A seller alerted us to a problem with eBay Promoted Listing Ads, and we found sellers discussing the issue on this thread on the eBay boards
. A few shared screenshots of charts showing a sharp decline in impressions coming from their eBay ads.
The original poster's graph showed traffic fell off a cliff in the first days of April and hadn't recovered by the time they started the thread on April 12.
A seller replied the same day (April 12) that they had seen a noticeable drop over the past 4-5 days.
Both sellers saw a similar decline in sales.
Another seller published a graph on April 16th showing a drop in impressions that began around March 24th.
One seller blamed the problem on eBay's search engine, claiming it no longer searches listing descriptions:
"Views on all my promoted items have also plummeted since about April 8. The culprit: the eBay search engine is not working properly. While it still delivers results based on the title of a listing, it has stopped producing reliable results for description searches. This definitely affects how many people see your item and whether your item is displayed as a "related item" when people get their search results (which may in turn be why your Promoted Listings views have dropped)."
As a result of the problem they experienced with eBay's search, the seller said they had temporarily stopped listing new items.
"I have also stopped buying items (because all of my bookmarks/saved searches are set to search title/description and are consequently useless until the system is repaired). Without the ability to search descriptions, I can't find the specific details that will lead me to the items I want; likewise, my customers have no access to the details in my own listings."
Another seller said they agreed that eBay's search engine was contributing to the problem. "I have been having trouble finding some items using eBay App, while I am able to find items on google that are being sold on eBay," they said.
On April 1, eBay stopped providing Promoted Listing credits
to Top Rated sellers and those with Store subscriptions, and on April 13, eBay announced new features
to allow sellers to automate their Promoted Listing Ads, but there's nothing to indicate those moves would have had a negative impact on ad performance.
Aside from a reader and the few sellers posting in the eBay thread, we found no other reports of problems, nor did eBay publish any advisories that we could find. Some of the sellers posting about the problem said eBay customer support had been unable to help them.