Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Fri Aug 3 2018 16:49:55

eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay CEO Devin Wenig told Wall Street analysts on July 18th that he sees advertising one of eBay's most significant mid-term opportunities (the other is payments) - particularly Promoted Listing Ads. There are over 300,000 sellers promoting over 150 million listings, he said, "leading to revenue growth in excess of 150%." 

But that's currently a tiny percentage of revenue - total Marketplace revenue growth was 9% (or 6% on an FX-Neutral basis. Here's how eBay is looking to increase its advertising revenue.

2) Increase the number of sellers who advertise.
One obvious way to boost ad revenue is to increase the number of sellers who advertise. eBay is now targeting "consumer sellers" with a dumbed-down version of its seller ad program - see today's news story about eBay Promoted Listings Lite.

eBay also has some room to grow the program geographically - Promoted Listings Ads are currently available to all active eBay Stores subscribers in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, and Australia, and FRITES (France, Italy, and Spain). In the US, the program also available to Top Rated Sellers.

Moving to a catalog approach, as eBay is doing, may also help boost adoption. When sellers must compete for the Buy Box on a single Product page, they may be more inclined to consider advertising as a way to get visibility for their items.

2) Increase ad fees.
Sellers indicate how much they are willing to pay for Promoted Listings as a percentage of the selling price. eBay used to limit the rates at 20% of the selling price, but now it allows sellers to pay up to 100% of the selling price. 

That's obviously not a good idea, since any seller who moves the lever to 100% would be in effect paying eBay to sell their items, since they must also pay a commission (Final Value Fee) and often pay insertion fees, not to mention all the other costs they incur.

But as greater numbers of sellers begin advertising, they will be likely to pay more for each ad as placement gets increasingly competitive. 

3) Increase ad inventory.
Ads are appearing in more places on eBay's site, and in December, eBay expanded the availability of PLAs to Motors Parts & Accessories.

eBay is also testing a new pay-per-click advertising program called Highline Search Ads. Invited sellers can run ads that appear at the top of search results; they pay whenever a shopper clicks on the ad. 

eBay is also going local with ads for services, starting in the UK, so sellers will have to compete for ad space with local service providers, such as plumbers and hairdressers.

The message to Wall Street is clear: eBay wants more money from sellers on its site through ad fees. It's up to sellers to determine if paying more fees to advertise their listings on eBay shows a positive return on their investment.

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

by: Mark4 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 5 12:22:43 2018

Ebay = Dead Man Walking   No New Ideas, 52 week stock low....ship continues to sink

Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Sun Aug 5 12:33:07 2018

I was looking for outdoor water fountains just a few minutes ago. Up pop's a sponsors items. They pay dearly for that ad. I press the eBay Shop Now and it takes me to an empty page. I think I'll email that sponsor and let them know what their advertising dollar is getting them.....a big page of fat nothing.

Lol.

Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

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

Sun Aug 5 12:58:23 2018

@ Number 6 :
I'm a Drummer  :o)
Let's ROCK !

Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Sun Aug 5 13:12:57 2018

Further to my odd result in looking at water fountains, I decided to go a little further and see how many obvious bugs presented themselves during my search.

Well, I had a breakdown after the 17th one, I had to run away from the computer. I knew it was bad, pretty awful, but this is absolutely staggering. Every other click produces something else that's wrong. Un freaking believable.

Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 5 13:38:13 2018

An easy way to raise revenue is to cut costs.

There's an immediate $17M savings plus expenses sitting on a private plane somewhere between CA and the Hamptons.

Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 5 13:45:21 2018

We sell OFF ebay with great success

It's actually much more profitable for us to pay for Google Ad's and have them shown on eBay,, our ads generally go to first page of every page for that keyword, and buyers from eBay go directly to our website, to purchase,

Buyers get great prices, and we get.............

NO FVF on items sold,
NO greedy useless Store Fees,
NO criminal Fees on Shipping, ,
NO Listing Fees,
NO ebay scam buyer Hassles,
NO ebay anti-seller draconian policies
NO future high cost ebay payments

Sellers just cannot compete when their costs to do business are high, you will be broke, financially and mentally when you sell on ebay,

Sales off ebay are GREAT, sales on ebay are BAD

Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Sun Aug 5 13:54:02 2018

@madmax

Do you use an app like Shopify or is this your own website?

Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

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

Sun Aug 5 13:59:41 2018

@Can Brit

Ebay will just lie and say that it just happened and that there numbers prove they have been showing something there everyday but the one time you happened to click on it.  They always have made up statistics to back up what they want them to prove.  i can only imagine the proof that Ebay will show when a sellers wants the proof for why the latest campaign cost them $750 in clicks but the Seller did not sell anything at all and only had 10 available at $50 each in the first place.  

There is no way in hell that I would allow Ebay to have a free reign to charge me whatever they want each month based on how much revenue they need to show.  I can see them paying some company in the Philippines to have 1000 employees sitting there clicking on these ads all day and doing nothing else as that is how they generate their revenue.  It is so easy to see Ebay paying these people 25 cents an hour to click on a minimum 1000 ads an hour to generate money for Ebay while never having any intention of buying any of the products.  They could even do it from their homes or cell phones so that it appears to be halfway legit.

