Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun July 1 2018 16:43:02

eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales

By: Ina Steiner

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Beware when running a sale on your eBay listings: shoppers may not see it. eBay executive Bob Kupbens revealed on Wednesday that if sales offers aren't good enough, eBay will "suppress" them. 

That may be unwelcome news, but at least sellers now have a greater understanding of how to deal with this new, unannounced policy from eBay after 6 months of uncertainty.

Some background for the uninitiated: when sellers run sales, eBay displays a banner showing the offers at the top of listings in order to entice shoppers. For example, a seller might run a BOGO sale (Buy One, Get One at X% off).

But beginning in January, eBay moved sellers' sales banners to the bottom of listings where shoppers would be less likely to see them. As we wrote in May, imagine a retail store holding a BOGO sale to excite shoppers, but placing the signs at the back of the store where many shoppers might miss seeing them. 

For the past 6 months, sellers have been forced to speculate on whether eBay was hiding their sales intentionally or if it was caused by a glitch. At one point, an eBay moderator told sellers discussing the problem in a thread on its discussion boards that "initial testing showed an increase in sales when the promotion was moved closer to the description," and added, "We are keeping a close eye on this and we assure you that if this leads to a reduction of sales for our sellers, we will look into reverting back to the previous format."
 
Kupbens' explanation on Wednesday contradicts that initial finding - he said eBay now removes banners from the top when it thinks sellers are trying to "game" the system, while rewarding "quality" offers by keeping them at the top.

While Kupbens revealed the new policy in a video presentation in response to a prescreened question from a seller, eBay has yet to announce the change.

The seller had asked: "I am wondering if we could have some sort of banner or advertising on our listing page (most important) and on our store page when we create a promotion. For example, if I run a buy-1-get-1-free promotion, buyers currently are not seeing that until they add the first item to their cart. And they are not putting the first item in the cart because they have no idea it is basically half price. We used to have a banner highlighting the promotion on the listing page. Would love to either have it back or understand the logic behind not advertising a seller's promotions on their listing pages and store page."

Kupbens responded in the video, stating there had been a lot of questions and a lot of feedback about the placement of Promotions Manager and Markdown Manger promotions. He said eBay had been testing the placement of the promo banners to see what works. "What I mean by "what works" is what drives conversion. Because at the end of the day, you want an offer that's going to drive conversion."

"We were just trying to - again on a small sample - test around a few things to make sure that we could figure out exactly what the right placement was and the right timing," Kupbens said. "We found out - not rocket science - good offers drive conversion, which makes a ton of sense," and he said bad offers undermine confidence in the platform.

"I think you've all seen these offers, like, "save a dollar if you buy three" and the items are $500, which is not a great offer. So what we found is if you show those offers above the item, and they're really not great offers, those buyers don't want to come back."

Kupbens said eBay would go back to showing all the "good" offers at the top of the listings, and would start suppressing some of the "really bad offers."

"It's subjective in terms of what's bad, but we're setting the bar super low." And, he said, "We're going to keep playing with that threshold." 

Since it's subjective, who will make the determination about the quality of a promotion? eBay is turning to a technology solution to help it. "This is where we get to use machine learning behind the scenes and figure out how we optimize offers and their relation to conversion," Kupbens stated.

Kupbens went a step further when he accused some sellers of gaming the system. Referring to what he called bad offers, he said, "It's really not an offer. It's just a way to try to game it and gain visibility."

What do sellers do if they don't agree with eBay's detection software? "If you as a seller believe that you have a legitimate offer, that's a good offer for buyers that isn't showing up for some reason, let us know," Kupbens said.

Ironically given the fact eBay hasn't announced this policy change: another seller submitted a question to Kupbens asking him why eBay didn't communicate changes before rolling them out - "The problem is all the stuff you guys do that we don't hear about until AFTER the fact, usually after a lot of misinformation and speculation has transformed a simple thing into a complete mess,...eBay could reduce seller anxiety, misinformation, and confusion by doing a better job of communicating with us in a timely fashion. I think you'd find a far happier seller community if you did that."



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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Sun Jul 1 17:29:20 2018

The never ending Kupcake speeches.  Oh, I loved the statement. ""It's subjective in terms of what's bad, but we're setting the bar super low." And, he said, "We're going to keep playing with that threshold.". As far as we've seen lately, that's exactly how they operate their business.....

Honestly???? Oh Bobbie cakes, you've finally lost it.

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 1 17:39:49 2018

Most of the sales from sellers are the " Take this 10.00 hat and mark it up to 20.00 and then for the sale next week mark it down to 15.00" Some sale. Ebay has a lot of overpriced sales.

