Sold! eBay testing customer loyalty program similar to Amazon Prime

ebay customer loyalty program computer
Denys Prykhodov/Shutterstock
Even while eBay is cutting parts of its operations — like spinning off PayPal, for example — the company is adding new features and benefits to its core business. Now the company is experimenting with a loyalty program similar to Amazon’s Prime.

The program is known simply as eBay+, and is rolling out in Germany some time in the second half of 2015. There has been no word on when or if the program will be headed to other countries, and pricing information is not yet available, though some reports indicate that it could cost between €15 and €20 ($16-$22).

“Through this new program, sellers will have the opportunity to commit existing customers even more strongly to themselves and to gain new customers in addition,” eBay Germany director of communications Maike Fuest told The Street. While the program is being pitched as a benefit to customers, it involves a lot of changes for eBay sellers who want to participate.

To participate in the program, sellers on eBay must maintain “top-rated seller” status, ship quickly, and offer free returns for a month after shipping a product. Fuest said that sellers will be required to ship packages the same day they are ordered, while the program announcement page (which is in German) says that sellers will need to use a shipping method where products “usually” arrive the next day.

It seems like eBay is putting a lot of the weight on the shoulders of sellers, but in return, it will offer sellers discounted selling fees, and will help to cover part of the cost of returns. Still, The Street notes that plenty of eBay community members don’t seem thrilled by the new program.

A lot of the “how” behind the eBay+ program may seem vague at the moment, but the why is clear. The recurring revenue from subscription fees is a clear bonus for the company, and The Verge points out that Amazon Prime members spend 68 percent more than non-Prime members on average. eBay is likely hoping that the eBay+ program will generate the same kind of increased purchasing.

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Mobile

Apple to boost its Amazon presence with listings for iPhones, iPads, and more

Apple is about to start offering more of its kit on Amazon. The tech giant currently only has very limited listings on the shopping site, but the deal will see the arrival of the latest iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and more.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (November 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Deals

These 30 Amazon Coupons can help you save on the things you need

Did you know there are thousands of Amazon Coupons and promo codes that you can take advantage of? We found coupons for everything from tech to everyday products. Find out what savings you've been missing out on.
Mobile

Apple reportedly chooses Intel to supply the modem for the first 5G iPhone

While some reports hinted that Apple was looking to move away from using Intel tech, a new report suggests the exact opposite. Reportedly, Apple has chosen Intel to supply 5G modems for Apple's first 5G-enabled iPhone, due in 2020.
Outdoors

GM is getting into ebikes, and it wants you to help name them

General Motors has just unveiled its first-ever electric bikes and has launched a $10,000 public contest to help name them. Tip: It's probably not worth suggesting "Bikey McBikeface."
Smart Home

No, Amazon Day isn’t yet another shopping event, but you may find it useful

Don't worry, Amazon Day isn't yet another online shopping extravaganza aimed at wrecking your monthly budget. Instead, it's a delivery option being tested for Prime Members that could actually be pretty useful.
Outdoors

Lime splashes $3 million on a campaign to encourage safer electric scooter rides

Keen to boost its image and keep local communities onside, scootersharing outfit Lime is spending $3 million on a campaign to teach its users how to ride more safely and responsibly.
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Smart Home

Amazon sends out physical toy catalog for kids of all ages this holiday season

Amazon confirmed it is shipping a printed holiday toy catalog, "A Holiday of Play," to millions of customers starting in November. The 68-page catalog has QR codes for many toys. A downloadable version links to each product on Amazon.
Mobile

Google confirms it will add Android support for foldable displays

It's already clear a few smartphones of 2019 will be foldable, and Google is embracing the trend. The company announced its adding Android support for foldable devices, which will allow apps to work seamlessly with the new form factor.
Mobile

Rugged Cat phones look to crack U.S. market through new deal with Sprint

The biggest name in rugged smartphones is launching a new device in the U.S. with Sprint. The Cat S48c is a tough, but affordable phone that can handle drops, water, dust, and extreme temperatures.
Cars

Bosch, Daimler team up to deploy autonomous Mercedes-Benz S-Classes in San Jose

In 1986, when Bosch and Daimler joined an autonomous car research project, the technology seemed overly futuristic. Now, the partners are aiming to make a production self-driving car by the early 2020s.
Home Theater

Comcast wants you to take control of your smart home through your TV

Comcast is looking to take on Google and Amazon as the center of your smart home. The company is reportedly testing a program that would allow broadband-only customers to turn their TVs into smart home hubs.