eBay UK trials more View Item page ads

No primary category set

eBay UK has announced this morning that it is to trial more third party ad placements on view item pages. The ads will be shown to “less than 1%” of viewers, in the Musical Instruments, MP3 Players and Home Audio / HiFi categories. eBay add that

Goods and services promoted in this sponsored link will not compete with the item for sale on the View Item Page and will be complementary to the View Item Page item whenever possible.

This is not likely to reassure sellers very much: “non-competing” and “complementary” ads have a tendancy to be replaced with ads which do compete with eBay listings, as with the recent appearance of audio book ads on audio book search result pages, and competing off-site ads on ended listing pages.

If eBay is serious about selling ads, targetting is exactly what you’d expect the company to do. You have willing shoppers on a search results page, so why waste space advertising generic, “complementary” products when you know exactly what they’re looking for, and can advertise that to them? eBay is in a pretty unique position to sell advertising: not only does it know what people are looking for, but unlike, say, Google, it’s a pretty safe bet that eBay searches are specifically about looking to buy. If you were eBay, why would you waste the cash-generating potential of all those shoppers?

We can definitely expect the relentless spread of third party ads to continue across the site: eBay goes on to say:

Depending on the results of the test, we will expand the placement to View Item Pages in other categories.

And there’s always the possibility that eBay sellers themselves will be able to buy some of these ads: one of Sky’s banners links back to their BIN listing page: though equally, many sellers would balk at the idea of paying eBay more money for banner advertising when we’re already paying them to sell on the site.

What do you think? If you’re a seller in one of the affected categories, is this a step too far for you? or are you not worried so long as the ads don’t compete directly with you? Leave us a comment.

Updated to add: Click to see full screen shot

This text ad seems to have a picture in it… so much for that particular promise. Others link directly to itunes, so if you don’t have itunes installed on your computer, you get an error page.

28 Responses

  1. Dunno about you but I’d pay quite a lot for an advert direct to my eBay listing. Sky have had well over 84,000 views to that listing alone!

    When was the last time you had 800 views on a listing let alone 8000 or 84000? (They’ve also sold £6525.00 of stock)

    (Looks like plenty of people DO click on these ads…)

  2. although maybe not directly on my listing page, there are thousands of people that in effect are already advertising and competing againt me on ebay search
    a few extra offsite is not going to cause any bigger problems
    than those in direct competition

  3. #7 Ohhh and how much per click is it? Should I be sitting down when you tell me?

    Actually I don’t think it is adcommerce – that’s text links from search results pages that’ll only be available on eBay.com and eBay.de. This is a full banner ad above search results listings.

  4. #8 I signed up for eBay adcommerce, I think it must be something else and not ppc as adcommerce only lets you show ad’s in USA or Germany?

    Asked my AM to put me in touch with the right Dept. will post back if I get any info. I reckon Sky lost a fortune personally but who can tell.

  5. #6 Agree
    For that number of views from ‘targeted’ customers I would have expected a lot more sales!
    Then again perhaps Sky as a valued customer paid nothing in which case they did get a good deal lol

  6. I think it is absolutely ridiculous and as far as I am concerned criminal to use my ad space to lead potential customers off eBay especially if I am not getting a cut of the bid. After all without my ad this would not be possible. Of course this is true for ads in core and the ads of other sellers on our item page. I am paying to advertise everyone else for the sole benefit of eBay.

    Do you think it is possible that the slow down in marketplaces is related to all of the freaking ads?

  7. #12 how on earth could it be criminal? At the very worst it might be a civil crime if you had contracted with ebay to purchase exclusive rights to the page displayed when your item is looked at. Which by the way you haven’t.

    You pay ebay to display your listing on their site, what they do with the ‘estate’ round your listing is up to them.

    If you think it is criminal call in at your local police station and make a complaint, see how far you get.

    Sorry to be harsh but I happen to believe the resources of the police are better used looking for serious and violent criminals rather than minor civil disputes.

    If you are confident in winning take this up in a civil court and don’t waste my money in the criminal courts..

  8. These “text link” ads do actually appear to be complementary (I never thought I’d say that about off site ads). but the pics are clickable and I have to say pushing me to an itunes link with no warning (or in fact to any site that requires additional software to view… ) ain’t going to exactly endear me to the referring site.

    As a side note… Apple you plonkers – when will your realise that almost every company that’s tried to impose proprietary software on users has failed? Let me buy my music and drag and drop between open standards devices or I’ll go download it from tesco instead!

  9. Steve is right, normally I wouldn’t encourage tattle tales, but in this case:

    Click on report this listing at the bottom of on of listings on https://shop.ebay.co.uk/merchant/sky_television

    Then follow

    Listing Policy Breaches
    Listing policy breaches (improper keywords, outside links etc.
    Other listing policy offences
    Business seller fails to display correct contact details

  10. *Reposted to avoid spam trap*

    Steve is right, normally I wouldn’t encourage tattle tales, but in this case:

    Click on report this listing at the bottom of the listing

    Then follow

    Listing Policy Breaches
    Listing policy breaches (improper keywords, outside links etc.
    Other listing policy offences
    Business seller fails to display correct contact details

  11. I clicked on the link to be nosy and found that there is now a business address on the About Me page but that the correct company information is not provided. Naughty, that’s an offence against the Companies Act and regulations made thereunder.

  12. Completely and utterly ridiculous, we already have ebay ads that directly compete with us at the bottom of some listings

    Whether the item is “complimentary” or not is missing the point, buyers only have so much time to browse and only so much money to buy items, if buyers go off site and purchase there – ebay don’t get their 10% fee – sellers don’t get a sale & ebay & sellers go bust

    Madness !

  13. Well Sky sold out but have new listings up with their ad now linking to this one

    Looks like it’s worthwhile for them, 35k views in two days and another £1500 of sales.

    It’s worth noting that although it’s only a £75 sale each time there’s a £20/mth subscription on an ongoing basis that kicks in after three months unless the user remembers to ring up and cancel. I wonder just how many don’t and carry on paying by direct debit forever?

  14. #25 I’ll email you the costs later Chris for those banner ad’s, its run by an outside agency as part of the Partner Network.



eBay promote service on View Item page


eBay UK test new versions of view item page


A ‘New eBay’ View Item Page coming soon


SMP Relisting Duplicate End Time Glitch

eBay UK tweaks View Item page

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars