eBay To Go blog widget

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eBay have created a new widget for blogs and websites eBay To Go, which has been released in Beta. eBay To Go is billed as a “a fun and easy way for you to share the interesting things you’ve discovered on eBay and personalize your blog, social networking page or website”. Here’s one I made to search for Franz Porcelain on eBay.

There are three options you can choose, a single item, a selection of items which you pick, or a search which is what I used above. As well as a simple and quick three click process to create your eBay To Go widget there are instructions on how to add it to your blog or social networking site covering the most popular such as MySpace, MySpace blog, WordPress, Blogger, Friendster, Yahoo 360, Typepad, Live Journal and Tagged.

From eBay’s perspective it’s a great way to get exposure on countless off eBay sites around the world. Whether people promote their own items, or simply unusual or intersting listings they’ve found it’ll drive traffic back to eBay. Sadly at the moment it’s limited to products on eBay.com, and there is no facility for adding affliate links through Commission Junction to allow you to earn money from driving traffic to eBay. I still like eBay To Go though, it’s a simple and easy way to add products to your own site, I’ll be interested to see the full release once they’ve finished Beta testing.

18 Responses

  1. I tell you, these eBay execs are a clever bunch.

    Sounds like a great project right? Mmm… maybe not.

    So, eBay in recent months have removed shop front visibility, hiked prices to the point of non-operational profit for a large percentage of eBay shops, removed further visibility by halting .co.uk products on .com site and rumours a foot that more price hikes are imminent. All supposedly to the greater benefit of the masses as questioned. Has anyone actually met 1 person these changes have benefited yet?

    So now eBay introduces an opportunity for all its users to claw back some visibility by spreading the word over the net via your own blog. Great, not only do we increase their turnover from hiked prices and forced auction listings (to both .co.uk and now .com) due to the visibility issue now we get to cut their advertising budget by driving traffic to the site for them. Are we being conned here? Discuss….

  2. Good grief.

    Personally, I’m quite happy to drive as much traffic to my eBay listings as I can!!

  3. So, Sceptic, you’re saying that:

    eBay reducing visibility (.com listings) = bad

    eBay increasing visibility (eBay To Go widget) = an evil scheme to rake in more fees by helping sellers to sell more…

  4. Not exactly Uncle Sam,

    What I am saying is that this ‘new process’ for the benefit of its sellers isn’t as much done for our benefit as theirs as well. Come on, the lack of visibility was justified to all as a benefit based on the survey of both buyers and sellers so I re-iterate, just how many shop owners have you met that back this supposed benefit of reduced visibility? Not many I guess.

    I recently spoke to my eBay account manager (power seller) and asked a great many questions. To his credit he religiously rolled off the standard blurb (after all phone calls may be recorded for training benefit right – lol). Anyway, I posed the following views to him with regards to recent eBays choices. Admittedly, they are not unique but for the sake of this entry I will include them.

    Point One – I truly believe that innovation is best developed and served from the user not the manufacturer. eBay’s selling platform had developed mostly in eBay shops that served the masses with a variety of products – this was user lead. As many shops were making money (some making lots) demonstrates that this was a successful application or development of the eBay selling platform. The point is, it wasn’t making as much money for eBay has it would have liked so behind the mask of a survery for customer improved service it changed the model to better serve its purpose. OK, taking the point that some customers complained that they couldn’t find the little one off cheap products amongst the many new ones, what about the masses that can no longer find the new products amongst the tat, these were the people making the shops successful and therefore the platform a success. Sure the changes to the model which are now forcing increased auction listings to both .co.uk and .com are making eBay more money but what about their customers; the shop owners! Removing the footings of any platform will ultimately cause its demise.

    In response to this point, my eBay account manager could only sympathise and suggest other methods of increasing visibility such as paying for extra services from eBay – go figure! Of course I was told that the recent move (dropping .co.uk from .com) may just be temporary whilst they assess if it is beneficial to the platform and may yet revert. Please, countless shop owners are now forced into doubling listings to try and claw back lost sales, making double the money for eBay. What verdict do you think they will return with – lol

    Second Point – eBay has massive competitive advantage when it comes to online auction sites; there is no competition (that is serious anyways), it therefore can leverage this advantage to its maximum benefit knowing that they can get away with it as what is the alternative. Sure, move to another site and sell nothing – great move! Problem is eBay knows this and his know letting us know that they know….(ooo headache).

