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Tue May 21 2019 23:10:03

Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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Click fraud is alive and well on the internet, and as online marketplaces like Etsy and eBay grow their Promoted Listing ad programs, it could prove costly to sellers. 

To wit, Etsy sellers are reporting suspicious activity on their Promoted Listing ads this week that have all the earmarks of click fraud. 

In this thread on the Etsy boards, sellers say their daily budgets are being used up in an hour or two due to a large number of clicks on their listings - but with no associated shopping behavior such as sales, favorites, or add-to-carts, leading them to suspect some sort of bot attacks.

One seller said it could happen to listings that are featured in Etsy marketing campaigns, and some said it could be a competitor trying to drain the budget so the ad stops running.

Sellers should be on the lookout for suspicious behavior impacting their ad campaigns, whether it's Etsy, eBay, or Google. Document it and contact the platform where you're running your campaign. It's tough to prevent it from happening, but platforms should credit you if you can make a case - knowing the term "click fraud" will help you when speaking to customer service reps.



Comments (18) | Permalink

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Perminate Link for Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers   Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 22 04:03:20 2019

Yeow.   Could there BE any BETTER reason to reject instantly any thought of using a PAID promotion that is Billed to the "advertiser" as an unverifiably UNIQUE USER CLICK?  
Several YEARS ago when this veruchte idea skimmed across my awareness I was just flabbergasted that GOOGLE program along these lines was charging Per Click advertising FEES such that it was like walking into a strange bar with $100 bills TAPED to the back of one's coat.  Yes, I chose COAT as a particular example as all those bills could be removed without the wearer ever ONCE being aware of their extraction.
Advertising DOES WORK, but only a GOOF would just open-endedly commit to PAY based solely on "eyeballs"  vs. actual purchases by those "eyeballs".

Perminate Link for Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers   Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

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

Wed May 22 04:58:49 2019

I mentioned something along those same lines when Ebay was talking about adding another Seller Fee for bringing people to your items with a pay per click ad.  I was truthfully afraid that Ebay might hire people to sit at their computers and do that exact thing as Wenig has not morals to speak of and it seemed just like something he would have done.  We already know that Etsy appears to be hurting for cash so might they be doing the same type of shenanigans where people are paid to sit there and click on these ads to run the budgets up?  

Perminate Link for Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers   Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 22 08:57:20 2019

What a silly idea that EBay would PAY a PERSON to click on ads - so much faster and cheaper to have an algorithm  do it.

Perminate Link for Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers   Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Life During Wartime

Wed May 22 11:28:03 2019

There is always a certain amount of paranoia in the Etsy Forums, which makes them amusing to read.  

Without better evidence of click fraud, I would hesitate to say it's happening.  But that is just me.

The featured-by-Etsy-somewhere is a possible explanation for hundreds of clicks with no favorites, carting, or purchase.  I had a few items included in Etsy home page Treasuries back in the day.  One item was shown during the 1PM - 2PM slot (I think it was).  The item got over 1900 views in that hour.  I received no favorites for the shop or any item, including the featured one, and no purchases.  Imagine an ad for that item shown in a curated/featured search first page.  Click, click, click.

Another problem --seller caused -- is the percentage of paid listings where the shop owner chose to have the item appear in irrelevant searches.  Before I realized that the appearance of certain ads that were irrelevant to my search terms was seller generated,  I clicked on some of them just to see what was going on with search.  

Perminate Link for Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers   Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 22 11:54:09 2019

Any ads should only be charged if there is a sale. end of story.

Pay per click is a scam, and not only that, these marketplaces are just to unintelligent to run them correctly.

Perminate Link for Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers   Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

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

Wed May 22 15:42:03 2019

@hopeforthebest

That would require them to pay for the algorithm to be designed and that it would actually work, which is not exactly Ebays cup of tea these days.  Much cheaper to have some offshore help sit and do this while also performing some other mundane task for Ebay,  maybe like Customer Service where all they do is answer the phone and give the same Lip Service that Upper Management is known for.

Perminate Link for Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers   Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Thu May 23 02:08:02 2019

I've got news for ya.
Click fraud exists absolutely everywhere.
Google was exposed.
Ebay affiliates where exposed.
I won't get involved with it.
Save your money.
Don't use it.
.

Perminate Link for Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers   Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 23 04:34:38 2019

click fraud is a money maker,,,,,,for etsy

etsy will never have the technical ability to stop click fraud, sellers will get burned,

a big win for etsy,,,,,,,,,,



Perminate Link for Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers   Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

by: TDAKS This user has validated their user name.
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Thu May 23 06:06:55 2019

I never had much faith in a system where you would be paying each time a competitor was checking you out.
The last time I thought I might test Google they suggested a minimum spend of $200 PER DAY so testing again was not an option. I don't mind eBay's promoted listings because you only pay when you make a sale but it's a big thumbs down from me for PPC.

