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eBay Seller Update Autumn 2021 Promoted Listings

By Chris Dawson September 8, 2021 - 2:54 pm

In the Autumn 2021 Promoted Listings update, Promoted Listings will be rebranded to Promoted Listings Standard and Promoted Listings Advanced will be introduced.

Promoted Listings Standard will remain a cost-per-sale model so you’ll only pay when you sell. As recently announced globally, in late September you’ll be introduced to the beta version of eBay’s new cost-per-click campaign type, Promoted Listings Advanced. This will offer you preferred access to the top spot in search results, across eBay on desktop, mobile and on the eBay app. It will also offer keyword selection, and provide you with the control you need to help increase your sales.

What we think

There are three key changes to note:

  1. You’ll pay if some one clicks your Promoted Listings Advanced ad even if they don’t buy.
  2. Promoted Listings Advanced will give preferred access to the top spot in search results.
  3. You’ll be able to choose which keywords to bid on so can pick related keywords – as an example, if someone is searching for a ‘Tuxedo’, you might guess they could be going to a wedding and so promote listings such as “Wedding Gift”.

Our initial take on this is that it Promoted Listings Advanced are considerably more sophisticated and open the door to significant new opportunities for getting your products in front of a buyer just as they’re in the mood to make a purchase. However we also think that Promoted Listings Advanced will take considerable more time and expertise to fully exploit compared to Promoted Listings Standard.

We’re also hoping that someone in the eBay ecosystem will be building tools to manage paid advertising on eBay to simplify the process and enable sellers to create thousands of long tail keyword ads as these will be relatively cheap to bid on but highly effective. As an example someone search for ‘TV’ isn’t a great bet, someone searching for ‘Samsung TV’ is being more specific, but if some searches for ‘Samsung UE65TU7020 65 Inch TV’ they’re being hyper specific and you want to be bidding on this.

We’ll need to wait and see how the logic works, for instance is ‘Samsung UE65TU7020 65 Inch TV’ the same as ‘Samsung UE65TU7020 65″ TV’ or even ‘Samsung 65 Inch UE65TU7020 TV’, but this is going to be mega for those that conquer the tech and make it work.

What’s new in the Autumn 2021 Promoted Listings release?

With billions of listings across eBay globally, it can be hard to make sure your items are visible to the right buyers. Promoted Listings Advanced lets you bid and gain preferred access to the top spot in search results. That top spot can help you get the high visibility you want when buyers are actively searching for items like yours.

The way your sales are attributed has switched from what’s called “first-click attribution” to “last-click attribution” for both Promoted Listings Standard and Advanced. This means:

  • If you participate in both types of campaigns, you will only ever see a sale attributed to the campaign that the listing was in when the last paid click occurred.

    For example:

    • If your listing is clicked in a Promoted Listings Standard ad and then clicked and purchased through an Advanced ad, the sale will be attributed to the Advanced ad. This means you will only pay for the click on the Advanced ad.
    • If a buyer clicks on an Advanced ad, and then later purchases through a Standard ad, the sale will be attributed to the Standard ad, and you will pay the Standard ad fee. NB you will still be charged for every click on an Advanced ad.
  • If you only run a Standard campaign, you will be charged the ad rate that is in effect at the time of the buyer’s last click. For example, if a buyer clicks on your Promoted Listings Standard ad when the ad rate is 5%, then later clicks the ad again when you’ve changed the ad rate to 4%, and then makes a purchase within the 30-day attribution window, you will pay the 4% ad rate in effect at the time of that last click.

How Promoted Listings Advanced works

Promoted Listings Advanced is based on a cost-per-click model. You start by deciding how much each keyword and click is worth to you. Then you bid to target placements at the top of eBay search results. This shows your listings to buyers right when they need them.

With this new type of campaign, you’ll be able to:

  • Bid for the top slot in search using keyword and budget controls, and pay per click
  • Select the keywords that matter to you
  • Set a daily budget for additional control

How to set up a Promoted Listings Advanced campaign

To set up your first campaign, head over to the Seller Hub Marketing tab. You can create a new campaign within the Advertising dashboard, by following these simple steps:

  1. Name your campaign.
  2. Choose dates and a daily budget.
  3. Name your Ad Group.
  4. Add your listings and keywords to the Ad Group.
  5. Select a maximum cost-per-click for the keywords – you’ll see this as “CPC bids” in the tool.

