eBay Tags Along With Competition On Early Black Friday Sale

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


Tis the season for early Black Friday sales with many online and brick and mortar retailers trying to get consumers on board for holiday shopping.

USA Today Reviewed featured a segment about eBay's Black Friday sale, but was it really a targeted early holiday campaign or just another example of eBay trying to play catch up to the competition?

The eBay Black Friday sale is here: Get massive discounts on tech, home goods and more
The eBay Black Friday sale is here. Shop tech, home goods, tools and more for massive discounts on certified refurbished products—learn more.

While it was dubbed a Black Friday Sale, it simply linked through to eBay's Daily Deals page where buyers can find featured discounts and deals 24/7/365.

Daily Deals on eBay | Best deals and Free Shipping
Save money on the best Deals online with eBay Deals. We update our deals daily, so check back for the best deals - Plus Free Shipping

On the Deals page itself, a few items are tagged specifically as holiday deals, but for the most part this just looks like eBay's lazy way to say "see, we're doing a Black Friday Sale too!"

Also interesting to note someone forgot to take down the Halloween sale banner - oops!

The Deals are pretty much what anyone who has been paying attention to eBay this year would expect with a heavy emphasis on Certified Refurbished products, sneakers, watches, handbags, and trading cards.

Let's see what some of these deals have to offer.

Sony WF1000XM3 Noise Canceling True Wireless Earbuds - Black | eBay
Industry-leading noise canceling with HD Noise Canceling Processor QN1e. The addition of Sonys proprietary HD Noise Canceling Processor QN1 masterfully reduces the ambient noise around you. Truly wireless design with uninterrupted L/R simultaneous Bluetooth transmission.

This featured Certified Refurbished listing has some buyer unfriendly policies that need to be updated stat!

Just FYI - eBay gives buyers 15-35 days to ship back returns.

Regular readers of this blog won't be shocked, but guess what? eBay is featuring listings that violate their own presale policies!

eBay presale policy states:

  • Presale listings must guarantee that the item will be shipped within 30 days of purchase
  • The date the item will be available to ship must be clearly stated in the listing
  • Listings must clearly indicate in the title and description that the item is being offered for presale
  • Handling time details should include the time it will take the seller to acquire the item, in addition to the time it will take the seller to deliver the package to the shipping carrier

This one doesn't say presale anywhere and the release date of 11/26 puts it outside the "must ship within 30 days" criteria for the ones that have been sold already this month.

Stadium Build & Battle Box Fusion Strike Pokemon TCG NEW SEALED 11/26 | eBay
Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for Stadium Build & Battle Box Fusion Strike Pokemon TCG NEW SEALED 11/26 at the best online prices at eBay! Free shipping for many products!

This one says preorder in the title, but doesn't give any expected shipping date in the description - again in violation of the presale policies.

Pokemon KANTO First Partner PACK CASE OF 12 Jumbo Packs! Factory Sealed Preorder | eBay
Factory Sealed Preorder.

Looking for a great deal on a drone? Yikes, more buyer unfriendly policies in descriptions that don't match the terms of eBay's Certified Refurbished program.

DJI Mavic Mini Drone (DJI REFURBISHED) | eBay
Every DJI Refurbished aircraft is thoroughly tested by DJI Experts and includes DJI standard warranty. There are no better experts in DJI products than those at DJI. DJI Refurbished Product FAQ. WHAT ARE DJI REFURBISHED PRODUCTS?.

I thought these sellers were supposed to be vetted and approved before being allowed to sell refurbished items - how is eBay missing so many obvious issues?

Of course eBay is also still featuring these Samsung certified refurbished phones, but now that the gift card promotion is over they have at least set the return policy back to 30 days as required for the certified refurbished program.

eBay & Samsung Bend Rules In Certified Refurbished Promo
Samsung & eBay partner on refurbished promo, but only offer 14 day returns, not 30 days required by policies.

Ultimately I don't see anything exciting here. This isn't a serendipitous retail moment that was carefully curated to delight and entice buyers into early holiday shopping - it looks a hastily thrown together mish mash of the same Daily Deals eBay would be running any way, cobbled together and thrown out to a media outlet that is required to disclose they may earn commission on purchases made through the links in their story.

In other words - call me when the real Black Friday Sale shows up.


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