Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Jan 30 2013 17:31:31

eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is running banner ads in sellers' listings that contain links to five similar items available from other sellers. Not only is it upsetting to sellers who come across competing ads on their listings, it's also causing buyer confusion.

eBay is placing a banner containing five ads for competing listings that include a thumbnail image of the competing items, title, price, Top Rated Seller badge, and the words "free shipping." Sellers don't want anything on their Item pages that could potentially take shoppers away from their listing, and many are irked when they discover buyers can see the ads but they cannot.

In addition, as one seller said, the ads' placement, between photos and the item description, is harmful "because buyers sometimes won't read descriptions anyway - now they might not even think there IS a description!"

The icing on the cake, however, came from a seller who said a buyer asked her about another seller's listing because of an ad that appeared on her product listing page. "This morning we received a message from a eBay buyer who was asking us about another similar item pictured on OUR paid for eBay listing," she wrote.

"This one really shows the significance of what eBay is doing to us," she continued. "They are picturing other seller's items, and WE get the message with questions from confused buyers because they think it is another item we are selling. When clicking on our item link from the eBay message, I see no pictures at all."

Since she was unable to see the ad banner containing competing listings on her Item page, she was unable to answer the buyer's question. "The temptation was HUGE to bad mouth eBay to the buyer, but I stuffed a sock in my mouth and told them it must be something eBay put on our listing, I could not see it and did not have any others of this type item." She wondered if other sellers were getting questions from customers "as a result of all these other item pictures on their listings."

Another eBay seller wrote to say how furious he was that when he was logged in to his seller account, he could not see the ad banner of competing ads on his listing pages, but shoppers could. "eBay is showing me what is supposed to be my sale page that is a misrepresentation of what they are showing my potential customers," and he asked why eBay was hiding the ad banner from sellers.

eBay has run tests of such ads in the past - EcommerceBytes reported on similar ads that appeared in seller listings last February that ran with the header, "More items to consider." Sellers also reported seeing such ads in listings in August and October.

The latest buzz about the ad feature started in mid-January. On January 21st, a seller started a thread in Seller Central that pointed out all the areas on the View Item page that distract buyers:

Opened a listing tonight and realized there is so much garbage in EBAY listings. 5 seperate (sic) areas are designed to distract the buyer and lure them away from the listing they opened.

"People who viewed this item also viewed" with 5 unrelated to the listing photos.

"People who bought this item also bought" with 5 unrelated photos.

"See what other People are watching" with 5 unrelated photos.

An ad for EBAY DEALS WINTER ELECTRONIC EVENT, unrelated to the listing.

And lastly Sponsered (sic) Results and half a dozen more ads, unrelated to the listing.

Ebay needs to quit hijacking the listings, only pertinent information should be inside the listing. Do the Buyer a favor and get rid of this crap. It is garbage. It is distracting. It is unrelated to the list. Give the Sellers what they paid for, A listing that is not filled with at least 20 other items/ads.


A seller in the Clothing Shoes and Accessories discussion board posted a picture of the eBay ads that she was able to see on another seller's listing page for a leather pocketbook. The ad appears above the item description and shows five similar pocketbooks for sale on eBay.



Let us know if you're seeing ads in your listings, and if you're getting buyers confused about the ownership of items displayed in the ads!




Comments (35) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

by: MemoriesMedia This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 30 18:19:11 2013

Sellers can opt out of this by going to Acct > Marketing Tools > Promote Similar Items (on left). States that other sellers' items won't be displayed on your listings if you select No.

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

by: Just Plain Irritated This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 30 18:56:23 2013

If any buyer asks a seller a question about things pictured that are not theirs, the seller might suggest that the buyer complain to eBay about all the confusing ads.

In repsonse to: If seller's opt out of having our seller's items on their pages by going to Acct > Marketing Tools > Promote Similar Items (on left). States that other sellers' items won't be displayed on your listings if you select No.

If you select NO your items will not be visible on other seller's pages either. So you need to decide based on both factors. It is a toss up, is the seller loosing sales on their listing, or gaining sales on someone else's listing??  

