To be eligible, an item must be available on Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Walmart.com, HomeDepot.com, Target.com, Sears.com, Wayfair.com or Jet.com. Products must also be new and unopened in retail packaging in the eBay Deals inventory, verified as identical to the competitor’s and currently in stock.
To take advantage of the policy, shoppers must contact eBay customer service to request a price match before they buy the item, let staff know where the lower price was found and then eBay will verify the price match. Once it’s verified, eBay will issue an immediate coupon for the difference, the company said.
In addition to this new price-match scheme, eBay has instituted a slew of recent changes to regain market share, including a more discovery-based home page, updates to its mobile app, a new authentication program to help protect buyers from purchases of fakes and an amped-up delivery program.
“Shoppers can shop with confidence knowing that they’re getting the best value available on eBay,” eBay Senior Vice President of North America Hal Lawton said 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.”
In a pointed shot to Amazon, eBay on Wednesday noted that shopping there for good deals on merchandise and delivery doesn't require a membership. In a conference call with analysts in April, CEO Doug Wenig similarly touted the company’s delivery prowess, noting that its customers enjoyed speedy shipping even before the launch this summer of expedited shipping for millions of products.
“There will be a change in the user experience, where our customers can sort and filter by three days or two days, or even one day. And sometimes they will pay for that, but many times it will be free," he said, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. "We just think this is a way to stick our competitive advantage right out there and have no questions about why people shop on eBay and why they should.”
Wenig also said then that the company is on the lookout for more partnership and acquisition opportunities, like its recent tie-up with Indian e-commerce company Flipkart. “We continue to believe there are significant opportunities to expand our business inorganically through our M&A and partnership strategy. We’re continually evaluating opportunities to broaden our reach and our capabilities,” Wenig told analysts, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. “We also constantly monitor our existing portfolio of assets, and we take action when we don't see a clear contribution to our strategy or a path to win.”
Partnership, though, doesn’t extend all that much to retailers. Wenig told analysts that brands are increasingly selling directly to consumers via resellers on eBay. “I think that the conversation with brands has definitely changed,” he said. “They’re now looking at a platform that is doing $20 billion a quarter, it has 169 million active buyers and … I expect that will accelerate the pace of brand acquisitions through this year, meaning there will be more brands that sell directly or through resellers on eBay directly.”
That's true of Amazon, too: Nike is reportedly the latest major brand to consider selling directly through the e-commerce giant, in order to boost its e-commerce sales and better control sales of counterfeit merchandise found on Amazon's Marketplace.