1
May

New EPN eBay Affiliate Report Reminds Me Of Jaws Movie

Well the first full month’s report is in from the new eBay EPN affiliate network thingy (I’m still not sure how to refer to it) and with the inconsistency of earnings it reminds me of the movie Jaws. As you can see below there’s not any more than 2 days of steady earnings:

eBay EPN Report

I find the up and down roller coaster earning levels a little weird. I mean, what’s going on here? Is there an effort on the part of eBay buyers to only make good on their payments just every other day? Is eBay not correctly reporting and still working on getting EPN up to speed? What’s weird is that if you average out my clicks per day, discounting a couple of 3,000 clicks per day anomalies, I come in around 250 to 300 each day and that’s a pretty consistent line. So why the inconsistency in earnings?

Well anyway, just to be goofy, I took my earnings line through the 26th and made a little illustration. I hope there’s no truth to this? The shark’s teeth match up perfectly with revenue:

eBay Jaws Movie, I hope theis isn't true

Anyone else seeing a roller coaster ride of eBay affiliate earnings like this?

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28
Apr

eBay Affiliate Panic Subsides As EPN Switch Is Extended

eBay Affiliates No Loger RiotingUtter panic, rioting, confusion and general mayhem in the streets has subsided with the recent announcement that eBay affiliates will be given till the end of May to change all their links and completely migrate over to the new eBay Partner Network. eBay announced last month that they would be leaving Commission Junction to manage their affiliate program in house and initially gave affiliates only 30 days make the switch.

I’m sure multitudes of eBay affiliates are breathing a sigh of relief today knowing that they don’t have to cram in possibly weeks worth of work in the next 3 days. I was looking at a very busy 3 day stretch here because I have one site in particular that still has some 60 pages of rss feeds that need to be changed. And other affiliates have huge sites or networks of sites with tens of thousands of links that still need to be converted.

eBay made the announcement about the migration extension on their blog on April 25. Stated in the post was eBay’s admission that only 66% of their affiliates had made the switch to EPN thus far, leaving another 33% lagging behind. It was definitely a smart move on eBay’s part to extend the deadline because 33% of their traffic from affiliates may not have reached the correct destination making for a possible combination of lost revenue and unhappy affiliates.

The extension will end on May 31, but because of contractual obligations, no commissions will be paid after that date. However, it would be a good idea to make all your changes before May 24th because there is a 7 day cookie set on any traffic sent to eBay. So to avoid losing commissions from clicks in May that end up converting in June, it’s best to get er’ done before the 24th.

It’s good to get a little leeway, but if you are an eBay affiliate don’t let it go too long and end up against the wall at the end of May. I was planning on finishing up everything by Wednesday, so maybe I’ll extend that to Friday. It’s best to stick with your original plans as close as possible.

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9
Apr

Why I Like The eBay Affiliate Program

I absolutely love the eBay affiliate program. I’m sure you already know that, but now I like it even better that the whole deal is being run by eBay itself through the eBay Partner Network. The tracking appears to have improved, it’s much easier to tell what you’ve actually sold as an eBay affiliate and commission updates take about half the time as they did with CJ. Plus, this month only, eBay is paying out an additional 5% on commissions to encourage affiliates to quickly make the change over to EPN.

One of the nicer things about the switch to the EPN is that it is so much easier to get reports and to see what you sold. To do that all you have to do is log into your EPN dashboard and click Reports at the top of the dashboard, then click Transaction Download and you will see a screen like below:

EPN Transaction Download

One you get to this screen, you can then select your date range (I choose the entire month of April so far) and then click to download as a text or Excel file. When you download the report as an Excel file it’s now incredibly easy to find the item you sold because all you have to do is look for the column labeled eBay Item ID and there are the number ID’s of the auctions you drove a buyer to. Just take those numbers, you may have to double click on the individual cell so the number doesn’t display as scientific notation, go to eBay and plug it into the main search box and you will go to the specific auction you were credited for. 

The cool thing about eBay and why I like it so much is you end up selling lots of unrelated items because people love to buy through an auction and people love to buy on eBay. Here are a couple of items below that showed up in my latest report that have nothing to do with anything I sell or any niche that I’m in. However, I got the commission just because I sent the buyer to eBay and they took some sort of action that ended in a purchase within 7 days of landing on the eBay web site.

200212428009 – Tickets to a Detroit Tigers vs Chicago White Sox baseball game.

140219933308 – A Callaway Golf Used X Headcover for a driver.

While these items only earned me a tiny commission, I’m sure you can see the potential benefit here. It was reported yesterday in the Build A Niche Store forums that someone earned a commission over $500 for selling a very expensive musical instrument that was also completely unrelated to anything they are targeting as an affiliate. That just shows you what can happen when you get people to eBay. I’d love to divulge what that musical item was, but that’s a niche that I’m going to start another store for.

