— Posted in Internet Marketing

Ebay Classifieds Test Case

Yesterday a friend of mine skyped me to ask me if I had seen the new ebay classified site. I hadn’t and and was immersed in something else so I didn’t take the time to google and pretty much moved on with my day. So when I saw an ad for it online this morning I decided to check it out.

The first thing I noticed was the billing across the top for a “Safer, Easier, Friendlier” classifieds, clearly a stab at online classifieds giant Craigslist. They claim to have better safeguards against spamming, easier to use posting interface and quick and friendly customer service ready to assist you. So I decided to give it a try.

I posted an ad in Austin for my blog design service. Simple text ad with a link to my blog service. Easy enough right! The posting process was quicker than either Craigslist or Backpage so the easier part seemed to be true. I was sent to my email to confirm my ad. After I confirmed the ad I saw they have buttons for me to share my ad on Twitter and Facebook. Nice! So I tweeted it.

This is where my Ebay Classified experience started to go downhill. The listings of ads is horrible looking it actually is worse than Craigslist and the ad page even worse. Small tiny font, if your picture doesn’t fill the box it just sits in the middle of this big grey box and the strange grass across the bottom makes me feel like they just threw up a wordpress template. Very ugly!

So while waiting on my ad to show up in the listings I checked out the ad management page which showed my ad was in process and I had had a total of 6 views to it, I thought this was a cool feature. My ad never showed up however….eventually I got an email and this is where the big #FAIL came in. Now I was posting an ad for my marketing company so I posted in computer services, simple ad link to my site. Well the email informs me my ad has been deleted from their database because it contains a link to a third party website. Well of course it does ebay it was an ad for my business and I just thought since people are obviously online anyway the quickest way to learn more would be to visit my website but for some reason you think people want to stop and email me or stop and call me. I don’t agree and it basically makes your services listings pointless and complete waste of time for a business. The best part was the line “posting a link for the sole purpose of getting visitors is prohibited.” UMMMM, Why else would someone create an ad for a service if they weren’t hoping to get visitors?!? There are really some days I feel like I am in the twilight zone on the internet!

Now I already know the standard classified sites response to this “we want to be a place where people can sell bikes and i phones” not a place for spammers. While I can’t change that attitude I do find it extremly unfortunate. Newspaper classifieds were always a large source of sales for small businesses. Now when newspapers ran these ventures it was easy, you paid your $$ just like the guy selling the bike and your ad was there. Since the revolution of online classifieds came in and stole the newspaper audience away small business was cut out. Online sites decided they were only interested in the consumer side and have never cared about the business side. The only classified site that I know of that actually has an interest in small business advertising is Backpage but leads through that site are so slow that it’s still not a great option for small business.

So I guess the answer is atleast for now there is no classified site that has an interest in helping support small businesses. I hope someone fills this void soon or maybe one of the supposedely more socially responsible classified sites will take a real look at the damage it does to small business.

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