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Sun Apr 11 2021 20:04:36

eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals

By: Ina Steiner

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While they aren't new, I've been struck recently by the number of ads eBay is running at the bottom of search results pages that link to listings on rival retail sites.

After searching eBay today for "sterling silver necklace" and scrolling down through the first page of search results featuring sellers' listings, I noticed that the first listing in the ad section at the bottom of the page was for sterling silver chain necklaces at Kohl's. 

With one click, I was on Kohls.com looking at its listings for necklaces that matched my eBay search. One more click and I was on a Kohl's product listing page for a sterling silver necklace, just one click away from the "Add to Cart" button.

In early 2017, eBay announced it would eliminate third-party Product Listing Ads by May of that year, and only keep branding ads for insurance companies and the like. It said it would instead focus on Product Listing Ads for eBay sellers. But by the end of the year, eBay was already back-sliding, as we reported in this October 2017 EcommerceBytes Blog post.

One year later, this December 2018 blog post discussed ads appearing on eBay sellers' listings that drove shoppers away to off-eBay retail sites.

It's hard to keep track of eBay's advertising practices - in the past, eBay has even waffled over whether to allow Product Listing Ads from sellers. It would be nice to hear from eBay what its current thinking is; analysts will have a chance to ask CEO Jamie Iannone at the next earnings call at the end of the month. What's the strategy, and do those ads take sales away from eBay?

What are you seeing when you shop on eBay, and have you noticed any changes?

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Perminate Link for eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals   eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 11 21:46:24 2021

..... more mafioso behavior.

Steal from thee but not from me!

Didnt Ina just have an article about buyer/seller communications and the lack thereof of them? ANd the damage eBay causes due to its paranoia about off site sales?

WELL THERE YOU GO .... eBay doesnt want YOU to do it - but will gladly take your money then knife you in the back.

Theres NO FLOOR for this horrid company!

Make as MANY offsite sales as you can - turn about IS fair play!

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals   eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 01:01:34 2021

I ignore outside ads on eBay 99.9% of the time. My sales are very good by my standards, so I don't think the ads are hurting me.  

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 03:24:17 2021

Those ads take sales away from Ebay but I am sure that Ebay is getting much more in guaranteed advertising revenue from Kohls than that one sale would bring to their coffers.  Ebay no longer cares about their sellers or their site, only how much revenue can they skim into their ever shrinking revenue streams.  Iannone has realized that Ebay is no longer going to be the go to place for Sellers because of Mangled Payments and buyers are also leaving because the Sellers take their products with them to what ever site they change to.  I know that I have started selling on a new site and removed everything from Ebay as I cannot deal with Mangled Payments at this time and Ebay refused to allow any delay in the changeover.  So I cancelled all of my stores and removed all of my items for sale.  To top it all off the new site has zero cost for selling on it, no listing fees and no FVF on anything i sell on there.  Cannot beat that arrangement.

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals   eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals

by: COVID-19 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 03:37:07 2021

The people running eBay are both idiots and hypocrites. Yes, hypocrites for being hyper-fearful that any message between a seller and buyer is an attempt at taking a transaction off-eBay, and yet here they are running ads that takes sales off-eBay. Idiots!

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 05:28:36 2021

I really don't care at this point because I get a small amount of sales from EB, and more sales at Posh and Merc.

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by: Jono77 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 06:57:45 2021

eBay is now third rate. No longer my only outlet.

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by: kevindsm This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 09:57:07 2021

No thanks eBay for helping the competitors of your real customers (sellers) get some business at the expense of your real customers (sellers).

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals   eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals

by: Denny This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 10:22:16 2021

E-bay sales now shut down due to E-bay's poor business practices like managed payments. I have slowly moved higher more expensive items to selling them on other sites. If I ever sell on E-bay again it would be hard to sell cheap low end items so I can keep the managed bank account near empty to defend against non agreed to returns and watch every dime ready to shut down at the hint of any E-bay rip offs or non agreed to return practices. Also block all sales out of the country so they can no longer rip my customers off with their scam shipping program over charges while making it look as if I charged it.

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by: Valaset This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 10:30:17 2021

I honestly had never noticed the third party ads.  My sales are 100% dependent on the inventory I have.  Low inventory = low sales.  The ads make no difference to me.

But I will agree that EBAY should not include third party ads.  Drive traffic TO the site as opposed to off it.

