Frequently Asked Questions
Beta Version? What does it mean to participate in the eBay Partner Network Beta for Smart Placements?
Thank you for participating in our Beta! The Beta program is invitation-only. You’ve signed up and agreed to keep everything hush-hush. Please don’t share details of it with anyone else.
We know you’re excited, but we ask that you please not post about on social media, forums, or any public place. If you know someone who is a perfect candidate to also test, you still can’t tell them about it, but you can ask us to put them on our list to be considered for our future Beta programs.
The tool you’ll be trying is a close-to-final version. We rely on partners like you to help us understand what we need to do to polish and improve. Because it’s still a work-in-progress, it won’t work as perfectly as released tools should. If you experience anything odd, like the tool doesn’t work as we describe or you expect, please let us know! You’ll help us perfect it.
We need your experience and insight with the tool to improve it. Please report every eccentricity or oddness. Send them to: AskEPN@ebay.com.
How many Smart Placements banners can I create?
You can build up to 100 Smart Placements banners. You can use as many of these on one webpage as you would like.
Do I need to know how to code to use Smart Placements?
No, you don’t need to know how to write your own code to use Smart Placements. However, you do need to know how to edit your site so that you can add your code in the head and body.
Do Smart Placements work on mobile?
Yes. You should, however, check the size of the banner to make sure it works well on a smaller screen with your website’s theme and page layout. The 300x250 is the most versatile for diverse mobile devices and browsers.
Can I use Smart Placements on social media pages or other platforms?
What eBay domains are supported?
At this time, only items from eBay.com are eligible for display. In the future, we will add the ability to use other locales.
What languages are supported?
English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish are supported with Smart Placements.
Can I use Smart Placements and Smart Links on the same page?
Yes, Smart Links will not interfere with Smart Placements.
Can I have multiple Smart Placements on the same page?
Yes. Each Smart Placements banner you create will come with a unique ID, so you can have multiple banners on the page.
Creating and Viewing the Smart Placements Banner
Can I use advanced keywords and other syntax?
Yes! Smart Placements supports all of the same advanced search features as you’d find on the eBay site. See here for more details.
What is “Auto-Optimization”?
If you choose this option by checking the box, you are adding the option to use eBay’s retargeting technology. This means that if we can identify that an eBay user is on your site, the Smart Placements banner will show results more tailored to that user.
Benefits of Optimization: You can customize the experience to the visitor’s demonstrated interests and enhance likelihood that they’ll see items that appeal to them, typically increasing click through rate and conversion.
Drawback of Optimization: If you want to control exactly what the visitor sees and ensure that the banners produce products in harmony with your surrounding text, Smart Placements might not be for you. For example: You run a fitness site. You want eBay items displayed in a banner that are all fitness-focused like stationary bikes and treadmills; an optimized ad might show a user comic books or high-heels depending on what they have shopped for on eBay before.
Here’s an example of when NOT to Optimize: An art blogger seeks to capitalize on the recent trending of Andy Warhol on eBay (to see what’s hot today, visit https://www.ebay.com/trending). She writes about the resurgence of Andy Warhol and wants to show some affiliate links to help generate income. A banner that uses retargeting could show the user items that have nothing at all to do with Andy Warhol.
What will show up in the banner?
The Smart Placements banner will show the results of doing a search on eBay with the Search Term and Category you choose when configuring the banner. If you choose to auto-optimize, it will instead display listings based on the items the user has purchased, bid on, or added to their watch list. It will organize the results into a banner using the size, font, and item title color choices you make when configuring the banner.
In what order are the items listed in the banner? Can I customize it?
It is the same order as if you did the same search on the eBay site. This cannot be customized.
How many items will show up in the banner? Can I customize it?
You will see up to 15 items. This is not currently customizable.
What happens if I pick a search term that has few or no results?
Whatever shows up when you do the search on the eBay site will show up in the banner, but we do have a minimum. The results of the search need to include a minimum number of items. Horizontal and vertical banners require 5 items; the square banner only needs 1. If the search has too few results, the Smart Placements banner will not show on the page. You should check with a “Preview” to see how the banner will show up, before you paste the code on your site or before you save an update to an existing Smart Placements banner.
How does Auto-Optimization change this? When you’ve opted in for auto-optimization, we show results based on the user’s activity on eBay, which almost always produces the minimum results. If we can’t identify the user, we show the results of your search criteria.
Does Smart Placements include an impression pixel?
Yes, it does. The reports in the EPN portal will show impressions for these banner ads.
Can I dynamically update keywords and categories without changing the banner configuration in the EPN portal?
Yes. You can add parameters to the Smart Placements code that you put into the body of your site, which will allow you to dynamically overwrite the keyword(s) associated with that banner.
The parameter for the keyword is “data-keyword” and for the category ID is “data-category-id”. These are independent and can be used on their own or combined.
For example, this is what the code would look like if you were going to use the keyword parameter and add “bubblegum” as a keyword:
<ins class="epn-placement" data-config-id="YOURCONFIGID" data-keyword="bubblegum" ></ins>
This is what the code would look like if you were going to also use the category parameter:
<ins class="epn-placement" data-config-id="YOURCONFIGID" data-keyword="bubblegum" data-category-id="99536 | 11450"></ins>
You can select one or many category IDs, separated by a “ | “. This also allows you to be more specific with the categories you select, as the interface only allows the meta category to be selected; this parameter allows any category ID to be picked.
What is Category ID? How do I find it? Category ID is the numeric ID for an eBay category. For example, for the US, the ID for the category Art , Art Prints is 360, and the ID for the category Cell Phones & Smartphones is 9355.
One reliable way to find a category ID: Navigate to the Link Generator, create a Search Results link, select your desired eBay country site, click Find Category ID, and select the category you want. The category ID displays in the Category ID field.
Another method that many folks find easier: Browse to the category and copy the ID from the URL, e.g.:
Why not just provide me a list? Category IDs vary by country. For instance, Antiques in the US, is 20081, but in France, it's Art, antiquités and Category ID 353. If you end up using the wrong Category ID, you most likely won’t get the kind of results you want in the Smart Placements banner.
Category IDs can change over time as consumer products diversify or we reorganize categories to better suit customer searches and needs. You can keep up with eBay category IDs here: http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/news/categorychanges.html