I am a member of the eBay Bucks reward program and I am a big fan of it as a member and as a seller, because it has, so far, been a win/win way for eBay to encourage people to buy more on eBay without the sellers having to pay a dime extra. I’ve written about this program in the past here and here.

But we all know that eBay can’t leave well enough alone so, of course, they are mucking with it.

Here’s the general idea behind the email I got on late Wednesday (I couldn’t get the real email to post here, too many images and wacky HTML):

Earn even more Rewards from participating eBay sellers
Offer ends March 31—start shopping!
Exclusively for eBay Bucks participants

Allure Jewelers Gem Stone King Street Moda A1 Pool  Supply
Shoe Mall Football Fanatics eCom  Electronics Smart Bargains

eBay Bucks
AA BTLES4PK-The Beatles
eBay Bucks
Magnavox VHS/DVD Recorder
eBay Bucks
Solar Powered outdoor light
eBay Bucks
Magnavox RDV220MW9 -RDV220MW9 DVD / VCR Combo
eBay Bucks
Emerson BAR590-Barbie Digital Photo Keychain – holds ov

See how many eBay Bucks you’ll earn

1. Log in to eBay
2. Look for the eBay Bucks message on the item page.

Who’s eligible?

Only invited, registered eBay Bucks participants who receive the promotional offer from eBay in My Messages are eligible. Sorry, no forwarding—the offer is not transferable. The promotion starts on March 17, 2010, and ends at 11:59PM PT on March 31, 2010. Qualifying purchases are limited to those made on eBay only from the selected sellers featured on this promotion page. Purchases must be paid for with PayPal before the promotion ends. Rewards are capped at $500 per earn period. Other restrictions apply. See Terms & Conditions for details.

(You can view this directly on eBay’s site here.)

Now, the way it appears so far is that eBay isn’t getting rid of the usual 2% back on every single purchase, but they are adding an additional percentage back on some items. As a buyer, I’m all for this. As long as you still give me my 2% back on all items, I am more than happy to also take any additional discounts you want to throw out.

But as a seller, I am a little miffed. Who are these retailers that were allowed to participant in this special promotion? They don’t appear to be diamond powersellers, as far as I can tell, but they are all big retailers. Did they open up this offer to only big retailers? As a seller in the beta program, I sure as heck wasn’t invited to participate.

Now I know money probably changed hands on this but even so, many sellers might have been willing to shell out some cash to try this new incentive program out. It bothers me that they are still playing favorites with big retailers instead of giving the same opportunities to everyone.

And as a buyer, I’m starting to worry if this is a reflection of where the program is going in the future. Might they get rid of the 2% back on all purchases in favor of a percentage back only for big retailers? I really hope not. I would rather they leave this as an occasional promotion and still leave 2% back on all items. But as a seller, I’m annoyed this opportunity isn’t available to everyone.

Buyer or seller, what do you think?