eBay restricts coupon sales
Online auction site eBay has responded to a campaign by the Institute of Sales Promotion by changing its policy on the sale of money off coupons and vouchers.“The misuse of coupons and vouchers is a major problem for marketers, who would otherwise make far greater use of what is an extremely effective promotions tactic,” says ISP chief executive Annie Swift.
"eBay's decision marks another significant step in our campaign to stamp out the abuse of money-off coupons. We particularly want to protect consumers against the sale of fake coupons or coupons that may have been stolen or obtained by other means that render them invalid,” adds Swift.
Issues around the misredemption and malredemption of tokens has been seen as a growing problem for brands. Some retailers have allegedly been redeeming coupons for products they don't sell, sometimes effectively giving a discount on a rival product, then claiming money back from the brands running the promotions. The trend had seen increased sales of vouchers on auction sites.
“eBay has been very responsive to the issues caused by the trading of coupons and vouchers on its website. We are delighted with the new policy and with eBay's commitment to encouraging consumers to act more responsibly in relation to coupons and vouchers," says Charles D'Oyly, managing director of coupon services provider Valassis. "The new policy marks a breakthrough in a campaign to reduce the misredemption of coupons and vouchers and to ensure that coupons and vouchers remain highly effective tools for UK marketers.”
“Our meetings with Valassis and the ISP have been insightful and productive, and we are committed to supporting their campaign. We recognise that some coupon sales have a higher potential for abuse than others, and are committed to working with the industry to help ensure that we reduce fraudulent coupon- and voucher-related transactions,” says eBay head of public affairs Alasdair McGowan.
The new policy means eBay will no longer allow the sale of expired coupons or vouchers, electronic vouchers that can be sent by email, or bulk sales of more than 20 coupons for one item or 100 in total.
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