EBay is crashing Prime Day.
The online auction service comes out swinging at Amazon and its upcoming two-day sale on July 15 and 16 with a snarky ad that calls the shopping event a “made up” holiday that hawks deals on “a bunch of random stuff nobody really wants.”
The minute-long “Honest Alexa” spot features a father asking his teen daughter (whose name is Alexa, of course) to tell him all about Prime Day, which gives eBay EBAY, +0.73% an opportunity to poke fun at Amazon AMZN, +0.54% while also promoting its own Crash Sale, which coincides with Prime Day’s July 15 launch.
”Prime Day is a holiday Amazon totally made up to get people excited about their ‘parade’ of deals,” says this human Alexa, forking her fingers into air quotes for the world “parade.” She adds, “At least real parades don’t charge a membership fee,” referencing Amazon’s standard $119 a year Prime membership. (In fact, last year eBay also ran a competing shopping event that offered more than 100 deals for under $119, reminding consumers that there’s no cover charge to shop eBay’s sales, whereas you do need a Prime membership for Prime Day deals.)
And eBay has dubbed its event the “Crash Sale” as a dig at the technical difficulties Amazon suffered during the first couple of hours of Prime Day last year, when customers attempting to shop the heavily promoted sales on both the Prime Day website and the app were met with pictures of dogs and error messages that read “Sorry, something went wrong on our end.”
”So this year when — I mean, if — Amazon crashes, I heard eBay’s gonna unlock even more great deals!” says the teen in eBay’s ad.
Amazon did not respond to a MarketWatch request for comment by press time.
And indeed, other competitors like Walmart WMT, +0.60% and Target TGT, +1.81% are also trying to profit off of Amazon’s Black-Friday-in-July momentum with summer sales that overlap with Prime Day nest week.
What’s more, this snide teen dubs the deals offered during Amazon’s annual blowout as mostly “a bunch of random stuff nobody really wants,” because the site is probably “just trying to clear room in their warehouse.” (Many customers called the first Prime Day in 2015 a dud for offering discounts on items like Tupperware and granny panties, but Amazon has definitely upped the ante with discounts on clothing and electronics, particularly Amazon’s ecosystem of Alexa-enabled devices, since then.)
Finally, when the dad in the clip asks whether there’s anything good about Prime Day, she claps back with, “Yeah, did you check eBay?” She then lists smartphones, gaming systems and “dad sneakers” being offered on the auction site as things “people actually want.”
She also throws in a barb at the privacy concerns that have dogged Amazon’s Alexa-enabled smart speakers, such as recent lawsuits claiming the devices are recording children without their parents’ consent. When the dad in the ad asks Alexa how she knows all of this, she responds, “I’m always listening.”
But Ebay has another measure that sets it apart; its stock is up more than 42% in the year to date, while Amazon trails with a 33% share gain in the period.
Still, it’s doubtful eBay’s attack will do much to rain on the Prime Day parade. Amazon has more than 100 million Prime members, and more than half of consumers (52%) in a recent PwC survey said they will put off making a purchase until they see what deals that Prime Day has to offer.
Coresight Research predicts Amazon could generate $5.8 billion in global sales over those two shopping days. And online retailers say Prime Day now kicks off the months-long back-to-school shopping season. Plus, this year’s extravaganza is spotlighting celebrity partnerships with Taylor Swift, Will Smith and Kristen Bell.
Shoppers can read MarketWatch’s guides on what NOT to buy on Amazon Prime Day, as well as the secrets to scoring free money to spend on Amazon Prime Day.
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