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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu May 31 2012 17:04:54

How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Currently online shoppers will find eBay product listings on Google.com search results pages in a Google Shopping "universal" widget as well as in Google.com/shopping search results. So at first glance, it seems today's news that Google Shopping is killing free listings and moving to a paid-listings model would hurt sellers on marketplaces such as eBay and Etsy. (Google said it will be transitioning to the paid model beginning this summer.)

However, one merchant said the change could actually benefit eBay.

"Sellers like me - who have benefited greatly from the Google product feeds, and who have been able to realize a bit of independence from eBay as a result - are likely to *return* to eBay in order to recover some of the volume that's likely to be lost as Google eliminates the free product-feeds."

eBay, like everyone else, will have to pay for its merchants' listings to appear on Google Shopping starting this fall by using Google Product Listing Ads. I'm waiting to hear back from eBay about its reaction to the news, but other, smaller marketplaces who have weighed in say today's announcement is bad news for them.

One marketplace executive was actually skeptical that Google would go through with the changes. "My hunch is that they're probably testing the waters with this idea to see how much merchant anger it stirs up, and (more importantly) whether they can actually get everyone to pay. My hunch is that it will prove difficult."

Another replied via email, "All I can say is that the change will impact us negatively. I am not sure to what extent but we will find out this fall."

An executive representing a third marketplace, whom I quoted in today's news story, estimated sales would decrease 20 - 30% for his marketplace once the listings no longer appeared in Google Shopping results.

We'd like to know what you think of Google Shopping's new approach. We're conducting a survey to see how online merchants and marketplace sellers will be impacted - please take the survey now, and leave your comments below.



Comments (41) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Thu May 31 19:08:26 2012
I had a similar experience to the merchant that Ina quoted in her article.

Due to a programming error, the XML code in my Google products-feed was malformed and google rejected it. It took almost a week for my husband to figure out the problem and get the bug corrected.

During that time, I had NO updated info being submitted to Google, and my sales took a dive. Afterward, things returned to normal. There was definitely a measurable cause-and-effect while my feed data was offline.

As much as I loathe the thought... I'm afraid that *I* will be one of the ones who will need to rely more on eBay if Google's plans materialize as expected.

Or I could just try to wait-it-out and see if customers will continue to find me in Google's organic results.
Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly
       Web Site
Thu May 31 20:48:30 2012
Why does Google show Craigslist results?

If Google charges then list on Craigslist or Amazon. There is no way in Hell I would sell on eBay or pay Google. Pay Google? They have no customer service, not even third world help.

Yeah, go back to eBay to PAY to be lost in search. My stuff will see a dumpster first. A lot less stress that way.  
Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
by: comet This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu May 31 23:00:35 2012
Yeah---much as I deplore the level and competence of ebay "help" there is NO  SUCH THING on Google.

has anyone EVER found a PHONE NUMBER for Google?

An address?

A web contact form?

Yep--me neither.  
Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
by: biddude This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu May 31 23:02:14 2012
I think I will be using BING a lot more now
Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
This user has validated their user name. by: windsorbear
       
Thu May 31 23:12:31 2012
Google Shopping will become useless.  I won't even bother to use it anymore to compare.  I'll just do what I used to do... go to each individual marketplace... do my searches... take notes... and compare prices.  Simple enough... just a bit more involved.  Google Shopping was a luxury, but defintely NOT a necessity.  
Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
by: Steve This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Thu May 31 23:13:15 2012
I use both Google Adwords and Bing on my website. Bing out performs Google for conversions.
Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
This user has validated their user name. by: Bijoux Dragon
       Web Site
Thu May 31 23:41:30 2012
I will no longer use Google shopping when I am buying because it will be all the new cookie cutter crap found at all the stores.

As for selling, this will be a disaster.  My listings are almost always on the first page of google shopping and I do get customers through there.  My attempted use if adwords was a debacle and waste of my money.  Zero, zip, zilch sales.  I fell for the free 100$ credit - fool me once ......

I just cannot believe they are doing this just before the Fall and holiday shopping season.  What an arrogant bunch of SOBs.
Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu May 31 23:57:00 2012
Why wait, why not start to use Bing and other sources now so they can see what the affect is of what they have started.
I think this is a terrible idea to charge everyone!!! And I am afraid of how it will affect everyone. What an ignorant idea. Sounds like something eBay would do but I didn't think Google would stoop so low.
Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
by: Lawrence A Dickerson This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri Jun 1 00:27:09 2012
I am   in shock(not really) that you folks think that Goggle doesn't deserve a slice of the pie.You call the arrogant bastards for changing their model.I call it savvy business practice.

