Wednesday, September 24, 2008

eBay to Sell Advertising to their Own Sellers!

eBay announced today that they would be launching a new Advertising program called AdCommerce. The program should roll out this fall. Here are two post regarding the announcement.
  • From the eBay Ink Blog: eBay To Launch AdCommerce Program for Sellers
  • From the eBay Announcement Board: Coming Soon: eBay AdCommerce – A Text Advertising Solution for Sellers - "Over the next few months, we'll be introducing a new program call eBay AdCommerce. eBay AdCommerce is a pay-per-click advertising solution that will allow eBay sellers to advertise their listings and eBay Stores via a text ad on eBay search result pages.
    AdCommerce is one more powerful advertising option for eBay sellers who want to drive more traffic to their listings and eBay Stores. Your ads are shown near the bottom of search results pages to targeted buyers that are interested in your product line."
Okay, on face value, I like this idea, but of course the Devil is in the Details, so as more information is available I will add my 15%. This does confirm though, that eBay wants to become a shopping portal rather than a shopping destination, IMO.
  • Diamond Sellers and catalog product coming to the site this fall.
  • Advertising options for eBay sellers to advertise their websites
  • Sponsored ads all over the site currently.
  • Display advertising on the rise.
  • Advertising showing up on Item Description pages on eBay Australia.
eBay is becoming one big product search engine.

Update: I know, I just wrote the post, how can I be updating it so soon. It looks like I may have jumped the gun in saying I liked this idea. If sellers can advertise their websites in this type of program I like it, but if it is only for their existing eBay listings I'll pass. More info to follow.

Just my 15%


nadine said...

AdCommerce is one more powerful advertising option for eBay sellers who want to drive more traffic to their listings and eBay Stores.

That seems pretty clear to me, Randy. No seller will be allowed to advertise his off-eBay existence on eBay, even for extra money. Only eBay will advertise off-eBay sites.

Why eBay thinks people will prefer them to Google as a shopping portal remains a complete mystery to me.

Randy Smythe said...


Yep, it looks like that is the case. I got excited there at first thinking they would allow sellers to advertise their websites. I was wrong.

Why would eBay think a sellers would pay a listing fee, a FVF and a CPC fee. Does this approach make any sense at all.

I feel like I'm living in an episode of "Sliders" and I've been sent to an alternate eBay universe.

ms.pat said...

Ebay still doesn't get it...what the site needs is BUYERS! Instead, they ignore the problem and keep on milking sellers - where's the end of it? I so no activity on ebay's part to advertise the site or get buyers to come back.

nadine said...

Of course it doesn't make any sense. This management thinks the eBay Marketplace is dying, so they are determined to kill it to prove themselves right.

Sellers will pay per click if they are either guaranteed top search placement or allowed to advertise their web sites. Nothing else makes sense.

And if eBay does begin guaranteeing search placement in exchange for pay per click, it will only degrade the normal eBay service more and drive even more sellers off the site.

This company is simply so desperate for short-term revenue, that they are willing to cannabalize their long-term prospects. I can't wait for the Q3 & Q4 reports.

Tony P. said...

AdCommerce is a pay-per-click advertising solution that will allow eBay sellers to advertise their listings and eBay Stores via a text ad on eBay search result pages.

WTF? Pay per SALE isn't good enough? Now they want PPC?

Okay, what's next? (*waving hand wildly*) I know, I know the answer!

PPI - pay per impression. If the great and mighty ebay should decide to even show your listing within the search results page, you owe them another 35 cents. per!

Just think. Your bill shows $945 for a single listing. Yep, according to their software, they showed your listing 2700 times.

That's why BM has no rhyme or reason - it's all about quantity, baby!! They're gearing up for PPI. It won't matter what the buyer searches for, BM will grab a handful of "BM" and sling it at 'em. Ca-Ching!

On another note... are they f'ing insane?


Judy said...

I already pay to advertise on Ebay. Google Adwords for my own site cost me a lot less than the Ebay fees when I sell exactly the same item from my Ebay Store.

Pay even more to sell items on Ebay - I don't think so!

Anonymous said...

I hate to say this .... but there is a part of me that would just keep clicking on such adds and never purchase the item just to keep such pay per click policies OFF the site.

I would hate to think eBay would later apply this to all sellers-that would have to pay just for someone viewing our item. But I can see it happening.

Anonymous said...

Ebay can barely handle search technology as it is, let alone have to worry about click fraud and all the other issues that come up with PPC.

You would have to be the biggest idiot to pay eBay even more money at this point. This program is going to fail miserably just like everything else they have done.

Randy Smythe said...

Hey All,

You guys/gals are absolutely correct. Based on their announcement this idea is dead on arrival.

I have a couple of question in to eBay and I'll will post a follow-up soon.

