What’s Up With all the Private eBay Promotions?

In the land of eBay, getting a private invitation for free listings is a lot like Cinderella getting an invitation to the ball. It’s a big deal. Unfortunately, not everyone gets invited to every dance, so for those without a fairy godmother they may wonder — “what’s up with that?”

Ebay really hasn’t said much about their free listing promotions other than to say that they are randomly generated by computer. This may explain why some people seem to get an invitation every time one is sent out, while others may go days or even weeks without receiving one. The type of invitation sellers get seems to vary too. One time it may be to list a certain number of auctions for free, the next time it may be free listings when you use “Fixed Price.”

While it doesn’t appear that the mystery for how to receive these “golden” invitations is going to be answered any time soon, it has led to a lot of speculation by sellers as to what eBay’s strategy is as to why they are suddenly offering these special invitations and why they are doing it on a fairly consistent basis.

Some people suspect that eBay wants to pump up their auction numbers, but no one is really sure as to the reason why. Others suggest that the invitations are sent out as a way to test the responsiveness of sellers or perhaps eBay is slowly heading towards a business model that is similar to Amazon’s business model where sellers can list items for free, but then have pay a fee when the item sells. Whatever the case, sellers seem to enjoy getting the free listings by invitation only even if on-the-other hand, they are frustrated when it looks like their private invitation got lost somewhere along the way.

There have also been some cases where the private invitation does get lost along the way. This can make it hard to take advantage of a special listing deal when you aren’t even aware that you have one, but there are a couple of things you can do to make sure that the invitation finds its way into your email in-box.

First, visit your Dashboard and look over to the right. Click on “Page Options” and check to make sure that the box for “Alerts and To-Dos” is checked. Click on “Apply” to save your changes. Next, scroll down and look to the right. This is sometimes hit or miss, but you will usually see information about how many free listings you have and how many you have used. Keep in mind, however, that this information doesn’t always appear.

That is why I also suggest that you click on your “Messages” on your Dashboard rather than rely on the invitations to come to you through your email. Sometimes there may be a delay in you receiving your invitation and in some cases it might not get to you at all, but usually at some point the invitation also appears in your eBay Messages, so that is actually the best place for you to look.

About our Guest Blogger
This guest post is by Kat Simpson. Kat is a trusted eCommerce author, speaker, educator, and entrepreneur. Kat Simpson has been a successful eCommerce merchant for over 10 years; is an eBay Education Specialist and Gold Level PowerSeller, as well as a successful Amazon merchant. Currently Kat is the hosts the popular weekly eCommerce Podcast That Kat Radio












One Response to “What’s Up With all the Private eBay Promotions?”

  1. Vendable » Blog Archive » Ebay’s Spring Seller Update Brings Big Changes Says:

    [...] the post from a while back about some sellers wondering what eBay was up to with their free listing invitations? Well, the cat appears to be out of the proverbial bag because on March 19, 2013, eBay announced [...]