As the Seller Release page notes about the change: “We’re removing third-party product listing ads across the eBay platform effective May 1, 2017. We will begin replacing the ads with eBay promoted listings at that time, with additional placements coming over the course of the year. Sellers have asked for increased visibility and for removal of ads which take buyers off eBay. With these changes, we are taking strides to provide sellers more opportunity to get added visibility and velocity for their items and to reduce competition from external ad sources. Limited third-party advertisements will continue to be displayed.”
This is a bold and welcome news. On one level these ads represent easy money for eBay. eBay has traffic in abundance and selling ads is a well-trodden path and monetisable. But taking ads does irk on several levels. Firstly, it showed a lack of concern and commitment to paying eBay sellers. It was always a kick in the teeth to have a seller pay for a listing and then display competing products from other retailers. Secondly, it displayed a certain disdain for eBay’s own offerings. Having third-party product ads on the site, directing browsers elsewhere, did rather say “you can do better on another site.”
The big question is whether this change is going to cross the pond from the US to the UK and Europe. We will find out more in due course when the details of the UK Seller Release are made in the coming weeks. Well keep you posted.