Should You Be Using Promoted Listings On Ebay?

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Rob: What’s up, guys? On today’s episode, we are talking about eBay’s promoted listings, and more specifically what they are.

Melissa: And should you be using them in your reselling business. So we’re going to talk about, there’s a couple of different types of promoted listings right now. We’ll dive into what exactly is a promoted listing. So, essentially it’s an ad that you are paying for your item to get seen by more people.

Rob: And you are paying an extra fee on top of that. If you want eBay, you don’t have to, but if you want eBay to promote that listing, you can decide how much you are willing to pay for that listing. For example, if you have a $10 listing and you click on promote this listing. You can put in there I want to pay 1% if this item sells while eBay is running ads to that item. So you’re going to pay an extra 10 cents on that listing. Vice versa. You go to 3%, you can go up to 5%, 10%, whatever you’re willing to do, you can actually put that in there.

And then eBay is going to charge you on the back end when that item sells.

Melissa: And now this is the standard promoted listing. So that’s the first type that has been around for a little while now. I’m not sure when they rolled out with it, it’s been a little while we were very hesitant to even use them. We have started using them more.

But the standard one is set up a percent of what the item is going to when it sells what you’re going to pay an extra fee on top of.

Rob: And also eBay will recommend this to you. So if you have an item and you click, you want to promote it, eBay will recommend what they want you to promote that item at or what percentage they want you to give them, or they think will make a difference in that sale. So if you click on an item, one item in one category might say, hey we want you to promote this at 2.9%. And then when it sells, you’re going to pay eBay 2.9% extra on top of their normal fees for that promotion fee. And then another category you might click on, might say eBay thinks you need to promote it at 5.7% and they’ll give you those recommendations. The cool thing is you do not have to use those recommendations. You can actually put whatever percent you want at it. So if it says 5.7%, you can actually blank that out or a click in the box and change that to you only want to pay 1%. And then eBay will still promote it, but just not as heavily as they would, if it was at 5.7%.

Melissa: And all this has changed in the last couple of years and you know, things change different.

Online places come out, online platforms, so everybody’s got to try to stay on top of things. And of course, they’re going to try to collect extra fees wherever they can. So we’re going to talk about if you should be doing this or not, in just a little bit, but we wanted to also talk about the new kind of promoted listings that has come out.

Rob: And most people do not have access to these yet. It still is in beta testing, but they are trying to roll it out. Of course it’s because it’s going to make them more money. So Melissa will break it down, exactly what type of the second type of promoted listings that will be available to everybody fairly soon.

Melissa: So it’s listings advanced beta.

So it’s still in the beta phases. They rolled out with it just this last fall. To be honest, we haven’t even checked if we have it yet. It’s not something that we’re really excited about. So we haven’t really checked out, but what they’re going to be doing, it’s very similar. If you’re familiar with Facebook ads, and you might not be, but if you are, it’s very similar to their structure.

You’re paying a cost per click. So you are saying you’re running an ad campaign, essentially. You’re, you’re targeting keywords which can be helpful if you have like a lot of competition in your niche or, you know, your items have a lot of competition and you want to get in front of those people who want those items. It could be helpful, but you are paying to get in front of those people, whether or not you sell the item.

So you’re paying on the front end. So.

Rob: That’s what I was going to say. In layman’s terms, you are paying on the front end. So you pay however much, you’re willing to pay to hope that that gets seen by the right person who will buy it. Now, standard promotions, what they’ve had out there for the longest, you do not pay for that promotion until the item sells.

And even if the item sells and it did not sell from a listing or an ad that eBay sent out to people you do not pay for that. But on this new type of promotions, you will pay no matter what, if the item sells or if it doesn’t sell, you’re still seeing how much you will pay to get that shown by eBay to more buyers.

