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Ebay going green-er

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday March 13, 2010 )

A few days back, eBay took some steps to further boost its green street-cred; a move that all online businesses should take note of.

eBay announced its Green Team Challenge, which the company says is a program that translates green shopping into tangible environmental impact. For the first 250,000 people that pledge to reuse on eBay, the company will protect an acre of rain forest in their name through a new collaboration with Team Earth.

eBay also unveiled its new green shopping hub, designed to help consumers access the millions of green products available on the site.

While smaller online merchants mightn’t be able to undertake such grand green promotions, the fact is green business is good business and eBay obviously recognizes this – it’s not the first of their environmental initiatives.

Whether or not you believe in climate change, green is here to stay. The global warming argument aside, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their environmental impact and expecting companies to respond to their concerns. When companies don’t, they will shift their loyalties and their bucks.

Pure play online merchants already have a bit of a green edge, simply by operating in a virtual environment and not subject to the same environmental impacts as those associated with running bricks and mortar stores.

There are so many things that small online merchants can do to further green their business, and not all of them cost money. In fact, some strategies can see you saving bucks. If you then promote what you are doing, you’ll find your eco-savvy customers giving you the thumbs up, as long as you don’t “greenwash” the moves you have made.

Another strategy to consider is to donate X% of your profits to an environmental group. This isn’t just a warm and fuzzy move, it makes for excellent PR and is known as cause marketing. Additionally, if the group you donate to has the proper tax classification, your donations can be tax deductible. There may be tax benefits if the group isn’t a registered non-profit as the expense can be classified as a promotional costs, but check with your bean counter about that one.

Greening your business isn’t just good for the planet, it can generate a lot of other green as well – the “ka-ching” kind!

You can pick up a ton of tips for taking your business and your life down the green path on my other site, Green Living Tips


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