Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Aug 13 2016 23:07:01

eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

By: Ina Steiner

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On Wednesday we wrote about an eBay promotion in which sellers who were invited to participate could list up to 500 fixed-price listings and pay no insertion fees. However, the promotion only applied to 30-day and Good Til Cancelled listings.

As we noted, one reader was puzzled to see that when they activated the offer that was for 30-day listings, the eBay message seemed to indicate the promotion applied to 7-day listings - the message read:

"You've accepted the offer "7 days, no insertion fees: up to 500 fixed priced listings!""

The reader wrote back to us later and explained the cause of the confusion: it turns out the "7 days" in the message was referring to the length of the promotion, not the duration of the listings. 

"Seems others were confused by the offer as well and some bulk uploaded 7 day listings," they wrote. "I'm attaching a screen shot of the message so you can decide for yourself."

And, another reader also sent us a message about the confusing messaging, writing "the  tease  is  that this is a SEVEN  DAY  set  up  BUT  what  this  MEANS  is  the  offer  is seemingly  good FOR  seven  days  to USE;  not for SEVEN  DAY  LISTINGS. And it is only good for the absurd 30-day and "Good Til Forgotten" listings."

That seller also said it's hard to get items out of the 30-day or GTC formats once you've listed them that way.

Sellers discussing the promotion on the eBay boards also brought up the confusing language of the promotion messaging that was presented to them.

We uploaded a screenshot to Facebook here.




Comments (28) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 14 01:35:22 2016

For me there was never any confusion about what the promo was for. "Pay no insertion fees on up to 500 fixed-price listings for seven days." was pretty straight forward. If there was any confusion it said right under the "activate offer" button it says it is good for GTC and 30 day duration.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 14 07:51:17 2016

You may well LAUGH at me, but I ALWAYS decline to put myself into just about ANY OFFER that eBay makes. Entirely too many ways for them to go HORRIBLY WRONG vs. Pennies in benefits if all were to AMAZINGLY go "right".  Risk Benefit Ratio is just off the charts to the RISK side.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 14 08:02:31 2016

Just another example of Ebay fork tongue speak.

I always thought it was the foolish buyers that never read anything. Imagine my surprise when I read its the sellers who do the same thing. Funny when something like this happens. Don't these sellers now feel foolish.

@comments We didn't have a problem understanding the offer either. But then again we have learned over the years you have to read between the lines, then have a coffee and reread.

How funny.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

by: Mongoose This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 14 12:29:10 2016

This is what happens when you outsource your promotions department to 3rd world countries where English is not their first language.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 14 13:22:42 2016

I do not  know about 30 Day listings being ''absurd''. It doesn't seem an item is seen very much with a 7 Day Fixed Price listing. With Cassini and rolling blackouts an item needs 30 days to be seen once or twice.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Aug 14 14:03:03 2016

Clarity has never been ebafia's strong suit.

But then neither has anything else.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Aug 14 14:24:46 2016

I don't do promotions.

My store has 250 free listings a month, that's plenty for my style of selling.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Sun Aug 14 17:00:33 2016

Here's a revelation for eBay.

Just quit with all the free listings, and charge a fee for each listing like the ''good old days''.

And make all Good 'Til Cancelled listings 30 days, and have just auction items (not Buy It Now eBay Stores listings) go 1,3,5,7, or 10 days.

There are way too many relistings, since it doesn't cost anything for sellers to list, list, and list again. And these are mostly overpriced and / or JUNK items that will NEVER sell.

This will ease pressure on the stressed server network that eBay refuses to upgrade or expand. And make more different items available to see.

It will also bring buyers back to the site who have left (because they were tired of sifting through stale listings). If the constantly relisted junk is no longer there, they can again see the fresh, unique, and interesting items that made eBay into what it was before Cassini & rolling blackouts.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

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

Sun Aug 14 17:08:30 2016

A Favorite Ebay Category :
Back in the day (circa 1999) had over 23,000 items. Now has 192 items.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

by: ConnecticutGal This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 15 01:34:20 2016

I didn't find the offer confusing at all.  And, as a small seller of antiques and fine collectibles, I welcome these periodic offers of free fixed price listings. The only suggestion I'd offer Ebay is to give us a few days notice before the promo begins since it takes time to photograph and write the copy for each item I will list.  Just loved that this was a 7-day promo period, even though I received the offer at the end of the first day -- much better than when I get the notice one day after a 3-day promo begins.  

