Promoting eBay listings from your website: A mistake

I have noticed that several businesses promote their eBay listings prominently from their websites.  For example:


I suspect that the reasons for doing this are two fold. 

  1. Drive traffic to the eBay listing and thereby get more sales
  2. Save on eBay listings fees by an getting affiliate payment for driving traffic from the eBay site.

I think that giving this kind of website promotion of eBay listings is a mistake.  The eBay listing fee is your payment to eBay for marketing your products , if you feel you have to drive more traffic to the site then you are not getting your money’s worth.  Furthermore, the volume of traffic which will be driven to your products from your website will probably be small compared to the traffic which are driven via the eBay search.

Another reason not to place links to eBay, or any other site, on your homepage is that it drive traffic from you site, which should be the preferred channel as it incurs no fees, to a site where a fairly hefty fee is payable.

Ask yourself the question, do I want people to buy products from my website or from eBay.  If it is your website, don’t place a link to eBay on you homepage.  Building traffic to a site is hard, don’t throw it away.


  1. ebay habit says:

    I’m not sure that’s entirely correct. If the items are already listed, they’ve already agreed to pay the listing fee and, assuming it’s gonna sell anyways, the final value fee. And by sending the traffic through an affiliate hey get a minimum of a 50% discount on the fees. Add to that the fact that if they are a powerseller that qualifies, they’ll get further discounts after the 20th.

    There is also a pretty good possibility that by showing that they do business on eBay, that they are also gaining customers. Those customers that do go to eBay to buy the product will go and (presumably) get the great service that they would through the website. Win them over there and they’ll come back to the website when they can’t find what they want listed on eBay. And I would guess that they don’t list everything on eBay.

    You make some valid points in that you’re paying the fees for eBays pushing traffic to your listings. But, you’re also paying for access to the immense customer base that eBay has. There are plenty of people, such as myself, that will search on eBay long before we go anywhere else. I’ll gladly pay for access to those people, because eBay has several thousands or millions that do that very same thing.

    Ignoring that the channel is being used would be silly. Further, if the link on the website increases sell-through by even 5%, wouldn’t it be worth the siphoning that would possibly happen from the website. Especially if those items would already have been listed anyways?

  2. trevor says:

    I suppose that what I am arguing is that putting a link to the eBay store on your homepage canabalises your website sales (i.e. it gives them the option to buy on eBay and not thorough you store). In your example you would be paying fees on those extra eBay sales that you would not be paying if the purchase was made through the site.

    If for example you are paying to get traffic to your site through PPC, as many businesses do, you are making a double payment

  3. ebay habit says:

    I won’t deny that you make valid points, and I think in the end it’s a very delicate balance. Just as you would be cannibalizing your website sales, you may be turning people away that don’t want to pay the price you have on your auction but instead want to pay a lower price. A lower price that you most likely have set on your eBay auction. And, of course, if you are using PPC, that is another variable altogether.

    When it really comes down to it, each situation is it’s own and needs it’s own handling.

  4. BenDamond says:

    Affiliate business is not as easy as it seems, but few people seem to understand that. Maybe if they spent more time on reading a few articles on affiliate marketing before actually starting one, well, would produce more benefits for their business.

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