eBay Plus Wages War on Prime, Launches Major Shopping Event

April Davis By April Davis | 22 Jun 2018

Only weeks before Amazon Prime hit Australian shores, eBay launched its own competitively priced membership, eBay Plus. Now, eBay is taking its second strike against the e-commerce giant with its first members-only sale.

Amazon Prime was officially made available to Australian shoppers on Tuesday, in a surprise announcement that saw the coveted membership program arrive earlier than originally anticipated. But eBay isn’t about to put its tail between its legs and leave Prime unchallenged; in fact, it seems to be giving Amazon a run for its money.

Just two days after Prime landed in Australia, eBay has announced its first exclusive eBay Plus sale, ‘Plus Weekend’. Members can take advantage of a 48-hour shopping event with deals of up to 72 percent off.

“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,” said Julie Nestor, Chief Marketing Officer of eBay Australia & New Zealand.

The sale will reportedly include 15 million discounted items, with 12 exclusive deals. According to the sale event, one deal will be revealed each hour starting at 10 am Saturday morning, and finishing at midnight on Sunday, June 24.

Large Australian retailers, including the likes of Myer, Target and the Good Guys, are reportedly participating in the sale, offering products from big name brands like Samsung and Dyson.

eBay Plus is available to Australians for an annual subscription of $49 per year, or a special introductory price of only $29. Included in the membership is free shipping on a reported 15 million eligible items, access to special member’s only deals, such as the Plus Weekend shopping event, and double flybuys points.

Amazon Prime, on the other hand, has been introduced at a discounted price of $59 per annum or $6.99 per month, or, if joined before January 2019, consumers will only pay $4.99 per month. Members will get access to Prime Video, Prime Reading, free two-day shipping, discounted priority delivery, and gaming benefits on Twitch Prime.

Both membership programs are offering a free 30-day trial, but it’s unclear which membership is proving to be the most popular at this stage. However, recent research by Roy Morgan claims that eBay is still the most popular online marketplace in Australia, with 9.4 million shoppers visiting the site per month, with Amazon trailing behind both eBay and Gumtree with 4.7 million average monthly visits.

“Much has been made of US online giant Amazon’s new Australian-based website that launched late last year, but it is auction site eBay that is clearly the most popular online shopping site visited by Australians.

“However, Amazon’s decision to operate an Australian-based website means the world’s largest online retailer is sure to mount a serious challenge to eBay’s pre-eminent position amongst online shopping sites in Australia in the coming years,” Roy Morgan’s CEO Michele Levine said.

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