Is There a Fire Sale at Facebook?

The social network of one billion members has taken on the tone of an “everything must go” infomercial… sort of.

Facebook is dramatically – and we mean dramatically – marking down the price of “gifts” from its marketplace.

The reason? Apparently, Facebook needs users to start spending more cash on these gift items. In order to inspire greater interest, the social network is discounting gifts by as much as 80% in some cases – ‚ÄúSend a gift of $5 or more and get $4 off.”

For now, as we understand it, the special sale pricing is only being shown to “select members” alongside birthday notifications.

Desperate though the ploy may be, it could work. Facebook’s store includes a few $5 gift items, which means members can use the offer to send a decent gift, say a $5 gift card to Starbucks, for just a buck. In the process, Facebook gets to keep the member’s credit card information on hand, and ideally will be able to convert the one-time buyer into a more regular customer.

A rep from Facebook confirmed to CNET that this discounted gift buying opportunity is a “new test,” but would not share additional details.

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