Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Nov 5 2020 23:27:25

Sellers Continue to Press eBay about TRS Ad Credits

By: Ina Steiner

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Sellers continue to press eBay for a direct answer on whether it plans to eliminate ad credits for Top Rated Sellers (TRS). 

Currently eBay provides a $30 credit each quarter to TRS sellers they can use towards Promoted Listing ads. The confusion and skepticism over whether that will continue stems from messaging eBay had included in its Fall Seller Update in September.

Under a section titled Listing & Promoting was something called "Promoted Listings credit removal," but clicking on the link to learn more link went to a page with no further information.

As we noted at the time, eBay manager Brian Burke responded to a question about the mystery reference to a credit removal by writing, "The Promoted listings credit removal should not have been included. There is no impact to the PL credits. Thanks for selling on eBay."

But some sellers remained skeptical about how such verbiage got included in the list and wondered if it was an error of timing.

eBay's help page about the Top Rated Seller program does not include any mention of a credit for Promoted Listings.

However, the help page for Promoted Listings does make mention of the credit in the FAQs section. The FAQ "Am I eligible for Promoted Listings quarterly credit? How do I redeem it?" begins, "Each quarter, Enterprise and Anchor Store subscribers receive a $25 credit and Top Rated Sellers receive a $30 credit. Top Rated Sellers who are also Enterprise or Anchor Store subscribers receive a combined quarterly credit of $55."

A reader wrote to EcommerceBytes yesterday and said the head of North America Advertising Scott Kelliher made reference to the ad credits in a recent podcast that some believed cast further doubt on eBay's plans. The reader said they had been trying to get clarification from eBay with no success and pointed to this thread on the eBay discussion boards, where a moderator said they had requested more information and clarification but had no update to share at this point in time.

The date of the next Seller Update is unknown, but many of the announcements in eBay's Fall update were changes the company had already rolled out. So if eBay is planning a change, it could come at any time.



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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Sellers Continue to Press eBay about TRS Ad Credits   Sellers Continue to Press eBay about TRS Ad Credits

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 6 06:25:25 2020

Funny how suddenly Ebay keeps having verbiage showing up on their site about various topics that they then say should not have been there or was released to early.  Ebay has always played games with these types of accidental releases and truthfully I think it is once again Ebays way of gauging what they can get away with and just how much interest there is in a topic or how upset the Sellers will be if they make that move.  Once again Ebay is looking at what they can take away from Sellers to add to their bottom line rather than how they can entice Sellers to list and sell more on their site.  They have given up on growing the company and now seem to only focus on how to dig deeper into the sellers pockets while sales either drop or only increase due to the pandemic.

Perminate Link for Sellers Continue to Press eBay about TRS Ad Credits   Sellers Continue to Press eBay about TRS Ad Credits

by: acc756 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 6 10:15:01 2020

If eBay gets rid of the Quarterly Promoted Listings Credit, it would pretty much remove logistical reasons for them having to bill PL fees on the monthly invoice.

I have to wonder if this is really about eBay wanting to be able to collect PL fees at time of sale in Managed Payments, like they do with FVF.

Perminate Link for Sellers Continue to Press eBay about TRS Ad Credits   Sellers Continue to Press eBay about TRS Ad Credits

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

Fri Nov 6 12:23:22 2020

It's clear eBay ''got caught'' here and is trying to spin to minimize further damage from lost seller trust.

Agree with acc756's take on this too - any practical opportunity for eBay to ''collect sooner and pay out later'' they're gonna exploit.

If inadvertently publishing ''Promoted Listings Credit removal'' in the fall seller update page weren't enough, the ad-guy Kelliher saying ''this is going away. This is just for Q4'' seals the deal (sounds like he was unaware that this was a longstanding TRS benefit).

Burke's sad non-answer spin-reply that ''it should not have been included'' in the seller update publishing is the 3rd nail in the confirmation-coffin (these guys -- always gotta watch out for the 'technically correct' but incredibly misleading response just like this one).

Best chance for sellers that are ticked-off about it is to make a stink; perhaps eBay will acquiesce and keep the TRS PL credits around a bit longer.

Maybe Iannone should ask Rob Chesnut what an ethical company leader would do in this situation.

Perminate Link for Sellers Continue to Press eBay about TRS Ad Credits   Sellers Continue to Press eBay about TRS Ad Credits

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Fri Nov 6 19:50:27 2020

eBay posted that reference with a blank page INTENTIONALLY!!

The purpose is to see how much push back they get from sellers.  

If there is intense push back with threats to cancel selling accounts, eBay will claim it was an error.  

If there is not serious push back from sellers, eBay will pull the plug on those credits, because, well, they are eBay, and reducing incentives or benefits extended to sellers is what they do.

If the program does not get cancelled, you can bet that there will be a reduction in the credit and eventually, they will take it away entirely.

The best part is eBay executives are so out of touch with their seller base that they continue to scratch their heads wondering why sellers find it so easy to abandon their marketplace, when the answer is as simple as the never sending series of fee increases, benefit reductions and other money grabs that make sellers reach the point where the marketplace becomes a zero sum game.

Perminate Link for Sellers Continue to Press eBay about TRS Ad Credits   Sellers Continue to Press eBay about TRS Ad Credits

by: acc756 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 12 13:39:41 2020

After 3 weeks we finally have an official response from eBay:  "We apologize for any confusion regarding our current Promoted Listings credits for both Top Rated Sellers and Anchor and Enterprise store subscribers.  We regularly review our various promotions to ensure they are providing the best opportunity to help our sellers grow, and we will give you time to adjust if there are any changes made to these promotions, but we don’t have any changes to announce at this time."

There's enough wiggle room there to drive a truck through.  Disappointing but not surprising that eBay wouldn't give us a straight yes or no and went with the non-committal "not right now" approach instead.

I still have to question why someone went through the effort of making a graphic showing this for the Fall Seller update and the Head of North American Advertising would be saying anything even remotely alluding to it if it wasn't actually on eBay's radar. It's clearly a fully formed idea/plan that has been passed around multiple departments - sounds to me like they are just waiting until after the holidays and/or trying to figure out how to minimize the damage before making an announcement.



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