Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Aug 8 2012 23:33:56

eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

eBay is running ads for branded clothing retailers directly on its own sellers' clothing listing pages. A seller pointed out that her listing for a beret in the "Hats" subcategory under "Women's Accessories" in the "Clothing, Shoes & Accessories" category on eBay was showing an ad for a more expensive line of clothing from a major brand. "I first sighted the Patagonia ad on my site about 2 months ago so it runs steady, and I keep steaming."



On the page where the seller paid to advertise her beret, eBay is displaying ads for clothing retailer Patagonia. It is also rotating ads for eBay "Fashion Outlets," which are stores set up on eBay by branded retailers including Century 21 Department Store and the Guess Outlet.

Clicking on the same seller's listing for a pocketbook showed that eBay was rotating ads for services such as Southwest, eBay Mobile, Wells Fargo, and other services that do not directly compete with the seller's item.

EcommerceBytes has been following developments as eBay places ads on listing pages in stages (which it had vowed many years ago never to do). In February, eBay began testing competing ads in live listings for items from other eBay sellers.

In this article from May, an eBay spokespersons said of ads for non-eBay listings, "It's important to note that these ads will be almost exclusively in the realm of brand advertising ­ they will not be from other sellers on eBay with competing listings. They are meant to increase awareness of popular, reputable brands and cement in buyers' minds that eBay is a trusted shopping destination."

But the seller of the beret called the ads on her beret listing "bait and switch," writing, "eBay launches ads and uses my inexpensive beret as the launching pad to promote another company. I find this offensive and confusing. Who does eBay want as sellers? Me or the advertiser on my buy-it-now page?"

If you've noticed ads on your listing pages, let us know what they are and what you think of them!




Comments (27) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Aug 9 00:42:24 2012

What? More Ho lies from The Hoff?

Surely not!

John Gotti Ho runs this despicable, dishonest, and utterly disgusting waste of bandwidth.

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 9 03:29:28 2012

''vowed many years ago never to do'' in eBay speak means ''we lied''

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 9 07:09:11 2012

I have had them for several weeks now. I know as an online buyer, I am so annpyed by that in-my-face marketing tactic, I ignore them--especially when I'm looking for something special--like the lovely beret. In fact, this kind of stuffing ads onto every spare inch of white space is a real turn-off on any site.

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Aug 9 07:44:07 2012

They have to pimp Marketplaces out for the ad revenue, because everyone knows that PayPal is their true love and Marketplaces traffic is pathetic.  Marketplaces has become a front, the red headed stepchild, a place to collect fees from sellers and pimp the venue for ad revenue.  I honestly think that they could care less about bringing buyers to Marketplaces.  They'll pimp it out as long as they can until someone sees that the emperor has no clothes.  Sellers so it years ago.

My guess is that this is the reasoning behind all of those free listings that they give to non-store owners--so that they can bump up the numbers to entice the advertisers.  They already get the store owners' money so store owners should expect nothing from them, except more abuse that is.

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus

Thu Aug 9 09:56:11 2012

Did you know that you can strike back at both eBay and Google at the same time, while speeding up your internet browsing?

Simple, use an ad blocking plugin for your browser.

Ad blocking also works with those pesky Facebook ads, Commission Junction, Linkshare, etc.

I don't know why anyone in their right mind would browse the web without it. It's like HBO versus AMC. No commercials.

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 9 10:34:22 2012

All this means to me is "desperation" on Ebay's part.  Hey John....how's that 3 year "renovation" going??? LOL

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 9 10:42:57 2012

There are at least 2 sets of ads on every page aka ''listing'', not one, and sometimes 3!

eBay CS (bless thier demented black souls) explained to me that ''you dont own anything on eBay'' therefore we can do as we please.

And, its true, sellers own nothing. You cant decide the terms of a sale, you cant decide the return issues, you cant even get your money back in some cases, you cant see the magic invisible DSRs - nor change them. In short - nothing is yours.

''oh yeh pace the item is mine!'' yeh, untill one of eBays stellar buyers purchases is and does a INR or SNAD - then you're LUCKY if you get it back - and in the same condition you sent it in.

Signing onto eBay means surrendering control - they are your unasked for business partner. THEY decide what you do.
Yes, you can do ''no returns'' or other ''gimmicks'' to try to undo thier control - but if one of eBays brain dead buyers pulls the INR etc on you - you loose the item AND the money.

You'll probably get a negative either way - since sellers are the people that get blamed for EVERYTHING in eBayland, so it doesnt matter in that regard!

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Aug 9 11:11:23 2012

THIS QUOTE AMUSES ME: ''...and cement in buyers' minds that eBay is a trusted shopping destination.''

If eBay execs feel that there's a need to continually remind people that ''eBay is a trusted shopping destination'', then this suggests to me that shoppers are already under the impression that eBay is NOT to be trusted.

If eBay is responding to this perception, then it's an admission that this perceptions EXISTS IN THE FIRST PLACE. ~~ However, if an eBay rep is asked directly about it, they'll deny it. So why would they be addressing this specific problem if it wasn't already a problem?

