Ebay Linking - What are you allowed to do?
More and more people are realising that Ebay is not only a marketplace to sell and buy products but also an extremely valuable source of traffic to your own website, the thing is like any business entity Ebay realises this and has various measures in place to prevent an abuse of this.
The purpose of this article is to clear up what you can and cannot do, thus staying within Ebays own guidelines and keeping your account intact. So what does Ebay consider to be a link:
A link is any mechanism used to take you off the eBay site, whether static or clickable. This applies to any format used for a link that includes, but is not limited to, text, images, logos or icons.
When designing your auction listing you need to be aware that Ebay policy allows your listing to contain,
"...text descriptions, graphics, pictures and other content relevant to the sale of that item."
What this means is that the listing must be solely for the purpose of selling the item, and not for general business advertisements. Now reading this you would think that they have completely closed the door but they have in fact still left you with plenty of options, what you need to realise that these cannot be direct solicitations to sell outside of the Ebay marketplace. So what exactly can you link to from your auction listings, well you are allowed to:
Link to a page that further describes the product for sale, that page may contain links to other pages that offer items for sale outside of eBay. This is permitted, provided the intent of the link is to further describe your item. If you have a logo for any of these links, it may be no greater than 88x33 pixels and it may not flash or otherwise move.
So provide a detailed description of the product and also include your standard menu bar, this not only makes your page part of your sites look and feel but also presents the reader the opportunity to click around and you are also not enticing people to do so.
You are allowed to place one link, and one link only, to your email address so bidders can ask for extra information. Your email address may be a link that opens an email client or web form (no links are permitted off of the web form however). This link must only provide a contact service, making the link direct to sales pages or product offers is in conflict with Ebay policy.
So provide an email contact address that is related to your website, ie. is specific to your domain name. Most internet users are savvy enough to realise that this address is linked to a website and will take a look if they are curious enough.
You are also allowed to link to pages that contain further pictures of the item for sale, these photo pages may also contain “discrete” links to other pages that offer items for sale outside the eBay online marketplace, but may not contain descriptions of or links to specific items on other sites.
So make sure the page fits in with your website and has your usual menus in place and people will take the opportunity to look around your site, DO NOT place descriptions or enticing strap lines to encourage the clicking away from Ebay. You will find that this is not needed and you will generate hits/visitors anyway. Also bear in mind that this page is allowed to have images of other items that you have for sale on Ebay so use it to highlight your offer and also increase traffic to your other auctions on Ebay.
You are also allowed to watermark your images with the address of your website, this is because the images are yours and as such you own the copyright. If they are not your images and are generic images that you don't have copyright to then you are not allowed to firstly use them and secondly watermark them as your own.
You are allowed to link to your Ebay Shop, other items you have for sale on Ebay and your About Me Page. Your About Me Page is a key means to help develop traffic to your own site and further details of this are discussed at another of my articles about driving Ebay Traffic from your About Me page to your website.
You are allowed to provide credit to any third part solutions and services that you use to help you generate your listing, for example if you use any of the Free Ebay Templates that we provide then you are allowed to leave in the link acknowledgement that is within the HTML already. The key to this remaining within Ebay policy is that the credit must be:
No more than 10 words of text (HTML font size 3)
A logo (88 x 33 pixels)
Importantly it can also only be one of these and not both and must also conform to the below:
The credit may not contain promotional material about additional services or other information about the company. It should only identify the service provided by the company.
The credit may link only to the third-party company's website containing information about the eBay service.
The service being credited should only be one that the seller is using within that particular listing.
If an image hosting service is used, sellers may display a credit for the image hosting service provider.
A lot of sellers are starting to use links to pages away from Ebay that detail the terms and conditions of the sale, firstly it is Ebay policy to have these within the listing itself but any such pages that are linked to CANNOT include ANY links to pages outside of the Ebay Marketplace. The simple solution is just to list these in the listing itself and not run the risk of breaking policy.
All the above should maximise the traffic opportunities that Ebay can provide, you must also exercise restraint when using them as going overboard and linking every other sentence for example will be deemed as soliciting off Ebay sales even if the links are allowed in Ebay policy. One of two per listing is more than enough.