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Sun Feb 20 2011 20:55:01

eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings

By: Ina Steiner

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While browsing an eBay seller's Storefront on her Facebook page, I clicked on her eBay listings for jewelry. Instead of taking me to her listing, eBay redirected me to a page on its site that showed a small portion of her listing I was trying to visit, followed by a list of similar items from other sellers - the same type of redirect page you get when clicking on an eBay listing from the Google search engine.

That's because any time you try to visit a listing that has ended on eBay, you're taken instead to a list of competitors' listings. eBay redirects shoppers any time they click on a link of an ended listing, whether the link appears on Facebook, Google searches, or presumably any website, blog or email.

It even happens when you enter an Item number into eBay's own search box (type 360344791643 into eBay's search box and click "Go," and you'll see what I mean).

About the only time it doesn't happen is when searching for closed items on the eBay search box, those results will take you to the Item page of the completed listing.

The lesson for sellers is this: when you link to your eBay listings from other sites, make sure you only link to live listings - otherwise, you could be sending your traffic to other people's listings. If you've taken the time and expense to send an email campaign or set up a Facebook shop to drive traffic to your eBay listings, you don't want eBay redirecting that traffic to your competitors' item - especially if you have similar items for sale.

It's not always possible, of course - people may find links you posted on your Facebook wall or another site weeks or months after you posted them.

Adding insult to injury, eBay includes ads for off-eBay product listings on the redirect pages. When I clicked from the seller's Facebook storefront tab to go to her garnet ring eBay listing, the eBay redirect page displayed not only listings from her competitors, but it also displayed ads for jewelry from HSN. The eBay redirect page for her turquoise ring displayed ads linking to turquoise rings on JCPenney.com.

So she could be helping drive traffic from her Facebook shop to the Home Shopping Network and JCPenney - without getting a dime in advertising or affiliate revenue!

Doug Feiring of AuctionInsights posted last week about a similar redirect scenario that he calls the Google Penalty, but it affects live eBay listings, not ended items. I've observed eBay redirecting traffic from the search engines since at least 2009, but Doug noticed a new permutation.

eBay is either providing the best possible experience to shoppers by showing them more choices when shopping on eBay, or it's playing fast-and-loose with listing real estate that its sellers have paid for - let us know what you think!




Comments (16) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings   eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings

by: Dephny Zerilli
Web Site

Sun Feb 20 22:00:28 2011

This may be why my sales are so lousy over the weekend.   I don't do anything on Facebook with my listings but I do tweet on Twitter.  I did this with about 20 listings on Friday I think and I am pretty sure that the listings are still current.   I just am ready to pull my hair out with this issue.   No sales = a poor $$ seller.    

eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings   eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings

by: buck efay

Sun Feb 20 22:53:16 2011

I searched an item yesterday and did notice the pages are really redesigned lately & minimizing our real estate even more! The actual listing & seller info is like 20% of the page now, the rest taken up by ads trying to steal your buyer. Thanks for nothing, Ebay! And Thanks again, Ina, will be sure to pull all my old Ebay links off my FB pages.

eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings   eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings

by: Rich

Sun Feb 20 23:00:46 2011

Ebay us trying to direct people to similiar items in hopes they purchase on Ebay.  Ebay doesn't care who they purchase from as long as they make the pruchase on Ebay and not on another site.  So Ebay doesn't care about the seller who get ignored. At least the ''sellers other items'' link is there although I think it should be bigger and bolder to help the seller get more people to view the seller's other items

eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings   eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 21 00:37:55 2011

I have one item on Ebay.  It has less than 2 days to go and has had only 8 views.  Who is losing out?  I paid nothing to list and now never list unless its free.  I was a small seller yet paid them over 100.00+ a month in fees - my last bill from them was .20!  If that's what they want, that's what they got!

eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings   eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings

by: John

Mon Feb 21 07:20:19 2011

Old school Philosophy vs New school. To quote a very successful business phrase by the late great Sy Syms.....'' Where an educated consumer is our best customer''.....is not that of john donahoe

eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings   eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings

by: buyer - seller

Mon Feb 21 07:57:44 2011

This is nothing new as it has been happening for a long time now. The answer is to link to your current listings ending soonest. Also if you do this, while they are on that page anything they type in the search box searchs your listings only. Doing this has increased sales and multiple items purchases.