If you are an affiliate marketer and aren’t a part of the eBay Partner Network, you are missing out big time.

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4
Apr

eBay Partner Network And Build A Niche Store Updates

eBay Partner Network 

The transition from CJ to the eBay Partner Network is in full swing now and there is a lot of work to be done. Fortunately the switch over for Build A Niche Store users is very simple and only takes about 5 minutes per store to accomplish. I installed my 10th BANS eBay store 2 nights ago and finished updating the rest of my other 9 stores yesterday morning. Updating 6 stores yesterday took approximately 35 to 40 minutes. There really isn’t anything to it other than uploading a few files and visiting your store.

On the other hand, the other web sites I have will require some tedious work of replacing a hundred or more rss feeds on one site, going through multiple blog posts on other sites to find in content links and going through a few hundred redirects to find out if they are going through ShoppingAds or Commission Junction. Fortunately I think all my ads at USFreeAds.com go through ShoppingAds.

All in all, the eBay Partner Network looks very easy to work with and the dashboard is pretty simple and straight forward. Gone is the need to register every web site you have with eBay as you had to with CJ. You will of course want to track your sites and watch their earnings, so what you do now is set up campaigns for each site or area of your site you want to track. It’s a simple as creating a name for a new campaign, clicking the create button and eBay generates a number you use when building widgets, rss feeds, individual links and creatives.

I have assigned each web site I have to a new campaign and I’ve found after trying to be creative in naming a campaign, it’s better to just give it the name of your web site. I have several sites with similar url’s and it’s best to give your campaign the exact url as the name to avoid any confusion. You can also add additional campaigns for anything you want such as being able to track performance of a tool or link on a specific page. You can even use a custom sub id for more specific tracking issues such as multiple links on a single page.

I’m already seeing click-through data from the 1st through today, but I’ll feel even better when I see the first few commissions come in. It may take a few days before everything gets straight and reporting is accurate and up to date. It pays to get your links switched over as soon as possible because eBay is adding an additional 5% on top of their already generous commission structure for everything that is tracked through the Partner Network for the month of April. The quicker you get your links changed the more you can earn.

With 10 Build A Niche Stores now set up, it’s time to put some serious effort into getting content on these sites and building an eBay affiliate empire. The groundwork is done, the transition to the eBay Partner Network is complete (at least for the BANS stores) and everything is in place for this to be a very good year in affiliate marketing. I’ve just outsourced some work to a writer I found through Elance.com and I’ll cover a bit more about that in the next few days.

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17
Mar

eBay Affiliate Program Drops CJ – Worldwide Panic Ensues

eBay Affiliate PanicOkay, it’s not as bad as the headline indicates, but all eBay affiliates received the news this morning that the company will be moving away from Commission Junction managing their affiliate program and they will bring it in-house, running it themselves. The change is due to start on April 1st and all present and new eBay affiliates will have to sign-up through the eBay Partner Network. CJ links to eBay will still work through the end of April and must be migrated by May 1st.

As you can imagine this has cause quite a buzz on blogs and the major internet marketing forums around the net as eBay affiliates panic at the amount of work they they are facing replacing links next month for the transition. I will personally have several hundred pages of links to migrate over to the new program and I’m a small player compared to some of the big guys. There’s a guy in the eBay affiliate forums saying he has some 75,000 links to change and there are even bigger players to the tune of $1 million per month facing this transition as well.

I’m not at all worried about any of my BANS stores because everything there is automated and will probably just require a minor file update and possibly changing an affiliate number in all of the store interfaces. What I am concerned about is all the text links I have in blog posts, on web sites and who knows where else. I honestly don’t know if I can find every single link I have out there and can change it over, much less if I had tens of thousands or more such as the big players do.

There are a few positive things to look at though with eBay handling all their affiliate matters. You will be able to register with all eBay countries affiliate programs throughout the world simultaneously, no more individual country sign-ups, there will be more detailed reporting available to affiliates (I’m sure this will help you target your efforts better), the commission structure won’t change, there will be new landing page optimization options and a few other changes for the better.

I don’t know how all this will pan out and it seems like a daunting task for some affiliates however, eBay owns the redirect url for all their affiliate links (rover.ebay.com) so it may not be as bad as we think. I’m sure eBay has thought this through and how much it might affect their business and we know they want to do something positive as the final outcome. If eBay affiliates don’t make money, eBay doesn’t make as much money. More details will be coming out shortly.

Meanwhile, if you have a BANS store, just keep building.

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