Did you know that eBay has its own pay per click system? I sort of knew that but have to admit, I never got very excited about it. They launched it late last year. As you might recall, eBay made a huge change to their search results last year that made it more difficult for smaller sellers to get near the top of the search results.
Prior to that change, it was easy to get exposure on eBay because the default search result display was listed by “ending first”. That meant all listings were given equal exposure – the only factor in the exposure was the clock. That all changed when eBay made those changes and introduced their own algorithm to the results, calling it “Best Match”.
According to the AuctionBytes blog, their pay per click system (called AdCommerce) is an answer to this dilemma. It may be designed to give the smaller sellers a way to obtain a better position on the search results page. But does it?
The biggest issue I see with AdCommerce is that it displays the paid results at the very bottom of the search results page. That means the shoppers will only see them if they scroll way down to the end of the (very long) screen. This isn’t exactly ‘prime real estate’ in my opinion. Other pay per click systems, such as Google Adwords and Yahoo! Search Marketing (YSM) display their paid results much more prominently.
Another issue with AdCommerce is that eBay already charges fees on a per-item basis. That includes an “insertion fee” which technically is the cost to list the item on eBay. I realize now that ‘listing’ and ‘displaying’ are two different things. But the fact remains, when the per-item fees are already a significant percentage of revenue, how will sellers justify this extra expense?
My guess is that they don’t and it’s not going over all that well. When I went to test a few keywords I noticed that many keywords didn’t display AdCommerce results at all. Many of them still show YSM sponsored results (presumably because there is no one paying for eBay AdCommerce). What do you think? Do you use AdCommerce? Do you think it’s a desperate move on eBay’s part or a viable advertising channel?