Anonymous said...

eBay quote
"Essentially, the AdCommerce program will act as another way for good sellers to raise visibility on eBay. "

Really ---its for good sellers? I thought DSR's were for that. You mean its for the seller that is not paying listing fees and can afford to pay extra.

nadine said...

All, I highly recommend Harry Rinker's podcast with Ina Steiner of Auctionbytes. The three main points I took away from it were:

1. the Antiques/Collectibles market on eBay is still BIG, even if it's not big to eBay. He mentioned a $3 billion GMV for Collectibles alone, excluding Antiques. That implies gross revenue of $300 million at least. I would be very interested in anybody's ballpark estimate in how much of eBay's trailing 12 mo $8 Billion in revenue is derived from antiques & collectibles - perhaps $500 million or more?

2. When eBay realized antiques/collectibles had maxed out its growth, it lost interest in them. eBay's internal support for antiques/collectibles, which was always unsatisfactory, basically dissolved altogether in the reorganization of 2006.

3. Rinker believes that the antiques/collectibles online market will leave eBay and settle in 1 to 5 specialty sites within the next 3 to 5 years, i.e. sites tailored for antiques and collectibles.

My take: That is one helluva big market to say to it, bye-bye guys, not interested anymore, don't let the door slam you on the way out. Can eBay be doing this consciously? Not to mention the fact that auctions for one-of-a-kind items are still the core of eBay's brand identity in the public mind!

To quote Tony P., are they f'ing insane?

Randy Smythe said...


It seems more like arrogance. They don't believe they will lose the business. The eBay brand is toooo powerfulllll.

"Pride cometh before the fall"; as the saying goes.

nadine said...

So, they haven't yet figured out the eBay cachet is not positive for most vendors? When the new diamond sellers don't use their regular brand name for their eBay listings, will they get a clue?

As for not believing they will lose the business, they are already losing the business. Do a Google search for any antique item, e.g. "Victorian sterling pillbox" or "Boston and Sandwich amethyst flint glass" and you will find the search results evenly divided between eBay, Ruby Lane, GoAntiques, and a couple of other specialist antique sites. Even as late as last year, you would have seen the lion's share of results on eBay alone.

ms.pat said...

Its a small measurement but Ebay was always rated a 9 in Google's page ranker. Now, it rates 8 and amazon rates 9.

Cliff said...

I think Judy is dead-on with the reason why this won't work--if you're paying for ads your dollar will be better spent with Google.

Anonymous said...

Serious question. Is it, in any way, illegal to click on a ppc ad multiple times just for the h*ll of it?
I know it is not the right thing to do and I absolutely would not do it, I just have always wondered.

Randy Smythe said...

The company selling the advertising usually has programs that catch that type of behavior. I don't recall any law that says you can't click on a sponsored ad multiple times.

But it is called click fraud.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I always wondered about that issue. BTW, I do think if ebay starts the ppc ad nonsense, you will see massive amounts of the multiple clicking occur.

Anonymous said...

Randy, A little off-topic but I thought I'd offer this.

I used to sell a category of items on ebay for 9.99 each plus 3.95 s&h. If a buyer bought more than one, I usually just added 35 cents per extra item onto the s&h .

Example: Buyer buys 5 items at 9.99 per plus the combined and discounted s&h = $55.30 total due.
Buyers pays, I ship. Everybody is happy.

Because ebay suggests (coerces) us to offer free s&h, I went ahead and changed my listings to $14.99 per item with "FREE S&H". Yes, I actually added an extra buck onto the price just for the h*ll of it.

Then this happens earlier today.

Buyer buys Five of the items as in the example above. He goes ahead and paypals the money before i send an invoice. He pays $74.95. Now I am a decent enough guy and I will refund him accordingly but think about what ebay has done to the "valued buyer". This guy basically overpaid by $20.00 because ebay wants me to offer "free" s&h. What a joke.

BMX said...

I am getting a little old and my memory is a bit faded.. but didn't ebay already have a program like this.. called ad marketplace or something awhile back?

I remember I tried it out.. didn't do much in terms of sales or conversions..

Brad said...

RE: Ebay can barely handle search technology as it is, let alone have to worry about click fraud and all the other issues that come up with PPC.

I AGREE 1000% with you on that comment!

They messed up there affiliate program by going to an in house affiliate program. How are they going to manage this...

Wow, what are they thinking of at eBay?
Fee's Fee's Fee's... If they are not careful they will loose there lead over the competition with all these fees.

Good news though, There's competition for AdCommerce, and it's free! At least with the off site promotion of it.


Anonymous said...

RE: Click Fraud
It is interesting to note that the burden will fall on Ebay to prevent click fraud, since they will benifit from it finacially.

Yahoo and Google have both been sued and settled for 4.5 million and 90 million for not doing all they should to prevent click fraud.

ranjith said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.