How are eBay's new cost-per-click ads (CPC) impacting sales? Some sellers have raised concerns about the program called Promoted Listings Advanced, still in Beta.
A Top Rated seller told EcommerceBytes they felt eBay was strong-arming them to use it. "It feels my store has dropped off the face of the Earth - no sales since end of August, which never happens."
When they contacted eBay about the sales drop, the rep pitched them on the new CPC ads (eBay Promoted Listings Advanced
), where sellers pay eBay whenever a buyer clicks their ad, regardless of whether the buyer purchases the item.
Another reader pointed to a thread on Reddit
where some sellers reported their eBay sales had crashed in September and speculated on whether the new ad format was having an impact.
"I have NEVER seen one of these 'my sales are down' threads that didn't result in many/most responses being 'nah, all good here,'" the seller told EcommerceByts. "This one is 100% uniformly 'dead here too.'" The seller said they wondered if it was a "carrot and stick" play by eBay to push the new ad format.
That was certainly a theory advanced on the Reddit thread, with one eBay seller writing:
"I'm of a similar scale to you, and I'm basically DOA the last week. Tried all my usual tricks: sent a bunch of offers, ended and 'sell-similar' some older items, listed a bunch of new inventory, cut some prices on high-watcher items... Nuttin' honey.
"Call me a conspiracy theorist if you like... but I sure do wonder if my 'invite' to try eBay's new Pay-per-click marketing and the dearth of impressions are related. The falloff certainly coincided EXACTLY with that 'invitation'.
"Perhaps we've being given an 'incentive' to try out the new pay-for-exposure system?"
Reports of slow sales on eBay are nothing new - and because they're anecdotal, it's impossible to measure how widespread the problem may be. But what the reports coming in this month show is the deep skepticism some sellers have towards eBay in general and specifically towards its new CPC ad program.