when they are logged in and clicking the banner is supposed to show an individual coupon code to apply at checkout.

Coupon Details:

  • The coupon can only be used once, unless otherwise stated on the coupon. Multiple items can be purchased in one transaction (up to a maximum of 10 items per transaction) up to the maximum discount amount (if applicable). Any unused difference between the actual discount claimed and the maximum discount amount will be forfeited.
  • The coupon cannot be used for items from the 'Real Estate', 'Coins and Paper Money', 'Gift Cards and Coupons', or 'Vehicles' categories.The coupon itself may also state further restrictions on the categories or items that it can be used for. These restrictions will be clearly mentioned on the coupon.
  • The coupon cannot be combined with any other coupon, site discount, rebate, offer, gift coupon, or other promotion.
  • Only invited, registered eBay users who can see the coupon on eBay are eligible.
  • The coupon is linked to your eBay User ID and can only be used for purchases made using your account with the same User ID. The transactions must be completed with the eBay User ID specified in the invitation email in order to redeem the coupon voucher.

However, many buyers have taken to the eBay community to express frustration and disappointment that they received an email notice saying they were eligible for the discount, but then it disappeared when they tried to use it.

Ebay Coupon Code
Had a ebay coupon code pop on my screen the other day for $10.00 off a $50.00 or more purchase. I do not see the code now. Any idea how i can access it? Thanks-

Had a ebay coupon code pop on my screen the other day for $10.00 off a $50.00 or more purchase. I do not see the code now. Any idea how i can access it? Thanks-

Disappearing coupon...
Ebay sent me a $10 off coupon and when I went to retrieve it a little while later - I can’t find it. Is this a use it or lose it thing? Any comments are appreciated.

Ebay sent me a $10 off coupon and when I went to retrieve it a little while later - I can't find it.

Coupon
I received a coupon for $10 off $50 or more. I copied the link to the clipboard, made a mistake, and copied over it. Now I don’t have the coupon code and the notice that appeared on my account about it is gone!

I received a coupon for $10 off $50 or more. I copied the link to the clipboard, made a mistake, and copied over it. Now I don’t have the coupon code and the notice that appeared on my account about it is gone!

$10 off coupon
Hello, Does anyone have the limited time only $10 off coupon code for today? 12/22/23. I received it this morning and not I cannot find it. Please help! Thanks, everyone.

Does anyone have the limited time only $10 off coupon code for today? 12/22/23. I received it this morning and not I cannot find it.

$10 coupon
Logged into eBay app and saw an offer for $10 off. It’s was there most of the day. Now it’s gone and I didn’t jot down the code. It stayed a Dec 29 expire date. Any idea where I can find it?

Logged into eBay app and saw an offer for $10 off. It’s was there most of the day. Now it’s gone and I didn’t jot down the code. It stayed a Dec 29 expire date. Any idea where I can find it?

$10 off discount
I got on today and received a random $10 off anything code. I copied it and went to buy something off my watchlist and when I went to paste the code it wasn’t there. I went back to the main page to copy it again, still the same thing. So I tried the code on a different item (even though it should wo…

I got on today and received a random $10 off anything code. I copied it and went to buy something off my watchlist and when I went to paste the code it wasn’t there. I went back to the main page to copy it again, still the same thing. So I tried the code on a different item (even though it should work for everything) and it still no luck.

So I went back to the main page AGAIN and the code was gone. It’s been a few hours now and I’ve logged on and off but it appears the code has disappeared. It’s just $10 so I’m not upset but I’ve heard this has been happening with other discount codes recently.

One buyer said the terms and conditions directed them to a "voucher section" of their eBay account which apparently doesn't exist.

Coupon Terms & Conditions
Received a $10 Off coupon via email today from eBay. The Coupon Terms & Conditions state ”...minimum Purchase Price and the maximum discount, will be specified in the voucher section of your ‘My eBay’ account.” However, there is no “voucher section” of the My eBay account. Or coupon section. Or anyt…

Received a $10 Off coupon via email today from eBay. The Coupon Terms & Conditions state "...minimum Purchase Price and the maximum discount, will be specified in the voucher section of your 'My eBay' account."

However, there is no "voucher section" of the My eBay account. Or coupon section. Or anything that looks similar.

Another eBay glitch? Or is there really a "voucher section" hidden somewhere?