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

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

Mon Aug 15 02:33:39 2016

Seems clear enough to me:  ''The Promotion only applies to listings with 30-day and Good 'Til Cancelled duration''  One should not fault eBay for failing to read the terms.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Aug 15 03:55:12 2016

The confusion only comes in because many ASSUME what the promo states and they don't really read it.  Ebay runs a variety of various promotions.  They are ever changing and especially so in the past year we have seen far more variations on what we are use to seeing from them.

But Ebay explains what the promo is for in the email, you just need to take a moment and read it.

Right below the "Activate Now" button on the email I received it stated "List from August 9-15 30-day and Good 'Til Cancelled durations only"  Exactly what is confusing about that or what makes that Ebay speaking with a "forked tongue".

There's no reading between the lines with these things, you just need to read them.  Damn Ebay does plenty of things wrong, there is no doubt of that, but sometimes it is just because we assume too much and don't slow down to really look at what is in front of us.  That isn't their fault, that is ours.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

by: tango This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 15 05:56:36 2016

amazing, for some people, when Ebay says : Dear seller xyz - they find fault with it.  Really?  Read - comprehend - simple.  

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Aug 15 06:44:30 2016

I too am always suspicious of their free listings.

These free listings do nothing but flood an already flooded marketplace.  Since eBay never show buyers everything anyway why bother with them.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

by: Beth This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 15 07:31:39 2016

If I had read it first,  it would have been perfectly clear. However I was tired from a bunch of crap that went on here and just activated it and threw things up.  THEN my friends wised me up.  Still good as so far I've used all but 19 and I had 300 EXCESS over the monthly alotment.

All of my 30 day and GTC listings  have been rolled over thru that promo and I am saving like $50 just from that. (plus I have had sales on the new things I listed thru it!! I'm good with it.)

Note to self: Helps to READ the offer FIRST.



Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 15 07:54:37 2016

First, in PARTIAL defense of eBay, which is the only kind of defense I'd give them, why WOULDN'T you list for a full month if it's a FIXED PRICE listing? IOW, why bet on the item selling in a week, when feeBay sell-thru is so Hiss Poor?

Next, if anyone got BURNED on fees with a bulk upload, I'd be On the Horn, PRONTO, to a Customer [non-]Service Rep demanding a refund. If the particular listing didn't qualify, that message shouldn't have appeared, period. And feeBay knows darn well that the 7-day listing did NOT qualify.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 15 07:58:18 2016

@Rexford

The marketplace is NEVER 'flooded' when the feeBay [mis=]management constantly brags to a clueless 'investor community' about something called 'gross merchandise value' which has ZERO to do with the value of its stock. How they pump something like this into any meaningful business metric is beyond me.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Aug 15 09:04:05 2016

Volvo351, yep, we all know that as it relates to Wall Street, eBay is all smoke and mirrors.

As for the promotion, don't Good Til Cancelled items fall into a black hole never to be seen again if the item doesn't sell in a timely means?

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 15 10:47:37 2016

Reminds me of a store front banner. UP to 50% off. Only one item is 50% off and that item has inflated ''regular'' price. Most items 5-10% off
ebay title is written that way to grab your attention and make it sound toooo good to pass up.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding   eBay Promo Backfires Due to Misunderstanding

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 15 11:11:03 2016

While I will accept any ''Free Insertion'' promos that come my way (and yes, I do read the fine print), the Insertion fee itself is pretty much chump change. Any fees for extras that I might choose (e.g. a second category) are never discounted, so the whole promo doesn't really reduce my monthly bill all that much.

Now give me a discount or a waiver on Final Value Fees, and I guarantee you will have my attention.

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