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 1 17:43:18 2018

If they're going to insist that sales be ''good enough,'' they should put a minimum allowable discount ... just as they require BIN prices to be a certain amount above the auction starting price.  

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 1 17:52:40 2018


"''Kupbens went a step further when he accused some sellers of gaming the system"''

Who is this guy?  

ebay is the king of gaming.. no seller could even remotely come close

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by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 1 17:56:37 2018

Kupcakes is as delusional as the ceo.


Perminate Link for eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales   eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Sun Jul 1 17:57:35 2018

He's just one of the guys that should have been on the short list for layoffs......

Perminate Link for eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales   eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 1 18:52:32 2018

If sellers want to continue to do business with someone who continuously and hypocritically lies, misleads, experments, ignores, and outright steals from them, while now admitting to subjectively determining whether those sellers are 'good enough' to do advertised discount business on their broken down life fluid leaking jalopy of a venue, they deserve what they face with this latest artifically inseminated 'test' too.  

And if buyers are ok with eBay taking another decision away from them too, well they'll be sure to come-a-convertin' - believe it..

Of course if sellers believe eBay - or rather, their flawlessly functioning robots (motto: we used to BE 'it', we can still spell IT) may have made a 'mistake' in this particular 'worthiness' analysis, do give 'em a jingle (if anyone's left to take the call) and they'll be all to happy to promptly and thoroughly evaluate and admit to their 'flawed' decision and take appropriate measures to correct it.

Just like they always do.  Count on it.

Perminate Link for eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales   eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 1 19:18:24 2018

Who asked eBay to make these determinations to begin with?

We pay to list and are part of the "promotion" - so Bobby Cupcakes - go do your job and do what we pay for and stop lying/BSing.

You ARENT our partners - you have nothing to do with it - so STOP

Full disclosure - I dont run these kinds of things - but it burns me to no end - the constant meddling and interference into what sellers do. NO ONE asked them to be involved.

If he was interested in conversions they they wouldnt push returns all the time - its pure BS

If they admit to this - who knows what other things and when they get hidden? What if eBay doesnt like your lamp or your old clock? are those hidden then too?

What if eBay just doesnt like YOU, do they take your money then hide your listings?

Why cant eBay just be honest? WHy cant they be above board? Why all the constant criminal behavior (Bobby - I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU TO SOME SUE ME)?

eBay - the most dishonest company in ecommerce.

Perminate Link for eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales   eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales

by: Grady This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 1 19:28:33 2018

"We aren't deciding who gets seen and who doesn't. Machine intelligence does that for us"  LOL, sounds like Bill Clinton describing his follies years back.  "I did not have sexual relations with that woman. My cigar did."  
Stepford wives, pay close attention:

Line 1:  Beatings
Line 2:  Lies
Line 3:  Beatings and Lies
Line 4:  Get robbed by your "partner"

Perminate Link for eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales   eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales

by: Grady This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 1 19:32:28 2018

@Snapped:

"It is about to get better, the venue truly cares about us"
It's actually fun to watch from a great distance. I saw all of this coming back in '06 when they started the first rounds of taking sellers rights away. Wait til they roll out "Ebay Prime" or whatever they are calling it. Not one single thing they try works, not one. Actually one does, JUST ONE:  Stock price manipulation for insider trading.  

Perminate Link for eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales   eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Jul 1 19:34:53 2018

"[H]e said bad offers undermine confidence in the platform."

Bobby, Bobby, Bobby, it's not bad offers that's undermining confidence in the platform. It's the constant unannounced changes which are implemented to the detriment of sellers, lies, hidden fee increases, and constant glitches that's undermining confidence in the platform.  

Perminate Link for eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales   eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales

by: Carol Is Here This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 1 19:34:55 2018

The good smallers American sellers doing the right thing always end up getting punished, and the large corporate sellers & Chinese sellers get moved to the top.
Wenig and his cromies are letting the Chinese low quality sellers destroy American small and medium business.

Their Ebay system is always "gamed" to hurt the US seller.
There is such a hostile attitude toward sellers by these incompetent idiots who run Ebay. But it extends to buyers too, because the good sellers that treat buyers right and keep them coming back for more are being hurt., and buyers get hurt and get less choice, more fraud.

Why would a company hurt the best of the best, their Top Rated Sellers? Everything goes down the drain when it comes to clearing space for the Chinese and corporate selllers, who have bad feedback and unhappy buyers.

So they comes up with algorithms that punish according to their personal financial benefits.
The system is set up not for the benefit of the good sellers, the buyers, the Company, or stockholders. It is gamed to what puts plunder in the pockets of these corrupt and incompetent executive idiots while they get ready to move on to another company and destroy and plunder it.