Melissa: And Facebook marketplace has been doing this for a little while too, and I have not wanted to do it. I am familiar with Facebook ads and I don’t really want to mess with that if I can help it and pay in the beginning. I have played around with doing just a very, very low amount but I don’t want to pay on the front end if you don’t have to, because there’s no guarantee that it will sell.

Now, you can also play around with it. We’ll get into that in just a little bit.

Rob: Absolutely. We have never been one to want to pay more in fees. We always want to take as much money home as we can, but eBay’s changing like a lot of platforms. They want you to pay them. So they’ll show your item more. Just like any other platform they’re out to make more money.

And this is a way for eBay to make more money in the promoted listings. And more specifically, once they even switch over to the one that’s in beta testing right now, what is that one called?

Melissa: The advanced beta.

Rob: Yeah. So when they get out to that, that will even make them more money for people who are willing to do it.

Now, we don’t sell very, I guess, competitive items. We’re selling tons. We sell a lower volume of items of unique items. So typically if somebody types in one of our keywords, something that we are selling, they’re going to be shown our items no matter what. Because there’s very few and far between items that are out there.

Melissa: It’ll be on the first page most likely.

Rob: Exactly. So there’s few and far between, so no matter what, our items will get shown. So we actually just sold three items this last week: a railroad jack, a shower pan, a marble shower pan. And then the last one was a old tube TV. All three of those items sold and they did not sell with promoted listing.

So like I said, it’s not like a cell phone charger or Sony something, you know, it’s something that is highly sought after. Exactly, exactly. So we do not have to pay for a promotions necessarily. But when we do have items that have sat for awhile, that’s where we will experiment with promotions, throw them on there and see if eBay can get them to more people, to get them to move a little bit quicker.

Melissa: Yeah. And like, we’re going to dive into if you should be using them. So we kind of went into our like, do we use them? We do. We play around with them, not the new ones, not the cost per click. We’re going to have to wait and see if that is going to be where they want you to be, but we don’t really have a desire to do that anytime soon.

But as far as the regular promotions you have gone through and done the percent to whatever they’re recommending. So even just that, was it the heater that you sold? What was it that commercial heater?

Rob: Yeah, the commercial, it was a commercial like a warehouse heater. It was three phase. We paid $150 for it.

We put it on, we actually bought it at Habitat. We did, we bought it in the summertime. I knew I’d sit on it for a little bit, but we actually listed it for $999, a thousand dollars. And, I actually started promoting it probably about a month ago and it was getting cool out. Exactly. And then it actually sold.

And for this item, I actually did eBay E-bay recommended. I believe it’s 5.4%.

Melissa: 5.2% is what you did. And that was a lot. You normally don’t do that much.

Rob: It is, but I was trying to move some stuff. So we have, if we have a slower month or a slow time, where not a lot of stuff’s moving. I’ll jump in there and I’ll do what eBay’s recommending for it.

Still one big point to this is we had $150 into this. We sold it for $900. So I took an offer on this for $900 and that’s what we sold it for. The profit was huge to be able to do this and still pay an extra, I think I paid $46 on promotion fees.

Melissa: Yes, $46.

Rob: So $46, an extra $46 on top of eBay’s normal fees, which was $115.

Melissa: So our total profit was $491.

Rob: So we still made close to $500 over on this wholesale, which is great profit for one item.

Melissa: And it’s probably two hours worth of work.

Rob: Exactly. So that’s one of those things that you have to definitely weigh all the options. If your, if your profits are high and you’re able to do promoted listings, it might make sense for you to do to get it shown to more people. For us a lot of times we can do it. I don’t like to give eBay more money than they are charging us to sell. But sometimes if you want to sell items quicker, it might be an option for you to be able to do that.

Melissa: Yeah. And it might be worth it. You just have to look at your store or your account and see, you know, your items are, is it worth it to pay the extra fee?

Like even a lot of people we’ve talked about this before, are eBay fees even worth it to sell on eBay. And we touched on that. Yes, for us, it is worth it because it goes in front of so many more people. Now, if they start getting to like 50% or anything, but they’re not any better or worse than any of the other platforms.

