eBay displaying other sellers’ items on your live listings

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eBay UK has announced a new test this morning, which will see “seller merchandising” displayed on live listings:

Starting on 20 January, we will be running a test on displaying merchandise at the bottom of view item pages for a small percentage of active listings. You may begin to see relevant merchandise including merchandise from other sellers on active view item pages during the next couple of weeks.

(Emphasis mine.)

This will be, presumably, similar to the cross promotions that run at other times: when a buyer has bid or bought, in emails and on ended listings. Currently, for example, on an ended listing, there are

  • 8 “recommendations”, which are normally from other sellers and may or may not have something to do with the ended item or other things you’ve bought (they’re giving me size 10 strappy tops at the moment, which for anyone who’s ever met me, you’ll know is as much of a “no” as you could ever get for my shopping), plus
  • 4 “more from same seller” which does what it says on the tin

There is, it should be said, no way to restrict items that are shown. You either opt in to cross-promotions and have other people’s items shown on your own listings, as well as yours on theirs, or you opt out altogether.

As eBay will doubtless point out, this is only a test on a small number of seller’s listings. But I think we’ve all seen enough tests to know that this week’s test is next week’s roll-out for everyone. If you’re one of the sellers with cross-promos on your listings, leave us a comment (and a link if you like). How do you feel about this? And is it affecting your sales?

Until now, I’ve always plumped on the side of “keep them on eBay” with cross-promotions. I can live with other people’s items on my closed listings. But on live listings, I’m less keen. Going through all that work to get seen in Best Match and to get a buyer to click to the point where they can buy, only to have them distracted by a whole bunch of other merchandise, is painful. What do you think – will you be allowing cross-promotions on your listings, or turning them off?

If you want to change how cross-promotions are displayed on your listings, .

33 Responses

  1. This has been on the back burner ever since they changed to the new listing design/layout.

    How long before you can’t opt out I wonder?

    Why would anyone pay an insertion fee, create a great listing, research keyowrds then have someone elses listings done without any care dumped onto there’s?

    File this one under “Which idiot thought this one up”. I dispair some days at the idiotic ideas eBay come up with.

  2. I assume the other way of looking at this is that my listings will be appearing on other people’s live listings so I’ll get more traffic that way to my listings.

    Does this sloshing around benefit me? Well yes if it raises the overall rate at which buyer purchase, I expect to see some benefit from that.

    But the real question is How does eBay choose the listings which appear on the bottom of the page, and Does this really improve the buyer’s likelihood of purchase.

    Is it eight outlet sellers who appear, eight people who pay for AdCommerce, or eight top-rated sellers? Given that the buyer found my listing through Best Match, does showing him the results he’s just seen really help?

  3. As a buyer, this really can’t come soon enough. I was doing some browsing on eBay yesterday and thinking how retarded it was that I’m not shown other, similar items on the view item page. This is really eCommerce 1.0 and eBay have danced around this for far too long.

    I’m far more likely to leave eBay in frustration at not being able to find what I’m looking for if not shown alternatives (that might be more like what I need).

    Bring. It. on.

  4. For me, the purpose of the listing page is to sell that item (I’m simple like that) ;-, not distract from it. I moved from a flashy Frooition template with lots of cross-sell side boxes to one that concentrates on selling the item on the listing, with very successful results.

    I don’t see the value to the buyer or the seller. This proposal is naive and lazy, first generation e-tailing. Out in the ‘wide world’ things have moved on, unlike eBay (wot no shopping cart ’til 2011??!! 😕 )

  5. If Best Match returned the results that people actually wanted to see they wouldn’t need to bloody bother with this.


    Q. Did I tell eBay I wanted to view a silicone case protector?
    A. No.

    Q. Did I tell eBay I wanted to view a black eva carry case?
    A. No.

    Q. Did I search for a black aluminum cover for a DSi NDSi?
    A. No.

    Q. Did I ask for 10 bloody stylus pens?
    A. No.

    Chuffing nora, how many clues do you have to give best match these days.

  6. Several months ago something like this was rolled out on .com . I think it was the top 5 watched listings from the same category were shown.

    We were told that you could opt in or opt out but if you opted out then your listing would never show. We were told it was in our best interest to opt in and everyone was opted in automatically. Funny thing is that I went to one such listing and then went to every promoted listing that was displayed. One of the promoted sellers was clearly opted out yet their listing was appearing in everyone else’s listings. Considering this and my general distrust of eBay’s implementation in general I’d suggest opting out.

  7. No doubt it will just be “outlet” stores listings which will be adverstised on the small independent sellers listings. We (us small traders) probably won’t get links advertsied elsewhere, just links for listings to outlet stores plastered all over ours!

  8. Hardly anyone bothers scrolling to the bottom of the description pages anyway so I don’t think it will do too much, unless people get into the habit of scrolling to the bottom to find cheaper alternatives. I would be angry if they put other peoples’ items above mine though.

    What ever tweaks they do they are still going to lose market share to alternative sites. They should stop running around like headless chickens and give us sellers a bit of stability so we can actually plan for the future otherwise we’ll simply jump ship completely.

  9. Here’s a thought (the second one I’ve had today I’ll have you know), what if eBay are gearing up for:

    Option 1: Opt Out
    Option 2: Opt in via Adcommerce

    Ensuring that all/any cross promotion is paid for?

  10. Considering the mentality of some buyers who use eBay this could also be damaging to the original seller.

    What happens if buyer buys from sellers A with ‘A’ good reputation, high DRS’s TS’s etc then is offered an item from seller ‘B’ in the same listing which the buyer then chooses to buy (may thinking seller ‘A’ as recommended this seller in their listing only for seller ‘B’ to give shoddy service that the buyer blames seller ‘A’ for?

    Look how many free postage sellers miss out on TRS due to low DSR’s for P&P.



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