eBay Promoted Listings Advanced – Exclusive Interview with Harmony Murphy

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If you were watching eBay Open UK we hope you caught Rufus Bazley, Head of Seller Success at eBay Ads sessions on Promoted Listings. If you were attending live in Manchester, you may also have caught Harmony Murphy who is General Manager of eBay Ads. It’s an exciting time for the eBay Ads team as they introduce the new eBay Promoted Listings Advanced, currently in beta release. It’s also an exciting time for eBay sellers as they get to grips with the new opportunity which, according to sellers on the eBay Open UK Promotional Tools Panel discussion are working well and converting at unbelievably low cost.

Exclusive Interview with Harmony MurphyWe sat down with Harmony to find out more in an exclusive interview, and today can share a ton of information, practical insights and guidance on how best to use eBay Promoted Listings Advanced and how to deploy the new tool to win sales on eBay.

Harmony told us that eBay Promoted Listings Advanced is all about visibility and targeted precision with not much wastage. You know where your ad will show up and it’s the first time that eBay have had this at scale and been able to put in under the control of the seller.

What are the key differences with Promoted Listings Advanced compared to Promoted Listings Standard?

Promoted Listings Standard

A risk-free way to boost the visibility of your listings, giving you access to 60+ placements across the eBay network on desktop, mobile and the eBay app. You only pay a commission when your Ads generate a sale.

Promoted Listings Advanced

Eligible sellers can bid to promote their listings in the top slot of the search results page — giving their products greater visibility in a premium position. You also have more control over your ads, with a daily budget, keyword targeting, keyword bidding and reporting.

Promoted Listings Standard

Promoted Listings Advanced

Listing Type

Fixed Price Fixed Price


Across eBay including all search and listing pages Top slot in search

Pricing Model

Cost per sale Cost per click

Budget Control

N/A Set daily budgets

Keyword Targeting

Automatic Select suggested and/or manual keywords

Keyword Bidding

N/A Suggested or fixed bidding with real-time 2nd price auction


Campaign, Listing reports Campaign, Listing and Keyword reports, Search Query report


Maximum coverage, no risk Highest visibility. Budget and keyword control

One thing that’s worth noting the cost for each click is based on a second price auction, if you are the winning bidder then you’ll be charged an amount based on the next highest bid, but never more than your own bid. In other words regardless of how much you bid, if your ad wins then you’ll be charged the minimum needed to beat your highest bidding competitor.

What strategies would you recommend as sellers start to use Promoted Listings Advanced

Strategy is key, and Harmony has a five point plan for sellers wanting to get started with Promoted Listings Advanced:

  1. Keep it simple by using one leaf category per ad group
  2. Include 10+ Targeted Keywords per listing
  3. Set a daily budget that you are comfortable with
  4. Keep monitoring the results via the reports
  5. Test and Learn

At eBay Open UK, the eBay Academy was announced and Harmony tells us that the eBay Ads Academy is also on the way, so if you want to learn more keep a look out for the announcement.

For sellers familiar with PPC on Google, how can they leverage this expertise for PPC on eBay?

Harmony explained that if you already use PPC on Google or other platforms then you already have knowledge that you can apply to eBay Promoted Listings Advanced. She suggests that in addition to using keywords which you know work on other platforms, you should also look to utilise negative keywords to help minimise wastage.

Harmony suggests that you should also experiment with phrase match to identify what works best and then take an ‘optimise, test and learn’ approach to remain competitive.

How to set budgets for Promoted Listings Advanced

For Promoted Listings Standard, there isn’t a budget in the sense of a daily or total maximum — instead, you only control the ad rate you pay per sale. This is relatively easy as you know up front exactly what a particular sale will cost if it comes from a click on your Ad.

With Promoted Listings Advanced, eBay have introduced actual budget control, where you can set a daily budget based on how much you are willing to invest in advertising per day. Harmony’s advice is to increase your budget when you see success and decrease or learn (perhaps try different keywords) when results are less positive. Use recommendations from eBay and view this as a learning exercise where you test and learn what works for you and your product set.

As a side note, Hannah, who describes herself as Chief Mischief Maker at Hannah’s Games, revealed in the eBay Open UK panel discussion that she’s currently winning sales at unbelievable rates – literally a few pennies per click. This may well be due to so few already using Promoted Listings Advanced and Hannah suggests getting started immediately as you’ll be able to test and learn at very low cost and even if bid prices rise due to competition you’ll have a head start and be optimising your bids at minimal cost putting you at an advantage against your competitors.

Another of Hannah’s tips is that you can use Promoted Listings Advanced to discover keywords that work for you and use them to optimise your listing titles and descriptions meaning that, even if you pause a campaign, the keywords you’ve discovered convert for you will carry on working long term for free!

