Update on eBay discount paypal coupon programs – Live search cashback and eBay Bucks

Back in June, I talked about the various discount/cash back programs that eBay was testing including eBay Bucks (eB) and LiveSearch (LS).  As a buyer, I’ve been experimenting pretty deeply with both programs and wanted to report back on them.

eBay Bucks, XXXX (well I would use a rhyme here but it would be in poor taste)

I was admitted into the eBay bucks program and made sure all of my purchases qualified.  I was able to get $71 in cash back which was all great. Here’s what it looks like as you gain cash back:

Ebucks1

Great! Then on August 22nd I was told that I had a voucher for my $71 and in mid September, made a $100 purchase that I was going to use my $71 voucher on (being mindful that it can only be redeemed on ONE item) and much to my shock and dismay, eBay only gave me a voucher for $16.68.   What the heck!? See the screen shot below for proof of the short-change.  The red box and arrow are my additions, but you can see right here how it is only giving a portion, but on the previous page it literally said $71!?

Ebucks2

I hopped on livechat and they informed me they don’t have anything to do with eBay Bucks so I have to send an email to rewards@ebay.com.  You can guess how fast I’ve gotten a response on that one…..

Live search cash back experience

The Microsoft Live search cash back program on the other hand has been a great experience.  I signed up with Microsoft and made sure that every eBay purchase was initiated from live.com and that I saw the banners on eBay that proved I was logged in correctly. While this was a little more work than eBay Bucks, on the back end it has been great.

I waited the requisite 60 days, the funds from the rebate were available and then I was able to transmit them to my paypal account and spend them on a number of eBay items.  Oh yeah – the amount was RIGHT too, they didn’t short change me.

Conclusion:
eBay bucks is a good idea with terrible execution that initially made me happy as a
buyer but because it essentially robbed me of $50, has
eliminated all possible good will and led to a net negative
experience.  eBay should cancel this program immediately, lest we have
all these buyers during the holidays getting short changed and leaving
eBay in droves.  It’s a little easier on the front end, but even if I received 100% of the promised funds it has too many restrictions (have to use the $ in 30 days on ONE purchase).  Isn’t it better to keep it simple?

Live search cash back is a little more complex on the front end but wins hands down because:

  • It works (yes that’s a requirement)
  • It is flexible – I can shop with several vendors AND can use my $ back anyway I want to
  • It is easy to use

SeekingAlpha disclosure – I am long eBay and Google

Leave a Reply