eBay Promoted Listings: Everything You Need to Know in 2022

Over 1.2 million sellers currently use eBay Promoted Listings to advertise their products on the marketplace – and this figure is steadily growing. 

In Q3 of 2021, these eBay ads generated a massive $207 million in revenue – that’s 9% more than the same time last year. So why have these marketplace ads become so popular? And how do they work? Let’s find out. 

What are eBay Promoted Listings? 

eBay Promoted Listings look just like eBay’s other product listings. They are only distinguishable by the word ‘Sponsored’. 

These eBay ads are similar to search engine ads, because sellers essentially pay for their listings to appear higher in the search results. However, unlike Google, eBay only displays a brand’s promoted listing or its organic listing – never both at the same time. 

eBay Promoted Listings also appear across other eBay pages, including at the end of product pages, on category pages and even on the homepage. They can appear on other websites and search engines in the eBay Network too. 

What are the advantages of eBay Promoted Listings? 

From Amazon and eBay, through to Walmart and Wayfair, retail media has exploded in recent years. This is largely because retail ads reach consumers at a key moment in the modern consumer journey – right before conversion. 

But there are tons of other advantages that come with eBay Promoted Listings too. 

1. A huge boost to visibility 

A study by eBay suggests that promoted listings get 36% more impressions than organic ones. This means investing in eBay advertising makes your products more noticeable. And greater visibility generally leads to greater sales. 

However, that stat dates back to 2018. Since then, eBay has made its promoted listings much more visible. In 2019, they began to appear at the top of search results. Now, they can even take up the top five spots. Previously, they could only appear in positions four and five. 

More recently, Reebok used eBay Promoted Listings to boost its impressions and saw sales jump by 142%

2. Flexible bidding options 

There’s no doubt that promoted listings increase eBay sales. However, if you mess up your campaign and fail to make any, you don’t necessarily have to deal with a big bill. That’s because eBay uses a ‘no sale, no fee’ model for its standard ads. 

This means sellers are only charged when a customer clicks on a promoted listing and then buys the product within 30 days. Plus, if the product is returned or the customer fails to pay, your brand can get its money back in the form of ad credits. 

eBay is one of the few platforms that offer this option. However, if you prefer PPC pricing, it recently introduced this option too. 

3. Starting is simple 

With eBay Promoted Listings, you don’t need to craft ad copy or upload photos. All the details are simply taken from your original product listing. Then, if you make any changes to your listings, your eBay ads will automatically update as well. 

With Standard Promoted Listings, bidding is also fairly straightforward. Brands can bid 1-20% of a product’s sale price. So you can build this percentage into your cost calculations. 

For brands that see this as limiting, eBay also offers other bidding options. But there is no doubt that setting up eBay ads can be extremely easy. 

Choosing a campaign type 

When eBay advertising first launched in 2015, there was only one campaign type to choose from. More recently, eBay has started to make more options available to different types of sellers. 

Promoted Listings Standard 

This is the original version of eBay Promoted Listings. It is notable for its ‘no sale, no fee’ pricing and keyword-based bidding. 

According to eBay, these ads are available to ‘Above standard’ and ‘Top rated’ sellers using fixed-price listings. Brands with an established sales history and decent feedback metrics usually have access. 

Promoted Listings Advanced 

eBay’s newly launched Promoted Listings Advanced Beta programme builds upon its standard advertising model. But it offers brands more visibility and control over their campaigns. 

Extra features include enhanced budget controls, PPC bidding and keyword selection. Brands can also bid directly on the first position in eBay’s search results. 

While these advanced campaigns are also available to ‘Above Standard’ eBay sellers, they are designed for brands and high-volume merchants. The PPC bids are particularly appealing to sellers of luxury and high-cost products. They may also attract brands that already run keyword-driven PPC campaigns on other platforms. 

Promoted Listings Express 

With these eBay ads, sellers can boost the visibility of their auction-style listings for the first time. 

To take part, sellers pay a one-off, upfront fee. Then, their listing can appear on the product pages of similar items. Unlike eBay’s standard ads, fees are payable even if a product isn’t sold. 

Setting up your eBay Promoted Listings campaign 

While your setup will vary depending on the type of campaign you chose, all eBay advertising begins in the Seller Hub. 

Brands can activate ads listing by listing or create campaigns in the ‘Marketing’ section of their account. Only listings that are eligible for promotion will appear in the dashboard. 

As mentioned, each element of your ad is simply pulled from your organic eBay listing. However, setting bids isn’t so simple and varies by campaign type. 

  • Standard ads: Sellers set an ‘ad rate’ ranging from 1-20% of the product’s sale price – excluding shipping and taxes. To set competitive bids, brands should refer to eBay’s average ad rate guide. Reebok used this list to attain a 15:1 return on ad spend
  • Advanced ads: With advanced campaigns, brands can bid on selected keywords and set daily budget limits. In your campaign manager, eBay provides suggested PPC bids to help you increase your chances of appearing at the top of search results. 
  • Express ads: eBay charges a fixed fee based on product categories and the length of each auction, so sellers don’t need to set bids. 

Once your campaign starts running, the cost of your eBay ads will appear on your monthly invoice. In the Seller Hub, brands can also see key metrics, like impressions, clicks and conversions. 

Top tips to optimise your eBay advertising campaigns 

There’s more to eBay ads than choosing the right campaign type and adjusting your bids. Many elements can influence your success. Here are just five of them. 

1. Optimise your listings 

To maintain positive customer experiences, eBay won’t put irrelevant, inaccurate or threadbare listings at the top of their search results – even if you’re willing to pay. So optimising your eBay listings is the best way to ensure your ads rank as high as possible. 

2. Check eBay’s recommendations 

In the Seller Hub, eBay’s campaign manager highlights ‘Recommended items’. This lists the products that will most benefit from being sponsored on eBay. So this is a great place to start when launching new ads. 

3. Set up seasonal campaigns in advance 

Remember, with Promoted Listings Standard, you only pay a fee when someone converts within 30 days. So, if you sell seasonal products, promote them early. This should build visibility and awareness for your products without costing much. 

4. Give new listings a boost 

Promoting new products allows brands to quickly establish sales, reviews and conversion rates for their listings. All of these factors can also help them rank in eBay’s ‘Best Match’ results organically. 

5. Prioritise listings that convert 

It’s a good idea to search your Seller Hub for low-traffic listings with decent conversion rates. These are ideal candidates for eBay advertising, because increasing their visibility should lead to a surge in sales. 

Final thoughts 

As their visibility improves, eBay Promoted Listings are becoming more important. As the world moves toward cookieless advertising, this trend is also set to continue. So if your brand doesn’t use them yet, now is the time to start.