eBay announced today that it will now offer a price-match guarantee with its competitors, including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and other online retailers, if savvy customers are willing to look around.
The price match guarantee only applies to eBay’s Deals section; excludes auction items, among other categories; and is only for US residents. As with many price-match programs, the policies seem pretty strict. If a customer buys a product for a cheaper price at one of the listed competitors, eBay will reimburse them through a coupon that must be used for the item in question. The coupon expires within 24 hours and eBay won’t issue a second one after. The policy also doesn’t take taxes and shipping fees into account, which means that customers looking for the best deal will naturally have to do a bit of math.
From a quick browse through eBay’s catalog of about 50,000 “deal” items, it seems the site does consistently offer some of the better prices. (We looked at a Dyson vacuum, an Xbox One S bundle, and a head lamp set and all three are marginally less expensive than what Amazon currently offers.) So it seems the program is more of a marketing ploy to get customers to recognize eBay’s lower prices than to encourage the actual price-matching process.
eBay’s price-matching policy is another one of the company’s attempts to fight off the online giant Amazon, which have included a customer loyalty program like Prime, and guaranteed delivery of three days or less.
eBay will also match competitors like HomeDepot.com, Target.com, Sears.com, Wayfair.com, and Jet.com, which share a significant amount of overlap in product offerings with eBay. The price match doesn’t apply to third-party marketplaces.