    Problem I see is that in their quest to please the powers that be and produce an ever increasing profit trend they are systematically destabilising that very thing that under pins the whole platform. Standing back and analysing eBay like any other business, to increase profit one can do (mainly) two things. Reduce costs or increase sales (preferably both). We have seen the recent round of increased sales (driven by removing the visibility therefore increasing listing) and now we are starting to see the reduced costs phase.

    Undoubtedly, beyond the technology platform the marketing costs for a company like eBay are vast. eBay, like any other website mostly benefits from traffic. To increase traffic will increase sales (a no brainer there right) and in their case they benefit double (from sellers and buyers). This new ‘Free’ blog tool is there to increase traffic to our listings and is therefore to our benefit – great, thank you eBay. Still new innovations don’t come cheap and it is yet another cost that eBay will need to recover. How will it do this one asks, well lets revert back to a former statement – increase sales / reduce costs. Who do you think is going to pay for it !!!!

    Another point that bothers me is that this new blog platform is design for you to develop off eBay and send sales to eBay. Heaven forbid you make the mistake and do it the other way around.. oh yes I forgot, keeping all sales on eBay protects us from fraud…yes. Doesn’t that speak volumes about eBay’s faith in its paying customers and to what they consider how intelligent we are not to notice a swindle.

    Thing is we can all drive sales into our listings doing the very same thing off eBay without the cost (and there is one) of using this new ‘free’ service.

    Now, all that said why do I choose to continue to operate on the platform. Well why the hell not, I’m not going to vote for the opposing party next election, but it doesn’t mean I will leave the country if they get in…


    Ahhh… relax….


  5. lol I think ‘eBay Cynic’ would be a more appropriate username than ‘eBay Skeptic’.

    eBay’s objective is to make money – nothing more & nothing less. This doesn’t make them evil, it makes them a business. Sorry if you feel they don’t love you but they never said that they did.

    Some sellers will want to drive traffic to their eBay listings & some will not. Those who want the former (& list on .com) now have a very useful means of doing so. Those who would rather drive traffic to their website are not obliged to use it.

    Frankly, I fail to see why anyone who wants to drive traffic to their ebay listings from their myspace profile, or wherever, should give a damn whether or not their doing so will reduce eBays’ marketing budget.

    I don’t want to get into reduced shop vis. as it’s already been done to death – except to say that buyers did express a preference for it, because it would make stuff easier to find than trawling through pages of listings for the same old stuff. So on that score, they were listening to their most important users. Why don’t you list elsewhere – because there aren’t any buyers on the other auction sites!

    “Thing is we can all drive sales into our listings doing the very same thing off eBay without the cost (and there is one) of using this new ‘free’ service.” – There is a contradiction here. You suggest that the new service will be paid for either by increasing sales (in which case, why are you complaining? that’s good for you as well) or increasing eBay fees (in which case, yes, in a sense you will be indirectly paying for it whether you use it or not). If it’s the latter, you may as well save yourself the cost in man hours of designing something else yourself!

    It sounds to me like your biggest gripe is that your listing fees may be going towards a feature which will benefit other users’ sales models but not your own. But that’s true for everyone & the nature of a platform as flexible as eBay.

  6. Uncle Sam,

    Thanks for responding, your starting to feel like a real uncle; perhaps sir, you will love me….lol

    Anyways, joking aside you are missing the bigger picture. Yes I know that eBay is a business and is in it to make money and all that yada yada, we (sellers and buyers alike) need them too else there would be no platform on which to trade, however my point is that its the stealth like fashion in which they go about it AND making it look like it is all for our benefit. It’s plain sneeky is what it is..there you go, I have said it, eBay are sneeky – lol

    Problem is, many users (and I suspect you are one) are seemingly falling for their ‘trickery’ and even come to their defence. In short, their tactics are working…

    But, getting back to the bigger picture. By systematically under mining the masses, those that have formed eBay into what it had naturally become, by forcing extra sales (and buy this I mean ebay obtaining additional listings from sellers through their (lack of) visibility tricks and not how you understood it to mean – extra physical sales) and now by looking at ways to cut corners by building traffic through the sellers rather than continued investment themselves, well this will lead to the biggest mismanagement of this century; mark my words…OK, maybe a little strong but their will be trouble I tell you….trouble.

