Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Shhhh! It's Classified

After the eBay Classified Advertisements Workshop I researched this 'Marketing Solution'.

eBay policy for Classifieds allows no links of any kind. Any responses are made through the eBay mail system. A telephone number may be shown. (Does that make sense?) A Classified Ad format can only be used for a product, products, or service for sale. It may not be used to promote a political candidate or religious organization or service group.

At the bottom of the Classified Fees page is a list of categories, and sub-categories which permit classifieds. Specialty Services sub-categories are shown after clicking on the link. Classifieds placed in any other categories will be removed.

Fees for Classified are $9.95 per month. Classifieds appear just like any other eBay listing but will not show a bid or buy button, the words Classified Advertisement appear to the right of the title in list search. Upgrades are available for an additional fee. This dummy classified listing is courtesy of Shipscript who says:

Buyers are confused about the Classified format. Several members have reported that buyers think the listing is closed and the item is no longer available because there is no BUY or BID button. . . . Classifieds sort to the bottom of Best Match, thus visibility is very low. Sellers are currently reporting that most contacts are coming from other sellers wondering how the ads are working out.

eBays response is that sellers need to educate buyers.

This is carrying the famed eBay No Customer Service policy to new lows!

Here is the kicker, when your potential contact uses the eBay email system to respond they are warned TWICE not to make 'off eBay transactions'. Click to enlarge.

Some seller reactions:

How do we have any credibility in "educating" our customers if we're stuck between ads for expanding various body parts or "Make A Million in Auctions In Two Days Without Spending A Cent."


Why are you subjecting digital media buyers to having to browse a category that is now RIDDLED with pornography gallery images? I'm about sick of your unwillingness and lack of motivation to take care of that. I want to shop for digital goods and not see some woman with her double D's hanging out or her rear end in my face. That needs to move to mature audiences and you know it

Are eBay Classified Ads a viable marketing solution? Not at present for most product, possibly for some services.

I think eBay needs to look at rephrasing their warnings. I would be interested to hear a legal opinion on the question of taking fees for displaying an advertisement while warning respondents not to transact business with the advertiser.

1 comment:

Joe said...

"eBays response is that sellers need to educate buyers."
Wait, isn't that THEIR job as the site admins?
And they wonder why people fall for phishing...