Rob: And the other platforms aren’t anywhere near as big as eBay are. So it’s even, it makes more sense for us to sell on eBay. Back to the example of this heater. This, is a shop heater. It’s a big heater, electric three-phase heater. For me to sell that, we’re in Florida, for me to sell that in the wintertime in Florida, it’s possible. It might sell Facebook marketplace, Craigslist but very, very unlikely. That thing went up north somewhere right as soon as they got…

Melissa: That’s why it was only $150 at the thrift store.

Rob: Exactly. That thing went up north somewhere where they’re getting snow, they got freezing cold, warehouses right now, they use it in that warehouse.

And that’s the case because they got it out onto eBay, on to a bigger audience looking for that. And then we gave them at a competitive price. This, this retail on this, I don’t remember exactly what it was, but it was closer to $2,000. Typically what we try to sell items for, and it was like brand spanking new, but what we try to sell items for is, 50% of retail. Now that fluctuates a little bit, depending on the condition, a little bit more sometimes, or a little bit less, depending on what the condition of the item is.

Melissa: Yeah. So definitely. Your money is made in the purchase of the item. And we’ve talked about that a lot, but, that is where, like, if you’re trying to spend, you know, $50 on an inventory and to make $75, and then once all the fees are said and done, it’s not worth it to you.

You have to know your time.

Rob: And you definitely can’t promote items like that. So you have to have a profits in the items if you want to take advantage of the promoted listings that eBay offers.

Melissa: Yeah. And so to answer the question, you know, should I promote my eBay listing? It really depends on you. It depends on your items depends on your store.

So knowing your numbers is super important, like knowing what you have, as far as inventory, what you have invested into it, and then knowing the fees after, and run those numbers and then see, is it worth it to create more sales and get those things moving a lot faster, it might be worth, it might be worth 1%.

It might be worth 5%, you know, it was in that case. So you just have to know. And as far as is it worth it to do the cost per click, the new beta one, the jury is still out on that one.

Rob: In our book, no, but we didn’t want to do original promotions when they first rolled them out either.

Melissa: It could change.

Rob: Exactly. It’s one of those things that when they roll it out, nobody wants to pay more money than they have to. But now eBay is wanting to make more money. So they’re going, they’re going to suppress your listings a little bit per se, before they get them in the right of the right people.

So, like I said.

Melissa: I try to follow suit with what facebook does and, people do very well with Facebook ads. So there is, you know, there’s that too. There’s people who learn it and do really well. And then there’s also a lot of people who’ve wasted a lot of money, a lot of money. We’ve spent a lot of money and lost a lot of money on Facebook ads.

Rob: I’m sure that’s what eBay’s banking on is people throwing money in to see if it can sell. They want it to sell no matter what, because they’re still going to make their fees, but they still in the learning process, they’re going to just take in as much money as they can, on the front end of this, where they’re making money on the front end where typically they do not do that in their normal listings. They don’t make money on the front end. They have to sell the item to make the money on the back end so.

Melissa: And maybe if nobody ends up using it or liking it, they just get rid of it and to keep their other promotions. So we’ll see, we’ll see how it pans out.

Rob: But we will keep you guys posted on an episode later in the future.

If we start using it or once it rolls out and everybody has access to it, we will break it down and give you guys some great information in the future on that as well.

Melissa: I do want to kind of take a look and see what it’s all about. So it might be interesting. So we’ll see, but thank you guys.

Rob: Alright, guys. You rock, have a great day. We will talk to you on the next episode.

Melissa: Bye.


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Robert Stephenson

I grew up in Central Florida and have lived here my whole life. I first got into buying and selling items when I was 16 years old, and have been hooked ever since. It has mostly been a hobby that makes some extra cash, but sometimes it serves as my main income as well. I don't plan on stopping any time soon. I find too many fun toys for my family (or myself), and just love the whole process.

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