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Tue Mar 2 2010 23:12:16

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

AuctionBytes readers have noticed a difference in the appearance of eBay "sponsored results" that appear at the bottom of search results, and eBay confirmed it has been running tests. AdCommerce is a Pay-Per-Click ad program - sellers only pay when buyers click on the ads.

The ads are currently displayed below the listings on the search results pages, and they had been separated so it was easier for shoppers to differentiate between the listings and the ads. (Notice the gray bar across the page with the words "Sponsored results.")

In mid-February, eBay began testing a new design. eBay's Director of Advertising Alexis van de Wyer said via email that the new design "aims at being better integrated with the page to ensure enough visibility of the pagination. We're currently analyzing the data of this test and, depending on how it improved both the buyer and seller experiences, we'll decide which design to maintain. In the future we're likely to continue exploring alternative designs to further improve our customer experience."




In the new design, there is no separation on the page, and the words "sponsored results" are less noticeable.



You can read more about the AdCommerce program in this AuctionBytes interview with Mr. van de Wyer from this December Newsflash article.




Comments (25) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: Gary Overton
Web Site

Wed Mar 3 00:38:37 2010

If eBay would stop charging listing fees I would be happy for them to put as many ads as they wanted on a page.
I predict that within the next 18 months ALL auction listings will be free

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: whatever.

Wed Mar 3 00:53:19 2010

How does this help the ''Pagination'' issue? The links to pages beyond the first page are still underneath the advertisements.

Of course they'll go with the new design. It makes the ads look more like regular listings paid for by the ebay seller.

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: whatever.

Wed Mar 3 00:55:03 2010

But Gary, starting at the end of the month you do get free listings: a hundred of them!  [as long as you start them at 99cents or less]

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: Buck Efay This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 01:07:54 2010

Free is still too much for the traffic Ebay delivers, which is none! Like Gary says, you ant my cool stuff to drive traffic give me free listings. My last listings at the sellers ghetto called Ebay roll off this week, and I'm thru. This week, Ecrater has been kicking butt, sold a Doll yesterday for $75 nobody even looked at on Feebay, over 50 sales so far on Amazon, but Ebay, har! 0 sales. 11 years seller, never a problem until this jerk killed the goose.

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: Buck Efay This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 01:09:16 2010

Whatever, I do have a few boxes of Porn left over from Storage cleanouts, I'll be taking advantage of the chance to peddle smut for free on Ebay, harhar & I can even accept money orders for that, LOL!

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: Fruity This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 01:31:03 2010

Ina, that's interesting you bring that up because maybe within the past few months, Ebay got certified to IAB (internet ad bureau) Click Guidelines. Now I dont know if there are guidlines published by them regarding proper identification of ads, but the FTC would probably be able to give you more info on whether these types of ads are properly labeled. Blurring is sometimes a fine line to deception, so if anyone is concerned about these ads on the site, you should call the FTC hotline and send a complaint regarding those ads.

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 01:59:33 2010

this new display is very misleading!  

i've even seen it a few times when i've clicked "view this sellers other items" and even clicked on the links thinking that they were items from that seller only to be taken away from ebay.  every time i think they can't stoop any lower, they prove me wrong.

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: ebay nonsense

Wed Mar 3 03:23:50 2010

Just wait until they start putting ads INSIDE your listings.
They're beta testing that in the UK as we speak.
Those 100 free 99 cents listings might have all the ads above INSIDE your listings.

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: That is final

Wed Mar 3 07:29:56 2010

More reasons to hate ebay, run from ebay, cut off ties with ebay. We listed on ebay now ten years mostly adult items and DO NOT want sponsored links to religious crap, bibles, or anything for that matter. We paid for that space, not some "sponsored links". This is the last straw. G-bye corrupt ebay.

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: joe

Wed Mar 3 09:10:33 2010


I just click on them to cost the advertiser some money. The best way to kill this is just click on them all, when advertisers get no return weel the links will go bye bye

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: My Own Website Not Quite Paying My Bills Yet

Wed Mar 3 10:07:33 2010


"The best way to kill this is just click on them all, when advertisers get no return weel the links will go bye bye"

I'm sure ads will not cost very much (maybe 5 to 10 cents each??) but don't forget that Ebay will make that money and one thing that we don't want.

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: L

Wed Mar 3 10:24:02 2010

@Buck Efay
(''Free is still too much for the traffic Ebay delivers, which is none!'')

ebay continues to shoot themselves in the foot with upcoming new FVF fees.  ebay sellers keep raising prices to absorb ever-increasing FVF's. Following is an example of ''the law of unintended consequences'' in action once again for ebay's latest price increase greed:

I sell the same items on eBay, Amazon, eCrater, Bonanzle, eBid, Atomic Mall, Websense, and IOffer. When I Google my items, I notice that many come up within several free search-consolidation price comparison shopping sites (shopping.com, nextag, smarter.com, etc. etc.) ON GOOGLE'S FIRST PAGE of the search results.

Apparently those free price-comparison shopping sites must have web-crawlers that find and consolidate like-items for comparison shopping.  Kind of like a sub-Google within Google. I have no affiliation with any of them. They're all free to me! (whee!) .... I didn't even know they existed until I started Googling my items to see where they were ranked.

Some of these price shopping sites that rank high in the Google search results show only the lowest price they could find for my item, while a couple of them may show several sites and prices for my same item, especially if my item title varies slightly.  I don't pay any of these sites anything, so I was surprised to see my stuff included in their comparison shopping results.

