“The greenest product is the one that already exists. Choose to reuse with the eBay Green Team.” That’s the new slogan for eBay’s new environmentally friendly brand message, and the debate is going strong — is eBay greenwashing or is the new eBay green message appropriate?
According to Greenpeace (via the New York Times), reusing items can benefit the environment, so the new brand message is valid. Items listed for sale on the new Green eBay site are either pre-owned or sustainable as determined by eBay’s green team who qualifies all listed items.
Greening eBay is just one step the company is taking to try to recoup the profits they’ve been losing in recent years. Other niche eBay sites have launched with more coming in the pipeline.
I think the question now is whether or not the new Green eBay will attract new customers to shop with eBay or if it will just shift existing eBay users to the new niche site. In other words, will a green brand message drive significant amounts of business to eBay?
Green marketing has lost a bit of its fanaticism over the course of the last two years as economic problems took precedence in consumers’ minds over environmental problems, so it could be argued that a Green eBay message is a bit late. On the other hand, there is that old saying, “better late than never.”
I should mention that the eBay Green Team blog ties in very nicely to the new Green eBay site, complete with green news and information about how eBay and its employees are pitching in to help the environment. Adding that human element and trying to demonstrate that eBay ‘walks the walk’ is an important part of the believability of the new eBay green brand message.
Perhaps in time, consumers really will make a conscious effort to purchase a used item to help the environment rather than doing so simply to save money. Now that would be a huge accomplishment for eBay which would transcend simply boosting the bottom-line (although I have to assume that stockholders would disagree, unfortunately).
What do you think of the new green eBay brand message?
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