Ebay Piloting New Rewards Program: eBay Bucks

May 9, 2008 · 0 comments

I read an interesting article today that said that eBay is having a select number of members beta-test a new rewards program called eBay Bucks. It rewards shoppers based on the total dollar amount spent on qualifying purchases paid for by PayPal during the period of May 15 through August 14th. At the end of the period, members will receive eBay Bucks. The FAQ on the program is here.
Right now the membership is closed to new members while they iron out the kinks with their pilot group, but you can get in line for an invitation to join here.
This is not eBay’s first attempt at a rewards program. In May 2003, eBay launched a rewards program called Anything Points. Here‘s a link to an interesting article about it in CIO Insight. It allowed members to trade in airline miles, through Points.com, for eBay credit when paying by PayPal. In June 2004, they partnered with MetaReward to provide more opportunities to earn points. As I reported in July 2005, eBay announced that they were discontinuing the program in the U.S., giving members until August 2006 to redeem their points. The Canadian program was kept in place.
What happened to Anything Points? Their official explanation: “The decision to discontinue the eBay Anything Points program was made after receiving input from U.S. members and assessing the benefit to the U.S. Community. We believe the decision to discontinue this program will allow us to channel our resources into other areas that will better serve the U.S. Community.”
I’d interpret that to mean that the cost outweighed the benefit. The program as it was laid out, didn’t serve to reward or encourage the use of eBay, it was just another rewards program. Hopefully the new program will have more success. I know I’ll use it.

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