In the last eBay Seller Release, they announced two major changes to how paid eBay Promoted Listings work and it’s now become clear that the changes are designed to increase the exposure of promoted listings and that by definition means the exposure of organic listings is reduced. We are seeing in many categories that eBay Promoted listings now dominate the top of search results.
With eBay in Q3 2019 selling approximately a billion dollars less than the same period in 2018, sales are contracting so the only way eBay have been able to increase their profits is to take a bigger cut from every remaining sale. Paid eBay Promoted listings are a way to do this so the greater exposure they have the more fees eBay gathers.
- Your listings will no longer be duplicated as a promoted and organic listing in search. Previously, a promoted listing would appear in the same set of search results as the same organic version of the listing but eBay are now removing duplicate promoted and organic (non-promoted) listings in search results so that only one listing will show or be displayed.
- In a change to how promoted and organic listings are displayed in search results, a mixture of organic and promoted listings are now eligible to appear in the top search rankings
The net result of these two changes in many categories appears to be that the top five listings are all eBay Promoted Listings. Whereas previous positions 1, 4 and 5 were reserved for eBay Promoted Listings it’s now tougher to get to the top of Best Match if you’re not paying additional Promoted Listing fees. The reality is that unless you cave in and start paying to play, it’s likely that your organic listing will never appear higher than the 6th position in Best Match.
What eBay said about the paid eBay Promoted Listings changes
“Later this year, we’ll be removing duplicate promoted and organic (non-promoted) listings in search results so that only one listing will show or be displayed.”
“In our ongoing effort to optimise visibility of Promote your listings placements, we’re shifting to dynamic ranking at the top of buyers’ search results. Later this year, a mixture of organic and promoted listings will be eligible to appear in the top search rankings.”
Quite how this impacts your selling strategy will depend in part which categories you sell in and what your best performing keyword searches are. If you’re in a category and buyers looking for your items use relatively obscure keywords then you’re likely to have less comptition in search and paying to play will be less important. Equally, in a few categories it appears that hardly any sellers pay to play and so search results are mainly organic.
The net result is that in popular categories you’ll find that the top of search results is now dominated by sellers willing to pay to play and if you’re not also bidding for exposure with paid eBay Promoted Listings then you’ll be dumped down to no higher than sixth place in eBay search results.