You’re then ready to review and launch your campaign.

Autumn 2021 Promoted Listings Advance Top tips

  • Use the features like suggested keywords and bids to help you set up effective campaigns.
  • Be sure to include high-quality listings in your campaign for the best chances of gaining high visibility. Alongside your bid, things like your keyword relevancy, listing quality, competition and daily budget determine whether your ad will appear in the number one position.
  • Use the daily budget feature to manage your ad spend.

You can also use both Promoted Listings Standard and Advanced together to help achieve maximum visibility for your ad placements across the eBay network, and utilise both budget approaches for your ad spend.

From the end of this month, the Promoted Listings Advanced beta will be open to all eligible Promoted Listings sellers. If you are eligible, you’ll be able to opt-in to the Promoted Listings Advanced beta to start targeting that highly-coveted top spot in the search results, as soon as it has been made accessible.

All existing Promoted Listings campaigns will be renamed Promoted Listings Standard campaigns, without you having to do anything. The only changes are to the name and attribution logic.

  • SAM
    2 weeks ago

    Who pays WINs. What a shock.

  • andy
    2 weeks ago

    Clicks don’t pay Ebay’s fees, or wages, or anything at all.

    It’s a dangerous shift by Ebay.

    Paying to sell is one thing, paying for clicks is a totally different ball game.

    I know there will be an argument about increasing sales if you go for this.

    But the logic doesn’t stack up in my opinion, unless you sell big brand names and being the top name in the search will sell.

    The main beneficiary will be Ebay every time.

    You sell, you both win.
    You don’t sell, they still win.

    Think carefully,

    This will only work if enough sellers swallow it.

    Be interesting to hear someone like David Bracklinn give his take on this. I remember he did some extremely good pieces here on the benefits of the “standard” promoted listings.

  • Jonah
    2 weeks ago

    “From the end of this month, the Promoted Listings Advanced beta will be open to all eligible Promoted Listings sellers. If you are eligible, you’ll be able to opt-in to the Promoted Listings Advanced beta to start targeting that highly-coveted top spot in the search results”.

    And therein lies the problem. Not everyone will make the coveted top spot but they will all pay in the hope of doing so- even if the buyer doesn’t buy. Talk about eBay having its cake and eating it. What next, ebay charging business sellers for simply being a business?
    It’s now getting beyond a joke and so far removed from the principles of trade first set up by Pierre Omidyar all those years ago.

  • Dave Southern
    2 weeks ago

    If everything is promoted, nothing is promoted…

    I’ve never paid for promoted listings. If I have something common to sell, I don’t bother at all with eBay.

    Nor have I clicked on a promoted listing. Ever. I assume the promoted product is crap, and the only way to sell it is for the seller to pay their way to the top of the search results. So as far as I’m concerned, they may as well flush their money down the toilet.

  • 2 weeks ago

    After 12 years on Ebay we are out.

    We dont use any promoted listings and find sales are down to 4 a week from 300 a week prior to promoted listings.

  • andy
    2 weeks ago

    They already charge businesses for being a business with their anchor shop fees etc

    Ebay is trying to move away from having to do something for the fees, i.e., enable you to sell something, towards a revenue stream not dependent on delivering sales.

    Covid saved Ebay’s bacon as sales were falling before then. Hence the sell off of the company’s silverware and damaged payments.

    So what else can they do to throw more meat to the shareholders.

    Charge sellers a premium for sales? Done that.

    Charge sellers for clicks ? Wow. They can get income without sellers getting a bean in return.

    If you see these premium listings, click on them like f*** and it will cost the idiots a fortune lol

  • andy
    2 weeks ago

    Afterthought:

    Web pages sometimes get hundreds of visits in a day from crawler bots trawling the net.

    Imagine the numbers that will rack up on your account !!!

