by Alex Palmer | June 22, 2018
A giant of the original dot-com boom, eBay has grown into one of tech's most recognized brands. But it hasn't stuck around this long without evolving to stay a step ahead of changing demands, and one of its latest moves has been a partnership with Cashstar-Velocity B2B, bringing eBay gift cards to the incentive industry. 

The partnership provides eBay with the CashStar-Velocity B2B's expansive branded value solutions, including its scalability and the ecommerce tools available through the company, which Blackhawk Network acquired last year. Businesses are now able to order eBay gift cards as rewards in their incentive or loyalty programs, giving program participants access to both plastic or digital cards, with the ability to personalize a message on the card and to load denominations from $5 spot rewards to a $500 value. 

"eBay is a very strong brand, but they did want to grow in the B2B gift card marketplace," says Michelle Schober, account executive for Cashstar-Velocity B2B. "For those programs that don't want to have too many cards in their programs, eBay is a great option since it covers a breadth of categories. There is something for everyone on eBay, whether it's car parts or fitness gear or clothes and fashion."

For example, they recently promoted the eBay gift card at the National Association of Realtors tradeshow last month and realtor attendees were very responsive to eBay gift cards as a possible client incentive or closing gift.

Part of this education, like attending tradeshows, has also been to spread the word on how much the brand has evolved since its early days as a dot-com auction giant. Among the data points that can help show how much the brand has evolved: 81 percent of products sold on eBay are new (it's much more than quirky collectibles or second-hand appliances); 88 percent of items sold on eBay are Buy It Now (so no need to bid or worry about paying an unpredictable price); it has 168 million active buyers worldwide; and shipping costs are the exception rather than the rule, with two-thirds of items in the U.S. shipping for free.

This B2B partnership allows planners who purchase eBay cards access to tracking information and order history, as well as easy checkout with payment and shipping information that is securely saved to their account for future orders. It also can take care of distribution of digital cards to hundreds of customers with no additional fee.

"If the person managing an incentive program wants to send out digital cards, we can do that for them and it's one less thing to worry about," says Schober.