After all the lies that Ebay has been caught telling any seller or company that buys into this scam deserves to get taken for their money as Ebay has already shown the world that they cannot be trusted.  I can see that being the final straw that finally causes EBay so much negative publicity that they have to admit that Wenig is the pond scum that sellers already know he is.

Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

by: Troy Stiffler This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 5 14:03:01 2018

My take on "build your own website"... Yes, build your own website. You'll need to be sync'd perfectly to Google and have a good looking site. Follow all of Google's suggestions.

Whether I have orders on Ebay, Amazon, or my website - I have no idea what drives sales to one or the other. It seems like a slow day on Amazon might translate to a big day on Ebay. Vice versa. Someone might buy on the website, when I have 20% off on Ebay. In nearly 20 years, I can't figure out what gets a product to sell at one over the other. It's chaos.

But regardless, you're not living up to your full potential if you're not using multiple platforms. Especially if you're selling unique products (or products that aren't easily available). It takes some extra effort. But setting up through Shopify or BigCommerce is not more than a few day's work. BigCommerce is just $30/mo, plus around $300/yr for an SSL certificate.  

Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

by: Troy Stiffler This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 5 14:10:11 2018

Also: I have a ton of products in "Promoted Listings". Doing that does NOT guarantee any kind of activity. It might help you out a little. But it's not a magic fix to start moving your products.

Amazon treated pricing and advertising similarly when they dumped all of their FBA users on July 1. Some products just take time to sell. Someone out there will eventually need what you have. And, if you're on Ebay, it's probably in the thrift/grey-market area, where it's discounted and in-stock. That's how products sell. Not by paying for keywords or driving your prices into the ground.

Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

This user has validated their user name. by: Number 6

Sun Aug 5 14:19:18 2018

@ Number 6 :
"I'm a Drummer  :o)
Let's ROCK !"

I'm a lapsed semi-pro bassist/geetarist, but if you think selling on eBay is depressing, try, well, I won't use the words 'earn a living as a small-time musician', more accurately, try getting paid your promised fee from the club owner/promoter after playing to a packed house...if you can find him.

The good news though, is Devil Wenig's up for being our manager - which means we won't earn a dime, of course, but at least we'll get plenty of weasel words press and reviews.

I'd rather have Ian Faith and his cricket bat [Spinal Tap's manager], but he's retired with all their earnings apparently, a bit like Wenig's going to do with eBay's cash in the coming year or so.












Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

by: nuggets This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 5 14:30:52 2018

@deejae137

I am one of those sellers who bought a ton but slowed down tremendously for the last couple years as I could see what was happening. Now Ive stopped, both out of principle and becasue it makes no sense to buy more inventory to sell on a barely functioning, no protection platform. I will start buying again when my other endeavors turn up, which they already are.

It makes zero sense for me to continue listing on ebay so all of that energy is going elsewhere. Half of the last couple years was spent changing listing, item specifics, and editing to comply with archaic ebay changes. I will sell off a lot and bring my store down to a small one and slowly exit, mainly on principle but also because it has become a serious negative in my life. Atm it is the thing that brings about the most trouble in my life, which I am lucky it is the worst.

You cant treat people who are supposed to be partners or customers as trash for very long. The best at what they do will find another way. When the sales were through the roof I put up with a lot. When the sales go down, listings are hidden, the platform is broken in 10 ways, returns have multiplied, and higher fees are on the horizon for a worse experience, then I wont play that game any longer. I have paid ebay a lot over the years. I could easily make a fraction of what I make on ebay elsewhere and be much happier not killing myself to jump through these stupid hoops that add pressure and anxiety to life.

Besides, they took any fvf discounts away and we pay for more services. For the last few years I block anyone who says boo to avoid problems and will not unblock. Many of whom I wouldnt if we had a modicum of protection. That is due to over reaching policies stacked against sellers.

They will not get to 500m buyers, more than likely lose many they have due to their treatment and "glitches". If they do, it will be into markets with very little money so they will be able to claim so many buyers but they will be poorer customers who will return and scam at yet unseen levels.

After all of the years of changes, nothing like this chaos has happened. You cant take things weve earned away, give us a broken system, make us chase credits and refunds, and raise the cost of doing business. If they were providing more, good customers, taking some responsibility and increasing profits, fine, raise fees but that is not the case. This is like cutting your employees salary becasue the company is not doing good due to the actions of the executives. This to me is one of the poorest run companies right now.

All of the hours I used to put into ebay are now going elsewhere. I have thought about writing a book about my experiences.

Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Sun Aug 5 15:02:39 2018

Ok, I'm one of many sellers who has had a horrendous drop in sales since April. We don't really have a count of how many of us have dropped more than 50%, but if you consider that my fees in May were $1,807.75 and my fees in July were $630, well there is a drop in revenue to eBay of almost $1200 a month. Not much looking at it as one person, but that is almost $15,000 a year loss for them.