  • Toby
    2 weeks ago

    Just another win for eBay. Keyword spamming is rife. The search engine has been broken for years.
    All promoted listings has done is put less relevent listings at the top, at over inflated prices to cover the high promoting fee. So buyers pay more and the seller pays more. £££ for eBay.
    As usual rather than fix things eBay just try to cover losses with higher fees.
    I often find that the item title has little relevance to the search results. Put the right word in the specifics and it will be right there at the top of the listings, regardless of actual relevance to the item.
    After over 12 years of being a powerselker top rated, and whatever they call it now, we are out at end of month. Too many issues, glitchs, requirements, fraud, fake listings the list goes on.
    I love being told to dispatch by Monday, and the customer told they will get it by Tues or earlier…. Via 2nd class post with a 1 day dispatch! 9 months of talks with eBay postage dept… No change. Do I have faith in anything eBay does?
    No.

  • Gav
    2 weeks ago

    I do promoted listings (PL) at a very low rate. I won’t be doing the new pay-per-click advanced promoted listings though. Not a chance.

    If I look at the performance/traffic stats, I can see that PL page visits usually out-perform organic 2 to 1. The sales conversion from PL page visits varies, but is pretty decent, enough so that I’m happy with a pay per sale PL set up. But there are always those odd days where you think, what the hell happened there? I spotted a day where there was a 95:1 ratio on PL. That’s 95 page visits (a click) for each single sale. As Andy suggested further up, perhaps that was bots trawling the web and repeatedly hitting my listings. Under pay per sale, it doesn’t matter. But I would not be happy with that at all under a pay-per-click scenario.

  • Thanks for the question, andy. I am looking at this of course and share many of the headline concerns mentioned here, but of course everything is a question of price.

    Once launched we will experiment and look at the facts and see what we can learn and if Tamebay readers are interested publish our findings.

  • andy
    2 weeks ago

    Look forward to that, David. Apologies for misspelling your name ! Your previous pieces helped me to use promoted listings to the benefit of my business.

  • Phil
    2 weeks ago

    Best match has been built on many factors chief among which was good listing quality, competitive price, pictures, engagement and sales velocity. The more engaging the listing the better your position, as it should be. Effectively rewarding your efforts. Now all of a sudden anyone can bid the backside out of keywords, have a poor listing at an expensive price and then positions higher than you. Where’s the fairness in that? Flys in the face that everything eBay has stood for.

  • Jonah
    2 weeks ago

    In reply to @Gav.
    Call me an old synic, and believe me many have called me worse. I know this sounds extreme to say the least, but what measures would be in place to stop-
    A. Competitors building bots to artificially drive your pay per click values to extreme levels causing massive losses?
    B. Or in fact eBay building their own bot to milk the clicks across the board?
    Only a thought, an extreme one at that, but with the intention of drawing to mind on who will police the clicks other than eBay.

  • Gav
    2 weeks ago

    @ Jonah

    What you’re talking about in scenarios A and B is click fraud. I don’t know that much about it, but there are software prevention and detection measures which could be implemented, either by ebay, or by ebay sellers. Even if a seller didn’t have access to such software, it would be obvious quickly from the performance and traffic report that something was wrong.

    I’m not as big a cynic, but I think that worse case, you’ll have a bunch of naughty sellers clicking away on listings to inflict damage on their rivals. That’ll be it. They won’t be building bots, or buying them, or hiring click farms. It’ll be at lunch, cheese sarnie in one hand, mouse in the other.

  • SAM
    2 weeks ago

    Promoted listings is all eBay have been concentrating on for 5 years now. I took part in the initial trial back in 2016 and it has just grown arms and legs.
    End result in my opinion it has made the whole marketplace overpriced. I am lucky my sector very rarely use them ( no margins). However from a customer point of view I simply do not buy on eBay I will probably use it to search and find the merchant website.
    If anyone has noticed Google shopping has gone the other way….with free enhanced listings this is where the majority of my sales are now coming from and it has been about the only bright spark this year with the collapse of EU sales which I was very reliant on. They are so good my wife has not gone back to work after maternity leave to work on our business.

    I genuinely think this is now the way to go as marketplaces are overpriced and the customer is savvy now.

