|Sat Sept 29 2012 13:12:36|
eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings
By: Ina Steiner
Opt-in emails are a great way to drive traffic to product listings, and eBay sends personalized emails to shoppers to entice them with current offerings from recipients' favorite sellers. However, I've received a couple of complaints since September 3rd that eBay has been including listings that have already ended - meaning eBay is trying to entice shoppers with expired listings.
"This Sept. 3 e-mail alert for "latest items from your favorite sellers" highlights auction items that expired Aug. 12-15," one seller wrote, "Not very helpful!"
The "favorite sellers" emails are sent with the subject line, "Check out the latest items from your favorite sellers on eBay." Open the email, and it reads, "Good news! New items and top picks have just arrived from the eBay sellers you like the best. Check this out:" and includes three listings from each seller the recipient has tagged as a favorite seller.
One reader wrote to me on September 24 saying, "These messages are a great way for me to keep up with my favorite sellers, and to keep an eye on my competition. In my "Favorite Seller" list, I've also included myself so I can get a good idea which of my items eBay is promoting. Today's "Favorite Seller" email was a bit unusual. However... I had to look twice to make sure I was reading it correctly! Three of my items were featured, but EVERY listing is expired. These aren't items that were just a day or two out of date... and not just by a week or two... but by OVER an entire month!"
The seller said he had a dozen active listings, none of which were included in the eBay marketing email. "The links in the email are valid and if clicked, the customer sees the original listing... but they can't purchase the item," the seller wrote. "Am I overlooking some hidden benefit?"
A quick search of the eBay boards only showed one thread discussing the issue in the past week:
"I have favorite sellers I have subscribed to their newsletters. Get them weekly. Today I got one, and they are all old ads that have expired!!!!!!!! What is up with that.? A few are from boardies? Is this what ebay sends out? And why would they be ads that ended in August? Anyone notice that on theirs?"
I asked eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore about this issue on Tuesday, and he is looking into it.
The last such email I personally received from eBay arrived on September 22, 2012, and featured 9 listings from 3 of my "favorite" sellers. All 9 listings had expired, three on August 20 and six on September 9th.
I then realized that the last 3 emails from eBay all featured identical listings from those same three sellers - eBay had refreshed the inventory on August 18th, but then used the same 9 listings in the September 8th and September 22nd emails - so eBay is emailing shoppers with the same listings over and over.
Luckily there's a "See what's newly listed" Show Me button in the email that works, sending me to a page of fresh inventory from all of my saved sellers. Hopefully your buyers are clicking on that button to find your new listings!