It looks like eBay is once again testing Offsite Ads Beta for Google ad placement.
It looks like you still don't get to pick your actual cost per click, eBay "optimizes" that for you and the only way to control your cost is by setting an average daily budget.
Reminder for anyone thinking of testing this out - if you opt in to the new CPC offsite ads, those listings will no longer be eligible to be shown through Promoted Listings Standard External campaigns.
My original comments when Offsite Ads Beta was first test last year called it a short-sighted cannibalization of Promoted Listings Standard - and I fully stand behind that assessment now.
So offsite ads will not be part of promoted listings standard? eBay will need to create a restaurant style menu for me with all of their offerings of how I incur fees. Won't be long until they start charging a penny for every keystroke on their website.
Sellers who reported seeing the Offsite Ads Beta invitation pop up in Seller Hub yesterday are saying it's no longer showing today. 🤨
Did eBay pull the plug already or were they just not prepared for public scrutiny and seller feedback on this nascent new ad product so close to Q2 earnings?
As I reported last month, eBay is working quickly to bring new ad options to market including an offsite Google ads option rolling out now in a closed beta test.
The new offsite ad product will be a Cost Per Click (CPC) model and will initially only be available for fixed price listings, not auctions.
Important note: in the beta version of this ad product, sellers do not get to pick their own CPC ad rate. 🤯
You can set the daily budget (with a $10 minimum), but the actual per click cost is calculated by eBay and the seller cannot edit that CPC rate.
You also cannot pick and choose which inventory is included - it's an all or nothing deal with eBay blasting all "eligible inventory" to Google at their magically calculated rate.
How does eBay determine the cost per click (CPC) for my campaign?
During this closed beta, we'll calculate a unique CPC for each seller's inventory. You'll see that CPC while you're setting up your campaign. This is the CPC we think will deliver optimal performance, based on factors like competition, relevance, and quality.
Here's everything we know so far:
Offsite ads FAQs
How do offsite ads work?
During this closed beta phase, offsite ads lets you promote your entire eligible inventory via Google Ads. Every time a buyer clicks on your ad, you'll pay the exact CPC (cost per click) that you see while creating or editing your campaign.
How does the CPC work?
Offsite ads use a flat-rate CPC model, meaning that the price you're charged will always be the CPC you see while creating or editing your campaign.
How does eBay determine the cost per click (CPC) for my campaign?
During this closed beta, we’ll calculate a unique CPC for each seller’s inventory. You’ll see that CPC while you’re setting up your campaign. This is the CPC we think will deliver optimal performance, based on factors like competition, relevance, and quality.
We’ll continue to release more guidance as more data comes in and your CPC is subject to change. If we see that your CPC should go up, we’ll ask you to update your campaign. If the CPC should be lower, we’ll automatically lower it for you.
What does “average” daily budget mean?
When you choose to run a continuous campaign, eBay will calculate your total monthly budget as (30.4)*(average daily budget). Over the course of your campaign, you will not be charged more than this total budget per calendar month. However, as marketplace demand fluctuates, eBay may spend more or less than your average daily budget to capitalize on interested buyers when the demand is there on a per day basis.
For example, if your average daily budget is $10 for a continuous campaign, you won’t be charged more than $304 per calendar month. On a daily basis, though, you may be charged up to $20 or as low as $0, but the average over the course of your campaign will not exceed $10 per day.
If you end a campaign prematurely, 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.
After I launch my campaign, when will my ads be eligible to appear?
Once you launch your campaign, your ads will be eligible to appear within 48 hours.
After I launch my campaign, where will my ads appear?
In this beta phase, your ads will be eligible to appear wherever Google Shopping ads appear, including on Google’s search and shopping pages.
When I make updates to my campaign, when will my edits take effect?
Any edits you make to your campaign will take effect by the next day.
Which listings are eligible for offsite ads?
Currently, only fixed price listings are eligible for offsite ads. Auction listings are not eligible at this time. Placement eligibility is subject to Google Ads policies and requirements.
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 in Google Ads through that campaign. They won't be eligible to appear in Google Ads via your Promoted Listings Standard campaigns.
Promoted Listings Standard / External Promoted Listings users will want to make note of that last part - if you opt in to the new CPC offsite ads, those listings will no longer be eligible to be shown through Promoted Listings Standard External campaigns.
External Promoted Listings was introduced last year as a way to have your existing Promoted Listings 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.
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.
I'd say this latest move puts the last nail in that coffin - there's no question eBay is looking to monetize every possible aspect of the site and has no qualms about turning previously "free" (or included with store subscription) features into more pay to play opportunities.
The fact that they are willing to cannibalize the relatively stable Promoted Listings Standard Cost Per Sale model that sellers have come to accept (albeit grudgingly) in order to push the Cost Per Click model reeks of desperation to me.
I believe it's a short sighted bet that is not likely to pay off as sellers can't afford to continue raising prices or swallowing lower margins and the buyer experience continues to suffer from the massive amount of ad stuffing across every inch of the platform.
What do you think about eBay's new Offsite Cost Per Click ads scheme? Let us know in the comments below!