I too received a coupon, but no way to use it. Cruel joke.

Aside from the clearly negative buyer experience this discount fiasco has created, it's interesting that eBay has chosen to provide site wide discount coupons at all, given CEO Jamie Iannone's supposed disdain for "unhealthy things like buying traffic" and the legacy discounting tactics that created "one and done" buyers.

Back in 2018, then-CEO Devin Wenig's leaned heavily on sitewide eBay-funded discounts, with many "flash sales" of 15-20% off through the year.

Those promotions proved to be a double edged sword - once buyers get used to receiving discounts, they'll often wait for a sale before making a purchase.

Wenig's strategy was considered such a failure that Iannone felt the need to explicitly distance himself from it when speaking to investors in Q2 2021.

We've discontinued legacy tactics that led to low value, infrequent or one and done buyers. Our buyer base is starting to evolve based on this strategy. These high-volume buyers are growing compared to a year-ago and their spend on eBay is growing even faster. This higher-quality mix of buyers increases value for sellers and will lead to improved health of our ecosystem over the long-term...

..This is something that I laid out last July when we talked about the tech-led reimagination as being focused on turning buyers into lifelong enthusiasts on the platform and moving away from the tactics that we had in 2019 what was really just about the number of active buyers even low value buyers or one and done buyers.

And more recently, in an interview with Fortune, Jamie called out those legacy discounting tactics for buying traffic as "unhealthy" for the company,

You became CEO at a time when eBay was running low on steam. What did you see initially as problems to solve?

Our first vector shift was to become more focused on not-in-season items. The company had been focused on new, in-season merchandise and was doing unhealthy things like buying traffic.

So one of the first pillars I focused on was to support our core, meaning we should not be so hung up on newness and the latest in-season fashion. Small specialized competitors were coming up, wanting to steal market share from eBay.

Iannone also faced questions about his plans for eBay-funded discounts on the Q3 2023 earnings call, with investors keen to know what his strategy would bes especially in light of Etsy running site wide discounts to kick off the holiday season.

Jamie told investors at that time there were no big plans for eBay-funded site-wide discounts, in line with his previous statements about those legacy tactics, and that most promotions would be funded by sellers.

eBay Disappoints With Q3 2023 Results & Weak Q4 Guidance
eBay released Q3 2023 earnings on November 7, with disappointing results and weak guidance for Q4 raising concern among investors.

Deepak Mathivanan from Wolfe Research asked:

Jamie, given that consumers are increasingly looking at deal shopping during this holiday season due to macro pressures and inflationary environment, some of the other e-commerce platforms like Etsy are kind of incentivizing sellers to step up discounts and are also doing promos on their own to drive volume.

Is that something that eBay can do? Do your buyers react to this? And do you see opportunities to maybe mitigate some of these macro pressures with product initiatives if this kind of persists for a while next year?

Jamie made it clear that sellers outside the focus verticals would largely be on their own for holiday promotion, a point that has been an increasing sore spot with non-vertical sellers over the last few years.

Yeah Deepak, the only real couponing and promotion stuff we do, we do it in conjunction with our sellers, where they are kind of funding those coupons. And that does work, and that's in partnership with our sellers. We sometimes also do that with our external promotional listings products that we've been talking about, one of our new ad products.

But we really moved away from the couponing that was unhealthy that we did back in 2019. And we have no plans to reintroduce that type of couponing because it wasn't driving the type of ROI that we wanted...

...So our play on value is really the new strategy of what we're going after of driving those businesses, and that's what's resonating with our customers.

While sitewide $5 coupons for "select" buyers is not as wide-ranging as the 15%-20% flash sales eBay ran in the past, it does still appear to be a departure from what Jamie has previously said about his strategy for driving business to the site and a reversal of the answer he provided in the Q3 earnings call.

The fact that eBay felt the need to pull the trigger on this type of discount to try to gain an end of quarter boost to GMV does not bode well for the Q4 report.

Even more concerning - the apparent misexecution that has prevented many eligible buyers from using the coupon will likely mean the GMV boost will not be as significant as eBay is hoping for.

Did you receive an offer from eBay for $10 off $50? Let us know in the comments below if you were able to redeem it!

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of experience in online sales & marketplaces, providing expert commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Amazon, Etsy & more at Value Added Resource!