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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2739 - February 14, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 5

eBay Places Competing Ads in Paid Active Listings

By Ina Steiner
February 14, 2012

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eBay confirmed it is running a test in which it is placing ads for competing listings inside sellers' active listings. eBay has been placing such ads in listings that have ended, but has never before placed competitive ads inside listings that are still running and for which sellers have paid a listing fee.

eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff confirmed the company was running the ads as part of a test. "To help improve the browsing experience for eBay customers, we are testing the exposure of certain merchandising modules on the View Item page to display related items from other sellers," she said. "This will allow buyers to more quickly view similar items for sale from different sellers. And, it's important to note - This will also make sellers' items viewable to buyers more frequently. We also expect this to benefit sellers by making it easier for buyers to stay on eBay and research similar items, if a specific listing doesn't quite meet their needs."

Sellers are upset, especially about the placement of the ads from other sellers, which appear at the top of the Item page under a heading, "More items to consider." They're also concerned about the lack of control over the ads that appear, fearing that some ads could be offensive to shoppers viewing their listings.

The test is limited to a small group of buyers, but Hoff said sellers have the option of opting out of having similar items displayed on their View Item pages. In order to opt out, Hoff said sellers should go to My eBay, hover over the "Account" tab, select "Marketing Tools," then select "Promote Similar Items" and select the "No" option on the page.

However, sellers who opt out should understand that their listings will not be shown in merchandising modules on test View Items pages, Hoff said.

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About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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