Also if you have alot of items you can customize the link. For instance for the seller you mentioned, link to all rings. Again if they type earrings in the search box it brings up only your items.

Stay away from linking to closed listings at all costs.

Not a cheerleader just trying to make the system work for me.

eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings   eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
Web Site

Mon Feb 21 08:05:10 2011

I saw this months ago when I was reading a feedback from a seller and a buyer. Instead to send you directly to the item order details. It sends you to a comparison page with active auctions.

eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings   eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings

by: Auction Spotter
Web Site

Mon Feb 21 08:15:31 2011

This redirection is outrageous!

I have found another study where ebay bargain hunters got exposed:
Auctioning item worth of USD 100.000 at eBay - gets $55 top offer

http://www.auctionata.com/Overview/Blogs/Comments.aspx?se
l=f412506d-e01f-4b00-9ef7-b9c084fc2189

eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings   eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings

by: Searching

Mon Feb 21 10:03:16 2011

@auction spotter - Too bad the tester didn't let the auction complete. Ending an auction a "few hours" early renders the results worthless. Obviously there were at least 5 potential bidders willing to spend more than $30,000 for the item, but they did not want to show their intentions until the end. None of them would of let this item go for less than 20-30K - they were watching it very closely and responded immediately to it being ended early.


eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings   eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings

by: Sarah

Mon Feb 21 12:26:12 2011

So what. $20-$30k. is still well below the value Christie's set at $80/$100k.

eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings   eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings

by: Just a Seller

Mon Feb 21 14:28:28 2011

If you're on Facebook and using links to your products, why on earth would you direct anybody to your ebay listings and pay the fees?? Wouldn't it be better for that seller to direct clients to another venue in which she is selling?

The moral of the story (for me that is): If you are naive enough to direct anyone to your ebay listings don't be surprised when your potential clients are being re-directed: ebay has a long history of biting the hand which feeds them (our hand that is).

eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings   eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings

by: Rick1313
Web Site

Mon Feb 21 15:51:05 2011

On the subject of eBay and the exclusivity of ones listing...

I've mentioned before how I have had other sellers listings embedded in my listings when a buyer was asking a question on an active listing.

When I click on the item in question, three pages of five items (all from other sellers) are there to take buyer away from my listing.

Thing is, I have my preferences set to not participate in any cross-eBay promos.

Screen shots were taken for any potential legal use down the line.

------------------

If I am not mistaken, I believe eBay always did show other sellers listings when a user clicked on an ended listing (in one format or another). As the listing is not running, eBay is not obligated to show any exclusivity for that particular seller.

The problem, as I mentioned above, is when they do direct a user away from a seller's ACTIVE listing when seller states that eBay is not to do so.

The two scenarios are quite different.

eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings   eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings

by: buck efay, Huh, Huh, Huh!

Mon Feb 21 17:33:53 2011

If Ticketmaster didn't exist, then I'd say Ebay are the world's most corrupt & useless company. As it stands, they are only #2, and not from lack of trying. And mainly, because ticketmaster has so many more active users than Ebay ever will again!

eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings   eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Feb 21 17:36:57 2011

There is NO end to the pandemic dishonesty and abuse heaps on sellers.

FTC - bait and switch.

eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings   eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings

by: Scott

Mon Feb 21 22:56:10 2011

I discovered this last month and called eBay to find out how to opt out.  The phone rep said that I couldn't.  I let her know exactly what I thought of this asinine policy . . . in words loud enough so that the rest of my antique shop heard exactly what I thought of eBay in general.  I suppose this is what Griff thought he was talking about when he said that eBay was working to direct more customers to my goods . . . so, Griff, where are those customers anyway?  Looking at my competitors?  Or just not looking at all . . .

eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings   eBay Diverts Traffic to Other Sellers' Listings

by: Frank
Web Site

Tue Sep 27 09:50:58 2011

Quit complaining and do some back linking and blogging to you ebay store site!



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