eBay Ends Promoted Listings Express, Will Move Auctions To Promoted Listings Standard Ads

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


eBay's experiment with flat upfront fee ads for auctions is coming to an end as Promoted Listings Express for Auctions will be discontinued April 15 to make way for adding auctions to the existing Promoted Listings Standard product.

The move was announced on the eBay Ads blog and in messaging to some sellers.

We heard you, and we have good news to share with our valued eBay sellers. We’re introducing an updated, new way to drive traffic to your auction listings.

Effective April 15th, 2024, Promoted Listings Express will be discontinued and auction sellers who use Express campaigns or are ready to implement ads will be eligible to use Promoted Listings Standard, the expanded, easy-to-use tool for promoting listings across the eBay network on April 29th.

Promoted Listings Express was first introduced in the US in 2021 as eBay's first ad product that allowed sellers to promote auction listings, later expanding to UK, Germany, Australia, Canada, and more in 2022.

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Instead of the cost per sale model that sellers were used to with Promoted Listings Standard ads, PL Express for auctions charged a flat rate upfront fee simply to have your ad displayed to potential buyers, regardless of whether or not the item sold.

eBay had difficulty getting sellers to adopt PL Express for auctions, largely due to that upfront fee structure - sellers were understandably leery of paying eBay a set dollar amount upfront with no guarantee they will see a significant increase in views on their item, let alone an actual sale.

Not to mention with auctions, since you have no way to know ahead of time what the final price will be, it's almost impossible to determine whether or not the fee eBay charges will be worth it.

Paying eBay an extra $3-$5 or more could be acceptable if it brings in enough additional traffic to drive the final bidding up, but if the bids stay low, that could be a very steep cost.

Given those obstacles, it's not surprising that eBay is abandoning this model in favor of including auctions in the more plattable to most sellers cost per sale model of Promoted Listings Standard - in fact, it's surprising it took this long as they pulled the plug on Promoted Listings Express in Germany last year.

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Once the switch is flipped on April 29, Promoted Listings Standard ads for auctions should work just like they do for Buy It Now listings with the same set up to choose the percentage for the ad rate and eligibility to appear across the same placements in search results, item pages, and other spots across the eBay network.

Sellers will be able to have both auction and Buy It Now listings in the same campaign if it is created the Simple campaign process, but this capability will not yet be available through the Bulk or Automated campaign types and auction listings will also not be included in the ad rate forecasting tool at this time.

If you've never used Promoted Listings Standard before, you'll want to brush up on eBay's attribution policies as auctions will also be subject to the same Halo attribution model that eBay announced for Standard Buy It Now ads last year.

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What do you think of eBay getting rid of Promoted Listings Express for Auctions? Let us know in the comments below!

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!