eBay is hoping to entice sellers to try out Offsite Ads beta with a promise to "reach new buyers during the busiest time of the year, while saving" with a $100 ad credit, but the devil is in the details and sellers should carefully weigh their options, especially during the all important Q4 holiday season.
Eligible sellers must activate the offer to receive the credit and as usual, it's highly recommended to read the full terms and conditions.
Important note: The Promotion (and discount) will not be shown during the listing or campaign creation process. The Offsite Ads fee discount will be applied automatically.
The promotional discount may take up to two days following activation to apply to your account, depending on your activation date. Immediately following activation, you will be informed of the start date of your discount.
eBay first introduced Offsite Ads beta in July 2022 but this cost per click product has been slow to gain adoption in that time - something eBay is clearly hoping to remedy by throwing ad credits at sellers to get them to sign up.
Before opting in, it's important to understand the Offsite Ads program in its current beta state offers very little control to sellers, with eBay completely automating most functionality.
First, sellers do not get to choose which items are included in Offsite Ads campaigns.
Currently only fixed price listings are eligible (no auctions) but if you opt in, all of your fixed price listings are eligible, there is no ability to pick and choose only specific listings.
Create new campaign
Offsite Ads lets you extend your reach on external channels, like Google, to attract a wider audience of potential buyers to your listings. By creating a campaign, your entire eligible inventory can appear as an ad in these external placements.
Second, the seller does not get to choose their own cost per click bids. The only input the seller has is on the average daily budget - eBay uses their magical algorithms to determine the actual CPC settings.
Set your average daily budget
Enter the average amount you’re willing to spend each day for this campaign. eBay will automatically update your cost-per-click, and you’ll only be charged when a buyer clicks on your ad.
How does eBay determine the cost-per-click (CPC) for my campaign?
eBay will automatically adjust each listing's cost-per-click on a daily basis by leveraging historical cost-per-click averages that eBay’s external ad partners have charged for your listing, or similar listings. You will be charged for clicks up to your set budget.
What does “average” daily budget mean?
When you choose a campaign start and end date and set your budget, we calculate your total monthly budget as the number of days multiplied by your average daily budget. When you choose to run a continuous campaign, we’ll calculate your total monthly budget as 30.4 multiplied by your average daily budget. Over the course of your campaign, you won’t be charged more than this total budget per calendar month.
We closely monitor the marketplace to identify fluctuations in demand for your products, so when we notice an increase in buyer interest, we may spend more than your average daily budget to help you capitalize on these opportunities. However, you can rest assured that your average over the course of your campaign won’t exceed your budget for each day. For example, if your average daily budget is $10 for a continuous campaign, you won’t be charged more than $304 per calendar month (30.4 multiplied by your average daily budget). Although, your daily spend may vary from $0 to $20, your monthly average won’t exceed a $10 per day spend.
If you end a campaign early, you may be charged up to 2x your average daily budget on a daily basis. This is because the campaign may not have had the chance to average out the budget over time.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, if sellers opt in to Offsite Ads beta, those items will no longer be eligible for placement through existing Promoted Listings Standard campaigns.
How will my Offsite Ads campaign affect the visibility of my Promoted Listings Standard ads in external placements?
Once you’ve created an Offsite Ads campaign, your listings can only appear on external channels through that campaign. They won’t be eligible to appear on external channels via your Promoted Listings Standard campaigns.
External Promoted Listings was introduced in 2021 as a way to have existing Promoted Listings Standard ads shown on Google and Bing while still keeping with the cost per sale structure where sellers only pay the ad rate percentage if a buyer completes a sale within 30 days of clicking on the ad.
eBay automatically opted all sellers who use Promoted Listings Standard into External placement, so even if you aren't aware of the program, odds are if you use PLS, you also have External placement turned on.
At the time, sellers were concerned that eBay was simply monetizing a service it had previously been providing for free and were left wondering if this was just a subtle way for eBay to ramp up the take rate or if there was really a significant advantage to using the paid External Promoted Listings.
The last two years have proven those concerns were absolutely well founded, especially now with the push to use cost per click advertising both on and off site.
Sellers who currently use Promoted Listings Standard External will want to carefully consider whether they should take eBay up on this Offsite Ads beta credit offer.
Depending on how much traffic you currently get through PLS, switching to Offsite Ads beta may actually decrease your external placements and that's a risk sellers may not want to take during the all important Q4 holiday shopping period even if eBay is willing to throw some free ad credits their way.
Are you taking advantage of eBay's Offsite Ads beta ad credit promotion? Let us know how it goes in the comments below!