eBay UK Autumn Seller Release – eBay Promoted Listings

By Chris Dawson September 4, 2019 - 3:01 pm

eBay are to change the way that eBay Promoted Listing work. The fixed positions in search (1st, 4th and 5th) will go as will the annoying duplication of an Organic search result appearing just below a Promoted result for the same listing.

Removal of duplicated promoted and organic listings in search

Having or creating a duplicate listing is against eBay policy. As announced in Autumn 2018, eBay have been actively removing duplicate listings from the site and reducing visibility for sellers with duplicate listings. Later this year, they will do the same with duplicate promoted and organic (non-promoted) listings in search results so that only one listing will display.

Previously, a promoted listing would appear in the same set of search results as the same organic version of the listing. Because buyers will no longer see both your promoted and organic listings in the same set of search results, eBay say that they will have cleaner, more relevant search experiences.

Search results will be based on factors such as relevance, listing quality and item price, and either your promoted or organic listing may be selected to appear. Regardless of which listing is selected to appear in search results, your organic and promoted listings are still eligible to appear across available placements on eBay UK and other eBay sites. If you choose to stop promoting a listing, the organic version of your listing will remain eligible to appear in search results.

The question to which the answer is not immediately clear is which version of your listing is more likely to appear in search results – the Organic listing or the Promoted Listing. We would hope that if previously your Promoted Listing was in the 1st search results position and your Organic listing was in 2nd place that it is your Organic listing which will win out. However this will be hard to measure as in addition to hiding duplicated Organic and Promoted listings, eBay are also to change the display order.

Increased visibility for Promoted Listings in search results

In what eBay describe as an ongoing effort to optimise visibility of eBay Promoted Listings, they are shifting to dynamic ranking at the top of buyers’ search results. Later this year, a mixture of organic and promoted listings will be eligible to appear in the top search rankings.

This is designed to increase the exposure of promoted listings and help balance visibility for both promoted and organic, non-promoted listings, depending on their relevance to a buyer’s search and quality of a seller’s listing. We will select which listing to display, based on factors such as relevance, listing quality and item price. The algorithms powering Best Match continue to evolve so that they show potential buyers the listing which truly is a “best match” for their search and is most likely to sell.

Translating this “increased the exposure” can be taken to mean “more promoted listings will be displayed” and a consequence of this is likely to be “if you don’t pay for promotion other listings may take your place”.

eBay Promoted Listings tools

eBay are providing enhancements for Promote your listings on the Active Listings tab of Seller Hub. There are clearer options for you to filter to see which of your listings are being promoted, or are eligible for you to promote. There is also a column on the Active Listings tab for Promote your listings, which can help you manage your Promote your listings activity at a glance.

eBay are also tweaking the relist flow and the Bulk Edit feature and the experience when you relist items. When you make edits in bulk, including relisting, editing active listings or selling similar items, your Promote your listings status is clearer, plus you can filter your bulk relisted items by this status.

What we’d like to see in addition are more robust reporting tools detailing which promoted listings are converting best, how a promoted listing is appearing in search results in comparison to organic search results and when a best offer is received whether the listing clicked upon was a promoted listing or an organic listing.

eBay have expressed a desire to turn eBay Promoted Listings into a $1 billion revenue stream, roughly 1% of GMV. For sellers to be willing to commit to this spend they deserve robust reporting in order to decide which of their listings to promote and at what percentage. It’s not enough to be told recommended bid amounts based on competitors – serious businesses will want to know the effect of increasing or decreasing their bid percentage to maximise on the opportunity.

  • Nick
    3 months ago

    As a buyer, I find it annoying that I have to scroll down past these promoted listings, listings which, quite obviously, make seller’s “non-promoted” listings less visible.

    However, as a seller, I use promoted listings on almost every item I sell because, at least for the moment, it’s a small price to pay, and a price that only gets paid if I sell. I personally set my “percentage” at the “trending rate” for items priced above what I might consider to be the average selling price, and then knock that percentage down to just 1 percent once I’ve dropped a price to “bargain basement” level.

    Having said that, if everyone “promoted” their listings then the extra “visibility” would be zero.

    At what point paid promotion becomes uneconomical depends on many factors, but the savvy seller should recognise that it’s a bit of a bargain right now, in the same way that Google adwords Facebook ads also were in the early days.

  • 3 months ago

    This stinks.