I defy one of you who can operate for free in all areas and stay in business.Most of the woes on eBay come from sellers whose merchandise is so outdated and over sold.Then you wonder why the buyers aren't ordering your trite merchandise.Those of you who are in a successful business know exactly to what I am referring.The others will learn of go broke
Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst
       
Fri Jun 1 00:39:13 2012
As you can see, google is a not making money on ads as they claim they do, the service is terrible, the scams are huge, why will never show who clicks? why to pay 3 dollars a click to sell a 5 dollars item? Google favors only big merchants and now, on top of that, you have to pay to get screwed? please!! Google is like facebook, nothing but bluff and hype, I will never pay google!
Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
by: Another Coin This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri Jun 1 00:41:21 2012
Debbie Downer, I mean Dick Downer, you can go away now
Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
by: springer This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri Jun 1 01:06:56 2012
I expect buyers will stop using google shopping, no point when choice will be extremely limited, this means they will be using organic search more. After a period of adjustment it will be business as usual for us, I believe. But in my opinion this is the beginning of the end for Google, the competition between shopping comparison engines is fierce, and people don't want to be searching using loads of different sites, someone else will take google's place at some point.
Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
by: tb This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri Jun 1 01:09:40 2012
As a buyer, GS was virtually useless. GS is supposed to show ONLY items in stock. How many times have you seen a great price on something, went to the website and saw "Discontinued" or "Unavailable" next to the price? How about a different price altogether?

With Googles lack of communication and ineptness at just about whatever they do, I just don't see how they will get anywhere with this change.
Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
       Web Site
Fri Jun 1 02:09:33 2012
I always said it. Never support with a "fanatic" frenzy a company because you don't like the other. In the end both are companies both want to make $$$.  
Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
by: justpassinthru This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri Jun 1 03:21:12 2012
Noticed this in a related story: ''Google Commerce, headed by former eBay executive Stephanie Tilenius..''
So maybe this announcement from Google is evidence that Ebay rot is spreading.  

Hope not.  

Google has never told me when I should ship, what methods of payment I should accept, or what my return policies should be.  Google has never tried to prevent me from communicating with my customers and has never encouraged my customers to libel my business.  The Ebay corporation has done all of those, and more.

After 14 years of the Ebay Corporation, I'd welcome the devil himself if he offered traffic without insults, lies and interference.
Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri Jun 1 03:40:44 2012
I am going to Yahoo or Bing and dumping Google. I suggest all sellers do the same. You only encourage such "pay me or die off slowly" tactics by using such a company.  
Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
by: RCL This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri Jun 1 06:14:48 2012
I have to second: Google Shopping was a luxury, but defintely NOT a necessity.    

Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
by: KEEPING A CLOSE EYE ON THEM ALL! This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Fri Jun 1 07:24:09 2012
Ditto that Google Shopping is NOT a necessary thing.

We have data going back many, many years showing organic search on google produces far more sales than the structured Google Shopping conversions.

While we have paid for Adwords and the like in the past we haven't found them to be particularly effective...

In our humble opinion Google is about to cut their own throats here exactly as ebay did with us... So be it - There ARE other options as others have mentioned here -

And as mentioned by others, yes, we have found Bing to be a real up and comer and will start directing code to their base to a much greater extent if Google follows through on this moronic idea.

Re: justpassinthrough,
L.O.L.! I found that to be comical myself! ( former eBay executive Stephanie Tilenius)

And YES, the very devil himself would be preferable to ebay - At least the devil would look you straight in the eye and tell you EXACTLY what he was going to do to screw you over, not hide behind double speak and LIES.

Let's all hope and pray companies aren't out to immitate ebay's models - That would pretty much spell the end of ecommerce for EVERYONE, right?!
Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
This user has validated their user name. by: basset
       
Fri Jun 1 08:30:25 2012
In Buyer Mode, here's my experience with Google Shopping this very morning:

I had been searching for a kitchen storage item on eBay. Found what I wanted but wanted to make sure of the size before purchasing. I tried to contact the seller for measurement. This is the pop-up I got on the screen:

"We're sorry we couldn't find an answer for you. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of messages this seller receives, they are unable to respond to your specific question right now. We suggest reviewing the item again to see if your answer is in the seller's listing."

I promptly went to Google & searched for the item. Found it on Amazon for a lesser price that included shipping. I ended up purchasing TWO for the price of the one on eBay. So glad the seller could not be bothered with my question - it ended up saving me quite a bit of money.

So, Google, if you are out there. Don't mess this up!

Perminate Link for How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?   How Will Google Shopping Changes Affect eBay, Marketplaces?
This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus
       
Fri Jun 1 09:20:36 2012
Hopefully in the near future, along with Facebook ~ Google and eBay will be a thing of the past.

All three companies are horribly greedy, bloated with overpaid hipster employees and equally greedy shareholders. All three companies lie to boost their stock prices and could care less about users and consumers.

As for Google search, has anyone noticed how irrelevant it has become?

I started using Bing and Yahoo because Google search sucks so bad these days.

I was also an early adopter of the Android phone and tablets but as a developer, Google threw us under the bus by changing their original model of ''develop once deploy everywhere'', plus Google Android phone owners want everything for free, then complain (sound familiar?? eBay??)  ~ Now I have an iPhone and develop for that platform.

I also used Google Adwords but switched to Y! and Bing because after extensive split testing I found that although there are less clicks, the conversion rates are much higher and it's 80% more cost effective.

As for Google+ hahahaha, what a joke.

Google products? Sorry, everything Google puts out is half-baked, copycat, derivative, unsupported trash but the sheeple follow Google like a lamb to slaughter.

My advice, Stop being a milk fed baby veal calf hanging in your Google/eBay/Facebook pen waiting to be bled.  

I never thought I'd say it but Google, eBay and Facebook actually make Microsoft look like the good shepherd.

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