Then consider that I usually would spend half of my net profit on ebay as a buyer, which paid other sellers. That money is gone too. Multiply that by however many are hit the same way and the $$$ goes into the stratosphere. How will eBay hide that? I honestly don't know how it's possible for this to continue much longer.

Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 5 15:19:19 2018

@CanBrit

I don't like shopify only because they take a commission off every sale, might be low today, but might be the next greedy evil ebay tomorrow, not going to take any chances of the same thing ebay did to us. so ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

We use Wordpress, with Woocomerance shopping cart plugin, and we definitely use Paypal, for payments, this combination has it's share of issues but it's popular and there's always a solution online. to issues

A website on it's own will not bring in many sales, it takes work, you need to promote it, and advertise, it took us about 2 years before we were finally able to break our ties with ebay completely,

Now it's just a mater of 15 years more of spreading the word (if ebay actually lasts that long) of how truly evil these ebay monsters treated us for being such devoted loyal and honest customers for 18 years, similar to spitting in our face would sum it up, this vial nasty evil company will get what they deserve in the end, as @Marie once stated I have a real distaste for them, and that's not going away anytime soon,

Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

This user has validated their user name. by: Number 6

Sun Aug 5 15:44:34 2018

CanBrit
'I'm one of many sellers who has had a horrendous drop in sales since April.'

Same here, but over a number of years really - I've noticed this year I get a surge in (mainly cheapskate) sales shortly before our store subscription is due, clearly our listings were not visible before that, and eBay knows we need some dosh to pay them with each month.

So we pay a monthly store to have visibility about 2 weeks per month -

Like everyone else, we're not purchasing much in the way of new inventory, not buying anything on eBay if we can help it, and slowly clearing our inventory so we can downsize the store again, if we can even be bothered to do that when its due for renewal.

Having been a seller on eBay since almost the very beginning - BEFORE photos, before Paypal, before stealing from our shipping, when customers could pay in cash, checks, money orders and before all the nonsense that has come along since...hard to believe what a pleasure it once was to list on eBay and sell things and have communications with buyers and...




Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 5 16:00:07 2018

Just look at the stats on Etsy, or from Google (ebay won't show you becuase it would expose them) to where your buyers come from to find your items, the facts are 80% of the buyers get to your items from GOOGLE so when these venues sell promoted listings, they are only promoted from within etsy or within the ebay site , this is NOT where most of the buyers are,

Promoted listings on ebay and etsy are a TOTAL scam, a waste of money and do nothing but make the venue rich. if you're using them, immediately stop everything you're doing, log on to the site right now and terminate every single one.

Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Sun Aug 5 16:04:53 2018

Number 6
I too have had the flurry of sales before an invoice is due. Generally I experience a brief 24 hour period twice a month where I get 4 or 5 sales in, then back to oblivion. This has to be happening to millions? possibly of sellers.  We are talking about a huge drop in revenue. Do they really believe that sellers are going to fall for the advertising and pay more? Look at what happened to the fountain sellers I looked at today. Pay $$$ and getting nothing.

Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 5 16:06:34 2018

Number 6  :)

thank you for the long post on page 3 - its as if you read my mind and printed it out "for me".

Sales are almost non existent - so I can commiserate with every one here - hence the 8-5 job I had to take a year ago.

Ive been an eBay seller since 1998, so Ive seen the good times and the bad - this however is the "worst".

eBay back in the beginning of the bad days - at least didnt hide your listings. They may have VEROd you (like in my case), but the listings were NEVER hidden.

I know they made back end deals with certain manufacturers, I know they created their own laws - to please them - but they NEVER hid anything.

The vindictive behavior by the psychopath named DW goes to new levels.

I agree about the pictures - its was simply homogenization and not Google not being able to produce them in search - I found them all the time and the amount of business back then proved eBay wrong (like usual).

I dont buy on eBay anymore - not because of a lack of money - Id just rather go to a show or store and give the hard working person there my money instead. That the Devil & Cupcake make 1 extra penny from me then necessary - makes me ill. They deserve jail not rewards.

Sellers wont buy ads (increased surface area) - its more like increased surface TENSION. Why should they? Never mind that nothing is quantifiable, its the job eBay should have been doing from day 1... or else why are we paying FVFs?

Why cant we get a report of impressions (by buyers), whyc ant we get a report on anything besides views????? (aka details).

We all list items then HOPE they show up and get sold - its 2018 - can we get something for our money????????

I have 2 whole things to pack - totaling $50 - whoopee Im a genius on eBay. But its 20x more on AMAZON so ......

Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sun Aug 5 16:35:00 2018

I would sooner set my remaining inventory on fire and collect the tax break than pay even more for ads on eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth   eBay Looks to Seller Ad Fees for Revenue Growth

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 5 16:58:40 2018

eBay's goal is to take at least 50% of a sellers sales in fees, that is why the marketplace is dying a slow death.

Sellers are not going to pay these delusional executives 50% of sales just to say I sold something on eBay.

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