I suspect that EBAY ITSELF is to blame for how buyers think... namely, because of the ''We've Got You Covered'' campaign. Something like that doesn't build trust... instead, it's a message that says ''Shopping Here Is RISKY... but don't worry, we'll take care of you!''

Imagine if you went to county fair or a local amusement park... and before you entered the venue, there were signs everywhere that said:

--- ''Hey, don't worry. If you get bitten by a poisonous snake while on our property, we've got you covered.'' or ...

--- ''If any of our rides collapse, or if you get thrown from the Ferris wheel or Tilt-a-Whirl... WE'VE GOT YOU COVERED!'' or...

--- ''Food poisoning... no problem! We've got you covered!''

--- ''Got Mugged? Pockets-picked? ... We've got you covered!''

--- ''Children abducted? No worries! We've got you covered!''

How would that make you feel? Would it make you feel SAFE? Would it make you want to go inside with the belief that ''You're Covered''??

Or would you turn around and go home? Or would you leave early? And would you warn your friends and family to STAY AWAY?!

If anyone is to blame for the negative perception that the public has about eBay... it's EBAY'S OWN FAULT, more than anything else. They created the problem by not having an effective plan to target *only* those sellers that needed to go. Instead they took the ''easy'' approach of casting a net that was much too large and had negative effects that eliminated and harmed more honest sellers than dishonest ones.

eBay CREATED THIS MESS... and their efforts to ''fix'' it only make it WORSE for the sellers who (inexplicably) remain loyal to the venue. (Although ''loyal'' may not be an accurate word... perhaps ''sellers who feel trapped'' would be a better description.)

eBay is an irreparable trash heap. Poor programming, poor customer service, outdated servers, conflicting policies, high-risk, high cost... it's just not worth it.

eBay SCARES OFF the honest buyers with the ''got you covered'' campaign... and the only ones who remain are the DISHONEST ones.

The dishonest buyers (shoplifters) have no fears... they weren't planning on paying anyway. eBay's ''got you covered'' campaign is a bright flashing neon sign that says ''SHOPLIFTERS WELCOME HERE'' ... and the temptation is just too strong to be ignored. The pickings are too easy.

This is YOUR FAULT, eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: basset

Thu Aug 9 12:47:44 2012

LOL Annie - You remind me that a few years ago, a customer was shopping for landscape greenery at a BIG Name Home Improvement Center where I worked part time. He checked out the item by reaching into the root ball area - and was bitten by a small ill-tempered eastern diamondback rattler that had apparently been imported into the state with the item.

Now, you can imagine that since then, I have NEVER closely examined greenery without a lot of careful eyeballing it first.

The Once-Bitten twice shy scenario, applies to eBay's atmosphere these days.
It is always ''proceed with caution'' on both purchase &  business decisions!  

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

by: trickstunt This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 9 12:58:10 2012

Anonymous Annie says: --- ''Hey, don't worry. If you get bitten by a poisonous snake while on our property, we've got you covered.'' or ...

--- ''If any of our rides collapse, or if you get thrown from the Ferris wheel or Tilt-a-Whirl... WE'VE GOT YOU COVERED!'' or...

--- ''Food poisoning... no problem! We've got you covered!''

--- ''Got Mugged? Pockets-picked? ... We've got you covered!''

--- ''Children abducted? No worries! We've got you covered!''

How would that make you feel? Would it make you feel SAFE? Would it make you want to go inside with the belief that ''You're Covered''??...

Yes Annie, LOL you nailed it. Those answers are for buyers though. The answers for sellers is "It's all your fault" "You're disgruntled, a failed seller.."  "Our rate of snakebite, food poisoning, death by human sacrifice, yadda yadda, is below .0000000000001% "... hahaha!

I'm wondering how long it will, be before some questionable or dubious ads begin appearing?

Above all, remember, much like the held paypal funds, sellers only want the real estate they pay fees for. Ebay and paypal need it.  

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Aug 9 17:11:01 2012

@Spartcus

Ad blocking certainly works like you say.
But it is not good for internet as a whole.
Many sites rely on adverting income.
And banner ads are essential to some business to get their message out.
It is the intrusive popups, pop unders ads that need to go.

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Aug 9 17:44:24 2012

---"It is the intrusive popups, pop unders ads that need to go."

I hate the animated ones.

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus

Thu Aug 9 21:00:05 2012

@Digmen1 - I understand. I used to run quite a few websites/blogs/forums that monetized via Google Adsense, CJ etc. After 10 years of affiliate/seo/bs, I feel no sympathy for websites monetized by third party advertising. Also, Ad-Block doesn't block ads if a site is selling them internally, it only blocks network ads.

Now you got me rolling ~~~~ How about eBay's legendary affiliate program?? Now there's a sore topic.

eBay was with CJ (Commission Junction) pre-2008 where some of us made a wad of money referring traffic. I used to clear $2K+ per month in 2006. No spam sites, autoblogs etc. I was running sites where showing eBay items tailored to community members monetized better than Adsense.

Then eBay burned affiliates the first time, pulled out of CJ like a thief in the night and moved to Pepperjam (who was later acquired by GSI but wait...) and then eBay pulled from Pepperjam into their current in-house program. Each move left a wake of unpaid and angry affiliates.

