eBay announced this week that Promoted Listings will now be eligible for external promotion on sites like Google and Bing in addition to being promoted across the eBay network.

Announcing external Promoted Listings: Another way to connect with buyers
For more than 25 years, eBay’s mission has been to empower people and create economic opportunities for the individuals and businesses that sell on our marketplace. We do this by connecting buyers and sellers across the world. One of the key ways we connect buyers to our site and with your invento…

For more than 25 years, eBay’s mission has been to empower people and create economic opportunities for the individuals and businesses that sell on our marketplace. We do this by connecting buyers and sellers across the world.

One of the key ways we connect buyers to our site and with your inventory is through our marketing investments, which ensure that eBay listings appear in external ads on partner sites and search platforms like Google and Bing.

We’re happy to share that moving forward, Promoted Listings will be featured in these external ads, expanding the reach of sellers' Promoted Listings campaigns and providing additional listing visibility across the web.

While we are excited to introduce external Promoted Listings, we remain committed to providing sellers with the opportunity to be included in eBay’s external advertising at no charge. Sellers will not be required to participate in external Promoted Listings in order to be eligible to appear in eBay advertisements on search platforms or partner sites.

What sellers need to know about external Promoted Listings
External Promoted Listings come at no additional cost to sellers. The Promoted Listings ad rate works the same on and off eBay. If a buyer clicks on a promoted listing and purchases that item within 30 days of that click, the seller pays the ad rate determined at the time of the click.

We’ve updated our downloadable campaign reports to show the impact of external Promoted Listings.

Metrics include:

  • Promoted Listings clicks (via external placements)
  • Promoted Listings conversion rate (via external placements)
  • Promoted Listings sales (via external placements)
  • Ad fees (via external placements)

Sellers who use Promoted Listings will be automatically eligible to be featured in external Promoted Listings. Sellers who use Promoted Listings will not need to take any additional action.

It is not mandatory to participate in external Promoted Listings. eBay sellers can opt out, and sellers who do not participate will continue to be eligible to appear in eBay’s external advertising.

Here's how to download reports to see the metrics for both on eBay and external ad placements:

From the advertising dashboard in Seller Hub, select the desired campaign and generate report.


Most sellers appear to be taking a "wait and see" attitude on this one.  One word of warning, eBay has chosen to automatically opt all sellers who use Promoted Listings into having those listings shown externally.  If you wish to opt out and only have your listings promoted on eBay, you may do so but it can take up to 7 days to process the request.

If you would like your ads to appear on eBay only, you can submit a request to opt out of off eBay placements. You can expect to be opted out 7 days after submitting a request.

If you would like to opt back in, you can submit a request through the same form above.

You may still see "Promoted Listings sales (via external placements)" in your downloadable reports after you’ve opted out due to our 30-day attribution window. For example, if a buyer clicked on your promoted listing before you opted out, then returned to purchase your listing after you opted out and within 30 days of that click, you would still be charged the ad rate in effect at the time of the click.

A common concern among eBay sellers has been that as eBay expands their advertising options, it may turn into something like Etsy's controversial mandatory ads program. One reason the Etsy program is so controversial is sellers there can end up paying additional ad fees when they promote their items on their own social media pages.

A seller in the eBay community was concerned the same may happen with eBay's external Promoted Listings, but the eBay for Business Facebook team assured them the ad fees would only apply to links that eBay uses as part of their external marketing efforts.

Re: Promoted Listings now available for Off eBay as well....
I asked about this on ebay for business facebook page, and here’s the answer I got: “This would only apply to links that eBay uses as part of our external marketing” So, for now at least, I’m taking that to mean if I place a link on Pinterest, it won’t be treated as a PL. OK, so I’m all in....ha…

So far I don't see too much reason for concern that eBay may be going the same route as Etsy, as these new options for eBay sellers are completely voluntary at this point, but it is definitely something to keep an eye on.

I think external promotion will generally be a good thing for sellers who sell exclusively on eBay. However, multi-channel sellers will want to give careful consideration to how it may affect their overall advertising strategy.

For example, a seller who also uses Google ads to drive traffic to their direct website may want to be cautious about using external eBay Promoted Listings for the same items to avoid competing against themselves for the ad space.


Future Enhancements?

eBay hasn't given us any insight on future plans for this feature yet, but I'd love to see some additional functionality built in to give sellers more control over ad placement and spend.

Right now it's an on or off, all or nothing proposition - of you stay opted in, all Promoted Listings are eligible for external promotion and will be promoted at the same ad rate as on eBay ads.

I think this program would be far more effective if sellers could select to promote specific items either exclusively on eBay, externally, or both.  It would also be advantageous to be able to set rates and budgets independently for both on eBay and external ads.

Advertising on eBay vs Google may be very different as far as competition and could require different strategies. Sellers will need to have flexibility to optimize their ads for best results across all of the platforms where these ads may surface.

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