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eBay promoted listings: How to use them and take advantage of them

eBay promoted listings, also known as sponsored products, are ads with a twist that can help you increase sales and exposure by up to 30%. Sponsored products also support your organic listings without too much up-front investment.

eCommerce sellers can use eBay’s Promoted Listings to reach more customers affordably, since you only pay when someone makes a purchase.

On the surface, it looks a lot like Google pay-per-click or Amazon product ads. Sponsored products appear in the 4th and 5th product listing spaces on the page and look just like a typical eBay listing.

eBay promoted listings

The only difference is the “sponsored,” “promoted” or “ad” tag that appears in the left-hand corner just above the product title. They show up in both desktop and mobile search results.

Sponsored tag on promoted listings

When eBay first launched Promoted Listings, it was available for sellers based in the US, UK, Germany, and Australia. Today, “Promoted listings is currently available to all active eBay Stores subscribers in the US, CA, UK, DE, AU, and FRITES. It is also available to US or Global Top Rated Sellers who sell on the US site.” (Promoted Listings)

They only show up in the country where you are registered and you can only promote fixed-price listings. Unlike PPC ads, eBay doesn’t charge you anything for the listing. Instead, they take a percentage of the sale. Much like a traditional commission or an affiliate promotion, you only pay when someone who clicks on your ad buys the product within 30 days.


Don’t want to do a promoted listing? Consider using eBay Deals instead


Who’s eligible for eBay promoted listings?

Promoted listings are reserved for top rated sellers and eBay store subscribers.

If you use eBay’s quick listing tool, you get access to Promoted Listings Lite, a slightly less powerful version of sponsored listings. It only works for fixed-priced products in any category, except for Motor, Real Estate, or Travel, sold though quick listings.

Method 1: Become a top-rated seller

This is the cheapest way to get access to promoted listings. Being a top-rated seller lets buyers know that you are reliable and known for exceptional customer service. So how do you win the title?

eBay assesses your performance on the 20th of each month. They look at service quality and your sales history for the month. If you qualify, they’ll automatically make you a top-rated seller.

In order to become a top-rated seller, you need to meet the following requirements.

  • Actively sell on eBay for over 90 days.
  • Over the last year, you need to have made over 100 transactions and sold $1000 worth of products to US customers (or UK, Germany, and Australia if that’s where you are based).
  • Adhere to the eBay seller’s compliance policy.
  • Have a transaction defect rate of under 0.5%.
  • Have a late shipment rate below 3%.
  • Have a closed sales rate without resolution below 0.3%.

Method 2: Choose a store subscription

If you have a store subscription, you get access to promoted listings.

There’s a store for every budget and seller type. When you subscribe, you get access to additional benefits like a promotions manager and exclusive tools for optimizing your organic listings.


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Setting up a Promoted Listing

Once you get access to eBay sponsored products, here’s how you would set up your Promoted Listing.

1. Pick your product

Head over to your sellers dashboard, click on “Marketing” then go to “Promoted Listings.”


From there, click on “Create new campaign.”


You can pick products one by one, or you can select listings in bulk.


Select the products you’d like to promote. Choose a product that you’d like to get in front of more customers– this could be a well performing item, or a new listing you’d like to experiment with. eBay then uses the information for your product to create the ad.

2. Set a price for your ad

Once you’ve selected the products that you want to promote, you’ll see the option to apply ad trending rates. eBay will then automatically pick the ad rate for your category.

You can also set your own rates by checking the current ad rate averages, which vary across departments, product types, and seasons. The rate you choose will affect your ad’s placement.

3. Launch and track your campaign

Once your rates are set, you can name your campaign and pick a start and end date. Hit launch and your campaign is ready to go.

It can take a few hours for your ad to go live so don’t worry if you don’t see it immediately. You can edit your campaigns and turn them on and off at any time.

Use eBay’s analytics to track performance. You can track the number of click-throughs, items sold, ad fees, and sales within a 30 day period.

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Taking advantage of sponsored products

Now that you are ready to launch your first campaign, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using promoted listings.

1. Increase sales of your most popular products

Want to sell more of your best-performing products? Promoted listings can work alongside your organic listings to help you reach more people.

After using promoted listings, TekReplay saw a 3x increase in sales and a 175% increase in the number of products sold.

Go through your product roster, pick your best ones, promote them for a set period of time, and measure the results.

2. Stand out in seasonal listings

Seasonal promotions can get pretty crowded as sellers compete for top spots and customer attention. This gets especially difficult with eBay’s Group Similar Listings feature. You can stand out in the category by using promoted products.

VMInnovations used promoted listings in the April to June period to sell spring/summer products like pools accessories and gardening tools. They saw a 30 to 1 return on every dollar spent.

3. Start off a listing on the right foot

Do you have a new product that you suspect will do really well with your target audience? You can give it a boost to immediately get in front of more people by promoting it.

This is a great way to test its performance– you only have to pay eBay if the item sells.

Make the most of sponsored products

The right ad can support organic listings and help you increase sales.

One of the great advantages of eBay promoted listings is that you don’t have to make an initial investment. This makes sponsored products the perfect ad type to experiment with– you can try different products, categories, and types to see which ones bring in the highest ROI.

Experiment with the percentage you give to eBay and see what the lowest viable cost for the highest potential gain is. Try different strategies that work for your business. If you want to reach more people and increase sales, sponsored posts should rank highly in your eBay strategy.

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