Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun May 2 2021 15:36:01

Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay CEO Jamie Iannone told Wall Street analysts on Wednesday it would launch experiments this quarter to further monetize the site through the following new advertising models:

- Promoted Listing Ads for auctions;

- CPC ads;

- Offsite ads.

eBay Promoted Listing ads are CPA - Cost Per Acquisition. The seller doesn't pay unless an item sells, though the shopper doesn't have to buy the item right away. The CPC ads eBay is testing stands for Cost Per Click. The seller pays when a shopper clicks on the ad, regardless of whether they purchase the item.

Currently Promoted Listing Ads are available only for fixed-price listings.

One of eBay's tests is an offsite ad pilot, and although the CEO provided few details, one can look for clues by studying Etsy's offsite ad program.

Etsy explains how Offsite Ads work on this page.

How Etsy's Offsite Ads Work
Etsy advertises listings throughout the web, including in search engine results, social media sites and apps, Etsy Publishing Partner sites, and Google Display Network sites. Etsy offers this service with no upfront costs to you: you only pay an advertising fee when you make a sale.

Your listings may be included in these advertisements. Etsy may at our discretion automatically advertise your listings with our partners.

Offsite ads may be optional for your shop, depending on the revenue you've made on Etsy in the past 12 months.

Etsy provides more details on the page and then explains how the fees work - sellers pay between 12% - 15% of the sale, depending on the seller's revenue over the past 12 months, but "will never exceed $100 USD, regardless of the order total for an order attributed to an Offsite Ad."

(That 12% - 15% is in addition to Etsy's commission.)

There are several reasons why some Etsy sellers object to the program. One is that it's mandatory (except for the smallest of sellers). The other: some sellers believe Etsy charges fees for sales that the seller is responsible for generating.

And sellers dislike the unpredictability of the program. As we blogged recently, "Sellers can be going along paying Etsy 5% commissions, and suddenly they make a sale where the commission is 17%."

There's no indication of whether eBay will copy Etsy's offsite ad program wholesale, whether they may borrow features from it, or if eBay has something else entirely in mind.

If you have experience with Etsy offsite ads, let us know how well they work and whether you'd welcome a similar model for your eBay listings.

We'd also like to hear what you think about the other experiments eBay is running this quarter, which you can read more about in this EcommerceBytes Newsflash article.



Comments (24) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?   Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?

by: ValueAddedResource This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 2 16:14:11 2021

From my personal experience and talking to other sellers, I think CPC is going to be a tough sell.  Hopefully eBay will take the "carrot" approach rather than the "stick" here and provide some positive incentives to try out CPC rather than restricting or disincentivising use of CPA Promoted Listings.

CPA Promoted Listings being extended to Auctions has been met with mostly positive feedback.  Based on information from the April Seller Check In, it sounds like eBay plans to launch this in late May.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?   Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 2 18:17:21 2021

Regardless of the site - how does any seller know "whats real"?

NEITHER site has a reputation of honesty or transparency. Its not a far stretch for either company to just say "sell that sale you just made came from an ad do pay up".

What could any seller do then? They cant/wont prove it, the SEO is all on their side and they can EASILY manufacture or create ANY data they want, plus again as said - these 2 companies are probably the least 2 most honest companies on the planet.

eBay has shown (in EVERY possible instance) that they cant be trusted and that sellers are the very last people on the planet they care about ....

How can a seller like me trust the San Jose Mafia to not just lie like they always do?

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by: Smallseller This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 2 18:49:46 2021

I totally disagree with CPC. What is to prevent either competitors or ebay themselves from constantly clicking on your item to cost you more money?

I will not pay up to 15% for offsite ads. That would mean paying total fees of about 27% for an item. And if I add a 10 or 20% sale, that could push fees to 47%.

