|Sun Nov 9 2014 21:40:59|
Has eBay Overstepped Its Bounds with Ads on Shipping Labels?
By: Ina Steiner
eBay lets sellers purchase postage online through its eBay Labels program, but some sellers began seeing ads on the bottom of the shipping labels they printed to apply to their packages.
"It's very irritating, advertising for something that DOESN'T INVOLVE OR INCLUDE MY LISTINGS AT ALL...and it all adds up in wasted ink as well," wrote one seller.
The ad included a URL and a QR code advertising eBay's Daily Deals - a section of the website that excludes most sellers' listings. The ad reads: "Happening now on eBay deals. Always free shipping & up to 70% off top brands. Visit www.ebay.com/dailydeals or scan the QR code to learn more."
An eBay moderator responded to questions, telling users it was a test that impacted a select number of sellers, and eBay's Social Marketing Manager "Audrey T." told sellers on a social networking site, "Only 15% of sellers have it on their labels (sorry you are one of them) and we will likely run the test for a few weeks/months to determine its success. So the good news is that it is not permanent."
The manager also said she argued with a coworker about the ads, telling him the seller should be in control of how their package looks/what messages are included, while the coworker argued that eBay "owns" that space and had the right advertise there.
Another seller wrote on the eBay discussion thread, "Please tell me why am I having to pay for eBay's daily deal advertisement. Please lead me to the part of the user agreement I signed that stated I would have to supply the ink so that others sellers can advertise free shipping on the paper I bought and the ink I bought. I AM NOT HERE TO ADVERTISE FOR OTHER SELLERS, TAKE IT OFF NOW."
Another seller pointed out, why advertise "free shipping" to buyers who just had to pay for shipping on the package they're receiving?
Other sellers said they were using a scissors to cut off the ad, using their software program to crop it out, or using a Sharpie market to black it out.
So who do you think owns the shipping label, and should eBay reimburse sellers for using their shipping label as an ad platform the way Google pays website publishers for Google AdWords ads?