Perminate Link for Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers   Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 23 07:01:25 2019

nothing more that an easy way for the greedy vultures to steal more money. so sad!!

Perminate Link for Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers   Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

by: SellerGirl This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 23 08:07:07 2019

I did paid promotions for one month and found my sales did not increase even a bit, so I discontinued. Clicks went way up, using up my budgeted amount very quickly, but I didn't have more completed sales, so it didn't make sense to keep paying.

Perminate Link for Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers   Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

by: jdbok This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 23 10:28:13 2019

I hate paying for Etsy promos but over half of my sales come from those ads
When I tested ending them my sales tanked
For once eBay has a better system expensive but effective and Fair

Perminate Link for Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers   Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 23 15:12:18 2019

pay per click is and has been since day one a joke invented no doubt by a tekie prisoner who had too much time on his hands while sitting in a prison jail cell for internet schemes. I personally love it when  my competitors use it. I know they most likely won't even be around next year. In my 20 years I've seen alot come and go. Anyone who thinks they can circumvent good old hard work ethics to get a quickie reward deserves exactly what they get

Perminate Link for Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers   Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 23 16:07:20 2019

Never pay for click ads, Period! Pay fees only if the item sells. I won't pay for click ads and I will tell you why. I do a lot of research for my items, for my books, and for prices. One month Google stated I looked at 35.000 items or sites. Those paying for click ads made Google money. The ad payers paid more. Now I try and limit what I look at. I don't like that folks are paying for my browsing when I have no intention of buying anything. I blame sellers for this situation. If no one paid for click ads they would not be in existence. If you want to level the playing field stop paying for click ads and make Google, Etsy and every other click ad selling hot air disappear or go to a percentage for selling the item.  

Perminate Link for Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers   Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 23 23:00:49 2019

PPC is a really poor idea - I have no idea why Etsy is so tech challenged - they make eBay look like geniuses.

Promoted listings on Etsy are very expensive unless you happen to be in one of the 'cheap n' cheerful' categories that they're flogging, and yes, click fraud does exist - as said upthread, it's everywhere. It can even be the result of replication of an advert in blogs or a hiccup in Etsy's own system (they seem to be getting worse and worse).

Why they don't go to a simple pay promotional fee when item sells is beyond me.

I did try promoted listings on Etsy, have on and off since they were introduced, testing them. Only recently have I seen a budget get run through between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 4:00 a.m.  Um...that's not paranoia, that's just a simple observation. It happened enough that it drove my fees up to 30% of revenue and I then switched them off, paid Etsy their pound of flesh and truthfully answered their exit survey that they had everything bass-akwards when it came to promotionals. Not that they'll read it or anything.  

Perminate Link for Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers   Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: MainelyVintage

Fri May 24 23:06:52 2019

As the linked thread states it’s a bot that targets SHOE listings. Not just shoes you wear, but shoe lasts, shoe charms, horse shoes. You get the drift.

Why? Who knows. I just wish it would stop lol. It’s annoying to have to make complicated bug reports to get my money back.

And of course it’s not fixed so I had to remove all my “shoe” listings from the Promoted Listings program. It would be nice for Etsy to acknowledge the issue. {Sigh.}

Perminate Link for Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers   Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.
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Sat May 25 14:11:42 2019

...hence, the reason I have never used PPC advertising, nor will I ever. There are other free methods that may take more work, but are far more valuable in the long term.

I know not everybody (particularly artisans) has time for it, but it's definitely something you should be investing in. So, if you're going to pay for advertising, then why not spend it on something that is more effective and won't open you up to things like click fraud?

There are all sorts of virtual assistants out there who do these things for a living. Many offer their services on sites like fiverr. They could handle your social media campaigns, write ad copy, create graphics for use in ads, place your ads on various sites, etc.

While I am a virtual assistant by trade, I do not offer those particular services. I'm just aware that there are VAs who do and have used a few in the past. Not only is it a time-saver, but it's far more cost-effective as it produces better, long-term results.

Perminate Link for Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers   Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: MainelyVintage

Fri May 31 09:27:32 2019

...not completely resolved... I see spurious clicks removed from stats, but only the ones I reported, not the unreported ones... (I haven’t dug to see if my shop received a refund or credit.)

Wonder how long I should wait. Hmmmm.



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