Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Sept 14 2013 17:25:58

What's Behind eBay's Invitation Only Promotions?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is running another invitation-only promotion in which eligible sellers can list up to one million auction listings beginning Sunday through the 25th. Unfortunately, eBay appears to have made a mistake on the page, in one sentence describing the promotion as applying to auction listings:

Invited sellers ("sellers") who list in the auction-style or auction-style with Buy It Now format, pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth herein, will pay no insertion fee per item listed and no additional fee for adding a subtitle to these listings ("Promotion") for up to one million (1,000,000) listings during the Promotion Period as defined below.

But in a section called exclusions writing that the promotion does not apply to Auction-style format listings. (I've sent an email to eBay for clarification just to be certain.)
 
But what do eBay sellers think of free-listing promotions in general? While many sellers like such promotions since they offer a "risk-free" way to sell (you only pay fees if the item sells), many a seller has complained they attract "junk listings" to the site, making it difficult for shoppers to find their items.

With eBay ramping up the Cassini search engine and granting itself permission to hide listings it deems unworthy for unspecified reasons from showing up in search results, it looks like eBay is casting a wide net to attract listings, but will filter search results more narrowly.

What's your take on eBay's invitation-only promotions, and do they result in any greater (or lesser) sales?

Did you get invited to this particular promotion? And which type of promotion would you like to see eBay run?

(And is anyone actually eligible to list up to a million auction listings on their account?)




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Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Sat Sep 14 17:40:00 2013

An offer for 1,000,000 free auction-style listings that expressly excludes auction-style listings.
How eBay is that? :o)

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This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Sat Sep 14 17:42:25 2013

"And which type of promotion would you like to see eBay run?"

A Going Out of Business Sale.

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by: OnceuponaTime This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 14 18:17:06 2013

Cheating with the double tongue, mirrors the past. High listing numbers for their investors. Control of those numbers in can't see me  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sat Sep 14 18:35:07 2013

The constant stream of free listing promotions is an obvious admission by eBay that their numerous fee increases are hurting their GMV.

The desperate hope is that by flooding the site with listings, they will pump up sales to impress Wall Street and investors. Too bad buyers are having none of it.

Unfortunately for eBay, even Cassini with it's ability to hide listings does not relieve buyers of the deluge of crapola that dominates the marketplace and keeps shopping carts empty.

If eBay wants to increase sales volume, they should cease the free listing promotions in favor of something more buyer centric such as double eBay bucks for every purchase. At least this way, buyers would be rewarded for having to wade through the volumes of junk listings that proliferate eBay in the days and weeks after these free listing promotions.

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by: blaumann2 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 14 20:31:55 2013

Desperation, like fear, can be smelled. Ebay's desperation is easily sniffed out. The pushing away of small sellers, the discouraging of buyers all has to be hurting ebay's income.
Donahoe seems too stupid to deal with the reality that the sellers are his income. He may believe that Diamond sellers alone will be a great idea. he may have all sorts of predictive numbers to convince him. In time the foolishness of his present course will be obvious even to his little rat brain.

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by: blaumann2 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 14 20:31:56 2013

Desperation, like fear, can be smelled. Ebay's desperation is easily sniffed out. The pushing away of small sellers, the discouraging of buyers all has to be hurting ebay's income.
Donahoe seems too stupid to deal with the reality that the sellers are his income. He may believe that Diamond sellers alone will be a great idea. he may have all sorts of predictive numbers to convince him. In time the foolishness of his present course will be obvious even to his little rat brain.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 14 20:40:03 2013

1 MILLION?

Geez if that isnt desperation what is?

Its abll about the last UA ... If you dont hav eto pay for lsitings then theres no financial commitment or obligation to show them.

If you are posting that much, chances are 99% is crap and Cassini wont show it anyway.

THIS IS THE NEW EBAY!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Sat Sep 14 20:51:56 2013

@blaumann2
"Donahoe seems too stupid to deal with the reality that the sellers are his income."

Why he's a Stanford MBA...how could he be stupid?? :o)

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by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 14 21:31:01 2013

I got the invitation.

