eBay Saves The Planet With Private Brand

Private Brands take many shapes and sizes so it is always exciting to discover a new variation on the classic theme. In this the case online auction retailer eBay has introduced a new set of reusable Private Brand boxes as part of a pilot program to make shipping a little greener. This is certainly not the traditional Private Brand model but eBay is using this Private Brand strategy to build loyalty and drive repeat prurchases on their site. All wrapped up with a nice environmentally friendly bow.

Beginning in October, the company will give away 100,000 shipping boxes to eBay sellers, and encouraging reuse. According to eBay, if each box gets used five times, the program could protect nearly 4,000 trees, save 2.4 million gallons of water, and conserve enough electricity to power 49 homes for a year.

Designed by the San Francisco-based design firm Office, the boxes engage sellers by emphasizing potential benefits to the planet with friendly illustrations and copy. Tips for greener packing include finding “a new calling for old phone books.” A happy little bird asks, “Where to next?” And to track each box’s journey, there’s space to write a note so the next person to receive it can see just how far it’s come.

Each eBay Box is made with 100 percent recycled content, printed with water-based inks, and designed to require minimal tape. And once it reaches the end of its useful shipping life, it’s fully recyclable. From the box’s fine print: “Don’t worry, it will come back as something nice, like a birthday card or movie theater popcorn bag.”



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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the President of My Private Brand and the Co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, and consultant who has worked with Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro, Lowe’s, Food Lion, Hannaford and more building private brands. Durham has published five definitive books on private brands including his first book Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his latest book Vanguard: Vintage Originals a look at innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife Laraine and two daughters Olivia and Sarah.