Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue July 25 2017 20:35:29

eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?

By: Ina Steiner

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It might be upsetting to a seller to learn eBay sent a buyer who watched their item an email encouraging them to purchase the same item from a different seller at a cheaper price.

But is it smart marketing on eBay's part? 

Why shouldn't eBay use the information it has about a buyer's interests to try to market to them? 

Sellers discussing that type of email marketing on the eBay boards generally aren't in favor of it. "If the search engine actually worked they would not need to resort to these methods to capture sales," wrote one seller.

Part of the reason the emails may be unpopular is the message - here's an example:

"SAVE $5.36 + FREE SHIPPING You watched at $17.95. We found one similar for $12.59."

Would it be better if eBay highlighted the original item, which clearly had resonated with the shopper, and listed additional items as options? 

Some sellers were critical of the focus on low pricing. And one seller said when it happened to them, eBay showcased items from several big-name chainstores, even though they had earned negative feedback - yet the original item they had watched had been listed by a small seller with 100% feedback.

Not only that, the seller wrote: "eBay skipped over the lower priced sellers that are small sellers." That raises questions about whether eBay's treats all sellers' items alike, or if it favors eBay's large "diamond" sellers in these types of emails.




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Perminate Link for eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?   eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?

by: lessthanthreerecords This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Jul 25 22:39:45 2017

I've seen other similar marketing ploys on eBay, and it really irritates me because the items that eBay claims are ''identical'' are not always identical.  I sell a lot of collectible music.  For example, a standard black-vinyl record that may be easy to find at a record store or online for relatively cheap may have been pressed on a limited edition colored vinyl of only 200 copies.  Obviously that colored vinyl pressing is going to be worth much more.  Say, for example, the black vinyl may have a list price of $20 and be easy to find at or near that price, but the limited colored pressing may go for $100 or even more.  I believe the problem comes when I enter the bar code (which, as most of you know, is required by eBay).  In many cases, the standard edition has the same bar code number as the limited edition.  So, I list my item for $100, and eBay claims to have found an ''identical'' item for just $20.  So, of course, the potential buyer clicks that link thinking they've found an incredible deal.  Only when they read the description, they find out it's not the item they're looking for.

Perminate Link for eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?   eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 25 22:47:14 2017

Ebay only does what's best for ebay - ALWAYS

It's why my motto is "eBay only wants successful sales, NOT successful sellers"

Perminate Link for eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?   eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?

by: futervest This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Jul 25 22:51:47 2017

eBay has always catered to the buyer first the  the bigbox retailer second they have NEVER helped the small retailer and never will.

Perminate Link for eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?   eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 26 03:22:46 2017

Imagine a giant open air marketplace where a 'shopper' could find just about anything by visiting 'bays' occupied by purveyors of various products.  The marketplace itself has nothing tangible to offer, rather they extract a portion of each sale from those who occupied each bay.  

Now, what if in this 'physical' example, there were various representatives of this enterprise walking around between the various 'bays', and grabbing all the shoppers arms whenever they seemed to express any interest in the products being offered in a particular bay, with the intent to strongarm them to another.  Say, to a bay that maybe had paid a 'premium' for their bay, so their bay might exist closer to a main thoroughfare, or perhaps contain goods somewhat similar, albeit 'cheaper', all in the name of providing a 'service' to the shopper.

Would you, as a 'shopper' find this kind of ham-handed oversight and, frankly, invasion of your shopping 'privacy', to be something that enhanced your 'experience'?  Do you like having 'suggestions' shoved in your face justified by no more than the fact the 'bay rental service' let you in the gate?

Would you, as a purveyor of goods and customer to the space appreciate such interference in your lawful trade, especially if you paid to display your goods there in the first place? Perhaps even paid a third party to point the way to your bay in the first place?  Would you, as an entrepreneur, knowing this whole distastefully unethical manipulative behavior was likely, WANT to PAY to do this kind of business there in the first place?

Are you shocked?  Well after all, its 'electric'.  It's 'e'Bay.  

Perminate Link for eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?   eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Jul 26 07:35:33 2017

Nothing they do surprises me. It is what I have come to expect.

eBay stopped being ethical many years ago.  Thankfully I'm selling on a few sites that treat me like I want and expect to be treated.  They actually like having me as a customer and treat me that way.

Perminate Link for eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?   eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 26 10:45:06 2017

SNAPPED (of course) is %100 correct.

I (without his permission) will take his analogy a step further.

Does the owner of said 'bay (physical) tell you how and when to take returns? No, its your stall, your business, your choices

Does the owner of said 'bay tell you which payment methods to accept? "excuse me mr business owner - you can ONLY take Amex - no VISA, MS, Discover because we have a business deal on the side with them"?

Does the owner of said 'bay come down on you if someone claims an item isnt genuine or does the rights holder themselves send you a letter with a claim?

Does the owner of said 'bay tell you how to display your merchandise? eBay tells you how big your pics must be, they tell you what words you can and cant have in your pic - does that physical owner have that right?

