Inappropriate links undermine the trust and legitimacy of eBay’s marketplace

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Inappropriate links undermine the trust and legitimacy of eBay’s marketplace” is a direct quote from eBay’s own policies. It has always been a given that links that permit off site sales were forbidden, but that’s all changed

Shopping.com adverts have now started to appear on eBay, but only in certain categories. Not a problem you might think, but they’re appearing in search results and pushing products relevant to the search criteria and worse are clickable to ecommerce vendors own websites. The display below was from a search for new sewing machines.

shopping.com advert on eBay

It is understandable that eBay would want to cross promote it’s platforms. It’s perfectly natural that sellers on eBay may want to pay to have their items featured on shopping.com as well as eBay, however the reverse doesn’t hold true. Sellers on eBay have to pay to have listings appear in search results and many are still smarting from the reduced visibility of shop inventory format listings. Now adverts are appearing at the bottom of listings that have paid nothing to appear in search results, pay no eBay fees and direct eBay buyers to off eBay venues.

Taking buyers off eBay brings up a host of issues – Why are eBay sending buyers to competing sites for example amazon? Does this make good business sense? What about directing them from eBay to virtually unknown sites? What about trust and safety? eBay have always promoted on eBay transactions to be safe with feedback, buyer protection and dispute resolution. A buyer clicking through direct to a merchant website can legitimately claim their purchase was through eBay, although it’s certainly off eBay.

This seems to be madness, eBay pay millions to attract customers, why would they want to let them go? Currently only a few categories appear to be infected with shopping.com adverts – we’d rather they weren’t there at all. Promote the fact that eBay have other platforms by all means, but if sellers can’t have links to their own ecommerce platforms then for all the same reasons shopping.com shouldn’t have direct links to vendors on eBay either.

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