The following post first appeared on the Green Team blog:
With only a few weeks to go before the start of the Ryder Cup—the biennial tournament that brings together the best golfers from the U.S. and Europe to compete for the sport’s biggest bragging rights—we thought it was the perfect time to tee up our latest social innovation partnership. We’re pleased to share that, together with the PGA Trade-In Network, we’ve created a new shopping experience to connect buyers directly to the experts in the game and business of golf, PGA Professionals. Through a storefront called The Pro Shops by PGA Trade-In Network + eBay, we provide access to authentic products at great values, while also driving positive social and environmental impacts and further developing the golf community.
Here’s how it works. The storefront aggregates the full inventory of equipment and services available through the eBay marketplace that have been listed by PGA Professionals who are members of the PGA Trade-In Network and who’ve taken the “Play It On” pledge. A small but critical action, it’s this pledge that makes the experience so unique. By promising to “Play It On,” PGA Professionals guarantee they’ll do three things: encourage the trade-in and resale of golf equipment, use their expertise to ensure authenticity and integrity, and share their knowledge and passion for the game. In turn, golfers of all levels can shop more confidently and responsibly knowing they’re not only buying direct from the most trusted sources in the sport, but from individuals who are dedicated to growing and sharing the legacy of the game. And since the listings will include traded-in equipment that the PGA Professionals have accepted at their physical stores, you can also consider buying used to lighten the impact on your wallet and on the planet.
All this adds up to a whole lot of good:
- For golfers: First and foremost, the storefront gives all eBay golfers—from budding fans to lifelong enthusiasts—the ability to take advantage of the expertise of those who know the sport best. Whether purchasing a club to complete your set or just some balls for a day on the course, the site is designed to be a one-stop destination for authentic, affordable equipment—both used and new—that has been sourced and inspected by PGA Professionals. The shopping experience is also available on PGA.com, and soon, it will begin to feature other content and resources to help you have more fun, all year-round.
- For PGA Professionals: As commerce extends across new platforms and devices—to smartphones, tablets and beyond—retailers today have the opportunity to engage potential buyers whenever and wherever they are inspired to shop. Simply by taking the “Play It On” pledge and beginning to list on eBay, PGA Professionals can tap into these changes in buying behavior and bring their equipment and services to more customers. And with badges to designate their expert level and PGA Trade-In Network affiliation, all users, whether buying through the storefront or just clicking around the eBay marketplace, are able to see when they have the opportunity to connect directly with a PGA Professional.
- For the game: The “trade-in” aspect of the partnership is also important and has far-reaching impact. By giving golf equipment a second life on eBay, the shopping experience aims to excite and engage new golfers, as well as enable PGA Professionals and other enthusiasts to pass along the legacy of the game they love. Put simply, our hope is that our efforts help bring golf to a wider community. And, by further developing the second-hand market for previously used equipment, we’ll do so in a way that helps preserve the game—and the environment in which it’s played—for generations to come.
Sound exciting? Our company leadership thinks so, too. When Christopher Payne, Head of eBay North America, heard about our plans, he said, “This is more than just a brand bringing a store on eBay; we view the PGA Trade-In Network as key partners in driving positive change in the world. I couldn’t be more pleased that we’re working together to create both positive business and social impact.” In addition, Allen Wronowski, PGA of America President, said, “The PGA Trade-In Network is a great opportunity for golfers to access equipment directly from PGA Professionals, the experts in the game and the business of golf. Golfers want the best available equipment from a trusted source. To have eBay assist in the transaction makes it an easy and enjoyable path to enjoying the game that much more.”
Of course, as with all our initiatives, our work has only just begun. We hope you’ll take a look around and let us know what you think, as well as what tools or features you hope to see here in the future. Feel free to reach out, and be sure to share with your friends and fellow golfers as well. Enjoy!