eBay is launching its rewards program today: eBay Bucks, which allows any eBay shopper who lives in the U.S. and is a registered member of the marketplace, to earn 2 percent cash back on most items purchased through the site with PayPal.
Consumers can earn ‘eBay Bucks’ made both on eBay’s website and via its many mobile apps. The catch-users have to redeem ‘eBay Bucks’ towards other purchases on the marketplace. Rewards money is accumulated during a three month period and at the end of each period, an eBay Bucks certificate is issued to consumers, who then have 30 days to redeem their eBay Bucks towards purchases with PayPal on eBay.com.
I was curious which purchases are excluded from earning rewards. eBay says that the Bucks program excludes all purchases from Classifieds, Business & Industrial Capital Equipment, Real Estate, and eBay Motors categories (except Parts & Accessories in eBay Motors). eBay has been implementing Bucks through a pilot program over the past year and says that consumers enrolled in eBay Bucks spent five times more on eBay than those not participating in the program.
Cashback programs haven’t had the greatest success in the past. Bing shuttered Cashback recently due to lack of traction. eBay’s offering would certainly be used by loyal customers but it’s unclear if it will be able to bring outside traffic to the marketplace.
The fact that U.S. eBay sales are showing weakness and not growing as rapidly as international sales could be a possible reason for the rewards program’s exclusivity to the U.S..