When should you use Promoted Listings Advanced and when should you use Standard?

Promoted Listings Standard gives you a broad reach across the eBay network and works well with products that have a sales history. It is best used when you are looking to drive more incremental sales.

Meanwhile, Promoted Listings Advanced is a fantastic way to get to position one in the search results for specific keywords – and get more instant visibility and brand awareness. This is great for new products without a sales history and should become a key part of your launch strategy on eBay.

Promoted Listings Standard and Promoted Listings Advanced can be used together to help maximise reach across the eBay network.

Should we be A/B testing the two options and if so what’s the best approach?

Harmony recommends that you continually test what works for you and that you bear in mind that this will likely change from product to product. She encourages a test-and-learn mindset and wants to hear your testing results so let us know your early thoughts in comments below.

Harmony’s top 5 Promoted Listings Advanced Tips

Finally, if you’re ready to get started with Promoted Listings Advanced, here are Harmony’s top five tips:

  1. Be sure to set a budget you are comfortable with and ensure the campaign is super targeted.
  2. Create strategic ad groups with similar listings (from just 1-2 sub-categories) to allow you to target them with the same set of keywords
  3. Use at least 10-15 relevant keywords (preferably suggested keywords for highest chances to surface) per product type.
  4. Continue to optimise your campaigns to ensure your ad groups remain effective and your listings remain competitive
  5. Use Promoted Listings Advanced for best-selling listings to maximise sales velocity for those but also to sell overstocked inventory quickly

You’ll find more information on the eBay Ads blog and the Promoted Listings Advanced FAQs.

15 Responses

  1. What next, a sellers yearly membership fee? Talk about getting blood from a stone …….

  2. eBay fees are now so high, we’re prices out of selling on the platform. We’ll save our stock for Amazon this year.

  3. Forget it, the only people claiming this is a success are sellers who are prepared to race to the bottom with little margins and seeing lots of sales and think this is great.

    We invested in Google Ads instead, and got a far better return directing traffic to our website with no selling fee’s going to eBay.

    eBay has become a horrible platform of very high fee’s with a elite monopoly of sellers at the top who are prepared to stay there at any cost.

    Writing is on the wall for this platform. Let’s see what happens when a couple of these sellers fail, they will wish they had looked after their other sellers.

  4. in reality buyers only see the asking price , this amounts to pay more promotion fees , so you can pay them even more in FV fees,
    and receive less profit,

  5. Greediness has reached a new level.

    Selling what has been originally organic search results shows just how the new CEO and management in San Jose are ever so determined to find new ways to squeeze more from sellers.

    We will also look for ways to offer more on Amazon, where there’s naturally higher conversion.

  6. The fact seems to be Ebay has run out of ideas on how to grow sales and has resorted to screwing sellers for more while applying pressure to lower prices.

    I wonder if this is applied more to the UK because of Ebay UK management mistakes?

    Since Germany became Ebays second biggest market ,its easy to see why as nearly all the pages are filled with genuine German sellers as opposed to the UK where it’s now 70 % Chinese with stock in the UK
    .The German shopping landscape and experience is so different and as a result is growing .

  7. The fact seems to be Ebay has run out of ideas on how to grow sales and has resorted to screwing sellers for more while applying pressure to lower prices.

    I wonder if this is applied more to the UK because of Ebay UK management mistakes?

    Since Germany became Ebays second biggest market ,its easy to see why as nearly all the pages are filled with genuine German sellers as opposed to the UK where it’s now 70 % Chinese with stock in the UK
    .The German shopping landscape and experience is so different and as a result is growing .

  8. with a,mazon the prime logo means a little more cost, but usually guaranteed better service
    with ebay, promoted listing means probably more expensive. ,with pot luck on service

  9. Does eBay imagine there is potential for infinite growth? You can’t squeeze blood from a stone. The market is tough right now, bills are going up, just about everything is rising, except earnings in most cases. I think they’ve pushed their prices to the max some time ago, and now it’s all at breaking point.

  10. It is long past breaking point with fees on marketplaces. All it does is push business to create their own websites. Now easier than ever and they are easy to sync with Google so can get your products displayed on there.

    When you search for a product or brand on Amazon sometimes, half the page is filled with crap. Just hope ebay does not turn to the same otherwise even less people will come to the site to buy.

  11. eBay ads just generates money into ebays bank account. It’s already expensive enough to sell on the platform as it is.
    Just logged onto auctiva to find a whole new raft of item specifics for eBay listings in my category – requirements that are coming into force for many categories next year. What used to be a quick 10 second process now takes minutes per listing. I’m surprised there isn’t a requirement to list sub atomic particles. And there in lies the problem. More expensive and more laborious- the eBay gift that just keeps on giving.


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