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

by: Just Plain Irritated This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 30 18:59:11 2013

Forget to mention, our wholesale suppliers are also placing ads on eBay which show up on our listings. That's really nervy and will ultimately decrease the value of their products as eBay sellers keep trying to price below them.

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

by: Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 30 19:31:05 2013

I'm not seeing ads, but wouldn't like it if I did. I have low prices so maybe buyers would be led to my items more than led away, but I still don't like the idea

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

by: Truk This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 30 20:45:09 2013

We also had a buyer ask questions about items that appeared in our listing's that were not ours

It's tough enough to get our own stuff seen on ebay let alone get folks to read descriptions

Buyer's at one time we our toughest job to satisfy

Now ebay's way harder to deal with than our buyers

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 30 21:23:59 2013

ebay has become increasingly frustrating and confusing for sellers. Now it seems their plan is to do the same for buyers.

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Wed Jan 30 22:29:49 2013

@ MemoriesMedia,

Why would you even have to opt out of a ridiculous situation that was such an absurdity in the first place. Sounds like another “Best Match” idea to me and, again, demonstrated that the people running eBay are utterly desperate, and no wonder, they are utterly clueless; and even if they did have a clue they demonstrably care absolutely nothing about other than their favoured sellers: see is any of their favoured sellers have been loaded with this imbecilic advertising? It was bad enough when the ads appeared on the completed listing; now they are on the active listing … unbelievable, optional or not …

@ Just Plain Irritated,

Seriously, complain to eBay; eBay is the problem, not the answer … Regardless, if you are lucky enough to get someone to look at your item page, you need such a distraction like you need a hole in the head … but don’t expect the headless turkeys at eBay to understand that …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

by: BackInBlack This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 30 23:12:26 2013

@Phil - That idea is not original to eBay; it's endemic in both 'junk mail' and all over the Interwebs. They always want to impose some new silliness (or danger) on you unless you read the fine print and 'opt out.' (Can you say "New binding arbitration" on eB/PP? How about privacy settings on Failbook or Goggle?)

I'm not seeing any of these ads on FireFox with AdBlock Plus, except the five "What other people are watching" ones, and they're *under* the listing description.  But I feel for the poor fools who use IE, and for sellers who pay for an uncluttered item page.

@Memories- Thanks for the link!  I'll go opt out right now on my seller acct. (Even though that'll probably go away on next 'seller update'...)

I also noted one VERY big corporate seller I checked had absolutely NO ads on their page!

Remember when FeeBay announced the new ad space would only go to 'unrelated items?'

Ming, Ric, Phil-- How do we know when they are lying?
:)

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 30 23:22:10 2013

I have seen these ads but of course IGNORED them--but as a SELLER I consider it my JOB to only pay attention to the item I am looking at at the moment.  

That said---

I have not gotten any questions about items I have not listed.

However--I have NOT had ANY SALES in WEEKS and the page views are LOW LOW LOW and almost NO actual WATCHERS.

So being a "seller" on ebay is not really the TRUTH here is it?

I opted OUT but I don't for one second BELIEVE that ebay is paying ANY attention--or if they ARE it is with ever increasing "Obscuring" of listings posted by a seller who has complained;  opted out;  refuses to offer unlimited returns or free shipping etc.  

I did get some sort of email claiming that ebay has "Acted to protect my account" and supossedly covered my a$$ by "removing" ONE DSR of a 1 in Shipping----I have to laugh as my SHipping DSR's on BOTH of my accounts have ALWAYS been 100%.  So---what whack job left this???   And they have decided to "Let me off the hook" for a "buyer protection case" that I am pretty sure I did not even HAVE on that account.  I think that UNLESS a seller is PROVEN to be "At Fault" in a "BPC" that there should be NO FAULT attached to a case that could have been brought for something as trivial as a few hours extra mail time due to a hurricane or something.  

Well just MY opinion of course.  

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

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

Thu Jan 31 00:21:55 2013

@ MemoriesMedia
> Sellers can opt out
wow, you right ... i can opt out, and it works

@ Just Plain Irritated
> our wholesale suppliers are also placing ads on eBay which show up on our listings
i am going thru the same thing

@ Philip Cohen
> Why would you even have to opt out of a ridiculous situation that was such an absurdity in the first place.
amen

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 31 00:43:28 2013

Just another reason many of us are feverishly trying to build alternative revenue streams.  

