Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Dec 29 2019 20:35:17

eBay Tests New Approaches to Promoted Listings Ads

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is rethinking its seller advertising program and will begin testing some new approaches to Promoted Listing ads, a company executive revealed last week.

Jordan Sweetnam said he agreed with sellers who expressed concern that eBay allows sub-par sellers to get greater visibility than quality sellers by paying for search exposure.

He indicated sellers should use the ad program judiciously - for example, to promote new products. But he said sellers should not take money away from investments in fast shipping or better packing in order to pay for a promoted listing placement instead.

eBay is already discussing the issue internally, he said, and while he could not commit to specifics, he said he expects the marketplace to begin testing in the New Year and announce changes by the second quarter of 2020.

Sweetnam returned to eBay in July after a stint at Walmart and is now Senior Vice President and General Manager, Americas Market at eBay. (Former Vice President of eBay Americas Jay Hanson left the company in November.)

Sweetnam also addressed sellers' concern about eBay's practice of sending order confirmation emails to buyers that display identical listings from rival sellers at lower prices, which often results in buyers cancelling their orders in favor of cheaper alternatives recommended by eBay. 

He said cancelled orders happen on every site and that Amazon has made it so easy for buyers to cancel after making a purchase that it is now expected across all sites.But he also blamed eBay's lack of a product catalog. 

eBay includes additional listings in order confirmation emails that are meant to be complementary items, but eBay can't tell the difference between "similar" and "same."

eBay can fix the problem, but it is much harder without a catalog, Sweetnam said. eBay's emails are better now at driving incremental sales, but he said eBay has further to go to make them more relevant for buyers and less frustrating for sellers.



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by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 29 21:01:33 2019

"He said cancelled orders happen on every site and that Amazon has made it so easy for buyers to cancel after making a purchase that it is now expected across all sites."

I hate when companies state that other companies are doing certain things so they have to do it too.

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by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 29 21:04:45 2019

I order all the time from Amazon, they never send me an email showing me the same item for less from someone else.

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

Sun Dec 29 23:54:06 2019

Sadly, the most painful Promoted Listings fiascoes that occurred on Wenig & Temkin's watch were completely preventable.

1/ Stuffing above-the-fold search results with too many, often irrelevant PL results

2/ Making the poor design choice of opting for an either/or PL search result that shows only *either* the PL OR organic result. And,

3/ Failing to account for ad-blocker impact of this either-or PL surfacing, thus significantly reducing impression/conversion for PL (with most common ad-blockers completely eliminating PL from search views, and organic listings not showing at all in search results when the PL is, many advocated abandoning promoted listings altogether until this is fixed).

eBay should have simply opted for some sort-of proximity distance placement (as suggested on multiple occasions) instead of creating yet another self-inflicted textbook series of eBay misexecutions with their PL cash-cow.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hopefully the board is getting closer to finalizing a permanent CEO replacement.

The incoming CEO will need to have the BOD's backing to clean house of the Walmart-washout rehire and Wenig-Padiwan apprentice along with other bloated and ineffective senior leadership.

Just look to BB&B's new CEO Mark Tritton's recent actions for a playbook on how this is done.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Bidonmine

Mon Dec 30 00:08:30 2019

I purchase over 100 items a year from Amazon, mostly to support my business. I have never received an invoice or shipping notice advertising my items at lower prices from another person or website.

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by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 30 04:58:32 2019

all ebay , and some other companies does is recycle phony CEOS back and forth for big bucks ,as they can't even fix a broken pencil. ebay has been a mess for years with incompetence and greed. good programmers and honest people can fix anything. it's all about what they can rip off of sellers.

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by: notfunanymore This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 30 08:12:13 2019

What’s so funny to me is back in 2006 I had a fantastic eBay rep, we spoke almost daily, developed a great work relationship with him. We always spoke of the “catalog”. eBay could purchase a catalog at that time , and most of the problems with pictures and infringements would have been minimized. The route they took at that time was to build the catalog from individual listings. My common sense kicked in and my answer was always, that’s crazy, what if the seller puts wrong info. The answer he gave me was eBay wants sellers to monitor the catalog and report wrong info.. wasn’t happening, I had enough to keep up with my own listings at the time. I also thought what if the info I think is wrong is right?? This is why eBay finds itself where it is today, and why I closed my eBay door forever, 2 years ago.  

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by: wellspring This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 30 08:23:28 2019

Funny how Sweetnam has no concern about PayPal retaining our “fees” on those cancelled orders as a result of ebay enticing buyers to switch gears and cancel their purchase after paid. Ebay should pay the penalty, not sellers. And, PayPal should be ashamed for keeping fees on orders cancelled, especially those canceled within at least 24 hours at buyers request. Seems illegal to me.
As to promoted listings. I don’t do it, never will.

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by: eBaySince2006 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 30 09:41:24 2019

Can someone please tell eBay to add a disclaimer that a seller mad deduct PayPal fees when a buyer asks to cancel an order? A buyer asked to cancel a $700 order from me yesterday and just like that it cost me $20 in PayPal fees!  

