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Tue Oct 28 2008 10:55:06

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay and Etsy both made announcements today about their marketing campaigns going into the holiday shopping season. The two approaches could not be more different.

eBay is stuck on price and free shipping, and the safety of its marketplace. Nowhere does it talk about advertising. eBay has told analysts it is focused on its "couponing" initiatives, which amounts to paying previous customers to come to the site to shop.

Etsy is focused on driving brand awareness - its full page print ads feature a seller holding her handmade goods, and the copy reads, "This holiday season, discover beautiful handmade gifts and the people who make them at Etsy.com. Etsy.com. Your place to buy and sell all things handmade." Etsy is driving shoppers to its site through online, print, and radio advertising, email marketing, and media outreach.

You could say the different approaches have to do with the life cycle of the two sites, but is it really time for eBay to compete on price alone? If you were head of marketing at eBay, what would you do?




Comments (34) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: noneya

Tue Oct 28 12:15:07 2008

If I were head of marketing at Ebay I'd resign.

Seriously, first I'd write a sincere letter of apology to Ebays customers, THE SELLERS. Then I'd get rid of every insane policy they've come up with this year. I'd bring back two way feedback, and keep DSRs but remove shipping transit time and change shipping cost to ''was shipping charged the amount quoted? Yes or No''

I'd also assure sellers that NPB on new accounts would be auto naru-ed no questions asked and NPB on higher feedback accounts be frozen for 30 days.
I'd bring back the Shop Victoriously campaign and drop the Ebay specific Paypal refund policy.

I'd also dump the useless New Search which, after looking at 6 different friends accounts on 6 different computers, comes up automatically unless the account has been permanently opted out.
How do they know to opt out if they don't know they've even opted IN?

Doesn't matter if listings are free if there are no customers. Customers won't come if their sellers are not listing, or if they can't find the items that ARE listed. Sellers aren't listing after being burned so many times by Ebay.
Everyone is saying the same thing, I don't want to ruin perfect feedback if they are going to change this again. And who can blame them. Lots of sellers are waiting to see if/when Donahoe gets fired and a white knight turns up.

Paypal's generously tilted return/refund policy for Ebay buyers is simply unworkable for sellers who sell for a living.

Who would go to work for a company that tells you your paycheck is no good until 30 days after it's been written? And PS, it might not be good by the end of 30 days anyways.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) I am seeing more Ebay sellers refusing payment via paypal for items over $100.

Ebay does need to market themselves to the buying public again but they also need to market themselves to their suppliers: The Sellers. Without us they have nothing to offer.  

Excuse me, I have to go list some items on Etsy now.

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: CASH BACK

Tue Oct 28 14:28:01 2008

With regards to the couponing approach that eBay is taking.... ("eBay said that shoppers can increase their holiday savings by taking advantage of Microsoft Live Search cashback.")

Please don't use this CASHBACK site! The only people making money is Microsoft.

Anyone should feel free to write me to learn how you can earn CASH BACK AT EBAY without using coupon codes and without giving Microsoft all that money. Best of all, you can earn money when OTHER PEOPLE shop eBay, like I do. I make money to five generations --in other words, I make money when people I don't know shop eBay and hundreds of online stores.

I love ETSY and I wish they had a cash back program. While ETSY isn't on the site, I make money on hundreds of other online stores.

You earn cash back from eBay purchases, and earn commissions for refering others. Get cash back from online stores like GoDaddy and eHarmony too with no coupon codes required. e-mail me for the details, but don't use the Microsoft method or you won't make any residual income.

Click my e-mail, ask me any question, and visit my site.

I'ma Former eBay Platinum PowerSeller(currently Gold on hiatus) who loves shopping on eBay. I'm just too scared to sell there right now.

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: Lisa

Tue Oct 28 14:31:40 2008

ebay is like the Titanic, not enough lifeboats, too top heavy.  It no longer matters what eBay does to attract buyers, something eBay has been too focussed on for too long, if the merchandise is no longer available, what difference will it make how many people looked around if they couldn't find what they were looking for?  The new search, I can't even understand it.  The same item comes up 3 times in the same search even when it's done by newest or ending time.  The policies make me cringe every time I list something, and the DSRs put a lot of good stuff too deep or out of search completely.  If I were head of marketing, I'd find a job at VuDu where everybody else seems to be going and jump into one of the lifeboats.  Women and children first!

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: The Graduate

Tue Oct 28 14:45:45 2008

I have one of those 10% coupons.  EBay even sent a reminder that it's going to expire soon.  I'm just not very excited about shopping on the eBay site considering all of the headaches I'm having as a seller.
And sales are not all that great either, so without a lot coming in from eBay, I don't really have a lot to put back into it.