How does it feel, eBay execs, to know that eBay is the site most sellers want to escape from?

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Jan 31 02:59:23 2013


Here is the latest example of how deceptive eBay is when it comes to informing their sellers when changes are made which effect their listings.

John Donahoe is an unethical liar who is more concerned with timing the sale of his gifted shares of eBay stock than he is about the damage his hair brained schemes devastate eBay sellers and alienate buyers.

Sellers have not been advised of this change, there has been no advance announcement as eBay CEO John Donahoe promised.

eBay obviously wants to conceal this latest attempt to bait and switch buyers. They are so proud of this latest deception, they even went to the trouble of programming the ads so that sellers are prevented from seeing them when they view their listings.

Tactics like this are so low, eBay management has to look UP to see the bottom.

This kind of sleazy despicable treatment of sellers demonstrates how little eBay management values their sellers.

eBay's placement of these ads and the manner in which the process has been implemented illustrates how inept John Donahoe's horde of outsiders are.

The advertising saturation eBay is creating is going result in alienating more buyers from a platform that is hemorrhaging buyers at such a rate eBay has had to fold sales from eBay Motors into core GMV in order to conceal the damage from investors.

I guess once you are adept at deceiving Wall Street, there is no compunction about deceiving your fee paying sellers.


Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Jan 31 08:16:06 2013

In my opinion JD is Exhibit A of the 1% in this country.  Step on whomever to gain more extraordinary wealth.  Gordon Gekko's "reed is good" rings loud and clear for most of the 1%.  

I do believe in karma however.  What goes around comes around.

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Jan 31 08:16:30 2013

and that is "greed is good"

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

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

Thu Jan 31 09:16:57 2013

I have not seen this cross sell on our listings.  But i do see the ad below the feedback box, that i assumed is a paid ad.  With promote similar items ON.

Wish we could simply cross sell our own items without having the cross sell in the checkout or emails postsale.  Based on category or brand would be fine.

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Thu Jan 31 09:58:42 2013

IMO, these ads aimed at buyers are still a waste of space for ''buyer Basset''

I know it is business related & hard to escape. One evening I was searching for a particular green tea on Google. Lo & behold the next morning when I opened  ecommercebytes blog there between the title bar and the start of text for the OP's article was a strip of an ad for green tea.  Ads are everywhere.

On eBay listings I'm randomly pulling up, the strip of  ''other people are watching'' ads are at the very BOTTOM  of the listing. Usually oblivious to these, I took a look after seeing this post.


Some examples:

Search or watch: Comfort sandals.
Other people are watching: Spike pumps & the like. Ads featured NOT size searched.


Search or want: Specific brand of cookware
Other people are watching: Different brand of cookware. (If I wanted that brand I would search for it)


Search or want: Casual modest laid back clothing.
Others are watching:  Skimpy revealing clothing, skintight pants not even close to size searched for, appropriate for those aspiring to the world's oldest profession.


Between the spiky pumps and ''minimalist'' clothing eBay suggests in these ads, I feel they are sending me messages on how to go out and earn some extra income;)



In searching for different categories of items on eBay I do not see ads located under photos. I would not like that as a buyer at all as it looks cluttered.   Also, I would be very angry,  in the case like some on here  report, of suppliers ads being on my listings. Wonder if the suppliers are aware of their ad placement.

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

by: Disillusioned-Seller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 31 15:21:56 2013

They are all over my listings. What really burns me is I am paying so much in fees. Why in the world am I paying listing fees to have some other person's item infringing on the space I paid for???
What sense does that make?

And not only are there other eBay sellers' items in my listings, but outside sellers as well. Why am I paying these outrageous fees for eBay to siphon off my sales to another seller. If they want to collect money from ads to be placed on my listings, either I should get a discount in my fees or a cut of the ad revenues.

