About Aquacadabra

Aquacadabra is a specialist retailer of high-quality aquatic and pond goods specialising in tropical, coldwater and marines.

The Dartford-based seller has been an eBay member since 2003 and has an impressive 99.8% positive eBay feedback score.

Although a top-rated business seller, Aquacadabra trades in a category that operates on modest profit margins and, as such, had not previously used eBay’s advertising tools to drive sales velocity. Instead, Aquacadabra has relied on fast and free postage, multibuy offers and optimising the quality of each listing to build its business on eBay.

Campaign goals

Encouraged by the simple proposition of eBay’s most popular advertising product, Promoted Listings with a general campaign strategy (where a seller only pays a fee if a buyer clicks on their ad and goes on to buy the promoted product), Aquacadabra was keen to test advertising on eBay to determine if it could drive sales velocity.

Following a successful trial of general campaign strategy, Aquacadabra was keen to target the top slot in search and have greater control over their keywords, prompting the seller to include priority campaign strategy in their campaign mix.

Campaign strategy

Aquacadabra had two aims for this campaign:

  • Promote their listings with a general campaign strategy to increase exposure and sell-through across a broad range of its top-selling items.
  • Promote their listings with a priority campaign strategy to secure the top search position for best-selling products, as well as seasonal items that had a defined shopping window.

Keywords were strategically chosen to match buyer shopping trends and frequently revised to capture real-time consumer behaviours.

Both campaign types were run concurrently for a two month period.

The seller continued to monitor the performance of both campaign types, adjusting the ad rate to optimise sales velocities and adding new products to the campaigns where relevant.

Campaign results

Benchmarks for the study were conducted using the two-month period immediately before the combination of general and priority strategy were applied. During the benchmark period, Aquacadabra was running only general campaigns.

The addition of priority campaigns led to a trebling of impressions (up 208%), mirrored by a threefold increase in sales velocity (up 194%). Clicks on the seller’s promoted listings grew by 137%.1


increase in impressions


increase in sales velocity


increase in clicks on promoted listings

Conscious that sales may have also been influenced by seasonality (as pond and aquarium shoppers, in particular, stepped up their shopping behaviours as we entered spring), Aquacadabra extended both their general and priority campaigns for a further two months and witnessed a further doubling of impressions and clicks compared to the initial campaign period, and a 154% increase in sales velocity.1

“As a business, we have to be so careful with any form of marketing which erodes our modest margins. For this reason, I was always reticent to use paid-for advertising to promote our product lines.

However, the unique solution of the general strategy was appealing, but I understood that the best investment I could make was not the budget but time – in order to fully understand the advertising products and how I could best make them work for my business.

I would advise other eBay sellers keen to grow their business to try these ad products but be prepared to test and learn over a period of time – working out what ad product works best for each item.”

– Peter Amos, founder of Aquacadabra

  1. Source: 1. eBay data; May 2022; For the comparison of impressions, clicks and sales velocity (GMB), the pre-priority campaign strategy period is defined as 01 Jan 2022 – 01 Mar 2022 and the post-priority strategy period is from 02 Mar 2022 to 02 May 2022.
  2. This success story has been updated to reflect the product name changes.

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