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals   eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals

by: 4yourinfo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 10:48:50 2021

I assume they are thinking that most items are priced better on ebay so the buyer will stick with eBay especially after they see how much more the item is sold elsewhere. eBay is always trying to squeeze sellers to charge less and less - This maybe their way to force sellers to charge the lowest price available on the internet...

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals   eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals

by: Ronn This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 10:52:28 2021

The process you describe sounds like "Affiliate Marketing."  A large number of companies increasingly do this. This might sound silly, but eBay is getting revenue every time a buyer clicks on one of these links on its sites. I have no idea about the number of affiliate links eBay has on its various sites, but you can see that the revenue is nothing to sneer at.  If one has their own web site, these affiliate marketing programs can be a nice additional revenue source.

Years ago, eBay stopped its sellers from posting links to third party sources (even to the sellers own web site). eBay didn't make money from that.

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals   eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals

This user has validated their user name. by: unsuck

Mon Apr 12 11:25:44 2021

''What are you seeing when you shop on eBay, and have you noticed any changes?''

It's still an awful buyer experience, with duplicate listings and keyword stuffing as prevalent as ever, another reminder of Devin Wenig's failed catalog-based, PBSE legacy, and one that the current guy doesn't seem to have clue one on how to fix, (along with eBay's continued and ongoing platform and product tech issues).

In replicating Ina's ''sterling silver necklace'' search from a couple fresh incognito browser session runs:

1) 1st 4 search results appear consistently to be Promoted Listings

2) Seller ''rishialexanderonline'' frequently appears in at least 2, often 3 of the 4 PLs (very curious what their PL ad rate is🤔).

3) PLs are still appearing directly adjacent to organic results (again, seeing w/seller rishialexanderonline).

It's surprising this doesn't irritate more sellers with it being a crapshoot which one buyers click when they're right next to each other.

Ditto for non-disclosure of PLs on Best Offers to sellers - it's surprising more sellers aren't annoyed that they don't know whether they're accepting a BO through a PL or not. If they are, other than MaxOptical, we can't recall anyone else speaking-up about it in the years since we first surfaced this to Wenig & Co).

4) Default SERP now seems to squeeze-in 13 PLs by default (at least in today's runs), up from 10 in 2018 - the default 50-result SERP actually showed 63 listings total w/PLs included (this likely changes a bit, didn't test extensively but would love to see someone dig-in and do so with different categories, locales, and times spread out over a week or so).

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals   eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 13:40:03 2021

@Silver Ice King - Does your new site have any name recognition or traffic? Most sites without fees don't last very long because they don't have any funding/income. If this happens to be your own site, there would be fees for a domain name and web hosting. If you're running your own web server, there's money invested there. Just sayin'.  

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals   eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Apr 12 15:48:01 2021

Sierra, to Silver Ice King's point, you can do this cheaply, not for free, but cheaply.

With my website, while not free, I don't pay a monthly fee (such as one would pay to Shopify)  I pay for the SSI Certificate, the domain name, and I am splitting the hosting with someone else who also has a site. I use Stripe and PayPal for payments.  My template was a low one-time fee and my extensions are (at least for now) not fee-based.   The first month of 2021 my fees were easily covered by my sales.

I highly recommend it.  I savor every sale on my site.

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals   eBay Ads Drive Shoppers into the Arms of Rivals

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 16:19:39 2021

@Sierra

This is not my own website but a site that is designed exclusively for the categories that I sell in.  I do not know why the platform developers have not charged anything although I am sure that at some point that will change.  I know the business they are after and I have no problem touting their site in my FB groups who are also getting extremely fed up with Ebay due to their continually allowing the buyers to screw over the Sellers and not only get their money back but the sellers never get back the correct item from the buyer.  It is happening more and more and the Sellers are getting very fed up as these items are not small dollar items that they are losing.

So I am starting to list my items on this other site and do my best to push business over that way and we will see what happens, but I am done trying to work with Ebay as they just do not care how much their buyers rip you off as long as they continue to get their cut of the money.  Other sellers are also looking for other sites and ways to sell because this industry has really taken off and items that were worth $300 a couple of years ago are now selling for $6000 - $7000 which is a lot of money to have lost because of Ebays insane idea that the buyer is always right no matter how many complaints have been filed against them by Sellers.  Remember they were going to be reviewing the seller complaints about bad buyers and doing something about them?  They have done something, given them even more protection to be able to steal from the Sellers.  Ebay has found something in common with these thieves - they both enjoy stealing from the sellers on Ebays site.



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