Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Dec 18 2013 21:46:22

eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

By: Ina Steiner

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I've written a lot about the evolution of eBay's advertising policy and its brazen encroachment on sellers' turf. Today, for the third consecutive day, I saw display ads on eBay product listing pages that led straight to competing retailers' websites offering items that directly compete with the eBay sellers' products.

December 16: a product listing for Burberry cologne on eBay contained an ad for Target directly underneath the "Seller Information" box on the top right side of the page.

December 17: a product listing for a Hermes handbag on eBay contained an ad for Coldwater Creek ("40% off full priced items with Free Shipping - guaranteed Christmas Delivery - Shop Now").

December 18:
a product listing for a bar stool on eBay contained an ad for West Elm (a retail chain owned by Williams-Sonoma).



I also noticed a larger tower display ad for West Elm on the search results pages.

In May 2012, eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff had told me that the ads that had begun appearing on Item pages would be almost exclusively in the realm of brand advertising "meant to increase awareness of popular, reputable brands and cement in buyers' minds that eBay is a trusted shopping destination." She said the purpose of the ads was not to compete with sellers, but rather, to bring additional value to the View Item page.

But in January, I noticed an ad for Staples in the same spot on the product listing page. Since then, I've seen plenty of ads in that placement for things like hotels and candy and loan services. But the ads I noticed over the past three days have competed directly with the seller and encourage shoppers to leave eBay and do their shopping elsewhere.

What do you think - have you noticed any competitive ads on product listing pages? Is this old hat or something new? And again, I ask, why is eBay sending shoppers to other retail sites from its own shopping pages?




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Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 18 22:09:38 2013

Johnna Hoff wants to ''cement in buyers' minds that eBay is a trusted shopping destination.''

Oh, so that's why eBay has links that take buyers off of eBay to go do their shopping elsewhere.

If I take a thinking day I might figure out the genius of this plan.

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: NaruMessenger
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Wed Dec 18 22:25:07 2013

eBanged Again!

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: ebayisajoke
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Wed Dec 18 22:38:30 2013

This has been going on for years, and eBay (despite seller dissatisfaction) clearly doesn't want to pull those ad spots. They are making a tun of money from those ads and the sellers are not getting anything in return.

eBay is making millions from those google ads and they don't care if a few sellers get mad.

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 18 23:47:08 2013

Actually ebay and Amazon do this.  The reason is, they just do NOT care how much they take AWAY from their sellers, they only care about how much THEY MAKE on whatever scheme they do.

If they need more money then they charge their SELLERS for it and give them less in every way possible even if that means sending them OUT of their listings.

I am just not sure how much more evidence it is going to take before sellers understand that in these venues eyes sellers are GARBAGE and disposable like used dirty diapers.

They SPIT in our faces then try and tell us it is raining.

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 18 23:50:06 2013

LOL you need to be the luckiest seller alive to sell on eBay these days.

I too have been critical of these ads - and the ones in text on the bottom too.

If I pay for the "real estate" why is eBay trying to hurt me by offering the same goods through competitors?

The answer is the same - for every bad thing eay does - they just dont care. Its about the add money plain and simple.

If they do decide to show your listing and you make a sale - they get the FVF. If they show your listing and you dont get a sale - then they made money off the ad.

eBay is the WORST business partner you can have. Actually - let me correct that - they arent your partner - they are a vile $2 cockaroach bottom feeder who breeds off other misfortunes.

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

by: SparklyEyes7 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 00:00:24 2013

I wonder how effective these ads are though.  The woman who is looking at a $6,000 Hermes handbag does not shop at Coldwater Creek, ever!

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

by: moto-science This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 00:23:33 2013

Only 10+ years selling the same items.....compared to last year I'm 60% down from last year.

Of course,  I'm not allowed to put any links in my Ebay description, but my listings have 10 outside links put there by Ebay,
8 links for competitor sites and  2 for unrelated adverts.

That's alot of distractions......possible the adverts are now more valuable than the FVF's.
Essentially, this relationship is now getting more adversarial all the time.

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

by: Henry This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 00:40:30 2013

Simple answer - the ad revenue exceeds any and all eBay fees if the item sells. Follow the money!  

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by: feline This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 01:00:28 2013

As  a buyer Im finding it hard to find the Ebay ad description and details amongst so many other ads on the page that don't even interest me. Its just so cluttered  you can't find the bit you want to read turns me off completely

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Dec 19 01:11:17 2013

John Donahoe announced lowered expectations for eBay marketplace sales during his report of Q3 figures.

Since that announcement:

Seller purges continue on a monthly basis.

There have been untold numbers of free auction and fixed price listings thrown at sellers.

eBay sort of announced that the new search engine that cost tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars in development costs as well as lost sales has not been fully implemented despite previous statements to the contrary. This came out only because it became known that the head code writer and developer of Cassini has left the company.

Desperate for revenue, outside advertising is being displayed which is diverting buyers away from eBay sellers and further siphoning business away from eBay sellers.