    I only even have eBay now because it is linked with the website and works in sync so I can just send everything to eBay at markup and concentrate on my site….which according to that flippa site is worth a few quid now also.

  • Rob
    2 weeks ago

    @Sam. Agree all ebay seem to be focused on of late. Get phone calls every few months asking if I will consider using promoted listings. Yet when I mentioned it is not worth paying even more to compete with the many private accounts in category I sell in, many of these sellers have more listings than my business account. They don’t want to know or say they will pass the information on but nothing ever gets done about it as they are still a private account a month later.

    Keep hearing at any ebay open or conference that customers want more and better retail standards but there is never a push to clamp down on all the private sellers who get 1000 free listings a month and lower fees.

  • Mac
    1 week ago

    So those who don’t want to pay … will be forced to pay?
    Or will they be able to decide not to use it – and therefore not have to pay for it?

    Seems like this is an optional service, like promotions tend to be on most sites. Pay to use it, don’t pay and don’t use it.
    Unless of course ebay are holding a gun to your head.

    Cannot see a need for using it? Then don’t use it.

  • Gareth
    1 week ago

    A continued race to the bottom; they’ll be enough people out there who will throw good money after bad putting some inferior item to the top of the searches. A bad experience for buyers and sellers alike – only eBay will profit, but ultimately it may cost them a little more of the little reputation they have left.

  • SAM
    1 week ago

    They do not get the sales anymore not all their fault as the collapse in EU sales is more that lot in Government.
    It is all they have in their arsenal to try and increase revenue….we all end up paying more for less….personally I would be reducing fees to get people to price more competitive.
    All stealth fees with all their arms and legs do is just makes the whole place look overpriced and you get peoples attention for about 5 seconds these days .
    I dont know anyone now who even looks at eBay.

  • Rob
    1 week ago

    Issues ebay should be focusing on instead.
    1) Get rid of the arbitrage sellers who hold no stock and buy via Amazon Prime. A lot of people come to ebay to get away from Amazon. All they do is hike the prices up and have no knowledge about the products.
    2) Clamp down on all the private sellers who run a business on the site, don’t display any business contact information and in most cases offer no buyer remorse returns.
    Avoid paying the higher business fees and get 1000 free listings a month.
    ebay keep going on about giving the customer excellent service but these are the sellers that don’t provide that service.

  • Steve Tilston
    1 week ago

    In total agreement Rob, 1000 listings is FAR, FAR too much for a “private” seller. Most business sellers don’t even have that many listings. In what possible situation would a “private” seller need to list 1000 items in a month. If they are moving to another country, maybe? Well… since it’s unlikely 1000 items will sell in the first listing period, and an amateur seller would have little idea about proper pricing and descriptions, eBay should encourage such sellers to list their unwanted stuff as job lots. 50 listings per month for a “private” seller is plenty.

    Ebay should also check that “private” sellers aren’t selling items they are buying. That’s a badge of trading. If something was bought off eBay and then sold it within a month, for example, one would wonder why a genuine “private” seller wouldn’t return it to the original seller. Flipping of any sort means you’re a business, full stop.

  • Rob
    1 week ago

    Steve, ebay don’t classify an account as a business till they reach 85K turnover for VAT. Have often been told that when questioning some private accounts who sell new products and have more listings than my business accounts. They seem to scared to lose a few private accounts who offer little site in the way of fees and service standards.

  • Thomas
    1 week ago

    The fact is that Ebay used to be a place were people went for low cost items, since ebay switched from Paypal to managed payments (which they massively promoted as saving sellers fee’s which is does if your average sales price is about £50, no mention of items priced under £10 which I imagine, is a huge percentage of Ebay sales ). Ebay overall take on my account has risen from 15% to about 21% per item (I sell alot of low priced items (used to use Paypal Micropayments). Amazon will sell the same item priced under £10 for 8% all in, that makes a massive difference to final sales prices whilst maintaining the same margin. Ebay is just joke everything they do is to extract the last bit of fee’s from sellers, the platform has been dying for years, soon it will just be for second hand car parts and a few other neach area.

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