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: RJ

Tue Oct 28 14:57:43 2008

I'm of a mind, to never ever shop on eBay again.    

In other words, eBay can't "pay" me enough to ever use their site for any purpose.  

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: Harriet

Tue Oct 28 16:39:57 2008

Etsy.com has the warmest feel about it. The minute you enter the site it is apparent. It is welcoming, very friendly and user friendly. They are always trying out innovative and fun things. Even as a seller there, I can feel the warmth. It was such a comforting change from what is happening to sellers on eBay.

I still sell some on eBay, but have cut it way, way back.

It is a terrible shame about eBay, just terrible.

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Tue Oct 28 17:58:30 2008

Give the right of feedback BACK to the seller, and then give them some SERVICE.

By SERVICE, I mean answer the phone, have real person email you back from support, and most of all, remove the junk from all over the site that detracts from our selling.

DUH. It's really a no brainer. I could even stomach the higher fees if they just did that one thing. Oh yeah...do away with the DSRs and preferential order of listings. Let's make it a level playing field of AUCTIONS!

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: CASHBACK

Tue Oct 28 19:46:48 2008

I read on CNN today: "eBay to Offer Exceptional Deals to Holiday Shoppers and More Free Shipping Than Ever Before."

Hey WAIT!!! I didnt know that eBay sold anything. Do they think they are a retailer? Aren't they just a fancy search engine?  

I wouldn't want eBay to TELL ME to provide FREE SHIPPING. Etsy would never tell their sellers to provide free shipping. Amazon can do it because - HEY, THEY SELL STUFF. They are a retailer!

eBay: stop telling sellers how to sell. We're the retailers and we're also your best customers as we routinely purchase from other sellers.

eBay: start listening to your sellers so that we can help you get back into shape again! It may be too late unless you BEG US TO COME BACK.

Again, it's still a perfectly good place to shop. I shop and make money when other people  eBay, so I a vested interest in keeping eBay alive!

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: Patrick Alexander

Tue Oct 28 19:57:30 2008

Competing on price alone is a very bad idea. When you do this, you get mostly cheapskate buyers.

As anyone that has been in sales can testify, these are the WORST possible type of customers. The penny pinching never ends until they feel they have wrung the last cent out of you.

And these buyers will only get worse as the economy slows further.

The low price thing is mostly a crock though. I did see one of their ads where they ask ''Why pay retail?''

They had better look around. Most first quality items on eBay cost what you can get them for in a store these days, or more.(When you count shipping.)

You can't blame the sellers. Fees & increased PP loss ratios are causing them to charge higher prices.

JD & his crew of idiots are killing the site. I.M.H.O. they are at the tipping point this holiday season. January will begin the irreversible downhill slide, unless there are massive changes to stem the hemorrhaging of the seller base. It's the 11th hour for eBay.

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: Henrietta

Tue Oct 28 22:13:54 2008

@ Lisa

Women and children first? Are you nuts? First into the lifeboats will be the Captain of this glorious ship followed by the First Dudettes. They will be dressed in matching Golden Lifejackets.

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: Mitzi

Tue Oct 28 22:23:46 2008

I am happy to see Etsy doing marketing for the upcoming holiday season, my only disappointment is that they are promoting only the handmade side of the site.

There are hundreds of great vintage sellers on the site, who have to basically do all the marketing for vintage on Etsy themselves. If Etsy's fees weren't so low, it might not be worth all the extra work...

Here's hoping Etsy does throw the vintage sellers at least a little promotion in the coming months, I know all us vintage geeks who love Etsy and send a ton of traffic their way would really appreciate it!

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Tue Oct 28 23:03:45 2008

Go Etsy!!! If you only had the auction venue, you'd have the entire marketplace!

I, for one, was super impressed with Etsy's site statistics that I pulled up on one of those statistical analysis e-sites. I think etsy's rank was 500 something when all the other ebay competitors where in the 1,000+ placement. (not including amazon- they were #9)

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: Patricia

Tue Oct 28 23:47:08 2008

Etsy is a breath of fresh air...as is Bonanzle.  I'm hoping they will both excell and give us good venues for collectibles and handmade goods.  I have nothing listed on Ebay - first time in over 10 years.  It feels odd but I also like being relieved of the stress I had there!

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: kitty

Wed Oct 29 08:43:49 2008

Why would you mention eBay and Etsy in the same sentence?  In fact, why mention eBay at all.  Please continue to educate us about the new traffic patterns and actual buying and selling elsewhere, where a buyer and a seller are brought together for mutual benefit.
Please let us know the pros and cons of shopping and selling on other sites: Plunderhere, Etsy, Bonanzle, Blujay, Ioffer, Amazon, and others.
eBay has become a terrible place to buy.  Search is broken and eBay will not address the rampant fraud.
Please dazzle and inform us of the many other places available.
I love eBay and pray that someone will come to their senses one day, but in the meantime when I want to buy a calculator, I do not wish to see 5,000 I-pods.....

