Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Jan 5 2021 22:48:57

Should You Pay Extra to Advertise Your eBay Listings?

By: Ina Steiner

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How much should you spend to promote your listings on eBay? Some sellers would say the fees they already pay should cover the cost of getting exposure to shoppers, but others are willing to pay more to get an edge over their competitors.

But if you are open to advertising your eBay listings, how much extra should you pay? 

eBay just announced the launch of a "machine learning based bid recommendation system" for Promoted Listings.

As readers may know, sellers choose how much they will pay for sales made through Promoted Listing Ads by setting a percentage of the final sale price. If a shopper clicks on their ad and purchases the item within 30 days, sellers pay eBay the rate they've selected.

But eBay explains it's tricky for sellers to calculate the optimal ad rate, even with access to detailed metrics and Promoted Listings campaign reports, so it used machine learning to develop an algorithm to provide an item-level suggested ad rate which helps balance cost and performance. In a post on the eBay Tech blog, tech researchers for the company explained how it worked.

eBay's Senior Product Manager of Advertising Sarvesh Saran called it a huge achievement by the eBay Advertising team. "This will help eBay sellers succeed in their advertising goals while minimizing cost," the executive wrote.

eBay is counting on advertising, as well as managed payments, to grow revenue. Let us know what you think of the new feature and if it will entice you to try eBay advertising.

Comments (26) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

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by: COVID-19 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 6 05:02:44 2021

"Machine learning" again?  Haven't eBay messed up enough things already with its stupid algorithms and C@$$ini magic?

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 6 05:42:57 2021

First eBay “humans” learned to money grab aka steal from sellers, now eBay is “training “ its computers to do so!

Oh joy! More eBay theft!

Just wait till they copy Etsy and try to force sellers to pay for advertising.....

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

Wed Jan 6 07:45:37 2021

No.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Jan 6 11:22:59 2021

Here is my thinking on this--I don't trust eBay or Etsy to give me more exposire if I pay them more. PERIOD!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Jan 6 11:24:30 2021

I meant exposure.

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by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 6 11:50:10 2021

If you want more exposure, then raise your prices. Since ebay hides listings, they are more inclined to show higher prices.  

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by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 6 17:41:50 2021

I got all the Chinese doing it in my category! These SOB's dont let up!

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 6 20:42:51 2021

Either their search engine works or it doesn't. If a potential buyer can't find my listing with a few key words, then why am I paying 12.35% + 30 cents?
Let's go back to 5% and 25 cents to list.

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by: leavingNY This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 7 00:13:50 2021

This is just another money grab by Ebay. My buyers are so confused when they cannot read my listings description when they hide it with rows and rows of my competitors items on MY listing where my description used to be located. My buyers are not able to find the description now and I am getting questions from buyers that are already answered in the description. I am also getting SNAD from buyers who did not find the description of the listing. Proof of this is when they comment on the SNAD they state the reason why (color for instance) is right in the listings description already. Ebay hijacks my listings description so they can line their pockets with my competitor paying extra to advertise their listings in my listings description. Many times stealing my sale right out from under me, by lisitng a competitors item on MY listing. Inethical business practice when I pay Ebay thousands every month to sell and list there.  

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 7 03:13:00 2021

Nope nope nope.  I'm getting MOST of my sales from Posh & Merc and AMZ.  Ebay is running 4th.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 7 03:13:45 2021

My buyers are not able to find the description now and I am getting questions from buyers that are already answered in the description. I am also getting SNAD from buyers who did not find the description of the listing.
^^
THIS TOO.

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 7 03:20:21 2021

I've been using eBay's ''Promoted Listings'' on my items since I started back up in late November after being required to join Managed Payments. 23 of the 31 items I've sold (all were my primitive handmade items) sold due to the ads! My bids are usually about 3%. Although I miss the old days (pre-2008) before search got mucked up, I will happily pay this small amount to get as many sales as I've made in the last month!  

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

Thu Jan 7 09:08:42 2021

So you list something on e-bay and do all the work selling, shipping, returns and on and on all the work. The final value fee for higher end items is already ridiculous yet they charge you another fee on the cost of shipping to your customers. They also demand shipping to be free threatening your listings with lower exposure if you don't do it.  Then they give buyers money back for fraudulent returns without your permission taken by force out of your account because you use managed payments. They also charge you even more money to use this Managed payments by forcing their way into your banking relationship. Is there bounced fees to the Bank because of E-bay? Good luck  if you get what your supposed to  in that managed account on time or ever?. Better do the math every sale and watch out. So now they are saying what??? They need more money to exposure your items for sale or they will hide them?? Wow sounds like I'd get better treatment dealing with the MOB.