    Additionally, if millions of people pick up this widget for blogs, just imagine how this will effect the blogosphere, we shall be over run by eBay everywhere, which in turn will damage its reputation and thus the business done within it. I would go so far as to say that it is another WalMart in the making, Jesus ! – MARTHA, GET ME MY GUN FROM THE KITCHEN – THERE’S ANOTHER ONE COMING !!!!

    Seriously though, yes all traffic to our products is worth it and to hell with anyone else, its hard enough looking after oneself. But somebody has to think of the bigger picture…I will leave you with a case and point, THE ENVIRONMENT….

    Thank you and GOOOOOOOD NIGHT – TA!


  7. This is a joke, right? “trickery”, “tactics”… You’ve been reading too much Dan Brown. There isn’t some international conspiracy. “there will be trouble”. Puhleese.

    It’s not sneaky. It’s just business. Why on earth would anyone get so het up about a sodding link back to eBay?!

    Your scenario of “millions of blogs” using eBay widgets is just stupid. You might as well call for the abolition of Google Adwords because the “blogosphere” might be *is* overrun with spam blogs trying to cash in on Adword cash. And while we’re at it, lets get rid of the Amazon affiliates program just in case people, you know, write about books and try to make money from it.

    If you don’t like the widgets, don’t put them on your damn blog. Don’t read blogs that use them. Hey, if eBay are so awful, stop selling via them, stop buying via them, and (I beg you) stop wasting your time reading blogs that are about eBay. What a terrible waste of your time when you could be doing something that you actually value.

  8. I have to say I’m as guilty as eBay. I’ll use various different ruses to entice people to buy from me whether that be products I sell or consultancy and training. In fact recently a friend asked if he could use me as a case study on an article for a newspaper and for a book they were writing…. I said yes to both on the grounds it might get me business.

    At the end of the day all eBay are doing is supplying the means for people to drive traffic to them. Up to you if you use it or not!

  9. “By systematically under mining the masses … by forcing extra sales”

    Damn them for helping me sell more! Curse their wicked scheme to increase my income!

    And they’re not forcing anyone to do anything. If you don’t want to sell on eBay, then go elsewhere. If you don’t wat to sell there either, you can always become a bus conductor or something.

  10. Sammy,

    OK, you still don’t understand properly do you…

    They are not helping YOU increase sales, they are merely forcing sales for themselves. By sales for eBay I of course refer to listings. Consider that every listing is a sale for eBay as it raises revenue for them. This is very different to actual product sales for you and I. In the old system prior to the .co.uk vis disaster, eBay would get paid from seller X to list 100 items and then collect FV fees on what they sold (lets assume Pareto’s 20/80 rule here and give seller X 20 sales per 100).

    Now by removing the vis, seller X now has to list on .com in addition to .co.uk just to maintain their 20 sales per 100, but they have to do this by doubling their effects (2 x 100 listings). In this case eBay now collects fees from 2x the listing and the FV fees on what is sold. GET IT? They are better off, we are worse off.

    However, you may well ask surely one would now receive 40 sales per 200 if applying Pareto’s law right? Well no, as you market has effectively split. Before you were obtaining 20% from the whole market for 100 items listed and you are having to deal with split markets. For the above to be true it would have to assume that your sales are split 50/50 between the different markets (.com and .co.uk) which invariably they are not. So there.

    Please read my postings more carefully, you’re only embarrassing yourself – lol (sorry, just joking).

    Question: Is this forum only for eBay lovers then, are we not allowed to take their name in vein? I say this to save eBay from themselves you know….lol

    Message to Sue: I have had the pleasure of reading just one Dan Brown Novel and have no desire to read the rest thank you… my reading list involves mainly textbooks and books from authors of a business nature (along with the financial periodicals etc). Oh, I also read HEAT magazine (who doesn’t !!!).

    Like so many I have the (dis)pleasure of working for myself and as such am I very driven character, if you knew me personally Uncle Sammy you would know that I would never work for a bus company (as great as being a bus conductor would be), I would set about owing it.

