eBay Partner Network Changes Terms For ACRU’s

eBay Partner NetworkYou know, I could probably look it up, but I have no idea what ACRU actually stands for. However, for new eBay affiliates, what it actually is, will mean something different than it has in the past. It used to mean that eBay partners received a minimum of $25 for one of these which is a new eBay member sign-up who ends up placing a bid within 30 days of joining.

That has all changed as of today, again, for new affiliates only. New partners who sign up with eBay after August 1st will get paid for new eBay member sign-ups based on the quality of their traffic. The range will go from $1 per sign-up to $50. When I first read about this I thought there might be every level of payment in $1 increments, but it turns out there are only 4 levels that break down as follows:

Traffic Quality – Payment
Very Low – $1.00
Low – $10.00
Medium – $28.00
High – $40.00
Very High – $50.00

This looks like a pretty good payout, but it remains to be seen how eBay is going to determine traffic quality. And the way they are determining your traffic quality won’t be decided until the following month of when your ACRU’s are posted. In other words, if you get 6 new eBay sign-ups in August, you won’t know what traffic quality level you’re at and what you will be paid until the 9th of September.

One issue I see is that there are several days during the month when traffic takes a huge spike and doubles or triples from the average number of clicks I normally send to eBay. This seems to be some sort of a searchbot anomaly and greatly skews your EPC. It also would be nice if eBay would give some clearer guidelines as to what they define as low, medium, high and very high quality, especially since your level can change from month to month.

Suppose you send PPC traffic to a BANS store and it doesn’t work in that you get lots of clicks, but no buyers or no bidders. Is eBay going to take into consideration the numbers of clicks you send, bids that are place and winning bids placed. What about overall numbers of sales, will high volume affiliates be compensated accordingly? With eBay not disclosing their methods as things have been clearly defined in the past this leaves the door open for all sorts of issues and unhappy affiliates. It might be in eBay’s interest to be a little clearer on what they expect from the traffic being sent their way.

New affiliates will end up being the guinea pigs for this new ACRU payment system from eBay as affiliates who signed up before August 1st won’t be subject to the payments. However, later this year, all affiliates will be moved over to the traffic quality system for ACRU’s. I just hope my traffic quality comes in at medium or better. 

ACRU’s are only a small part, around 10%, of my total revenue from eBay, so this won’t be that big of a deal when the change goes into effect for all affiliates. But for those that do earn a lot of income from signing up new eBayers, this might have a huge impact on their bottom line. Let’s hope eBay works all the kinks out of this as soon as possible.

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12 Responses to “eBay Partner Network Changes Terms For ACRU’s”

  1. Yes received a mail from the ebay partner network today Alan. Its clear that ebay is still looking out for genuine and unique sign ups through referrals..

  2. Im doubtful ebay will still be around in a decade the way they treat sellers these days, bring on googlebay!

  3. I really belief this is another way from eBay to screw the affiliates, now they got their secret quality score and god knows how they calculate the quality of your traffic.

    I think the moneymaking days with eBay and BANS are coming to a end, if we are lucky we can catch one more xmas but by then it will be all done with eBay.

    Mark my words


  4. I think I also read that current EPN affiliates could switch to the new system, am I correct? Not sure though, because I’ve already ditched my email. I need to go login and check it out. I too, would love to know what ebay considers very low, low, medium, high and very high.

  5. Ruthie,

    I think current eBay affiliates will all have to wait till later this year to be switched over. I’m not sure how this is going to turn out so I’d rather have them keep things the way they are till they work out the bugs.

  6. To bad for me because I’m thinking of signing to be an affiliate of them.

  7. Alan,
    Since this is about eBay, I want to ask if they are letting their affiliate sell products that doesn’t come on their own garage.

    I’m thinking about something like making money on eBay but I don’t have anything to sell as of now.

  8. This will prove to be interesting. As far as I am concerned, this is not too different then a quality score for traffic. All I can say is that the traffic on my sites running eBay links is very good. I hope this will result in higher payouts, but I am very skeptical.

  9. I received the email from EPN. It will be interesting to see how they rate traffic. Plan on seeing a lot of complaining from people getting $1 per ACRU instead of $25 like they used to.

    By the way ACRU stands for Active Confirmed Registered User

  10. We went through the same process with Shopping.com and it destroyed our revenue stream falling from $1000+ month to $25 month. We’ve since pulled Shopping.com from our sites and will be doing the same with Ebay if they cut our revenues as much. Bottom line is people hate Ebay, we’re not doing our readers any service by promoting the auctions on our sites. If Ebay wants to lower the payout, they are just going to loose us as lead partners.

  11. I would totally agree with what Jack said and share the same sentiment..

    As an eBay Developer who has put a lot of time into developing an eBay application on the premise that the eBay Partner Program made it financially rewarding under the old CPA pricing model with the fixed registration fee and seller fee revenue share, I now find my earning potential reduced considerably under the new QCP.

    This to me, is yet another attempt by eBay to claw back revenue. I also feel this change was implemented without any proper consultation with the eBay Partner community.

    eBay claims the QCP and EPC pricing model will provide the same or better revenue for it’s partners than the old CPA model. I don’t know how they can claim that because the numbers just don’t add up and speak for themselves.

    Previously eBay Partners such as myself in the UK under the old scheme received up to 7 GBP for new member registrations and 40% share of seller fee revenue. Now under the new QCP pricing I’m currently receiving 0.05 per click.

    So let’s drill down the numbers:

    New member under old CPA: 7.00 GBP
    New member under new QCP: 0.05 GBP

    = 99% revenue reduction

    I need to refer 140 new members to earn the same revenue I received
    referring one member under the old CPA program.

    On an average purchase value of 30 GBP under old CPA: 1.20 GBP
    On an average purchase value of 30 GBP under new QCP: 0.05 GBP

    = 95% revenue reduction

    I need to make 24 sales to every 1 sale I made under the old CPA to generate the same revenue.

    eBay claims it will evaluate and place a value on clicks under the new QCP and reward Partners appropriately based on the long term quality value of traffic. The process of how they” evaluate” and arrive at this “valuation” is
    not transparent and not described anywhere. We’re simply expected to take their word for it? Does that seem fair and open?

    Looking at the samples given above in my own example it hardly seems
    fair to me.

    And finally..

    “Certain health metrics are also taken into account in pricing. If the amount of credit card fraud, unpaid items, extremely low-value ACRUs, and a number of other variables resulting from traffic you send to the site is significantly higher than average, you will be notified and your EPC may be reduced.”

    A way to further reduce revenue and penalize partners?

  12. Just looked at my eBay Partner Program Transaction Report for December and carried out a real revenue earnings comparison on CPA v QCP:

    – A total of 9 leads were generated
    – Of the 9 leads, 8 were new member registrations
    – The 9 leads generated sales total revenue of 63.24 GBP

    Under the old CPA my revenue earnings would of been as follows:

    8 new member registrations x 8 GBP = 64 GBP
    30% revenue share on 6.32 Final Valuation Fee Revenue = 1.90 GBP
    Total Revenue under CPA: 65.90 GBP
    Earnings per click (EPC) value: 7.32 GBP

    Under the new QCP earnings model, I received 0.05 for 31 clickthrus,
    giving a total revenue of 1.40 GBP. Even just comparing this against the basic 30% Final Valuation Fee revenue share under CPA, it’s a 26% drop in revenue. But when comparing against the total CPA revenue with the new member registration fee it equates to a 99% drop in EPC revenue.

    To generate the same amount of revenue as I would of received under the old CPA system, I would need to generate 1,318 clickthrus. That’s 14,544% more traffic.

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