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by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 7 10:14:52 2021

Got the notice to Mangled Payments last week.  Will never happen. I do not need anymore eBay BS, let along more fees for what they are supposed to be doing anyway.

Been on eBay since 99.  So, pulled all  listings, closed the store, stopped my Terapeak subscription. Washed my hands; done with the sleaze bag that eBay is now.  

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by: Denny This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Jan 7 10:34:42 2021

That's where I'm at Tom H except I'm letting listing's run out. They won't allow a relist and I'm glad after 17 years and near perfect feed back. I'm working on free Google Merchant Center listings going to my Website. I'm also finding out I can sell way less and and make more money because I'm not getting butchered by E-bay. The best to all of us who escape E-bays greed. One bite at a time to being way better off away from them. Let them nail their own coffin shut. Just wait until after the pandemic is over and sellers begin the mass exit. Denny

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by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 7 13:54:13 2021

90% plus my items are unique one of a kind or only antique one available so a big NO

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Thu Jan 7 18:56:26 2021

No.  Not in principle, not in practice.  Back about two years ago I put a few things I just needed to dump any way I could on promoted listings.  Didn't sell a single one over several months.  Last few weeks, surprise, they've been selling without the additional fees.  When shows open back up, I'll be done with eBay.

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by: Vigilant Eye On eBay This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 7 18:58:00 2021

Having never signed up for managed payments when it was demanded that I do so, all of my eBay stores were closed and Goggle's free ads have more than compensated for the minimal amount of venue business that was lost.

Like Tom, have been on eBay since 1999 and have now washed my hands of the venue.

As I have not been allowed to list anything new and can no longer revise any existing listings, whatever products remain on eBay are either being ended as they sell through my Bigcommerce store, or will be left on the venue until they are sold or ended by eBay, which likely occur sometime this year.

With far less stress, my profit margin has gone up since my eBay stores were shuttered.

Denny, based upon the exit of many of the long time sellers that I previously purchased quite a few items from in the past and a huge decrease in the amount of products that are currently being listed in the categories shopped, it appears that the mass exodus has already begun.

Not exactly sure how many casual, private, or small-time sellers are going to want to pay more for a potential sale on eBay, much less wait days (or in some cases) weeks for a buyer's remittance, while being expected to ship in advance of an eBay funds transfer.

Given that eBay expects to be paid immediately, as each sale is consummated, sellers should be afforded no less.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 8 09:47:48 2021

Like in the zoo - the mantra on eBay is "dont feed the animals"

eBay takes WAY TOO MUCH as it is - and for what they do get paid for - exposure should be included.

Theres NO WAY to measure it anyway - different results in different browsers/countries/places and no one can figure out where "the listing would have been not paid for vs paid for".

Its all a scam - as is most things with eBay - if not a total rip off.

eBay makes the "mob" look like children.

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by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 8 13:50:18 2021

I have been using Promoted Listings for about a year and a half. I run everything at 2% just to get the exposure.

In principle, I don't like time paying extra for something that eBay should be doing anyway. But, I figure either play their little game, or deal with the consequences.

That said, I am not sure there is a net benefit for me. In the last 2 years, my annual gross revenues have landed in the same range as the prior 2 years, within a 2 percent variance up or down. Further analysis has me convinced that eBay does limit overall sales. I have been at my limit. When I perform a rolling month to month analysis, it is evident the most recent month is coming in to keep that annualized amount in line. Put simply, I can predict with reasonable accuracy what my sales this month will be based on where I am for the last 11 months. Sales patterns based on average item prices, geography, sales counts and totals fit this parameter.

I am convinced that NO MATTER what a seller does, you will likely never see a measurable increase above the threshold eBay has set for your store. Anecdotal evidence from other sellers supports this. I haven't read about anybody reporting higher sales on eBay. Only downward trends. Other sites...I can find at least one if not several reports of increasing sales.

My promoted listings metrics show that about 2/3 of all impressions are promoted. One half of my sales are promoted. Seems significant but I wonder how many of those sales would happen anyway. Are organic impressions and sales being cannibalized by those which are promoted? I am inclined to say yes. If I am paying for promoted listings, the expectation is that TOTAL revenues will increase. This has not been the case.

Going into this year, I am slowly dropping free shipping, free returns, and promoted listings. Sure I may need to triple my active listings (doubtful) to maintain sales levels. But I don't see any point to offering all of the bells and whistles, and pay extra, without seeing an increase in my bottom line. Ebay isn't bringing the traffic. Without buyers, nothing else matters.

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