Honestly, all the effort put into thinking of ways to generate more revenue by taking money from sellers, should be put to ideas on how to help generate sales for sellers without further gouging them.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?   Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?

by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 2 22:07:45 2021

Keep killing the goose that laid the golden egg. As an Esty seller I put my shop on vacation each month after reaching $800 in sales. Before the 12% success penalty kicks in. I can not nor can my buyers afford the 25%+ FVF on items when shipping is also assessed the fee on the item and shipping. If Ebay does what Etsy has done it will be just pure greed 15% is not enough? This will be the final straw in my 23+ year of selling on Ebay. Time to clean out basement and fill the land fill.  

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 3 00:41:46 2021

eBay's Promoted Listings work well for me but, I wouldn't be happy if they copy Etsy's off-site ads.

I also sell on Etsy and I am NOT happy with their off-site ads. Although I'm still at the point where I could turn these ads off, I don't get many orders from them (probably because I don't sell trendy chit) so I leave them on. It's a sale I might not have had otherwise.  

Perminate Link for Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?   Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon May 3 01:44:35 2021

JEEZ !
They're in a Big Hurry to empty these places out !
They must see the writing on the wall and are grabbing all they can before they "Hit the Rocks".

Perminate Link for Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?   Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 3 05:12:19 2021

Ridiculous.  One of the reasons I went to all auctions was to escape the fees and added penalty fees of having a store.  But it may not mean much for me because most of my sales are coming from Merc and Posh.  Maybe Ebay should do like Posh, a straight 20% and all the ad costs included in the 20%.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?   Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 3 05:13:32 2021

Isn't there a site called Artfire that does the same as Etsy (for less)?  So why are all the handmades glued to Etsy?

Perminate Link for Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?   Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 3 10:16:05 2021

@Chicago48 ... that's simple! Etsy has TONS more traffic than Artfire!!!

Etsy ranks #70 in global internet engagement with an average daily visit lasting 11:50 minutes. https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/etsy.com

Artfire ranks #23,441 in global internet engagement with an average daily visit lasting 2:47 minutes. https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/artfire.com

Which of those sites seems more appealing to you as a seller? (Of course there are other metrics which could be compared but these are pretty important ones!)

Perminate Link for Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?   Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?

by: rfm This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 3 10:37:52 2021

When I found out most on my Esty sales were offsite and costing more than triple the fee, I pulled out of that fast. One reason is you never knew where the sale would go, so either had to gouge the onsite buyer, or lose on the offsite buyer.

Hope the half brain ebay may have remaining, will not do that to ebay sellers.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?   Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 3 11:19:45 2021

They just keep trying to squeeze more out of their existing user base and traffic rather than build up the site. Been doing this for years. While generating revenue is a good thing, there comes a point where you can only do so much. I think eBay has reached that point. If it is unpopular on Etsy, it is only going to be LESS welcome on eBay. But, I suppose it makes for good talking points with investors.

Meanwhile, stock dropped after earnings. What a pig. (No offense to pigs.)

Perminate Link for Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?   Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?

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

Mon May 3 11:51:30 2021

As Ina mentioned in her recent ''eBay Sees Dollar Signs with New Seller Ad Models'' article, Ebay is trying to get more money per sale. Although Ebay's recent Q1 results showed a 29% increase in GMV, those numbers are comparing the first 3 months from last year (pre-covid) when Ebay's GMV was actually declining, to this years first 3 months during covid times. The reason why Ebay stock dropped 10% after the Q1 results was that analysts thought that the increase should have been higher like the other marketplaces. Ebay continues to lose ground.

Jim Cramer of CNBC talked about Ebay after the results and said that ''Ebay is a mess'. This is a link to the video. He starts talking about Ebay at the 7 minute mark.    

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxFlL8QvbOg

Perminate Link for Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?   Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon May 3 15:26:09 2021

I guarantee that if not Etsy's scheme it will be something similar to it. Why?  Because these sites are greedy, beholden to Wall Street, and no amount of money is every enough for them.

Top management of these sites are one percenters.  They only care about money.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?   Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 3 19:28:13 2021

“... Etsy has TONS more traffic than Artfire!!! ”

And both, as well as most others, would likely have more traffic than a given seller who sets up their own, anew. Unless they wanted to pay for it.

Which is, no argument, one of the “pretty important” reasons sellers might choose to pay to have a venue advertise their wares instead - choosing accordingly.