One of the shopping comparison sites showed my eCrater, Bonanzle, and Atomic Mall pricing as being significantly lower than my ebay listing .... same product photos, but my ebay price showed as the highest.  This contributes to public perception that ebay is not the place to go for low prices.  My eCrater and Bonanzle listings get hits from Google searches, and are growing the fastest, followed by Atomic Mall.  

(I am not able to discern how much of my Amazon sales came from Google, and how much comes from within Amazon's own search engine)

ebay still provides most of my sales (about 60 to 65%, down from 95% about a year ago).  I suspect that most of my ebay sales come from people who are already ebay members, and just used ebay's search box. People who Google for my items are more likely to see them ranked higher in Google from my eCrater, Bonanzle, and Atomic Mall stores, sometimes through various comparison shopping sites, and sometimes directly by Google itself.

After ebay, my sales are coming from (in order): eCrater, Bonanzle, Amazon, Atomic Mall, eBid, IOffer, and Websense.

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: David

Wed Mar 3 10:43:27 2010

You guys want your cake and to eat it to. You complain non stop about having your items get buried in the last page of search results, yet when eBay comes out with a tool to help sellers advertise on the site you complain about that too.

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Wed Mar 3 11:13:47 2010

@David: ''You guys want your cake and to eat it to.''

Uncle Grift said we're supposed to eat cake... or was that Marie Antoinette?

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: David

Wed Mar 3 12:01:41 2010

The bottom line is that it's 2010. Just because something worked in 1997 and 1998 doesn't mean it will work in 2010.

I know a lot of people wish eBay would go back to the way it was in 1998, but that's not happening.

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: Jimbo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 12:50:23 2010

The real bottom line is that eBay is gouging the paying customer. Their greed seems to have no end. It is nothing but one lie after another. But I guess we are just supposed to take it without so much as a comment.

I just got a very ''personal'' e-mail from Dinesh Lathi  telling me that my best course of action with the new outrageous fee hike is to sign up for an eBay store. Now I am told that they have done the math and that is my best plan. Of course the e-mail starts with '' the upfront cost of selling on eBay is about to be dramatically reduced with our lowest Insertion Fees ever.''. This is lying by omission.

Because I sell what I list over 95% of the time I am punished with an absolutely monstrous increase in fees no matter which way I cut it.

I would compare eBay and all their execs with a pig  but that is an insult to pigs everywhere.

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: Buck Efay This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 12:50:57 2010

L, I find that in my line, I get first page & usually within top 5 in Google search with my site with 0 dollars marketing! When I noticed the best hit Ebay was getting was BELOW that, and to a guide I created, I yanked it & reinstalled it at my site!! Har!

David, you're a MOOK. I PAY to advertise there already. I pay my damn listing fees & FVF, that's enough. For 9 years, it worked just fine, until this JERKAHO decided to try & squeeze out the last of my profits & penalized me for some moron buyer not being able to comprehend the listing they were buying. Shove off, pally, why would I pay those dirtbags for NO TRAFFIC, NO SALES, BURIAL IN SEARCH & Ads on my paid for listings? Only an idiot would put up with that. I am making more money now and with less hassles without the yoke of Ebay oppression around my neck. Next month, when the big scroo job kicks in, you'll see ebay becoming a GRAVEYARD, as every real AMERICAN seller leaves & Ebay becomes synonomous with Chinese crap & fraud. Great work, doofaho.

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: Buck Efay This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 12:54:12 2010

OH PS, Let's not forget, Ebay ILLEGALLY uses their feedback system & manipulated DSRs to help their doggy diamonds, I can't wait for the class action suit from burned consumers that will claim they only bought their item due to EBAY saying these Chinese junk dealers are Trusted, top rated sellers. Amazing how Buy's numbers on R/L surveys are NOWHERE NEAR the perfection they seem to have acheived on feebay.

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: J.G.

Wed Mar 3 13:02:07 2010

@L

Excellent post.  Couldn't help noting in your last paragraph that, unfortunately, it took 7 different websites to make up the 30% difference in your year over year eBay statistics.  That is what eBay is banking on to keep sellers on its site.  Yes, Bonanzle is great, but eBay still has alot of 'eyes.'

Fortunately, many of the posters here have totally given up eBay and have lived to tell the tale.  There IS life after eBay.

What will be very interesting to watch this month and next is eBay's listing numbers day to day. Their promotion on Fixed Price, I believe, ends on March 29th.  Time will tell.

eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings   eBay Blurs Lines between Ads and Listings

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 13:18:18 2010

Well, I have plenty of "eyes" on my items on eCrater.com I use Google Analytics and can see the views and exactly where they came from, and about 80% come from Google. I have more and easier sales on eCrater.com and am no longer stressed out. I am once again having fun and I can experiment with my listings there and see what makes certain items sell well.

There is just so much freedom on eCrater. Yes, there is a learning curve in the listing part and how to make your listings place well in Google search. And you have to adhere to good commerce practices, but we all know how to do that. eCrater is free, it is nice, it is clean looking, it gets sales. You have your very own store there within their venue.

I really don't care if it is fixed price. I list things for what profit I want to make on them, I research what the going prices are. I pay minimum prices for my stock. I have passed up many fine items because they were just too costly for me to make a profit.

It's working for me and for a LOT of other folks.

Why feel "icky" and stressed when you could be having fun doing what you love.

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