    I’ve checked our listings and, even though they are all promoted, the majority are only showing the unpromoted listings, as Ebay says it wants to end dual listings.

    However, the unpromoted listings are still attracting the promotion fee when they sell, even though the promoted item was not visible, as Ebay still says it is being “promoted”.

    So you are now paying the promotional fee even when buyers can’t see the promoted listing and buy the unpromoted listing instead.

    • Rob
      3 months ago

      @Andy I think there is some 14 day rule on promoted listings. If a buyer views one of your items via promoted listing and then goes back with in two weeks and buyers it you pay the promoted listing fee even if you have ended the promoted listing or they click on the unpromoted listing when buying.

  • Nic
    3 months ago

    Quite interesting, given Ebay’s preoccupation with “free” shipping, that those sellers using promoted listings, and offering free shipping, will effectively be penalised for doing so. I’m not sure if this is an error by Ebay, but here’s an example:

    Sale price inc free shipping £7.45 – promotion fee @6.6% = £0.49.
    Sale price £4.55 + £2.90 p&p (totalling £7.45) – promotion fee @6.6% = £0.30.

    Clearly this is irrelevant if buyers search for just items with “free” shipping, but sellers including shipping costs in their sale price are currently at a significant disadvantage, which must surely NOT be what Ebay intended.

    • Nic
      3 months ago

      To be honest, I should have noticed the “two tier” charging situation earlier. It was only yesterday’s Ebay bulletin that has made me look more closely at the charges; and spotted the anomaly that nearly made me choke on my cornflakes this morning.

      So, at least for now, I’ve decided to edit my listings from “inc p&p” to “excl p&p”.
      True, my listings will be invisible to those buyers who tick the “free p&p” box, but my promoted listings will cost me substantially less for the same exposure, and I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

      I don’t have many listings, so if Ebay decide to address this apparent pricing anomaly then I’ll change my listings back to free postage again.

  • Martin
    3 months ago

    Duplicated listings terrible issue, Promoted listings and normal listings few spaces apart on the same results page is just clogging up the results pages and giving the users a very bad experience.

    Over a few pages buyers are seeing less different sellers items so are less likely to buy if a 3rd of the results on each page are the same/duplicates.

    Does anybody have a specific date that this will be fixed?

  • Max Cantrell
    3 months ago

    I have spoken to Ebay (UK) to clarify what is happening. Short version – promoted listings are STILL promoted but NOT in search results .

    The ” promotion ” will show up on the side with rest of the adverts or under ” suggested for you “. They are NOT looking to revert back to the old way.

    This will show in your traffic report under listing impressions. It should be 50% red (down) approx . With 1000 listings + the promotion of them, gives 2000. With the removal of the 1000 promoted listings from the search, this will create 50% decrease.

    This should stop chinese from starting new ebay stores and ramping up promotion % to get to the top. The organic search result is the ONLY one that will show in search NOT promoted. The top rated UK sellers should be at the top… ( in theory, don’t hold me to that ! )

  • Paul
    3 months ago

    Q. If I use Promoted Listings, could my organic listings ever show up in search results?
    A. Yes
    Your organic listings will show when they rank higher than promoted listings
    We will select which listing to display based on factors such as listing quality, relevancy, ad rate, and more
    Organic listings will show when they rank above your promoted listings

    I must not be understanding this correctly?

    ‘ will show when they rank higher than promoted listings
    We will select which listing to display based on factors such as listing quality, relevancy, ad rate, and more ‘

    Show when they rank higher? ( thought promoted listings always rank higher…? hence the promotion…)

    Listing quality… ( would this not be the same as promoted? as its the same listing as the organic would be? ) relevancy… ( would be the same listing again? )

    So thats leaves ad rate…. So… does this not mean just always promoted would show?

    All the best

  • Ian
    3 months ago

    As the promoted listing and the organic listing is the same listing, how can one possibly rank higher than the other. Am I being stupid, I just do not understand this 🙁

  • Martin
    3 months ago

    Change to Best match filter which shows many duplicates, sponsored and organic right next to each other. Check this link here to test:

    • Martin
      3 months ago

      All Duplicate listings in the results should be removed. 100%.

      If you pay for you single listing to promote it then it should appear higher, NOT duplicated, against ebay’s own policy. Hope it’s fixed very soon to return some order to the search results.

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