New eBay UK seller promotions for SMEs

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One of the complaints we often here about eBay is that all of their promotions are for larger brands and retailers. There’s a reason for this – it’s easier for eBay to get a large company to take part in a promotion than to approach multiple smaller retailers who perhaps don’t have the same depth of inventory. That’s all changing as eBay are trialling new eBay UK seller promotions for SMEs.

eBay are using an external agency to call selected sellers to take part in some eBay promotion events which will be running on a weekly basis across level 2 categories (that’s the sub categories immediately below eBay’s main core categories. Sellers are being asked if they’d like to offer a reduction in price and all sellers that agree will be included on special event pages that will be promoted both on and off eBay.

The event will be featured on the homepage, and in the Thursday eBay Digest email that goes to opted in buyers. Items included in the promotion will also have a far higher likelihood to appear in external advertising like Google Product ads. (Hint, if you don’t have clean images without decoration and you haven’t uploaded Product Identifiers (GTIN, Manufacturer, Manufacturer part number) then Google won’t allow eBay to promote your items!)

You may have noticed that many of eBay’s recent and current events have been 10% off, 20% off; that style. This is because these are effective ways of increasing sales and eBay have seen some impressive results – eBay consumers respond well to this type of event. eBay are really keen to see if there’s the same effect when we open out to more sellers, and also want to know if sellers actually want to participate in such events. eBay have had consistent feedback from sellers on the marketplace that they want the same opportunities as all other sellers – this is such an opportunity.

Should you participate if invited?

It’s completely optional but in our opinion sellers should jump at the opportunity to take part if they have depth of inventory and can replenish stocks when they run low.


We’re well aware that margins when selling online are tight but it is worth looking beyond the promotion when considering whether to take part. Even if you give practically all your margin away in the promotion, the longer term benefits should balance the cost.

Long term benefits

For the product itself, you’ll hopefully be getting a ton of sales which will boost your placement in Best Match. eBay Best Match loves recent sales and if you can shift inventory in a promotion such as this, when the promotion ends and your product goes back to full price your placement in Best Match will be significantly enhanced generating further sales over an extended time period.

I don’t want to give away a 10%, 20% or 30% discount

If you don’t want to give a discount (or can’t) that’s not a problem. This is an optional programme and you’re not obliged to take part.

What products should I include?

Sellers can choose which listings they’d like to offer a promotion on and our advice is not to try and use this as an opportunity to try and shift your slow moving stock. Use it to boost your Best Match position of new in-season stock to jump start sales or to consolidate your position in Best Match for stock which is already performing well.

You don’t have to include all your product lines – you get to pick and choose which products you have sufficient margin on to offer at a discount and it could be as few as just one or two lines.

Can you opt in?

As eBay don’t release their promotions schedule in advance for commercial reasons, this is an invite only programme. If eBay are working in your category you may well get a call as they are going to be phoning hundreds of sellers each week.

If you would like to express your interest then you can email [email protected] and eBay will log your interest for if they focus on your category.

How long with the trial last?

The project will run for a couple of months so that eBay can assess it’s effectiveness and receive feedback from both buyers and sellers. That’s why an external agency is making the calls as they’re ideally suited to this task in the short term.

Tamebay Comment

We’re thrilled to see eBay some real eBay UK seller promotions for the thousands of SMEs that trade on their marketplace. This might not be for everyone and indeed you may well not even be invited to participate but it’s refreshing to see a structured programme where smaller sellers get to have their products heavily promoted in an ongoing campaign.

2 Responses

  1. Ebay are just to get the Q2 earnings up. They must know they will not the double digit growth they hope for.
    There promotions are a joke – private seller 3 day promo 100 listings email is sent on day 2 . I just deleted it.

    Completed search listings is absymal now. A message pops up now saying the listing is no longer.

    How in the world can Ebay keep saying they are a Technology company?

  2. Already regretting signing up to this.

    Was asked to fill in a .CSV last week with old price/new price, and item ID’s.
    sent it in last week.
    Get a call today asking where the .CSV is.

    Previously they’d told us they’d process the .CSV automatically, today they tell me i need to use markdown manager to adjust all the SKU’s, manually, by tomorrow.
    Using Markdown Manager.
    Markdown Manage doesn’t accept an old price/new price discount scheme (was £19.99 now £16.99, for example) just a flat percentage (10% or 15% for example).

    so the work i did last week making this promotion was useless, the CSV i sent them was ignored until now, when they call to tell me it’s irrelevent. Whatever they plan to do with it will be inaccurate, because i can’t actually discount the way they told me to discount in the first place, using their idiotic tool.

    could not organise a p**s up in a brewery this lot.


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