eBay Bets Big On End of Quarter Focus Category Discounts

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


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UPDATE 6-26-23

eBay has now also launched another sale with 20% off select items for 4th of July ...conveniently just in time to catch the last few days of Q2.

As usual, check the terms and conditions - the coupon only applies to select items/"events", not sitewide.

How to redeem your Coupon:

Shop for eligible items from the specific event(s) as listed below.

Enter the Coupon code in the redemption code field: SAVE4JULY4TH

Pay for your item by 11:59 PM Pacific Time on July 5, 2023.

Terms & Conditions:

This Coupon is a 20% discount on purchases of eligible items in the specific event(s) listed below, valid from 5 AM Pacific Time on June 26, 2023, through 11:59 PM Pacific Time on July 5, 2023. No minimum purchase required. The Coupon discount is capped at a maximum value of $500. Discount applies to the purchase price (excluding shipping, handling, and taxes) of eligible items purchased on eBay.com.

Details πŸ‘‡

Extra 20% off for the 4th of July | eBay. Shop deals on home, tech, and more.
Shop deals on home, tech, and more.

As the clock winds down on Q2 2023 eBay appears to be making a last minute push for sales in key focus vertical categories with significant eBay-subsidized savings!

On the main US .com site, eBay is running up to 15% off of fine jewelry over $300 - read the T&C carefully though, the discount is capped at certain price levels.

15% off fine jewelry | eBay. Save up to $1,000 on exquisite pieces.
Save up to $1,000 on exquisite pieces.

How to redeem your Coupon:

  1. Shop for one piece of jewelry of $300 or more. (See below for exclusions).

  2. Enter the Coupon code in the redemption code field: JEWELFIFTEEN

  3. Pay for your item by 11:59PM Pacific Time on June 25th, 2023.

Terms & Conditions:

This Coupon is a 15% discount on qualifying jewelry purchases, valid from 5:00AM Pacific Time on June 19th, 2023, through 11:59PM Pacific Time on June 25th, 2023. $300 minimum purchase of a single eligible item required. The Coupon discount is capped at a maximum value of $250 for purchases $300-$1,999.99, capped at a maximum value of $500 for purchases $2,000-$4,999.99, and capped at a maximum value of $1000 for purchases of $5,000+.

eBay UK is offering 10% off handbags over Β£500 to promote Authenticity Guarantee.

HANDBAGTEN Terms | eBay.co.uk

And eBay Canada is pushing Motors Parts and Accessories with a whopping 20% off car parts over $75, with the maximum discount capped at $350.

Coupon: SAVE 20% on Parts & Accessories | eBay.ca

What is the Promotion?
This coupon is a 20% discount valid from June 22, 2023 at 10:00AM ET until June 30, 2023 at 11:59PM ET. Discount applies to the purchase price (excluding shipping, handling, and taxes) of an eligible item(s) on eBay.ca, cafr.eBay.ca. Minimum spend $75. Maximum discount of $350.

Eligible item(s) include those purchased from the Car & Truck Parts and Accessories category.

How to redeem your Coupon:
Shop for eligible items from the: Car & Truck Parts & Accessories.
Pay for your item by 11:59 PM ET on June 30, 2023.
Enter the Coupon code in the redemption code field: TRUCKMOD


It's important to note these are eBay provided discounts - sellers still receive their full price and eBay makes up the difference.

Back in 2018, eBay leaned heavily on sitewide discounts running many "flash sales" of 15-20% off through the year. Β Those promotions were funded directly by eBay (though of course indirectly by seller fees) and proved to be a two edged sword.

One big problem with constant discounting is once buyers get used to the idea they can expect it, they will very often wait for a sale or coupon code before making a purchase, which creates more "one and done" or only occasional (when there are discounts) buyers.

The previous flash sale strategy led to an increase in those "one and done" buyers, which led to much criticism direct at ex-CEO Devin Wenig for not doing enough to bring repeat businses to the platform.

In fact, Wenig's strategy was considered such a failure that current CEO Jamie Iannone felt the need to explicitly distance himself from it when explaining his "high value buyer" strategy to investors in Q2 2021.

eBay CEO Jamie Iannone Pushes Focus On High Value Buyers
Jamie Iannone highlighted his focus on high value buyers in Q2 21 earnings call. What do sellers think of his strategy?

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. I've got the whole organization pivoted to focusing on those high-value buyers; buyers that are buying over $800, buying six times a year, or buyers who sell.

However, despite his criticism of those past tactics, Jamie hasn't abandoned them completely.

As we see with the sales above, eBay continues to offer 10-20% discounts to goose the numbers in select "vertical focus" categories like sneakers, watches, handbags, trading cards, jewelry, certified refurbished, and parts and accessories.

The theory was supposed to be they could use those focus verticals to lure in "enthusiast buyers" who would then shop across the whole marketplace - but after almost 3 years at the helm, Iannone has yet to offer any solid proof that strategy is working or benefitting the site as a whole.

Just like his predecessor, Iannone is using discounts to drive short term sales with very little thought to long term consequences so he can tell Wall Street his strategy is working.

These end of quarter revenue/focus category bumping shenanigans are sadly predictable and likely to have a long term negative impact as buyers become habituated to the discounts, just like they did before.

If this is the best that Chief Business Strategy Officer Stefanie Jay and Chief Growth Officer Julie Loeger can come up with, maybe it's time to give someone else a shot.

eBay

Liz Morton Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

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!