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by: margo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 30 10:04:02 2019

eBaySince2006

Can you deduct $20.00 from the refund to cover the cost of your fee?

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Dec 30 10:42:25 2019

@eBaySince2006 - Can you deduct the $20.00 as a restocking fee? If it was several hours after the sale when your buyer cancelled, you could say you already packed the item and you are out the cost of the packaging.  

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by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 30 11:10:48 2019

There wan one thing not mentioned....Sellers pricing items ridiculously high, then using a high PL rate. I see a few doing that. And or sellers listing items, putting them on sale then using PL.  I see a few Chinese sellers doing this.

I guess PL could be good for sellers, but in a limited fashion. I wouldnt say that there are too many now, but its getting up there. Soooner or later the sellers with most or all of their items with PL will take over. It is happening already. WILL THIS MAKE CUSTOMERS COME BACK. IS IT THE BEST ITEMS FOR THEM.

I dont know....I think the search needs to be fixed. Or may it be there are that many sellers on ebay now? I have never had so many of my items sit unsold for so long. I dont like relisting, and relisting. But in the next few weeks thats what I am going to do.

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

Mon Dec 30 11:26:50 2019

Just hire a smart CEO who has common sense and someone who is not a White Collar Criminal and eBay will be turned around.

First step, roll the site back software wise to 10 years ago.

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by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 30 11:37:53 2019

wellspring,

Ebay could end that Paypal penalty today. Walmart and Home Depot do not pay it based on their volume. Certainly eBay is not paying that penalty with their Managed Payment, but they will tell sellers that so they can keep the vig.

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This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Mon Dec 30 12:42:16 2019

"eBay can fix the problem..."

No they can't. They are the problem.

If there's a way to change PL and cancelled orders where ebay realizes more income, they will change it. Otherwise, it will remain exactly the same.

At the end of the day and really the answer to any of the threads in this blog are  - ebay is going to do anything and everything to maximize their cash flow regardless of the consequences, the legality, the moral implications or who it hurts. This is simply the kind of company ebay is and always will be.  

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

Mon Dec 30 13:48:37 2019

NoMoreEbay, corrupt executives can keep it up until there are ZERO buyers left because they have bankrupted the entire seller base with their incompetent management.

The Board knows this is happening at a rapid clip, this is why Wenig was fired, his ideas sunk the Titanic and eBay may never recover unless they roll back the software to what they had a decade ago, Wenig's modules are poison and cancer has set in.

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by: semper fi This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 30 13:53:43 2019

ebay is SO broken, they cannot and will not ever fix it. "they shoot horses don't they" so please put ebay out our misery and find a future home for all the great sellers that valently have tried to hang on.  After 20 years I dumped/closed a store that had over 10,000 positive feedbacks and just 3 negs. Reason being, ebay! Sales plummeted year after year. Now my other store is suffering the same doom, with over 9,000 PFB and zero negs. Will be closing that one too. All along we have soared on Etsy and our own web site.
The greed and arrogance of those at ebay is the only thing that grows year to year

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Dec 30 14:16:21 2019

I don't use promoted listings, never have never will.

eBay's not perfect but for me it's still the only game in town!

I'm NOT a hobby seller, I do eBay for a living

If stuff doesn't sell I don't eat or pay the bills!

I've been on eBay since Jan 1998, been a full time seller since June 2000

I do get a retirement check from Boeing each month for $307 but that really doesn't pay many bills. . . . .15 months and I get to sign up for Social Security so I won't be so dependent on eBay anymore. . . . .

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by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 30 14:45:15 2019

If anyone didn't actually go through the "Ask Me Anything" threads check those out and notice that any which Sweetnam answered were closed right away not allowing any more responses. That's because all the answers were totally prepared corporate BS and smokescreens which you can expect from eBay. Non-answers and diversions. The eBay way.

https://community.ebay.com/t5/Ask-Me-Anything-Jordan-Sweet
nam/idb-p/qfj

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by: Mango This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 30 15:32:56 2019

@wellspring, in a bizarre turnabout, PayPal *did* recently refund all but 30 cents of my PayPal fee when a Buyer requested to cancel the transaction exactly three minutes after purchase. See screen shots and more info, here:
https://community.ebay.com/t5/Selling/PROTEST-PAYPAL-NOT-REFU
NDING-FEES/m-p/30541715/highlight/true#M1529160
I
couldn't figure out the reason for a cancellation within a three minute time-frame but thanks to Ina, I now know why.  Thanks for all the info you disseminate, Ina!
I have recently read stories from several others of receiving all but 30 cents back from PayPal when processing a refund.  Does anyone know what is going on?

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by: Mark4 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 30 18:41:51 2019

Really a simple fix, just install an AD Blocker and those pesky "trying to trick buyers into buying higher priced items" sponsored listings vanish.  Easy.  

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