Huge eBay Bucks Devaluation & The Misleading Language They Used to Announce It!


eBay Bucks Devaluation

eBay Bucks Devaluation & Misleading Language

Well well well. What can I say about eBay? They certainly aren’t my favorite company in the world. Not only are they known to take eBay Bucks without notice, they have also devalued various aspects of their site over the past few months.

Among the recent changes are:

  • No more earning eBay Bucks when purchasing gift cards.
  • No more using eBay gift cards to purchase other gift cards.
  • No more earning through a portal (most portals) for gift cards or Daily Deals. This includes most of the best deals on the site.

For more info on these changes, see: eBay Gift Card Policy Primer: An Easy Guide to eBay’s New Rules

More Changes Coming

eBay Bucks Devaluation

Now, they have gone and done it again. eBay sent out an email to members today announcing their most recent devaluation. You wouldn’t know it is a devaluation though considering the email has the subject “Announcing a better, more flexible eBay Bucks.”

Here are the announced changes:

  • Base earnings are changing from 2% to 1%, now with more ways than ever to earn eBay Bucks.
  • From car parts to copiers & you can now earn rewards for shopping in the Parts & Accessories and Business & Industrial* categories.
  • Earn Bucks when you sell. We’ll be adding occasional promotions so you can also get rewarded when your items sell on eBay.**
  • No more $5 minimum earn restrictions for redeeming—now you’ll receive your rewards, no matter the amount.†


So let’s break this down. The first one is the big bad news of the day. Earnings have been dropped from 2% to 1%. Halved if you will. That certainly is neither better nor more flexible.

Moving on to item two they have added the “Parts & Accessories” and “Business & Industrial” categories to eBay Bucks. I suppose that is good for a few, but I have never purchased from these categories so this is not positive for me nor the vast majority of customers I would assume.

Ah number three looks potentially good. You can now earn eBay Bucks when selling! Yay! Oh wait. What is that ** after the statement Let’s look at the fine print.

**There is no base earn on selling. Bucks members will receive occasional bonus offers (promotions) for selling.

No base earning on selling? So occasionally you will target certain sellers with an offer to earn eBay Bucks. You mean like this one? NOT A CHANGE and misleading. 

Finally they have eliminated the $5 minimum for cashing in your eBay Bucks. Good I suppose but not a huge deal and certainly not enough to call these changes “Better”.


I am not angry at eBay for making these changes since they are both expected given recent trends and within their rights. With that said, it does make me angry when companies heavily devalue and then insult your intelligence by saying it is an enhancement. Furthermore their announcement about sellers earning eBay Bucks is both misleading and a lie considering those promotions have existed previously. 

What are your thoughts?

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  1. Well, I would have never reached $5 now that gift cards don’t count.

    So that’s a minor positive for me personally.

  2. I don’t know why you would assume that two of the categories that were previously excluded from earning bucks are not of interest to many users. It is easier to hit your quarterly limit in those categories than many others with just a few transactions.
    As a longtime Ebayer (16 years), I have seen the perks come and go. Spinning PayPal back off forced the bean counters at both companies to reevaluate their business models.
    I realize that the MS community likes picking up free money on Ebay, but that model is not sustainable for either party. Of course it would be nice if things stayed generous, but change is what creates opportunities.
    As a reseller, 90% of my buys are not for personal use and all the G/C are for business. The deals are unbeatable without the gravy.

  3. I think your conclusion is exactly right, the drastic cutting of benefits sucks, but telling us it’s now “better” is an insult to our basic math skills. (Good news employees, we’re cutting your salary in half. Good news orphans, we’re cutting your meals in half. Good news patients, we’re cutting your recovery odds in half.)

  4. Used to be, if I had some eBay Bucks about to expire, rather than lose them, I’d be inclined to find something to buy. But with these changes, half the Bucks to lose means half the motivation to make that buy.

    However, since a fair amount of my purchases are in the Parts & Accessories category, this could be a wash. And, on behalf of my fellow car guys, I must say it’s about time, eBay.


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