A Tale of Two Cross Promotions, Google and eBay
19 November 2009
Apologies for the advertisements that were appearing on this blog. They have been changed.
Don't know how other bloggers view their sites, but here it's rare taking a look at our own site. Typically the self viewing in the mirror occurs when format changes are being made, or we're checking the links of specific articles. Otherwise writers here work from the editing pages.
Yesterday viewing the blog, it came as a shock that we had been transformed into a mature audiences site. The artificial intelligence of Google AdSense decided our 'racy' writing needed suitable 'racy' ads.
Fortunately this is easy to fix.
Click categories not wanted and save.
While the Google AdSense promotions are relatively easy to change, the same can't be said of eBay's cross promotions.
When you go to the eBay page "Promote your items on other pages" the choices are simple.
Select "Yes" and "Your items will be shown on pages and emails that are seen by thousands of interested buyers" and "Similar items from other sellers will also be displayed with your other items on your pages".
Select "No" and "Items from other sellers will not be displayed on your listings and emails related to your items."
That should keep the items of other sellers off your own pages right?
As noted in our previous article, eBay "Promises, Promises", that changed over the last few days to having no ability to keep out the listings of other sellers.
16 November 2009, 1:28 PM PST
"Starting tomorrow, November 17, you may begin to see merchandise on the bottom of item pages for active listings as well. While we usually refrain from making changes close to the holiday season, the test results showed a considerable increase in sold items, and we wanted to offer this functionality to our selling community ASAP."
Contrary to what eBay corporate might think about the stealth of these changes, sellers noticed.
18 November 2009, 14:00:55eBay Seller Unable to Opt-out of Cross Merchandising
"In spite of the fact that I have ALWAYS opted out of cross-promotions on my ebay listings, deceptive ebay still cross-promotes to my buyers (but hides from me) my competitor's similar items on the bottom of MY listings that I am paying for!"
One might think having no choice is all an eBay seller can expect. Well, there is one other facet of having other seller items on a listing. Remember our first tale of an awry cross promotion? When we found out what was happening, we were able to chose what to show our viewers.
There is no similar option on eBay.
Whether an eBay seller opted-in or opted-out of cross promotions, eBay chooses what cross promotions appear on the seller's page.
The listing is for a "paperback" suitable for "Ages 4-8". This product would be found by adults searching for children's items.
Anyone finding this listing would get a bonus supplied by eBay.
(Listing captured 18 November 2009 at 11:40 HST)
For a limited time one could buy a children's paperback and "Complete '64 Collection Playboy".
eBay makes it clear who's responsible for the eBay inserted cross promoted items by including, "Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing."
With eBay making a "small" number of cross promotion insertions in a random fashion, as an eBay seller will you be the next winner of eBay roulette?
And is this what you want?
"I'm going to give the audience what 'I' think they want."
Ben Richards, The Running Man (1987)