Ebay is the latest in a series of websites to partner with deal site Groupon and it looks like a win-win for the two websites – but what about the site users?
The first deal to hit the site was The Body Shop offering $40 worth of product for $20 and just in time for the holiday shopping season. Groupon has its own eBay page which is tied to your IP address so you’ll only see offers that are national or local to your area. 1676 people picked up the deal today and as a bonus, they also received $1.00 in eBay Bucks.
eBay Bucks is a new loyalty program that gives you a small kick-back on every eBay purchase and purchases of related deals. At the end of the quarter, eBay gives the user back the bucks in the form of a gift certificate that they can spend on eBay.
Though the Groupon page ties it into the eBay Bucks Program, it’s actually part of a larger scheme to make eBay more of an all-around deals site and less about the auctions.
eBay also recently launched a new Deal Finder page which shows comparative pricing of selected items across the web. The listings on this page are somewhat deceiving in that they each have a “Only (number) Items Left” designation which makes it seem as if you’re buying from a single source, when really you’re just being directed to random sellers.
All of eBay’s DVD listings now offer a used / condition grid that resembles Amazon’s layout, blurring the lines between websites all the more.
With Groupon eBay and eBay looking like Amazon its easy to see how all ecommerce could eventually meld into one giant megamall run by Google. But is that good thing? Personally, I’m getting tired of seeing Groupon deals and ads on every website I frequent. It’s not encouraging me to buy a deal, it’s making want to run the other way.
As for eBay, it was my favorite site because it did one thing well. Now that they’ve changed their focus to become an auction / deals / rewards program / media store, I’m worried. Next month I’ll probably be given the option of updating my auction status on my eBay social media fan page.
“Sold my Justin Bieber pillowcase collection. It was hard, but it’s time to move on.”
What do you think about the rising Groupon tide? Great move or enough already?