Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Sept 28 2021 11:40:58

Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

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.

Comments (14) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads   Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads

by: Smallseller This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 28 14:06:10 2021

One thing that is going to be crucial to small sellers is to learn new niches that are not saturated. If you are selling in saturated markets like clothes, shoes, electronics where sellers have huge budgets to use on PPC, it may become more difficult to get exposure.  

Perminate Link for Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads   Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 28 19:49:35 2021

Well I guess if there's no increasing sales they cant make any money on promoted listings, so I guess even if ebay's not growing they can make more money this way.
It's a little sick if you ask me.

On another note.....So basically...youre telling me if i do this the potential buyer clicks on my listing, Goes to the similar items promoted column, clicks on a chinese copy, buys it, the chinese seller pays and I pay.....But I get nothing in return??  Sounds like an ebay scam.

Perminate Link for Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads   Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 28 20:31:05 2021

“ …where sellers have huge budgets to use on PPC, it may become more difficult to get exposure. “

No doubt, economy of scale will dictate the ‘affordability’ of any ad considerations.  Same way it is when witnessing Coke products dominating grocery shelf space, with off brands at the aisle periphery, if they’re carried at all.  But consider, if that off brand is what’s sought, the thirsty patron will then seek it elsewhere.  Along with whatever else wanted (or happened upon) that might be ‘more convenient’ to acquire at that elsewhere.

So first, perhaps the example commodity markets might not be so ‘saturated’ if more buyers who ‘searched’ had more assurance they’d have a wider choice than eBay deemed in their power to filter out, CPC or not.  Instead, they have gone ‘elsewhere’, all too often following sellers who’s wares they used to find on eBay.  Denying other sellers who’s wares they used to stumble upon, on eBay too.

And second, perhaps such ‘saturation’ would be realized as actually much less, if eBay’s special-needs AI didn’t try to lump in everything remotely ‘orange’ when only an orange is ‘sought’ when deciding which items to occupy the limited real estate that equates to the (deemed) ‘average’ buyer’s attention span in a search return.  Their marketplace ignorant niche+new mashing has done as much or more to evaporate buyers AND sellers than anything a pricey click through might now further exacerbate.

Third, it has been so ever since eBay coveted an Amazon Jr. branding, that they believe that path to riches lay in the mass produced, so it didn’t matter WHO made a ‘sale’, as long as it got made.  And if they can ‘make’ it multiple times to the same seller via up-selling ‘returns’, and monetize it…cha-ching squared.  AND, if they can now further monetize via ‘ad-suck’, especially if they can net the minnows as well as the big game they’ve already trained to hand feed, next round’s on the house baby.  If you can get past the bouncer.

Clearly, not everyone can sell the same widgets just because some can demonstrate (and then ponzi-tele-market) their ‘success’.  But perhaps it would be surprising to learn how many sellers have been told by an eBay rep (for over a decade now), when informed that eBay’s business practices were harmful to a sellers business model - when that model did NOT try to swim in the commodity swamp - that they should ‘rethink’ their business model and inventory anyway.  Flabbergastingly absurd.

So for anybody paying attention, eBay has been slowly, surely, suffocating, isolating and wholesale exterminating their ‘niches’ - their very foundation - for over a decade now.  CPC may be one of the ‘final nails’ in those coffins.  

Because eBay sellers are pretty saturated with eBay’s bovine scat purse snatching schemes themselves.  

Because the whole POINT to using (and affordably paying) eBay was to level the field already ‘saturated’ with the volume advantaged before eBay existed.  So what’s the point now?

Perminate Link for Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads   Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads

by: source This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 29 01:31:40 2021

Ebay has been ripping sellers off for decades, but since they hooked up with the Swiss Bank that holds all the sellers money (aka managed payments) and they would rather be a bank than an ecommerce site, they have been finding new ways to grab sellers' money with no - return.

Click based advertising was debunked in the early 2000s, when click-farms were discovered and advertisers were being ripped off all over the web.  Not ''having to deliver'' a real service is the dream of every parasite and coincidentally the bankers' motto.

So CPC is the new push.  But how are they getting sales down for all the top sellers across the board?  Well, Ebay has a new algorithm in each sellers listing that disables certain combinations of keywords in the auction listing title.  So most sellers wont figure out why their ''hits'' have dropped to 1/10th of normal traffic.  

Say you were selling a Cartier necklace and your title was ''Amazing Cartier Necklace Diamonds Vintage Jewelry''

''Cartier'' alone as a search term works, but use ''Cartier necklace'' and your listing vanishes!  
Try ''Cartier Necklace Amazing'' and it reappears!  Sellers can find their own listings but organic searches by buyers drop off the face of the Earth.