Can he take your artwork and use it for himself?
Can he make sales of items you may not have with out asking you?
Does he tell you that your lease has hidden items in it but he cant tell you what they are until you violate one of them?

It of course goes on and on - and SNAPPED is %100 right - its sleazy and unethical - but thats eBays and THAT is why eBays sales ONLY GREW %3.

Perminate Link for eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?   eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 26 10:53:12 2017

If it was smart their comany would be valued more.

Perminate Link for eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?   eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?

by: Trying-My-Best This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 26 13:20:55 2017

Take cover ... yet another  torpedo from the Wenig & Co submarine.  

Perminate Link for eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?   eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?

This user has validated their user name. by: BuildingMyOwnSite

Wed Jul 26 14:25:26 2017

@Snapped
+ pace306
——————
=  'Bay's Dead,
'Nuff Said

Perminate Link for eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?   eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 26 16:07:03 2017

Pierre had one smart idea but did not know how to actually implement it correctly (auctions normally  do not end until there is no additional bidding -- not ended arbitrarily by the clock).

Realizing he did not really know what he was doing, he hired dear Meg. (you know, the gal who said something meaning any idiot can run eBay). Problems and more and more rules started to be the norm.

Well dear Meg hired an idiot named John ((she moved on to a fail election bid (good riddance) and then to some other company to work her magic)) and John proceeded to tear what was left of eBay  to ribbons. And in the process basically and intentionally destroyed many of the individual sellers who actually knew what they were doing.

Well after John's work was done he handed over to ''whats his name'' to mop up the residue, add more and more regs, and continue to kill off any stray small sellers that might still be dodging from rock to rock seeking cover.

By the way, all four of these cooks became multi-millionaires in the process, off the fees paid by sellers (mostly the small to median size sellers as the large and privileged sellers (Chinese and large retail corporations) apparently pay very little in fees. Billions of dollars processed and the stock value barely moves, nor reflects that fact.

So the latest here revealed in this thread is just more of the same BS.

Perminate Link for eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?   eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?

This user has validated their user name. by: BuildingMyOwnSite

Wed Jul 26 16:31:52 2017

The above discussion is a really good synopsis of how Ebay has treated it's CUSTOMERS (sellers) for the last 10-15 years.  And a nice little history by @TomH.

How CAN a company survive, that operates like THIS!!!

Perminate Link for eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?   eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?

by: Just A Old Seller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 27 13:34:30 2017

Got the same type of email after I had already bought item showing cheaper price but upon checking seller had 1,700 negatives compared to just 6 on the item I bought.

Perminate Link for eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?   eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 27 17:48:09 2017

eBay does the very same thing by running promoted listing ads, even at the top of sellers listings, they have been busted doing that already, most of the time if is to buyers who are not logged into eBay at all, but they will roll this out site wide if it works.

Perminate Link for eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?   eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?

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

Thu Jul 27 23:34:07 2017

And to top it off, they can't even do this promotion correctly.

I've gotten about 5 or so of these emails in the last week.  Two of them tell me they've found a cheaper one of the item I watched.

Trouble is I did NOT watch those two items, nor did I even search for them.  They were 100% different from anything I've done on eBay in the last month, other than that they happened to be books.  Just not the ones I've looked at.

Wonder how many of my customers they're stealing?

Perminate Link for eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?   eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?

by: HardWorkingSeller This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 30 11:30:27 2017

Just got back from eBay Open at which I did my best to impress upon any Exec who would listen that eBay is driving value out of the market.  At least as far as the professional equipment categories are concerned.

Their database has no differentiation between sellers.  ETRS is now nothing to do with ratings as you can have crap ratings so long as you meet your handling time.   And DSR ratings don't affect Best Match (per eBay radio).

I'm tired of eBay intercepting my click-throughs with constant messaging to the buyer that they can get the same item cheaper elsewhere.  

The issue is that the lower priced sellers are offering unwarranted, untested junk straight from the dumpster and mine has been vary carefully refurbished, tested and warrantied by me.

Those are two completely different value propositions.   I don't mind competing with others on an apples to apples comparison - and if I'm given the tools to communicate the value that I add when the search results are returned.

eBay doesn't do that for me and there are no plans to change that (that they would share with me).  They seem set on attracting millennial affluent females who want to kill time shopping for clothing and accessories on their phone, making their decisions through an Amazon style buy-box.

Hopefully someone else will start a marketplace to serve the needs of the business/professional buyer who knows exactly what they want and who's willing to pay a fair rate for the professional skills required to service sophisticated gear.  But I won't hold my breath.

Perminate Link for eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?   eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 30 17:51:41 2017

There are sites up and coming that will replace eBay soon, it will not be long before you see them, eBay's days are numbers, they have too many sellers that are not getting the performance or inventory turns needed to run a successful business.

eBay is not getting the job done, so it is just a matter of time before new platforms emerge to fill the vacuum.  

Perminate Link for eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?   eBay Email Smarts, but Is It Smart Marketing?

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 30 17:54:47 2017

A prime example of a platform that has replaced eBay would be Shopify.com and Bigcommerce.com, eBay knows this and that is why they have made deals with both companies.



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