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eBay Promoted Listings: Your Top Ten Questions Answered

By Pete Thompson

With Promoted Listings, eBay sellers can pay to jump to the top of the search results. How can sellers use these ads to best effect?

eBay Promoted Listings: Your Top Ten Questions Answered

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Mark Hetherington

Yes it’s easy to use but can be expensive in certain categories, especially anything tech or electrical. It’s almost a no-win situation for the seller as you’re trying to keep prices as low as possible to compete with the Chinese who are already unfairly subsidized by both the US and UK governments. Incidentally that’s something that makes me laugh about this Brexit nonsense when many UK businesses are worrying about our what our post-Brexit ability to sell over seas will be – well I and many of the smaller businesses out there have got a message for the government: Do… Read more »

Matthew

Replying to Mark Hetherington

Hi Mark, I think partly you’re outlining a very real and very serious strategic problem, but not something directly related to Promotions. Tech is a very tough vertical for margin, and Chinese sellers are under cutting sellers at scale. Neither however are the reason promotions fail, more a symptom of a different business model ailment to remedy. Would agree Markdown manager is a safe place to keep energy. All these tools should be used together, not cherry picked. Its all about the desired strategy of the company, channel and product in question. In the right context, there are likely always… Read more »

Mark Hetherington

Replying to Matthew

Even the best thought out plans can fail – for example, an outdoor event might be killed by bad weather or another event out of your control. Case in point, if England manage to reach the World Cup (soccer) final for example, half the nation will be watching the final on July 15 so if you are holding another event that day, or have set your auctions to end during match time you’re probably screwed so be careful what time you set your auctions and look out for major events. It also depends what you’re selling. In this case of… Read more »

Matthew

Replying to Mark Hetherington

All valid points. Simplicity is best, and often the key for ongoing success!

If ever you’d like to take this chat offline Mark, let me know. We could always do a free audit of your business model and channels and see if we could help in some ways. We don’t make promises we can’t keep, but I can promise we’d give you the best chances of being found and converting. The rest is for the market and product to ‘do’.

Jackie

Replying to Mark Hetherington

i was actually doing quite well til ebay started promoting other peoples same items in the middle of my listings. now my sales have dropped dramatically in the last month. even worse someone went to purchase one of my items today and she got a letter from ebay saying my item was no longer available ( it was still available and still on there) and they sent her to a site with the same item cheaper. i was forwarded the email. that is totally wrong. promoting items is fine, but don’t use the sites of other people to do it,… Read more »

anon

Replying to Mark Hetherington

“Chinese who are already unfairly subsidized by both the US and UK governments” What planet are you living on? There’s import duty on every imported item into the UK that’s even higher than in most EU countries. The UK left the EU, so without the EU’s protection, you can expect those to go down since the UK doesn’t have the protection of the EU and will have to bend the knee if they want any concessions. But UK & US subsidies? What subsidies? Are you crazy? Why would foreign governments support the Chinese? China is cheap because factories in China… Read more »

Andy Geldman

Replying to anon

The US, UK and many other countries support Chinese exporters via the Universal Postal Union. For example, see https://reason.com/2019/11/11/american-taxpayers-are-subsidizing-ultra-cheap-shipping-from-china/

In my experience, UK sellers are very internationally minded – much more so than the US. The EU is often the first area that UK sellers export to, followed by the US and Australia. Brexit has of course made it more difficult to export to the EU.

Mark Hetherington

Replying to anon

Whinging? Well if you’ve read Andy’s reply below you now know that what I said was true, so instead of trolling I respectfully suggest that YOU get your facts straight before posting. I’m guessing you’ve never heard of the Universal Postal Union. the other point is that they work out their pricing differently than most western countries. We tend to pay a set amount per parcel or item, so if, for example, we send 50 orders to the US we’ll pay for 50 parcels. But the Chinese and other Eastern countries group their mail together and pay by total weight.… Read more »

Seller

Ebay should’nt allow China sellers lie about there location. China sellers know local sellers have a posting time advantage. They say in titles, images, there description uk seller yo boost their sales. But when you look their negative feedback “took 1 month to arrive. Not from uk” .When you report to Ebay they do nothing about it. It bad experience ebay customers and it bad for local sellers too.

Matthew

Replying to Seller

Certainly agree with you – this is an issue of globalisation and international trade expanding faster than legal and technical controls can keep up with. eBay do need to fix this, but I suspect they fear the drop in sales it could have. Some buyers happily wait a month if they save a penny. Its also unclear how eBay could completely control this too.

Mark Hetherington

Replying to Matthew

I agree that the problem exists, but not that it’s an issue of “globalisation and international trade expanding faster than legal and technical controls can keep up with”. Platforms like eBay are supposed to have great features to prevent scammers and the like from joining the platform in the first place. Is it really too much to prevent a seller from entering the location as US or UK when his address is in China? It’s a very simple fix. A bit of HTML code would prevent the seller from completing the “item location” box and simply adding the location information… Read more »

Matthew

Replying to Mark Hetherington

Yes, agreed. But from eBay’s perspective, they want to be consumer focused. If buyers are proportionately happy to pay low fees and wait long lead times for these product, eBay is following the consumer’s desires. In essence, that is what a Marketplace has to do to be successful. They could control this with changes. The question is if they want to, and it is better for the every day consumer. My assumption is they are not sure it is, despite the challenges. It is sadly a lot to do with money, but I guess that is true of all business.… Read more »

Michael Magee

Replying to Seller

That I agree with 100% ! That is so unfair.

