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E-commerce

Ebay unveils best-price guarantee in battle for Australia’s online shoppers

Ebay Australia has announced it will start refunding customers if they find a lower price on an item from a competitor within 48 hours of purchasing the same item on the online marketplace.

The ‘Best Price Guarantee’ applies to all new, ‘buy it now’ listings, covering more than 70 million items from Australian and overseas sellers, according to a statement from Ebay Australia.

Customers who purchase one of these items and find a lower price on an approved competitor’s website within 48 hours can contact Ebay’s customer service to receive a voucher for the price difference plus 5 per cent.

The list of approved competitors numbers over 100 and includes major bricks-and-mortar retailers, such as Big W and Harvey Norman, as well as e-commerce players, including The Iconic, OzSale, Kogan and Amazon.

“We know eBay sellers have the best prices, and we’re willing to put our money where our mouth is. If Aussie shoppers do manage to find a cheaper price, we’re not just matching prices – we’re beating them,” Julie Nestor, chief marketing officer for Ebay Australia and New Zealand, said.

Julie Nestor, Ebay Australia and New Zealand CMO

The Best Price Guarantee marks Ebay’s third major initiative in recent months to provide a more consistent shopping experience for customers, which in the past has been a challenge for the marketplace with more than 40,000 separate Australian retailers selling on the site.

The marketplace in June launched Ebay Plus, an annual membership program that includes free delivery and returns, access to exclusive deals and the opportunity to earn extra loyalty points, and in May, it completed the rollout of its Guaranteed Delivery program, which provides faster and more precise delivery dates.

Nestor last week told Internet Retailing that “tens of thousands” of people signed up for Ebay Plus during a recent members-only sale.

“We’re happy to reveal that during Plus Weekend, Plus transactions increased by eight times and our Plus members made millions of dollars of purchases on ebay.com.au. Our mega deals were a crowd favourite, with four of the deals selling out in 60 seconds – a result that tells us we are giving Aussies exactly what they want,” she said.

“Given the initial uptake, we’re confident Aussies will continue to enjoy the eBay Plus offering, including our eBay Plus Weekend celebration, as it evolves.”

Ebay has said the annual membership fee – $49 per year – will cover the cost of delivery and returns through Ebay Plus.

The timing of the initiatives, coming after Amazon announced it would enter the Australian market in 2018, suggests Ebay Australia is looking to defend its position as the country’s leading marketplace, although Nestor said Amazon wasn’t the impetus.

“Competition is a good thing, but as a market leader operating for more than 18 years in Australia, our focus is driving innovation and looking for new ways to enhance the experience of our community of online buyers and sellers,” she said.

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