by Dennis Yang
Wed, Oct 10th 2007 8:47pm
By placing ads on its pages, eBay was able to make approximately $76 million in revenue during the second quarter of this year. However, in doing so, eBay has drawn the ire of it sellers, who complain that the ads distract buyers from placing bids on their listings. eBay claims that their analysis shows that the advertising on the site "does not get in the way of people who intend to buy or sell items on the site." Considering that eBay's advertising revenue has doubled in 2007 as compared to 2006, the ads are a good way to monetize traffic that does not end up making a purchase. Furthermore, since the ads are contextual, eBay argues that the product experience is improved since the ads are relevant to the user's query. eBay's findings make sense; if a buyer really is interested in placing a bid, it seems quite unlikely that they would be derailed simply by viewing an ad. In any case, sellers are not convinced; they continue to fear that the ads distract potential buyers, despite not having any studies that indicate such a trend. Perhaps this fear is actually symptomatic of the true problem that eBay is facing today: sellers are no longer ecstatic to be on eBay. And, there's data to back that hypothesis up: the number of items listed in the second quarter of this year was 2 percent lower than the previous year.
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