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: V

Wed Oct 29 09:05:47 2008

The biggest challenge to eBay is to regain the trust on them the Sellers lost. (Good luck with that).

Marketing should know that if they brought back the Seller's, the Buyer's will follow as the Sellers will bring their customers back too.

They should have never forgotten who their customers really are. The Sellers.

Other thoughts:

I know this is not Marketing, but get a shopping cart, for crying out loud! The main difference between eBay and Amazon is you can buy from different Sellers and do one single and easy check out.

On Amazon you only bought when you paid for the item or you can keep your items in the cart for a while, but it does not hold Seller's inventory. Isn't that a great idea? I think it is the most basic and most important difference between the two sites.

Do away with all this nonsense instituted this year, allow feedback both ways again with no removal, just follow-ups. It worked until the Mutual Feedback Withdrawal baloney came around.

Get the search back to what it was! You can't find anything on the site anymore. The wider the search the less items appear. Shouldn't it be the other way around?  And if nothing matches make the sentence that says ''No exact matches'' more obvious. It's so hard to see it looks like the search engine is gone nuts and returned all irrelevant items.  If I wanted to drop portions of the query I could do it myself.

We are doing our best over here to move on as soon as possible. I just keep hoping they will come to their senses over there. When it worked it was a great place to sell and buy.

Sorry for the long post, had to vent.

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: UknowUneedAnother

Wed Oct 29 09:28:00 2008

I began selling on Etsy after completely ruling out Ebay due to the policy changes. I wanted to take this opportunity to let potential shoppers know that Etsy also offers crafting and artist supplies and a wide variety of vintage goods.

By choosing Etsy, you are also helping to support a vast array of small, usually sole proprietor business enterprises. The money spent within this site helps to support individual people as opposed to corporate greed.

Etsy IS NOT public. Your shopping dollars help pay the salaries of a great and caring crew and the individuals who run their shops.

Try to give us a shot. There are no golden parachutes here!

We have a huge selection of handcrafted items, crafting supplies to cover just about any creative endeavor, and very reasonbly priced vintage items.

The sellers try to be as eco-friendly as possible and offer fantastic customer service.

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: powerseller

Wed Oct 29 09:41:35 2008

Why mention eBay and etsy in the same sentence indeed. Etsy is not eBay for sure.

Ebay is by far and away the better site - much higher in the google rankings and it attracts lots of buyers simply because the variety of goods is more on eBay. Always has been.

Sellers should quit whining about the changes to the site. Many of them have been better.

Etsy? Is tht some kind of cheese? By the way, the etsy feedback system is the same as eBays. As a matter of fact they hire ex eBay staff.

I'll stay with eBay. I get more bang for my buck AND I sell a lot more stuff there than I ever would on a mickey mouse site.

If you plan to make a couple of thousand bucks a month - then don't bother with the piddly little sites like Etsy.
I don't know why auctionbytes chose to include it with eBay. Etsy isn't an auction site.

Try comparing Amazon and eBay and their marketing strategies. Now that's where the competition is for each other.

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: Sheila

Wed Oct 29 09:54:00 2008

I sell on both Ebay and Etsy. I have been on Ebay for a number of years. I have been on Etsy for a number of months. Etsy's love and support rocks! Ebay's lack of love and support stinks!

Although I sell Antiques and Collectibles on both sites, my main revenue is from Designer Fabric Samples and Vintage Supplies. DO NOT FORGET that ETSY has VINTAGE as WELL as SUPPLIES for the Artisans on their site, as well as the astonishing Creative Craft Creations which hold Etsy together.

DO CHECK ETSY OUT!!!! CHECK OUT THE ARTISANS! CHECK OUT THE VINTAGE! AND CHECK OUT THE SUPPLIES THAT SUPPORT THE ARTISANS!

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: Andy Mathis

Wed Oct 29 10:00:09 2008

They are 2 different sites- with pros and cons to each.  

Etsy is advertising, so that is good.

But the search function and categories that bleed together needs a complete overhaul. Tags should not be used to define categories.

eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions   eBay and Etsy Take Different Approach to Holiday Promotions

by: Karen

Wed Oct 29 10:01:14 2008

I used to find "it" on ebay.   Ebay just doesn't have "it" anymore, and even if I could find "it", I am not sure I can trust them.  They are just another greed based corporation, willing to do anything for my cash.  Ebay is just no longer fun.

These days I go to Etsy for vintage and collectibles, as well as beautiful one of a kind artisan creations.  Etsy is the new "it" location for me.

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