In the paragraph with the exclusions, there are a total of 13 links.  7 of the links reach an eBay page with the title: "This page may have moved or is no longer available."

They can't even provide live links to their OWN pages!

Just goes to show, I guess...  

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

Sat Sep 14 21:34:52 2013

I haven't received any invitations from eBay since I upgraded to an Anchor store. My selling limit is capped at 6,000 items or up to $160,000.00 per month. I don't  really care about free listings. I need sales!! I'm hoping to win the lottery tonight so I can end this madness!

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by: Cyclestripper This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 14 22:37:10 2013

I did get the invitation.

However, they don't change my listing behavior. Surely there are not people with hundreds of things ready to list just sitting around.

It's just one of many things Ebay that I have to ignore.

Mike

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sun Sep 15 00:21:51 2013

Hello PUCK :
In answer to your question : How could Donahoe be stupid? >
I did some research and just found why :
Donahoe has only held TWO jobs in his entire life >
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Donahoe
He never had to work from the ground, up.
He had everything handed to him on a silver platter. He actually feels he's entitled to everyone else's money. He also feels we're not worthy.
And that's a problem.

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sun Sep 15 00:27:09 2013

Ebay should just eliminate the "Sell" button.

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sun Sep 15 00:29:07 2013

and the "Relist" button.
enough is enough.

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Sun Sep 15 00:29:30 2013

Well I didn't get the invitation on my seller ID but only on my seldom used buyer ID. Tried a year or so ago to sell on that ID when ebay had promotions but it was a waste of time plus I don't trust Paypal with placing holds on my money.

I feel it is a complete waste of time listing anything on ebay especially with these ridiculous promotions since items will not be seen anyway. Odds ARE better making money winning the lottery. If I want to gamble away my time and money, I might as well have fun doing it at a casino.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Sun Sep 15 00:36:32 2013

Millions and millions of invisible listings.

"If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

"If a seller lists an item and no buyers can see it, will it sell?"

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by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 15 03:33:25 2013

Don't do us 1 durn bit of good if the ads aren't seen.

Desperate, and dead links.

So sloppy with all these dead links- horribly unprofessional.

(Ina, please ask WHY we are now paying the big increase in postage but not getting the tracking up to Canada, it still stops at the border?? Why would we trust them with Russia- LOL- please ask em. Also ask them how they can STEAL DUTY on aussie items that are below the countries $1000 threshold).

Mass howler

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This user has validated their user name. by: Andy Geldman
Web Site

Sun Sep 15 03:48:06 2013

Based on the invitation going to more buying accounts than selling accounts, and being for auctions (despite the error), this sounds like the kind of promotion eBay have run in the past to encourage ordinary buyers to auction off used goods. I read the million limit as meaning ''unlimited'' rather than them really expecting anywhere near that number to be listed.

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by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 15 08:19:01 2013

When these invitations show up, at least in my email account, you can click on an arrow/button/etc link that takes you to an eBay page, which shows the details (i.e. the fine print we've been discussing here).

In case anyone not getting the invitation would like a shortcut to that eBay information page (the one with the dead links to other eBay pages), here is the url:

http://pages.ebay.com/promo/2013/0915/1Million.html
>Called
eBay last night myself to see if I could get an answer.  After getting rid of the guy in Philippines/Indonesia or wherever, I got a guy in the US.  After being on hold off and on, he finally said he'd call me back in a few minutes after he got hold of a tech to find out what's going on.  And he actually DID call me back (only it was about 1-1/2 hrs).

He admitted it is definitely a ''contradiction'' in terms, but didn't know how it was going to be resolved.  He said he'd get back to me with a phone call or email in ''48 to 72 hours''.  That would be 2-3 days into the promotion...

Don't you just love how eBay works/doesn't work?

I'm going to go check MY lottery tickets...

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by: frustrated This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 15 10:19:35 2013

Best guess is a "pump and dump"

Start watching the reports for a HUGE sale from Donahoe or some other large shareholder.

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