|Wed Jan 30 2013 17:31:31|
eBay Advertises Other Items on Seller Listing Pages
By: Ina Steiner
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!