TM

I just discovered that I am being charged promotional AD FEES THAT I DID NOT GENERATE! I use Sellersourcebook [SSB] template service and therefore, do not list directly on eBay and never have I chosen percentages to take more of my money. How this has occurred is not yet known and I am fighting with eBay to get them reversed [so far $47 in addition to my other fees] – I do antiques & collectibles – not a lot of profit so why would I do ad fees! Everyone needs to watch their eBay invoices and ensure that they are… Read more »

MD

Replying to TM

Same thing just happen to me as I wonder how could my current month’s selling fee raised a lot since it was only one sale from a $150 item.
I really remember : I DONT SET ANY AD CAMPAIGN for all my listings since I sell used items and simply dont want higher fees occured. I fact I just noticed this campaign thingy after seeing my current month’s selling fee

I just asked eBay’s customer service but I think they will just win the arguments (as always).

Someone have a better explanation of why this could happen ?

Koko Palo

Another ebay scam. If you don’t use it you’re listings are not only dropped to the bottom but may not be seen at all. I have seen a message pop up “some listings are not shown as they are similar to ones already showing” when I do a search. So if you don’t use it – they may not show your listings. I am sick and tired of ebay using MY LISTINGS to advertise for other sellers. Just another complete and total rip off of small selllers by ebay. THEY screwed this site up and now want us to pay… Read more »

Mark Hetherington

Replying to Koko Palo

Having now spent a couple of years with Promoted Listings I have to agree. In fact I now believe that ebay are now so obsessed with “customer focus” as Matthew calls it, that they have completely lost sight of the fact that their sellers are in fact their customers, and they appear to be approaching an almost paranoid state about not upsetting the buyer. To sell anything at all we now need to have: – Free postage/shipping – 30 day returns – Promoted Listings If you don’t have any of these your listings will take a hit with regards to… Read more »

Jinjer Rojjers

If you sell a promoted item and the buyer does not pay…is there a refund for the promotional fee?

Matthew Ferguson

Replying to Jinjer Rojjers

Hi Jinjer,

Yes, eBay will refund this on the following months invoice ‘automatically’. But some sellers had to call eBay to get this done in the past. If his happened to you, keep an eye out for the fee refund on a future month’s statement. If you dont see it, given eBay a call

Mark Hetherington

Replying to Jinjer Rojjers

No idea but I wouldn’t touch auctions – Buy It Now with immediate payment only. It’s worth it just for the hassle it saves chasing payments, because few of them ever pay at all if they don’t pay straight away.

Matthew Ferguson

Hi Jinjer,

Yes, eBay will refund this on the following months invoice ‘automatically’. But some sellers had to call eBay to get this done in the past. If his happened to you, keep an eye out for the fee refund on a future month’s statement. If you dont see it, given eBay a call

Tom Dee

What if a But-It-Now item sells lower at best offer, is the promoted rate fee lowered automatically or does it stay the same after the sale ?

Matthew

Hi Tom,

Its a good question… I dont know for sure! Purely on logic, I would assume the rate is calculated on the final sale price.

You can see this on invoices – maybe you can let us all know?

Jodi

Hi, Is there any way to get in touch with Pete Thompson. There are some serious issues going on with Service Metrics, and it will ultimately end up in court as a class action lawsuit. I have spent hours trying to get some resolution on this, including asking questions on the community board only to be given the run around by eBay staff members who are supposed to have insight but realize, as everybody does, that the system is broken and it’s causing unjustifiable fees to sellers. The number of frustrated ebay sellers who are paying extra fees erroneously is… Read more »

Andy Geldman

Replying to Jodi

Hi Jodi. Pete Thompson is not writing for us any more. Is there some way we can help you with this?

Mark Hetherington

Replying to Jodi

I wish you were right about the class action Jodi, but ebay’s policies have been corrupt for some time now, not least with forcing sellers to pay for return fees and accept items back that the buyer has no legal right to return, but for whatever reason these big corporations seem to be untouchable. There will be something in to so-called “Agreement” that exonerates them legally from anything and everything, because we all “agreed” to it. Not until the laws change regarding these one0sided agreements will anything ever change. But big corporations gernerate lots of tax income so the governments… Read more »

Cassie

Can I ask if a promotion wins on the amount of money it earns for ebay? Or is it a bit more complex.

Also my competitors seem to list the same item 4 times over in many cases and not get penalised by ebay – they are very big sellers – it seems a bit unfair. I don’t know how they get away with it.

Mark Hetherington

Replying to Cassie

Some sellers list the same items dozens, even hundreds of times over while others have multiple accounts selling the same items. All this is against ebay rules and I’ve reported one competitor several times who has at least 6 accounts selling the same thing, and they’ve done nothing. Ebay could easily hire a couple of staff to search and shut down these accounts, but as long as ebay are making money they don’t seem to care. Why would they pay someone to shut down accounts that are making them money?

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