Not wanting to leave money on the table, most of us in good standing with Steve and other eBay AM's moved each time with promise of recouping losses. I have the same sites, same traffic, everything but I was making $20 per month (down from $2K!!! - yes, $20 from $2K in one year) until I finally pulled all eBay links last year.

Did you catch the little bit about eBay moving to Pepperjam, then Pepperjam getting bought by GSI? Well, PJ/GSI owes me nearly $6K in commissions from 2009 but never paid because they claimed eBay stiffed them. Then eBay bought GSI!! Wait, eBay now own GSI, who in turn owns PJ? So eBay owns the company who owns the company who stiffed me on eBay's behalf? (got a headache yet?)

Now that's only part of the story.... I've heard lot's of you sellers complain about a steady drop in traffic to eBay since 2007/2008. Are you putting this together yet?

In eBay's typical lying fashion, they said they wanted more control over the affiliate program specifically because of software like BANS (Build a Niche Store), where affiliates were using Wordpress autoblogs to generate content with affiliate links. Google hated it and eBay did too BUT the point is, those stupid autoblogs generated a ton of traffic for sellers.

The big problem was eBay had to pay a percentage of their commissions to affiliates. Of course, we know eBay is padding their bottom line (raising fees, FVF's on shipping) but one of their most devious money grabs was what they did to affiliates.

Honestly, every single affiliate program I ever worked with since the 1990's ended up scamming and cheating affiliates in the end. It got to the point, you could anticipate a runner and pull ads long before the cash disappeared. Funny part is, once I switched all my sites over to my new business model in 2011, I'm making decent money with no worries.

So no, @Digmen1, I always use an ad blocker. I've had quite my fill of liars, cheats and scammers. Not to mention, the only ones who really make any money from network ads are the networks. These days, I could give a flip less about Google, eBay, Amazon, etc...

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus

Fri Aug 10 00:04:22 2012

Oh and if you read my post above about making $2K per month from eBay affiliate program circa 2004-2007, affiliates only got 4-6% of eBay's FVF's which were less than 10% at the time.

Do the math. For me to make $2000 at those rates I was driving $350K+ gross to eBay sellers every month AND I WAS A SMALL FISH. I knew people clearing $10-$20K per month from hundreds of affiliate sites.

eBay DROPPED ALL THAT BUSINESS.

Everything eBay does to pick a pocket here and there comes back to bite sellers (their paying clients/customers) in the arse.

It's no surprise the eBay has the unmitigated gall to post competing advertisements on listings sellers paid for.

Then again, if you're still selling on eBay, you're no better than a battered wife who stays with her abusive husband. One day when you get tired of all the black eyes, bruises and metal abuse you might seek help.

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

by: blaumann This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 10 01:33:16 2012

These competing ads from people that won't let you use links to your own website or put your email address in your auctions.  

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

by: Brainiac jones This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 10 10:50:34 2012

I like that analogy of battered wife syndrome--or should I say battered seller?

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 10 12:47:18 2012

@Annie....I remember way back in 2008 when JD said to sellers "don't worry, we have your back".....and he's never stopped stabbing those sellers in the back ever since.  I have nothing listed on Ebay right now and that alone feels good. LMAO

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Fri Aug 10 15:52:59 2012

I think the thing that bugs me the most on eBay is their big "turnaround" plans went out and fixed everything that *didn't actually need fixing*! They ignored the real problems of bad sellers and bad buyers and instead steamrolled over all the rest of the buyers, claiming they were "helping" or "improving" things.

The only things they needed to fix were better targeting of scammers and shill bidders, yet instead, they've wasted resources on all this baloney they've been heaping on the sellers. It's like the management and the sellers were talking about two different companies. And the Wall St. analysts and media seem to be buying it. It's the only thing that explains the radically different views you get from sellers vs. what we hear coming from eBay itself. Talk about an identity crisis!

I used to talk up eBay all the time, but nowadays just tell people that I "sell stuff online."  It's kind of sad, actually. eBay had such enthusiasm in its sellers, which drew in loads more sellers and buyers... and they blew all that goodwill. If they actually accounted for that on their balance sheets, they'd be showing hefty losses.

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Fri Aug 10 17:47:51 2012

I too use to talk incessantly about how great eBay was and got many, many people to shop and sell there. They, of course, told others. The word of mouth was just incredible. Fast forward and if I have to use the word ''eBay'' it sticks in my throat and barely comes out in a whisper. It is just too embarrassing.

With views and watchers being the lowest in eBay's history, competing ads are just about making this moot.

Perminate Link for eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Runs Competing Ads on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Aug 10 19:03:17 2012

I'm another person who used to talk non-stop about how great eBay was, both as a place to sell and with wonderful items available for purchase. Not today. Now, I would never recommend eBay for anything. And as Tula above states, it would be so easy to get rid of the bad elements: Block all buyers who have two unpaid item strikes; block all sellers that take money and don't ship items; make it harder for buyers to return empty boxes for refunds. I could go on and on, but everyone knows what needs to be done to bring back eBay to its former glory. Unfortunately, I think it's too late to revive the dying patient.

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, 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.