Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Sept 29 2012 13:12:36

eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings

By: Ina Steiner

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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 These aren't items that were just a day or two out of date...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!




Comments (16) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings   eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Island_Sam

Sat Sep 29 13:38:20 2012

Another "collateral damage" from the Cassini project (Hadoop Inc) There will be some pain and suffering on the sellers (And buyers too) before this project is normalized --- if it even happens. In the meantime, users (Both buyers & seller) are finding ways to leave ebay:

http://forums.ebay.com/db2/topic/Seller-Central/Traffic-C
ut-In/5100103840?start=0

http://forums.ebay.com/db2/topic/Technical-Issues/Ebay-Has-Seriouse/5200083417?start=1848

http://forums.ebay.com/db2/topic/Seller-Central/What-Changed-On/5100104946?start=168

Don't
bother calling ebay customer service, that's not where the answer is.

Perminate Link for eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings   eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings

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

Sat Sep 29 15:32:14 2012

Yep! Same here! ~ What a mess! Completely dysfunctional!

Why does eBay have time and resources for ''social media'' projects... but NO TIME and NO RESOURCES for keeping the most VERY BASIC eBay features working properly?

Perminate Link for eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings   eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Sat Sep 29 18:24:03 2012

Obviously inadequate programming staff for that department - and poorer supervising management at mid-upper level management.

Does "The Don" care?
"It's just business - nothing personal" - attributed to another Don - "Don Corleone"

Perminate Link for eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings   eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sat Sep 29 21:20:33 2012

eBay is making desperate moves in an attempt to right their sinking ship.

In this case, they are drilling holes in the hull thinking the water will simply run out.

I have serious concerns about the success of this upcoming holiday season primarily due to the fact that eBay seems to have so many technical issues nothing is going right.

Perminate Link for eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings   eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Sat Sep 29 21:46:59 2012

"...they are drilling holes in the hull thinking the water will simply run out."

Thanks Ric, I needed a good laugh.

I am really concerned about the holiday season too.  

Perminate Link for eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings   eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Island_Sam

Sun Sep 30 12:44:53 2012

Here's a poll of ebay users & what they think of the new search:

http://forums.ebay.com/db1/topic/Search/Vote-Here-If/20

00408020?start=3672

Perminate Link for eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings   eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 30 20:27:02 2012

If you can't be seen then you can forget about the holiday season.  I just passed my 14th year as an ebay seller (though a small one) and I cannot remember ONE holiday season they haven't messed up in some way!  Its like they are bound and determined NOT to be successful!

Perminate Link for eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings   eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings

by: mastoyshop This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 30 23:18:43 2012

Island_Sam the poll link doesnt work.
Ive noticed now for over a month if I link my store to another page, the pictures that show up are often items that are sold or ended. this is very frustrating to say .. Hey I just listed new items and for old items that are sold to show up

Perminate Link for eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings   eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings

by: blaumann This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 30 23:36:56 2012

Non of the links here work.
All of my favorite seller emails for the last two weeks at least feature ended auctions.
My auctions that ended last Sunday and tonight had ZERO sales. Ebay is dead, it just does not know to lay down.

Perminate Link for eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings   eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 1 00:11:40 2012

I have also received several of these emails with expired/ended listings. WTF is eBay up to now???

Perminate Link for eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings   eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings

by: RAOTFLMAO This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 1 08:41:02 2012

I have gotten a few that the auction had already ended.  I think they are hoping to drive traffic and once you land on ebay you might shop a bit.  Hate to say it but I do price check ebay but usually go to Amazon for buying.

Perminate Link for eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings   eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings

by: jdbok This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 1 08:43:26 2012

same here
marketing dead listings.then I have to field questions from buyers who wonder if they can buy the non existant items.
when was it that ebay fired the "teams"? was it under Meg or was it left for Don?
the teams were these brilliant groups that worked on specific aspects of ebay tech
stroking and tweaking and innovating
then they all got fired as a Bain accounting technique to report  reduced payroll as increased revenue to their stock investors and the work got outsourced to foreign " maintenance" crews.
as features break now they just stay broken with a few patches of duct tape attached.
if you like how ebay malfunctions now and how your economic prospects continue to dwindle you're gonna Love America under President Mitt Bain Rommney.
just like we all keep saying to ourselves -ebay sx but there's no viable alternative...
but where do we go when Bain takes over our country?

Perminate Link for eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings   eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Island_Sam

Mon Oct 1 10:49:19 2012

There's so many things broke on ebay right now. To see the links, type in http://forums.ebay.com on your address bar and just do a search for "Low Sales" or "Traffic Reports"

Ebay has a huge problem going into the holiday season. If these things aren't fixed, droves of sellers (AND Buyers) will be seeking business elsewhere.

Perminate Link for eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings   eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Oct 1 17:09:13 2012

We received another email today ( October 1).

The listings on the email ended back in AUGUST!!!

eBay's incompetence is exceeded only by their indifference to providing quality service and a consistent buyer experience.

Perminate Link for eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings   eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 2 00:20:47 2012

If the "Buyer is King" at ebay yet the buyer CAN'T BUY---
'
Well where DOES that leave us?????

Perminate Link for eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings   eBay Marketing Emails Feature Stale Listings

by: andanotherthing This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 2 05:15:30 2012

This probably has been going on for at least 2 months - I thought it was just something that I'd done!  "Glad" to see others have now picked up on it and that I am not alone but I don't think that "glad" is the word. Like others, I like to see new items listed both as opportunities for purchases AND to keep a check on my own prices, and what I am selling (I sell antiques and collectables) to ensure that my pricing is competitive.  From a seller's point of view I am sure the Items from your Favourite Sellers is a good marketing tool - but not if the information is out of date. As a prospective buyer, when I get the out of date emails I DON'T click an item to get to a link that might take me to the seller's shop - too long winded. Hopefully eBay will now fix this.

However, I feel that this "glitch" must be on a par, as a marketing tool, with the broken search algorithms, the changes in policy/categories at the start of the busy season.... it all smacks of an organisation floundering. RIP eBay?



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