Tesco Direct advertising on eBay search result pages

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I spent much of the weekend trying to find the rumoured Tesco Direct ads for toys on eBay UK’s homepage. I didn’t find it – though I did get Tesco.com groceries. I found something much worse.

The banner ad there to the left shows up on search results pages for the Toys category. I don’t know how long it’s been there – Toys isn’t a category I hang out in very often – but it takes buyers directly off eBay, onto a Tesco Direct page offering 20% off toys, gaming and bikes. Similarly for the games ad on Games category search result pages.

Ads on the SRPs seem much more invidious than ads on the home page, however targetted they are. I don’t believe that the eBay home page is a place many site users hang out very long: the whole thing is designed to get them moving on into the site as quickly as possible (which is how it should be). Ads with search results seem – well, much better for Tesco. People are actively looking for the thing they’re selling, and so are much more likely to click. What’s that doing to eBay sellers? And just what does it tell us about the respect that eBay have for their own marketplace?

I’m pretty surprised by this tie-up between eBay and Tesco, as Tesco are to open their own marketplace this summer, which looks like it will be in direct competition with eBay. , selling many of the items they’re promoting with the off-site links.

If you’re a seller in one of these categories, how do you feel about one of your biggest competitors being permitted to advertise in this way – especially when, as we all know, most sellers aren’t allowed to link off-site at all. Leave us a comment.

32 Responses

  1. Hi Sue,

    I see this as a simple choice of whether accepting revenue directly (on site through fees accrued by sellers) or indirectly (off site, through advertising) meets the goals & ambitions that eBay currently has.

    What you are indicating is this can be seen as contradiction between the perceived needs of ‘sellers’ and that of the bottom line of eBay, Especially when you consider the pending market place launch.

    Maybe eBay do not see this as a direct risk, amazon should do though. Tesco’s delivery network gives them a distinct advantage and also Tesco has a history of entering markets where it knows it can win.

    Back to the adverts, yes I can see your point, they can be considered as a conflict of interests to an eBay seller.


  2. there like traffic signs to me
    you ignore them, cant remember them, or simply dont notice them,

  3. northumbrian might not notice traffic signs when he is driving(please do not come down to Cornwall we have quite enough driving around in a dream already) But you can bet that there will be many browsing on ebay for such as toys who will take notice of the “traffic signs” and will leave ebay to go to Tesco and buy their childrens toys there. I am not in the Toys section but if it diverted only 10% of potential purchasers(before they made their purchases on ebay) it would be annoying(at the very least) and if it was to divert say 75% it would be a disaster. I would support a ban on such “traffic signs” as they wreck the objects that we all thought that ebay had.

  4. Ebay keeps doing short-termist things like this.

    Oh, some extra ad revenue to count, that must be good!

    Sone lost sales (and hence FVFs) – we can’t count the value of that, so let’s ignore it.

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any link on Amazon taking/directing you to Ebay, nor the other way round.

    This is simply very bad business practice on ebays’ part, rather silly too.

    One of the very first things I was told, when I 1st entered selling @ 18-19 years old, was never, never ever give anything to a competator. One of the most common things with some suppliers is they leave the inward transit labels on cartons sent out to their buyers, which has their suppliers details on it…..!!

    Got a few good leads from it though…!

    Watch out ebay, tesco are coming..

  6. On all toys’ ‘20% off’ ‘while stocks last’.

    Taken together can only mean that Tesco Direct is getting out of toys (prior to opening Tesco Marketplace?)

    If it does not mean that then the advertising is misleading and should be refered to the ASA.


  7. The Tesco advert was seen in the adchoice spot on the eBay homepage.

    These are targeted adverts based on products that are searched for by an eBay user.

    I would guess that the reason the Tesco ad did not appear was that the topic’s author does not often search for “toys” on eBay!

  8. This is funny, i had my marketing guy from ebay emailing me the other day asking us to sign up for similar ads. We refused as we already cover ebay well being TRS and using ad-commerce.

    Ive now opened the dialogue again saying we’ll re-consider if the links can go to our website instead of our ebay shop!!!

    I think its ridiculous. Have put hundreds of thousands of pounds in ebays pockets over the last 5-10yrs. Have strictly had our website link on our “me” page only and how do we get repaid! Letting the big boys do what they want, its not astho tesco are even doing that much business via their ebay shop.


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