Perminate Link for eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales   eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales

by: Carol Is Here This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 1 19:37:12 2018

"Stock price manipulation for insider trading.   "

Except that the stock holders are getting ripped off too.

The board of directors has been extremely negligent in their support of this gang of Wenig and company thieves.

It makes you wonder what really is going on.

Perminate Link for eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales   eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales

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

Sun Jul 1 21:26:21 2018

The current crop of ebafia management is quite simply a duplicitous den of white collar thieving oligarchs who take delight in and are proud that they can successfully steal money from us.

Kupcake's vicious anti American crusade suggests he may succeed Wenig.

The best strategy the ebafia in absentia BoD could do is to fire this axis of evil so those who actually understand e commerce can clean up the Chinese mess, create non destructive growth innovation, and rebuild the platform so it actually works.

This jerk is nothing more than another overpaid Silicon Valley empty suit who's far more interested in cashing in this free stock shares than making ebafia viable again.

Perminate Link for eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales   eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales

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

Sun Jul 1 21:29:30 2018

Just a another quick reminder than ebafia has NEVER issued a single dividend to shareholders, and the stock wanders between stagnant and negative.

Ebafia's BoD -- which is composed of friends of the current management -- will do NOTHING until Wall Street steps up the pressure.

Perminate Link for eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales   eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales

by: Grady This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 1 23:46:31 2018

As long as the majority of this stuff remains unknown to the public, their stock remains overpriced. The BOD likes it like this, until it's time to short some stock. If you know the internals, shorting or buying is madly profitable and you don't bear the same risks as the outsider.  

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by: ZZ This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 2 00:31:50 2018

""initial testing showed an increase in sales when the promotion was moved closer to the description,"
Speaking of the description, didn't I read that over half of eBay shoppers use a smart phone app? The single worst thing they have ever done is to hide the seller's description so that a buyer must click on a tiny right arrow key to expand it.
Maybe the buyer would still not read it, and ask a question which was explained there anyways, but I'm going to keep blocking buyers who ask questions that are already explained in the ad.

About Friday's sale: 15% off everything paid for by eBay sounds great. After the 10% commission they collect, they still lost 5% more and made no commissions for the whole day. However: I've sold 3 times as much as Friday on Saturday and again on the Sunday after. The only way I knew about the sale was because the new shipping page is so bad that when you are done, there are no links to send you back to ship the next item, so I clicked the link at the top right of the page to revert to the old shipping page, but that link was busted so I had to click on the eBay banner on the error message which sent me back to the home page where the sale ad was (a page which I have no use for and never go there to read anything).

Perminate Link for eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales   eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales

by: TDAKS This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Jul 2 01:30:24 2018

I swear, billion dollar companies make billion dollar mistakes.
Big retailers have never had it so good. Ebay pushing sales their way
and helping them build their contact lists.

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by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Jul 2 02:51:50 2018

@Grady  --  back in the days when I actually sold on ebay and had a store, they decided to put seller's store items in the regular search. Every ebay store seller I knew was making money like nobodies business. Best sales I have had up to that point in time and never got that good again. After 6 weeks, Meg shut down the program with the excuse that buyers didn't like having stores in search! Oh really?  If they didn't like it, why was I  and many others selling so much product???? Talk to my bank account about that. Sales at that point slid and never recovered and I left ebay 10 years ago.

At that point I knew that for whatever their reason, they pulled the rug out from many of us and continued to keep pulling the rug out from underneath us. Meg started the destruction of ebay and these other bozos just keep it up. Ebay could be awesome at this point if they had left things alone, left the Chinese to sell to each other on ebay-China, but wait, apparently regular Chinese folks have NO access to the internet. The only ones that do are sellers hoping to win all the hard earned US dollars!


I miss finding some strange item and put it up for auction because I have no idea of the value, and could see a lively bidding war. I miss the old ebay.

Perminate Link for eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales   eBay Reveals When and Why It Hides Seller Sales

by: ZZ This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 2 04:27:38 2018

Meg Whitman certainly didn't have a clue, but every quarter when they reported earnings, she would show a big increase in profits once the 'one time charges' were subracted from the liabilities. Then she would give a talk about how eBay was going to dominate the world in 10 years, blah, blah. Then she was gone with her billions to fiddle with Hewlett Packard.
I never could understand the concept for having a 'store' on eBay. Sure I have one to get a bulk # of listings at one price, some free envelopes, and to be able to categorize my listings which helps ME be more organized.
What does a buyer want to browse in an eBay store for? The seller has a bunch of baseball cards? Well, the whole world has a better selection. Go browse eBay for baseball cards. Learn to use the search engine.

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