eBay threw sellers off guard by the timing of a new promotion designed to entice them to list in the auction format. Invitations went out today, Sunday, but the promotion kicks off tomorrow, Monday, December 4, 2017.
A reader described their experience as follows:
"I'd like to share what was a new one on me: This morning, 12-03-2017, I received an eBay message offering me 500 free auction style listings. I accepted the offer, as it seemed like other offers I had received, and then I was invited by eBay to begin listing right way.
"However, here's the catch: The offer never showed up on my main page as a current promotion. After carefully re-reading the promotion, I discovered that it does not go into effect until TOMORROW, 12-04-2017.
"I'm glad I did not hit the sell button, renewing 200 listings that I falsely expected to be free right away, especially when invited to begin selling immediately, it seems like a trick.
"I think it's just another clever ruse by the architects at eBay, once again not being completely up front in their dealings with sellers, but leaving themselves a loop-hole to avoid prosecution."
Sellers also talked about the promotion on the eBay discussion boards
. One seller said recipients of the invitation were lucky to get advance warning so they could prepare listings ahead of time. Another said they wished the promotion applied to fixed-price listings. And another seller wrote, "This is the poorest time of the year to offer auction format" and said it had been the worst holiday season they had ever experienced - "People are not even buying new items that are selling at 75% below retail."
If you received the promotion, be sure to read the fine print, and let us know what you think.
UPDATE 12/3/17: A reader mentioned another eBay promotion in the comments below and sent the following screenshot (thanks!).