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Ebay woos Plus members with exclusive sale

Ebay over the weekend launched its first-ever two-day shopping event, Plus Weekend, advertising steep discounts on items exclusively for shoppers who have signed up to its new membership program, Ebay Plus.

Plus Weekend ran from 10am Saturday, 23 June, to midnight Sunday, 24 June, and included up to 72 per cent off items from brands, including Dyson, Samsung and Go Pro.

Twelve ‘mega deals’ were announced hourly, and Plus members also received 15 per cent off 15 million Ebay Plus items from more than 30,000 retailers including Myer, Target and The Good Guys.

The shopping event occurred days after Amazon announced the launch of its own membership program, Amazon Prime, in Australia.

The e-commerce giant is charging just $59 a year for Prime in Australia, compared to the US$119 fee it charges for the service in the US, making it competitive to Ebay’s loyalty program.

Besides access to exclusive deals, Plus members receive free delivery and returns and can earn double Flybuys points for an annual fee of $49. Prime members also have free delivery and returns.

Amazon for the past three years has held its own annual shopping event with deals exclusively for Prime members. The company did not release sales figures for the event in 2017, but Bloomberg has quoted analysts as estimating the event generated US$1 billion in sales.

British website TechRadar has reported that Prime Day 2018 will kick off on 16 July and last for 36 hours, six hours longer than the previous two years, based on a banner that Amazon seemingly accidentally published to its UK website.

But Julie Nestor, chief marketing office of Ebay Australia and New Zealand, did not mention Prime Day in a statement about the launch of Plus Weekend on Friday.

“We know deals and free delivery are two of the most important factors for loyal eBay shoppers, so we’ve rewarded Plus members with their very own annual shopping holiday,” she said.

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday have taken the world by storm, so it’s exciting to be the first marketplace to offer an exclusive event for the Australian online retail industry.”

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