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Crackdown on Ebay Rapid Rewards Voucher Sales????

Crackdown on Ebay Rapid Rewards Voucher Sales????

Old May 18, 05, 10:52 am
  #1  
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Crackdown on Ebay Rapid Rewards Voucher Sales????

I just noticed that Ebay shut down all the RR award ticket auctions in the past hour or so. Anybody know why? Possibly the threat of a lawsuit against Ebay by SWA or something?
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Old May 18, 05, 11:49 am
  #2  
nsx
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Good news, IMHO

I hope you are correct that SWA is shutting down the ebay RR market. I wouldn't be surprised if the beancounters told RR to shut down ebay sales or else prepare for capacity controls in 2006. RR tickets bought on ebay cost SWA significantly more revenue on average than tickets used by family and friends. The latter are more likely to replace leisure fares.

P.S. If ebay is really closing auctions, they are doing a sloppy job of it. I did two quick searches and found quite a few still active.
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Old May 18, 05, 12:07 pm
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I'm actually in the process of buying a RR voucher off Ebay for my sister-in-law. I bought it last night and now after the fact Ebay just cancelled the auction. So I've been watching closely. On an average day there are about 200 RR tix for sale on Ebay. I looked this morning and there were 175. 30 minutes later there were ~50, another 10 mins. later there were 21 listed, then 15 minutes more later there were only 5 listed (which is when I wrote my first post). Now I look again an hour later and there are 27 listed. So I don't know what's going on. Maybe its a false alarm. Possibly just an Ebay screwup or something. But as of right now there are only ~10% of the normal amount of tix up for auction on Ebay. I guess time will tell......
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Old May 18, 05, 3:22 pm
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I wouldn't be surprised...WN LUVS U has been telling us this for a while now!
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Old May 18, 05, 8:21 pm
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I didn't count them, but well over 100 out there as of now.
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Old May 18, 05, 9:14 pm
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Auction I was on Canceled.

And E-Bay sent me a e-mail saying auction was canceled due to a violation of e-bay policy.

I guess they are removing them from their site. As they get to them

( But it was 4 hours before the auction closed )
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Old May 18, 05, 9:49 pm
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I wouldn't be surprised if the beancounters told RR to shut down ebay sales or else prepare for capacity controls in 2006.
Great idea, but the numbers just don't back you up. Southwest already has one of the lowest % of seats being used for awards in the industry, and the double whammy of the loss of bonus credits and partner credit inflation will obviously drive that number even lower.

Harassing your customers who fly Southwest due to the ease of transferring awards is a tactic of a bankrupt airline, not the traditionally friendly LUV that we're all used to.

My lifetime credit total has been stuck at 984 for months, and I don't see reaching a thousand anytime soon. The competition's offerings for airline miles (just completed the American Platinum Challenge in one month for double miles), rental car partner awards (4 Hertz rentals = 1 AirTran one-way) and affinity credit cards ($40k on Starwood Amex = 5 nights in Maui) are now superior...
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Old May 18, 05, 10:07 pm
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It doesn't matter that the % of seats that are RR is low, and the reason is because there are no capacity controls.

A RR ticket that was not sold and used on a half-empty flight is an obvious win-win for SWA and the customer, but when that same RR ticket can be used to occupy the last seat on an LAX-BWI flight, SWA is out $300 if someone else wanted to buy a ticket. SWA is OK with that because it doesn't happen too often.

However, with Ebay sales, you have people on those half-empty flights using a RR ticket in which revenue that would have gone to SWA goes to the seller instead (assuming they needed to fly anyway, which I assume is quite common with the typical ebay RR customer). Adding that to the RR tickets occupying the last seat, and the negative revenue impact RR has to SWA is something to be reckoned with.

Ticket brokers and privately arranged sales (not available on FlyerTalk of course ), while much more difficult for SWA to control, are also not nearly as easy to use as ebay ==> fewer RR tickets being sold and thus not as much revenue loss.
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Old May 18, 05, 10:08 pm
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Does WN lists your lifetime credits on it?
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Old May 18, 05, 10:10 pm
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I just checked EBAY, it seems the few the listings, the higher the prices
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Old May 18, 05, 10:48 pm
  #11  
nsx
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Originally Posted by Tino
My lifetime credit total has been stuck at 984 for months,
OK, I'll bite. Do you have a secret way to access this information, or are you just obsessive about tracking it?
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Old May 18, 05, 10:48 pm
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Originally Posted by zzyzx
I just checked EBAY, it seems the few the listings, the higher the prices
Maybe it's a plot by one of the sellers to drive up prices by closing out his competitors' auctions!
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Old May 18, 05, 10:52 pm
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Just checked again a couple minutes ago. Now there are 76 auctions (searchable via "Southwest Voucher" for consistency with my above numbers). Somebody on Ebay said that this same thing happened about a month ago, they yanked all the SWA RR voucher listings. But I guess people go right back and relist the exact same thing. How odd. It seems to me that it would be almost impossible for SWA to get rid of Ebay sales short of making the RR awards non-transferable. Smart Ebayers will just list the award tix differently to get around whatever rules Ebay/SWA institutes.
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Old May 18, 05, 10:54 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Tino
Great idea, but the numbers just don't back you up. .
I posted my try at the numbers here. Care to tell me where you think I guessed wrong?
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Old May 18, 05, 10:54 pm
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Originally Posted by nsx
OK, I'll bite. Do you have a secret way to access this information, or are you just obsessive about tracking it?
Maybe he's got it all in an Excel spreadsheet. Others around here have been known to get over-obsessed with their Excel. ;D
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