eBay is planning to offer a tool that gives sellers the ability to create their own first party ads. eBay is hungry for ad revenue after making a seismic shift this year in which it removed third-party Product Listing Ads (PLAs) that led shoppers off-eBay and onto retailer websites. The latest move from eBay echoes similar moves by Amazon and is one Merkle predicted, as we reported last month
eBay already allows sellers to run Promoted Listing ads
- they choose the listings they wish to promote, set their ad rate, and launch the campaigns.
In a survey eBay is conducting, it asked sellers how interested they would be the new ad option:
"First-party advertising allows eBay sellers to separate themselves from the rest of eBay via organic, native ads. These are display ads that allow sellers to advertise their products within eBay's website. They appear in the website as other ads would, but have eBay branding and items, allowing buyers to stay on-site and continue their shopping experience with eBay.
"The key benefit of this tool is allowing you to create and manage your own ad campaigns, without having to use an eBay account manager. Your costs will depend on your campaign performance - cost per click or cost per sale."
Some readers are against such ads, believing that because they pay listing fees, they shouldn't have ads distracting from their listings.
One reader who isn't happy with ads that appear on eBay told us, "Instead of our listings being direct, easy to understand and buyer friendly, eBay has turned our pages into click-bait madness. Seller-generated or not, the avalanche of ads and links on our listing pages is now beyond the nuisance level, cluttering up our listing description and photos, confusing buyers and making it near impossible to determine the nuances of our offerings."
But many others are open to the idea of advertising - if it generates sales. Much of it depends on the type of items they're listing and the margin for those items.
eBay has gone back and forth over the years about its thinking on seller ads. For example, in 2010, it eliminated two programs
: the AdCommerce pay-per-click advertising program and the Featured First program that allowed Top Rated sellers to pay for top placement in search results.
At the time, eBay said it was discontinuing the Featured First program "so that the listings most relevant to a buyer's search from sellers who provide great value and service are surfaced consistently at the top of search results-the underlying goal of Best Match."