Will a new price match program lead more people to shop on eBay?

Discussion
Source: ebay.com
Jun 22, 2017
George Anderson

Yesterday, eBay announced the launch of a price match guarantee on more than 50,000 new, unopened items sold as part of its daily deals selection. Whether this will be enough to convince consumers to shift their purchases from other sites remains to seen.

EBay’s price match offer is targeted at shoppers who frequent key competitive e-commerce sites including Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Jet.com, HomeDepot.com, Sears.com, Target.com, Walmart.com and Wayfair.com. Items included in the offer must be new, in-stock and the exact same product. EBay claims that 90 percent of its deals are new items.

To trigger the price match, shoppers must contact eBay customer service to let them know where they found a better price. Customer service will then “verify the price match on the spot” and send a coupon for shoppers to enter and receive a better deal.

“Shoppers can shop with confidence knowing that they’re getting the best value available on eBay,” said Hal Lawton, senior vice president of North America at eBay, in a statement. “Our eBay deals selection has grown exponentially since being launched in 2011. The vast majority of our deals are already lower priced or equal to our competitors, but if a shopper finds it for less, we’ll gladly match the price of our competitors.”

EBay markets its deals as an alternative to Amazon’s Prime and other paid subscription services. No membership is required and items are shipped free from over 900 of eBay’s “most trusted sellers.”

The announcement of the price match program follows another made in March of eBay’s Guaranteed Delivery, which promises free delivery in three days or less on more than 20 million eligible items.

EBay continues to work at recreating its image from its early days as an online auction site. Today, 87 percent of the items sold are fixed price and most come with a money back guarantee. EBay was the second most visited site in the U.S. during the 2016 Christmas selling season. Its marketplace sales exceeded $10 billion for the first time in its history, according to the company.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will eBay’s price match, as well as other steps it has taken such as free guaranteed deliveries, enable the e-tailer to continue growing its business and gaining share of e-commerce sales in the U.S.? Are eBay’s rebranding efforts working?

Braintrust
"Customers will buy from the company that has the lowest price in the first place, so I don’t foresee this creating big changes for eBay's numbers."
"It is a good idea but, frankly, many retailers have already offered price matching. It is definitely not enough to make a substantial difference."
"Amazon is in the forefront as a “go-to” place. Walmart is coming on fast. What more does eBay have to offer?"

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6 Comments on "Will a new price match program lead more people to shop on eBay?"

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Jasmine Glasheen
BrainTrust

Nobody wants to go through the trouble of calling a company to inform them that there is a lower price elsewhere, just to have that price matched. Customers will buy from the company that has the lowest price in the first place, so I don’t foresee this initiative creating any type of big changes for eBay’s numbers.

Max Goldberg
BrainTrust

Combining price matching with better customer service should help eBay remain competitive with Amazon and other online sellers. Hopefully, eBay will roll out both programs to more products. The larger the assortment, the better the consumer response.

Charles Dimov
BrainTrust

eBay has taken a back seat in the retail/e-commerce space for many years now. Once a darling, they have lost their luster. It is a good idea but, frankly, many retailers have already offered price matching. It is definitely not enough to make a substantial difference.

To become relevant again, eBay needs to come up with a series of creative new ideas that make the buyer’s journey easier, more convenient, more innovative or fun. They need to focus on creating an experience that customers crave or want to try out, then keep innovating. A one-shot rebranding scheme is simply going fall flat. Good luck eBay!

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

Online shopping has become a measure more of ease than price shopping. That is why Amazon Prime has been so successful. You establish a “go-to” place, then the customer goes to it.

Granted there are price shoppers and they will go to multiple sites to find the best price. But most shoppers realize that saving a few bucks is not worth the extra time it takes to shop around for the best price.

Amazon is in the forefront as a “go-to” place. Walmart is coming on fast. What more does eBay have to offer?

Ricardo Belmar
BrainTrust

I don’t see this price matching effort changing much for eBay. Asking customers to manually contact customer service and then engage with them to obtain a price match is too complicated for most shoppers online when they can just click through a buy button elsewhere to make an easy purchase. Think Amazon one-click vs a five-minute long customer service dialogue. Who will do that if it won’t save them any money? EBay needs to be more creative and innovative to bring shoppers back to their site.

Cate Trotter
BrainTrust

It seems unlikely that this is going to get customers flocking to eBay. As Jasmine notes, if they’ve found it cheaper elsewhere would they go to the effort of contacting eBay to get them to match it? Perhaps if eBay’s delivery options were more attractive than the other company’s then they might. Generally speaking though, price-savvy shoppers are comparing prices to find the cheapest retailer and that’s the one they go for. If eBay was able to price-match itself that might edge things out a bit, but as it stands, this new system relies on too much customer effort.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Customers will buy from the company that has the lowest price in the first place, so I don’t foresee this creating big changes for eBay's numbers."
"It is a good idea but, frankly, many retailers have already offered price matching. It is definitely not enough to make a substantial difference."
"Amazon is in the forefront as a “go-to” place. Walmart is coming on fast. What more does eBay have to offer?"

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