eBay France pushes classified ads above paid-for listings

No primary category set

If you’re listing on eBay France and have seen your sales drop like a stone recently, this may be the reason: eBay France are now promoting their free “petites annonces” (classified ads) above paid-for auction and BIN listings.

For some time now, classifieds have had equal billing on the eBay.fr homepage, with a map of France promoting free listings and speedy local pick-ups of items. But now the default search setting has been changed from “auctions and fixed price listings” to classifieds, so anyone searching eBay.fr without paying much attention to those radio buttons, is going to be presented with classified ads only.

This has some surprising results: one TameBay correspondent was looking for a “velo solex” (bicycle with motor) and found his search only turned up two. “I couldn’t believe that, in the whole of France, there were only two velos for sale”, he told me, “and then I realised it was only showing me classifieds. The proper search turned up nearly 500.” That’s a lot of paid-for listings which have suddenly lost their visibility.

velosolexWhat’s even more worrying is that there’s little indication on the search results page that there would be more items found if a different search were used. There’s an obscure and abbreviated link to switch to auctions and BIN at the top, but for most buyers, that’s an irrelevance: they’re not thinking about what format they want to use to buy their bicycle, they just want to buy it.

I wondered if this was just a bicycle thing. After all, for such a bulky item, local pick-up makes sense. The search form does remember the last format you chose – but that’s no good if you never realise you need to change formats.

And it seems that sellers are increasingly embracing free classifieds as a feeless way to list on eBay. Searching for “jean” turns up nearly 15,000 classified entries today: a quarter of the denim items listed on eBay France are listed as free classifieds. I don’t believe all of those are going to be sold to local buyers; I think most of them will go in the post, without eBay taking their cut. Many of the listings say “frais de port non inclus” (P&P not included), so I think those sellers think the same as me.

So if, like me, you’ve been paying your fees to eBay France, you might like to think again about your listing strategy – because you might just do better not paying eBay a penny more.



Shpock “Shop in your Pocket” Classifieds Ads


Will Amazon launch local services ads?

eBay.fr match classified categories to auctions


eBay France change free listing policy for private sellers


eBay close the door on classified ads

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