As in, whatever commission - bottom line - is associated has to be considered for value. As in, if the commission is supposed to fund said advertising already, (paid because they have more of that pretty important traffic) then what else ‘more beneficial’ in value (vs DIY) in the way of service, support or reliability is being provided if said advertising, no matter how cloaked, categorized, or ‘featured’, is to be now offered a la carte? Or it seems for some simply itemized, accuracy notwithstanding?

That’s the question really. That, and where’s all that ‘traffic’ gonna go when the greed becomes intolerable to support.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?   Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?

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

Mon May 3 23:42:29 2021

@ Frank Abagnale

Ebay knows that their platform is broken and the amount of money needed to fix it or replace it is much more than they have any intention of spending.  Between all of the punishments that were added to the search engine when Sellers did not bow down to Ebays demands (free shipping, guaranteed delivery and other programs like this),  Ebay has come to the realization that the platform cannot be fixed unless they start from scratch and they are not willing to do that.  

When Elliott forced Ebay to provide them with a seat on the BOD, they openly stated that fixing the platform was a key component of the strategy they had to bring Ebay back from their deathbed.  I believe that when they got in there and saw how poorly the company was run and how pathetic the top level management was, they realized there was just no way to fix the fiasco named Wenig and Seller Hub  so they started looking for other ways to take additional money from Sellers without needing to grow sales.  That now seems to be the entire focus of the upper level management at Ebay.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue May 4 11:40:09 2021

Do "gimmicks" pay the bills?

I'm NOT interested

Perminate Link for Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?   Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 4 12:24:56 2021

I'll tell you what. If ebay goes in that direction I will just go 100% Amazon and do FBA. End of story.

Right now I sell on Ebay mostly, Amazon , and Reverb (witch is owned by Etsy). Reverb coincidentally doesnt charge for offsite advertising. But they did raise rates recently (to help pay for offsite advertising). I could make a killing doing FBA. But it is very expensive. If Ebay and Reverb end up going up in their take, and other sellers start to raise prices, then I can see it would definitely be to my advantage to sell FBA. I mean if the total cost is close. I would be foolish not to.  Things change,and  sometimes you have to change.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?   Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 4 19:09:41 2021

My last sale on Etsy for an "Offsite Ad" cost me an additional 25% in fees.  No kidding.  And that was on top of the normal Etsy take of 12%.  A total of 37%.  

Good for Etsy, bad for me.

That is when I turned the "Offsite Ads" off.  Lucky me.  

Perminate Link for Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?   Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?

by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 5 08:12:20 2021

This is a good reflection of how well the leaving sellers are making their mark.
As long as corporate continues to desperately throw out more bad ideas to make up for their short comings, it is really revealing of how much of an impact our statement really is.
The shame is how badly the BOD is treating the really LOYAL sellers through all of it.


*Because, you know, why should the higher ups sacrifice their ill gotten profits to make up for their losses?
They possibly cant afford to pay out from any of their multi-million dollar salaries for bad decisions.
Isn't that what the hard working bread winners are for?

*sarcasm*

Perminate Link for Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?   Will eBay Copy Etsy's Unpopular Offsite Ad Model?

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 5 17:10:56 2021

@postbuster

    I get a lot of biz thru ebay. Overall there are a lot of things they do witch I dont like. The free shipping push is the biggest thing I dont like. I basically destroyed half my biz. Half of my biz is small parts that rely on buyers buying several to complete their project.

   But I do sell a lot...easily on ebay. I do not do FBA right now because you can charge less on ebay, so thats where buyers go. And sellers sell where buyers go. If this whole pay per click or pay for offsite ads ends up costing a lot of money..more as where it costs the same or less to sell FBA. Well I will be transitioning to Amazon (FBA), bottom line.

    There are no friends in this game, and business is business (as you have seen by the ebay execs). I go where there's more money in my pocket, and is easier to operate. I have to be honest, I dont like Amazon, or alien looking Jeff Bezo's. But if there is going to be anything significant to change where it will effect me on ebay....BYE! It happened already with the free shipping push. I cant let that happen again.

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