Dave, I’ve just joined eBay and I’m trying to figure out what eBay’s Refer a Friend program is all about. More specifically, I can apparently earn eBay Anything Points but I just don’t see what they’re for. Is this really a way for me to make a few bucks helping other people learn about eBay?
I can understand your confusion. Ever since eBay absorbed Paypal and really grew big, they’ve been adding new features left and right. In fact, they just added some new capabilities this evening, including a private messaging capability. Further, the Refer a Friend program has just been expanded too, but before I talk about that, let’s have a look at eBay’s Anything Points.
eBay Anything Points are supposed to encourage you to use Paypal: you earn eBay Anything Points by buying eBay products from sellers who have enrolled in the Points program, from eBay partners or special Points promotions, or from exchanging existing rewards into Points. Confused yet?
Points partners include dozens of big companies, including Priceline, FTD, Netflix, American Airlines Advantage Program, Dish Network, Hilton Honors, and the New York Times. The full list is shown here and they’re mostly of the subscribe or sign up and you’ll get points variety.
Before you get too excited, realize that each point is worth $0.01. Yep, one shiny penny per point. You can pay for anything that accepts Paypal with Anything Points, so there is a bit of a good side, but it’s hard to earn much.
On the other hand, the eBay promotional campaigns are sometimes a good way to earn what amounts to free spending money for doing things that you’d probably be doing anyway. Case in point: The Refer a Friend promotion.
If you’ve been registered on eBay for more than 30 days, have five or more feedback “stars” and have a verified PayPal account, you can earn 500 Anything Points for each friend you refer to eBay. (yeah, that’s only $5, but it’s $5 for something you’d probably do for free).
For their part, your friends will need to purchase $10 or more on eBay within 30 days of your invitation or list an item for sale within 30 days of receiving the invitation. Not too onerous. All the details are on the eBay Refer A Friend page.
So, finally, is it worth the effort? I don’t really think so. I think that if you want to make a few more dollars through eBay, you’d do better to scrounge up a few things out of your attic and list them.