How eBay Instant Sale Came to Marry Innovation with Sustainability
By: eBay Inc. Staff
Beginning with an original idea at Innovation Expo, the program has flourished.
eBay’s Instant Sale program, which offers cash in exchange for used electronics devices, has become an instant success — a prime example of how an innovative concept and sustainability efforts can dovetail in such a way that everyone wins. In fact, the initiative has been such a home-run, that it is worth watching the replay. Here is how this program came to be.
The genesis of Instant Sale came from a prompt to create innovative ideas. As the eBay Green Team noted in its original blog post about the program in October of last year: “Six months ago, at the same Innovation Expo that debuted the idea for the eBay Box, a team of employees beta tested a program that they called Resell, Re-use, Recycle — a program intended to help eBay users get rid of their old stuff in an environmentally responsible manner…and make money in the process.”
Resell, Re-use, Recycle was only a temporary name, though, and was followed by another temporary one. Following the original idea from the Innovation Expo, eBay’s Donald Perciful served as the primary user interface designer behind the beta version of Instant Sale, then dubbed Get Green. “The idea was that we could help users with unsuccessful listings decide whether they should recycle, donate or attempt to resell using eBay," said Perciful.
“Fast -forward to this month,” the Green Team’s original post in October continued, “and [employees] have created a smart collaboration with the eBay selling community called eBay Instant Sale: an evolved and ready-for-pilot version. Our hope is for the program to not only bring electronics recycling to the mainstream, but put cash in the pockets of eBay buyers and sellers, and help to streamline the selling experience for them.”
Indeed, that is exactly what the program has done, ushering in more than one million offers for devices, and prompting special promotions.
“The genesis of Instant Sale is an excellent illustration of how eBay is evolving to effectively marry top-down strategy with bottoms-up innovation,” said Ian Bednowitz, Instant Sale Business Unit Owner. “What began as a few employees and a beta at last year’s Innovation Expo continued to gain momentum because of how squarely it addressed our renewed strategic emphasis on consumer selling and has now evolved to become one of the top priority projects in the electronics vertical this year. It has helped make us top-of-mind with tech enthusiasts – at a critical point in time when purchase decisions are being made.”
“Watching the Instant Sale team come together around the Verizon iPhone promotion was inspiring,” added Gregory Boutte, Vice President, Electronics Vertical. “It was a project that demonstrated excellent teamwork across horizontal and vertical, marketing and PR, product and strategy. A cross-functional team mobilized and executed very quickly on Instant Sale — something we look forward to accomplishing more of in 2011.”
The press, too, has taken note of Instant Sale, including these citations:
- “If you're a gadget lover … then it's likely you have a drawer or closet full of old and unused bits of technology. Now eBay is making it easier to get rid of all of this unwanted technology with its Instant Sale program.” — Gearlog
- “eBay Instant Sale offers cash, clean conscience for old gadgets.” — Yahoo! News
- “Even if your item is not worth anything it can still be recycled for free. — Geek.com
- “Instead of hiding your old mobile or laptop in the cupboard or throwing it in the trash, why not help the planet (and make a few bucks)? — The Independent
If you haven’t tried Instant Sale yet, check the value of your used electronic devices in seconds, here, and consider putting some of them up for sale.