Shoppers are used to voting with their wallets, but EBay is giving them a chance to actually vote. The San Jose-based e-commerce and re-commerce site has teamed with stylist and designer Rachel Zoe, who will design two "Americana" prints that will appear on a selection of backpacks.
On Sept. 9, customers will be able to buy $45 limited-edition backpacks featuring either print, with the proceeds going toward Zoe's chosen charity of Save the Children.
Customers will be able to vote for their favorite on Twitter.com/ebay starting Aug. 30, although each print will be produced.
The partnership is part of eBay's "Summer of Choice" campaign, which lets Americans vote on the items they most want in fashion, technology and home goods.
"One of the best parts of my job is empowering people to make choices that reflect their personal style," Zoe said. "I am equally thrilled that we are able to give back to children in need — a cause that is very close to my heart."
Voting before goods are sold has become a bit of a trend, which lets the retailer plug in to directly what the customer wants and prevents waste while maximizing production value.
"We know that our shoppers want choice," said Hal Lawton, senior vice president of EBay North America.
This summer, EBay will be taking votes on items for the Olympics (beginning Aug. 14), for Labor Day (beginning the week of Aug. 29) and for backpacks (beginning Aug. 30).
Previously, EBay let shoppers vote on the deals they would potentially get on a grill or a blender, leaving polls open for three days. The blender won the vote and sold out on EBay's mobile app in 24 hours. EBay also offered "dueling tech deals" on a tablet versus a laptop.
Zoe's designs are slightly different, in that they won't be available on mobile, and that both designs will be produced.