This is just an example of the way the randomized key word filter algorithm works and it is being used against most successful sellers with stores or high sales (the target audience for CPC).  They have algorithms for everything and anyone who complains is totally blackballed and almost every algorithm is used against them from filtering their traffic to making their listings vanish temporarily (i.e. ''We Searched Everywhere..'' pages)

So, just relax, ignore the total waste of money CPC ''advanced'' beta program designed to make them richer and the ecommerce sellers poorer.  Like everything at Ebay, it is short lived until their next bad money grab comes along.  

Perminate Link for Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads   Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads

by: toastedmutt This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 29 16:59:10 2021

So, recycling the old Pay-to-Play Click Scheme are we?

Won't be long before all those under bidders for the top search key word who didn't offer enough are awarded all the rest of the slots on pages 1 - 10 of search results.  

They'll start complaining about being shut out of being top dog by a lousy 1 tenth of a cent bid.  In order to keep them on the site eBay will of course smooth their feathers by giving them the next 199 spots in search returns.  

You just know that the eBay Board of directors will not be able to help themselves from auctioning / selling off the top 10 or 20 or 50 search spots if Promoted Listings Advanced generates any kind of money.

Perminate Link for Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads   Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 29 19:06:53 2021

Parasites is an understatement.

Doesn't matter, the giant parasite (Amazon) is going to eat the little parasite in the end.

Perminate Link for Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads   Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads

by: Silver7 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 29 19:59:46 2021

Wondered why I was getting no sales on ebay.  I don't sell alot or even make much money selling there. Might be time to move off ebay and do fairs or festivals again.

Perminate Link for Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads   Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads

by: Gumball This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 30 00:22:39 2021

I would never pay per click to anyone. When I run one of my Ebay items on my Twitter account I get hundreds, and even a thousand or more visitors on some items. They rarely buy, but I imagine my cost if I was using Ebay's click per ad would be about three to four hundred or more per item. I also click on ads all day long when I am researching items. If sellers are paying per click I am sorry if I am costing them money out of pocket, but at the same time they have agreed to pay for that service. And do not tell me some of those are bots. That does not matter, Ebay would charge me just as much for a bot click as they will for a people click. I imagine some people are going to get some click bills so high they will fall over in a dead faint. Won't matter to Ebay whether they sold anything or not. You are paying for clicks, not sales. Keep that in mind when you climb into the ad ring.  

Perminate Link for Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads   Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 30 06:19:27 2021

One thing that is going to be crucial to small sellers is to learn new niches that are not saturated. If you are selling in saturated markets like clothes, shoes, electronics where sellers have huge budgets to use on PPC, it may become more difficult to get exposure.  
^^
There are other sites where clothing sales are on fire like Poshmark.

Perminate Link for Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads   Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Sep 30 10:33:10 2021

Leatherman Tools are on Fire on eBay!

The sell thru rate is over 90%

They're in big demand

Perminate Link for Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads   Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads

by: Disgruntled_Seller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 30 20:54:13 2021

Took a BIG nose dive coinciding with the big push and invite to the Click-Dumn party. Volume seems to be back now, but never, and I mean NEVER have we had a couple of days this light. But I have to thank eBay, we were actually able to walk away for a day or so quite early and do something else besides work. Thanks eBay!

Perminate Link for Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads   Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads

by: Actual Seller This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 1 14:19:52 2021

Just keep clicking those top ads until they remove it from their budget.

Perminate Link for Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads   Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 2 13:40:49 2021

Selling on eBay for 20 some years as a small seller, I have always thought of the small sellers as the ''canary in the coal mine''.  

For weeks there has been an abundance of bad news coming from the nation's capital.  Enough bad news that potential buyers do not hesitate postponing those luxury purchases.

Let's see, the next time the Feds will run out of money is in the beginning of this year's Christmas buying season...

Perminate Link for Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads   Some Blame Slow Sales on New eBay CPC Ads

by: Jenny747 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 4 08:41:34 2021

After 23 years on eBay I have had sufficient abuse .... AM I  A masochist?  I will be retiring my eBay sadist / masochist relationship in the next six months.  Guess I just need a little more abuse to convince me.  Sales on two eBay stores will not even pay for one store's monthly subscription.  My sales have dropped from previous Lows at approx $1500 per month to high of $6000 per month. Is it their new policies?? Probably .... the state of the world? Probably.  Reduction in sales is expected .... almost complete absence????  Don't know; what I do know is that the time I spend with eBay CS reps. is more than I want AND I know that they only have one answer to any issues and that is  NO!  Or ... NOT TO WORRY!



Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.