I've said it before, I'll say it again. I almost want to thank eBay for being such money grabbing unethical bastards. If they hadn't, I would not have looked into other platforms. Thank God for Etsy and the website I created so that I was no longer totally reliant on my eBay sales. I don't see why I should be paying for JD's new jet. I am here struggling to drum up eBay business and they are doing all they can to push potential buyers to others. Never thought I'd see the day that I'd miss Meg, but things were much better under her reign.

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Lido_Shuffle

Thu Jan 31 16:03:04 2013

REAL-WORLD EXAMPLE! (Or, I can't believe it happened to me...)

After reading this article, I recall noticing these ad's on some pages and not on others for (what seems like) a few weeks now. As a (very new) small-time seller, I already face so many challenges that I never even blinked when I first seen this occur, nor after reading about it here an hour ago. I just sort of shrugged, said another prayer to someday be able to get away from eBay, and went on with some more reading.

However, I was just now searching for some things I needed and, as usual, I started my search on eBay (though, it often does not end there because eBay is just not the place to buy your shipping supplies.) But I always look there first out of some sense of trying to help out the next seller, if I can...

So, there I am looking at what might be a nice little deal on a combination-set of box cutters and some other stuff. And as I begin to scroll down towards the description to read the specifics, something happens...

I don't scroll all the way down to the description.

My eyes (despite my strongest Jedi resistance to avert them) zero in on these little ads just below the ''Buyer Protection'' label. Lo and behold, there are those five little sinister boxes, one of which shows me that I can get TWICE the amount of cutters I need at HALF OF THE COST (and with free shipping, too!)

Naturally, my first instinct is to begin doing the math, etc. And it takes me a full ten seconds to realize what has just occurred. Even worse, I suddenly realize that I have stopped to look at (AND CONSIDER) those little ad's on more than one occasion.

Now, the ethical dilemma versus the business dilemma: Do I go for the better deal (and contribute to the classically-conditioned delusion that these ad's are somehow a good idea) OR do I spend more money for less value just to spite eBay?

My decision on that is far less important than the ramifications of what I have just experienced. This has not been a subjective observation, this a very-real example of WTH happens (probably more than any of us realize) when those little ad's appear on our sales pages.

Please (regardless of your views on the flexible-ethics of having to opt out of yet another ridiculous eBay tactic) go in to your settings, AND FOR ALL OF OUR SAKE, please disable this damn setting!

-

P.S.
If anyone is still reading this, I spent the extra $3 to purchase from the original seller (mostly out of spite.) But are all eBay shoppers experiencing the same rejuvenated streak of mid-life rebellion that I currently am? Probably not. Go disable the damn thing!

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Nolle

Thu Jan 31 17:06:30 2013

Not just the idiots at Ebay - Amazon is doing the same thing, and it's every bit as annoying, and in some ways worse. they are putting off-amazon items directly in the search mixed in with actual amazon listings.  I clicked on one of the searched items, and bam, no warning and I was on another site.

Another place doing this is Sears.com.  I was searching for a particular type of oil, it found several, clicked on it, and I was on some other site.

I can only judge by my own reaction - which was complete surprise, followed by anger.

It's a betrayal of my customer loyalty, and if I wanted to buy my item on Carguys.com, I wouldn't have gone to Amazon, whose search is SO BAD to begin with that I find myself wasting time as it is.

These e-commerce sites are not getting better.  They are becoming cluttered and clunky and slow and confusing - and I've been shopping online since the AOL days.

It's as if they think they've discovered some magical sales tool and now can manipulate buyers and milk revenue out however they'd like, and the buyers will still be there no matter how much the site ticks them off.  It's infuriating!  

Perminate Link for eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages   eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Thu Jan 31 18:05:48 2013

“eBay Makes the Season Merry with Mobile – Delivering Gift Inspiration, Exclusive Deals and Innovations for On-the-Go Holiday Shoppers”
http://bit.ly/11olsg0
Another “twilight zone” story directly from Ms Hoff and the eBay Dept of Spin …

“5 Stocks With Recent Intensive Insider Selling”
http://bit.ly/WE8RDi
Boy, the senior eBay executives sure are liquidating much of their stock holdings (I hope Ms Hoff is doing the same) … What does such activity by these desperadoes “in the know” at eBay tell us about eBay’s future …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

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