Shipping boxes can impact the environment—and eBay hopes the 100,000 free, reusable containers it will give sellers next month will have a big impact.
The free boxes, known as eBay Boxes, are the marketplace's latest eco-friendly initiative. They were created for the annual Innovation Expo, an event for which eBay employees create new products and prototypes they think would benefit buyers and sellers. The boxes are available in three sizes, are made of 100-percent durable recycled materials and could save lots of resources if used at least five times, according to eBay's Green Team.
"We could protect nearly 4,000 trees, save 2.4 million gallons of water and conserve enough energy to power 49 homes for a year," the team says.
eBay is now hoping sellers will test out the boxes. Sellers at last week's eBay: On Location in San Jose were the first to see the boxes—and the first to get the chance to sign up to receive the free boxes. Sellers can still request them while supplies last by registering on the Green Team site and opting in to receive the monthly newsletter, which will include a link to sign up for the boxes.
The boxes should also provide some fun for those who use them, as users are encouraged to write notes on the boxes when they reuse them to ship an order, eBay notes. Users will also be able to track a box's journey online.
"On the eBay Green Team it's our mission to inspire the world to buy, sell and think green every day," the site notes. "But just as often, it's our customers and employees who inspire us."
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.