Archenemies Amazon and eBay have come to blows and are now embroiling offline merchants in their ongoing battle of e-commerce one-upmanship.

Last week, Amazon incentivized holiday shoppers to check prices offline, using the company’s Amazon Price Check application, but then go home and buy online and save $5 for doing so. The crafty ploy was called “anti-competitive” and drew the ire of retail organizations and politicians alike.

To counter, and come off as the brick-and-mortar-friendly retailer, eBay started a shopping promotion of its own. Friday, the company and its payments platform PayPal kicked off a four-day promotion that rewards online shoppers with up to three $10 in-store vouchers — read: must be redeemed offline — when they spend $100 at partner merchants.

It’s not as if eBay’s deal is the most convenient deal to be had (maybe that’s the point?).

On top of needing to be a PayPal member, you also need to spend a minimum of $100, in a single transaction, at either Toys R Us, Dick’s Sporting Goods or Aeropostale — the partner retailers are customers of GSI Commerce, an eBay-owned company — before Dec. 19. You’ll then need to wait anywhere from three to five days (really, eBay?) for your $10 in-store coupon to arrive via email. Of course, you’ll also have to pick yourself up off the couch and head out to a store to take advantage of the deal. And this all has to happen before Dec. 31. Fun times.

Complicated it may be, but at a time of year when many stop to celebrate peace and goodwill, the eBay deal helps the company come off as a Christmas hero. Amazon, meanwhile, looks like a greedy Grinch. Of course, all of this will be lost on consumers just looking to save money.

via AllThingsD

Image via slworking2/Flickr

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