I believe I have uncovered a major Deceptive Practices Fraud being conducted by eBay in the execution of their Promoted Listings Feature. First let me state, I have been an eBay seller since 1999, I have been through all the highs and lows of eBay, although lows is all we seem to be given as of late.
My sales like many sellers have been getting harder and harder, the more we list the less we sell, and this past Christmas season had no real increase in annual sales. Now in fairness and full disclosure, I did sell a little more in 2017 than 2016, but only because of constant listing and trying to present the best items for sale, if it were even 5 years earlier, I would have 10x my sales with all the work and effort put forth.
Anyway, that leads me to my find, I have been using Promoted Listings like many sellers in an attempt to jump start sales, however it brings very little results even at 6-10%, but when items do sell, they always seem to have been promoted, what a great thing for eBay!
Well I think I know why... I was searching one of my items tonight and it was an artwork, for the sake of this writing lets call it "Colorful Gus Fink Outsider Print Artwork."
If I searched just "Gus Fink" I got a few pages of results and my listing appeared only one time as SPONSERED, but if I search my whole title or 80% of it, I get my listing returned 2X, first as a REGULAR LISTING, and 2nd as SPONSORED.
This proves that eBay is ranking your title differently for Promoted Listings vs. non-promoted.
If you use a lot of words in your title, eBay is suppressing your listing from showing if the buyer does not search a high percentage of your keywords. However if you pay for promotion, it scores your title differently, requiring a much lower word match to show in results.
eBay created Best Match in order to facilitate the need for Promoted Listings, and then in turn greatly increased their profits by it.
I have video screen grabs of these results and would be willing to release them to an Attorney or Council wishing to pursue. It's only a matter of time until a high level eBay Programmer blows the whistle on this company and their deceptive practices, just ask all the men in Hollywood how things can come back and bite you even years later.
I ask all eBay members seeing these crazy things to start recording search results with time and date and saving these things now, because the day will come when it will help bring down an out of control and corrupt giant!
Tim from PA
Note from the editor: Tim from PA provided additional updates, highlights follow:
The reason why eBay is so protected within their scam, is because most searches would have so many results with just 2 words that you would never check all the pages for results. However my search only returns approx 98 results, so you would assume that if the name is in your title, that your listing would be included in the 98, however you would be wrong.
The other day when I searched "Gus Fink," eBay returned 98 results and my listing appeared only 1 time as Sponsored. Where was my non-sponsored listing?
Then when I added more words from my title the results dropped to about 50 results and my listing now appeared twice, first as non sponsored and then as sponsored.
A couple days later I removed my listing from promoted listings, and the next day I conducted the same search for "Gus Fink," this time eBay returned 99 results and my listing was not included at all in the 99!
So you see if someone searches for Gus Fink, they will never see my listing if it’s not sponsored, and if I promote it, it will only be seen as sponsored, giving eBay the extra % of the sale.
You must see the problem with this: they created an unfair search, and now charge you extra to fix it, and in many situations in life this would be criminal.
Tim from PA