Despite everything that is wrong with eBay's floundering marketplace, it was announced that CEO john Donahoe will be advising President Obama on International commerce.

Apparently, eBay's Board of Directors is as disconnected from the business of growing eBay's marketplace as it's CEO is as they appear totally unconcerned with the fact that eBay's marketplace growth is lagging behind the rest of the industry.

The reason eBay can not grow marketplace transactions is simple...  John Donahoe's hand picked management team of outsiders has enacted a turn around plan that has produced zero results.

John Donahoe has failed as eBay's CEO in every way. He has failed eBay buyers, has failed eBay sellers, and has failed investors.

For some unfathomable reason, eBay's Board of Directors continues to accept these continuing failures by allowing Donahoe to continue in his leadership role.

It is apparent there needs to be a purge of eBay's Board of Directors, followed by a purge of eBay's ineffective senior management team.Bring in the trained monkeys Meg Whitman envisioned as being able to run eBay. How much worse a job could they do?


Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 01:19:17 2013

The fact is ebay is purposely pushing buyers AWAY from their sellers to retail chain stores.

This concept may give them short term success but it will LOSE in the long term.

What is the point of shopping ON LINE if you still have to go to the store to pick it up, and why bother ordering it from ebay or Amazon or Joes venue when you can just go to the stores own website, order it and pick it up.

I use wal-marts Site to Store, but I order the stuff right from Wal-marts site, NOT ebay, Amazon etc.

ebay is so BLIND it cannot see the forest for the trees.  But they deserve the Bankruptcy they are headed for with this concept.

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: baconsdozen
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Thu Dec 19 05:03:48 2013

I'm glad I no longer rely on ebay as a outlet for my tools.I closed my shop a long,long time ago and would strongly advise anyone else to do the same.
Ebay stinks.

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

by: sundance This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 06:44:04 2013

Am I surprised that they continually encroach upon the sellers?  Nope. Not in the least.  Would be interesting to see an accounting of exactly how much they are earning from JUST those encroaching ads.

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Thu Dec 19 07:01:57 2013

Had the same thought as Sparkleyes7 did. Having a Coldwater Creek ad pop up on a Hermes item is NOT direct competition.

In the pre-owned clothing category I see expensive item ads pop up all the time. Apples & oranges. Not even tempted to peek.


That aside, sellers should reap some financial benefit from ad revenue if the ad is placed on seller's store premises.

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Dec 19 07:20:40 2013

We figured out a long time ago that eBay will do anything for a buck.  Well almost anything.

I think when eBay starting taking a cut of sellers' shipping costs is when I lost complete respect for them.

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

by: cobalt50 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 07:34:29 2013

I didn't have a chance to read all of the comments, but since eBay is giving us free listings, I feel that is a way to cover them when they put anything they want on our pages.  If we complain, they can say that the space was provided to us free and they can post whatever they want on those pages.

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

by: pcwnow This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 07:50:28 2013

Ebay's reason for placing ads is no different than the four ads on this ecommercebytes.com page.  

I understand, big, bad ebay is placing ads directly competing with the item on the page buyer is looking at.  Distinction w/out a difference in my book.

'' This has been going on for years, and eBay (despite seller dissatisfaction) clearly doesn't want to pull those ad spots. They are making a tun of money from those ads and the sellers are not getting anything in return.''  I'm not picking out this poster, it was just the first ''all they care about is making money'' comment I read.  No kidding!?  Ebay is only interested in making money?  You don't say?!

I hope word of this doesn't get around or all businesses will start trying to make as much money as possible.

Ebay gives us a forum to hawk our wares with tons of traffic.  If you don't like it, go out on your own.  Open a website.  Open a brick-and-mortar location.  See what the costs are there.  When you're not getting traffic on your own, something as simple as relisting an item doesn't make people walk through your doors.

Not to mention, there are banner ads on EVERY STINKING PAGE you go on anymore.  At this point, I don't even notice them.  If you don't like it, you can move on.  Someone else will gladly take your place, and ebay won't miss you one bit.

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

by: pcwnow This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 07:54:19 2013

@ Bassett

"That aside, sellers should reap some financial benefit from ad revenue if the ad is placed on seller's store premises. "

Unfortunately, while you may pay for your store, you don't own it, you're just renting.  And the landlord has the rights to all the profits from it.

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 09:29:05 2013

eBay management has a VERY short time horizon. No one at Ebay is looking down the road. These are plunderers and smoke and mirror people.  

Perminate Link for eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings   eBay Ads Send Shoppers Away from Product Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Thu Dec 19 09:36:48 2013

'' And the landlord has the rights to all the profits from it.''

If that is the case, most commercial business that pays rent would be doomed!!!

For example, a sporting goods store rents space from the landlord who owns the building.  Does the landlord have the right to come in and place a business competitor's golf clubs that are up for sale in the current renter's display window?


At least the tenant has rights in most tenant-landlord relationships. In some areas, the rights are considerable. Those rights were not always there but developed as it became apparent protection of the tenant was needed.  Like most things though, they are only as good as enforcement.

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