    I turn to you Mr Chris Dawson, a published author and professional eBay type dude to comment on the future direction of said platform, its past policy decisions and the growing concerns of the educated masses at large that fear the company has/is out growing the business model and is therefore now reactionary in nature as opposed to pro-action.

    I still don’t feel any love yet…

    One plus point. Telephone help service is extended to Silver Sellers (Power) now of course, which I am told is most welcome. SO, WELL DONE eBAY. Where’s my bill for that one !!!! – hehehehehehehehe

  11. Quick note to add….

    My calculations mean’t to state doubling efforts to achieve the same 20 sales (not 20 sales per 100). Just before it is pulled up….

    Ta very much,

    Hey…I’m putting the kettle on, anyone for Cha?

  12. I’d love someone to explain this “listing double” argument re. .com and .co.uk. I sell quite happily across several European sites (including .co.uk) and have never found it necessary to duplicate my listings. It’s just a matter of judicious use of most of the shops’ tools. Unless of course you have such a miniscule product range you can’t do that.

    And by the by, if your STR really is 20/100, eBay’s almost certainly not a workable model for you anyway.

    I’d also like to know why anyone would assume that eBay’s loyalty should be to sellers. BS. eBay’s first loyalty should and always will be to themselves and their shareholders. Just because *you*, one little seller, don’t like what they’ve done, doesn’t mean they should change it. You don’t take any notice when your customers tell you how to run your business, do you? So why would you expect eBay to take notice when you try to tell them what’s good for them?

  13. My last post on the matter…

    “Now by removing the vis, seller X now has to list on .com in addition to .co.uk just to maintain their 20 sales per 100, …GET IT?”

    Loud & clear. But my sales strategy does not match that of Seller X, so I couldn’t care less. And since the staggeringly overwhelming majority of eBay sellers don’t match seller x’s strategy either, what with not even being pro sellers & everything, they don’t care either.

    What’s that I hear? ‘Ah, but they’ll get you next?’ I’ll adapt to any changes which affect me to the best of my ability. If I can’t adapt successfully, I’ll do something else, without complaint.

    “Please read my postings more carefully, you’re only embarrassing yourself.” – Schopenhauer would be proud. He recommends (with irony) the use of insults when logic doesn’t stand up.

    What the heck any of this has to do with a new tool for blogs I have totally forgotten…

  14. My last post on this too… You can divide longer-term eBay sellers into two groups. One group will adapt, can adapt, can vary their sales strategy, don’t rely on any one aspect of the site to prop up their business (SIF visibility was one such aspect, .com vis. another). And as Sam says, these people recognise that their ability is to *run a business*. If eBay stops working for their businesses, they go elsewhere. No one owes anyone anything; if the relationship is mutually beneficial, it continues, and if that stops, we split. These people put their energy into doing what’s best for themselves and their business.

    The other group will, every time eBay make a major site change, will bluster and fume about how eBay are only out for their own profit and don’t care about sellers and so on and so on and so on. These people put a lot of energy into hating eBay, posting on eBay message boards and other forums about how awful eBay are. As I think I’ve said before, what a waste of their time and energy that is. Why on earth do they not do something positive with it?

    Over, and out.

  15. Hi Mr Sceptic, you need to read my posts more carefully, I didn’t say I was a published author, I said a published author featured me in their work.

    As for the future of eBay, I see a very different type of eBay shop but it’s a long way off becoming a reality

  16. Perhaps I have come to the party to late, however…

    .com is for USA sites (Australia etc) SUE.

    USA has the largest marketplace on earth for eBay, so it pays to list on there (product depending of course).

    Constant removal of visibility will both decrease sales for the seller and increase costs of sales for the seller (in the attempt to regain the lost sales) which of course equals disaster.

    Your points on adapting until the point of quitting are quite correct in my opinion, but then so are the views of Mr Sceptic when he says that ultimately when the larger sellers take your view of quitting they will take the traffic with them and sales for everyone will drop.

    I agree Mr Sceptic, remove your foundations and the rest will fall…

  17. eBay ToGo has had a makeover – you can now build a custom eBay ToGo widget for your own eBay shop for your blog or social networking site. For those without an eBay shop you can build one based on your user ID.

    The only downside is that it only works for shops and listings on the eBay.com website 🙁



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