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.