eBay Affiliate Program
Types of products: Broad range of physical products both used and new.
Where to join: eBay Partner Network Signup
Commission structure: 50%-70% of eBay fees
Cookie length: 1 day
Payment Methods: Wire or Paypal
Ebay’s affiliate program is the eBay Partner Network. You are paid a large percentage of the fees that eBay receives for referred transactions. A key driver is that eBay has a lot of trust in the marketplace — the number one factor in conversions. Buyers have great confidence that they will get a quality product that has been gently used for a large discount from new.
eBay also have buy-it-now items. We will look at why these are very important for affiliates.
How to Join eBay’s Affiliate Program
eBay manages their affiliate program in-house. They are very inclusive and the program is easy to qualify for. It is best to have a website but they do alow any social channel that supports affiliate links. So Facebook, YouTube, Pintrest are all fine to use.
The eBay breadth of products is amazing. There are hard-to-find specialty items and great bargains on gently used items. eBay also sells many new items and retail arbitraged items. Many items are available as but-it-now items for people looking to make an immediate fixed price purchase.
eBay does not come close to Amazon’s product depth but they have many unique products … a used Leica lens that many collectors want, that odd auto part no longer manufactured, etc. From a product standpoint, most niches would find valuable merchandise for their visitors.
eBay Affiliate Commission Rates and Rules
eBay pays affiliates a percentage of the sales fee collected. Since they do not collect the sales price, the seller does, this only makes sense. Their revenue is auction fees. eBay pays affiliates 50%-70% of the fees they receive for referred transactions. Different categories have different commission percenatges.
The cookie period however is only 24 hours. This the same as Amazon’s but … more than 50% of eBay sales are 7 day auctions. And most buyers are trying to snipe auctions so they wait for the final hours of the auction to bid. As an affiliate it takes a bid to get credit for the sale.
Bonuses and Bounties
There are many ways to increase a transactions earnings.
- New affiliates make double commissions the first three months.
- Affiliates get a 100% bonus when referring a purchaser who is new to eBay or a reinstated one.
Partner Network Tools and Support
eBay provides affilaites with their Publisher Portal. This dashboard is complete with ads and tools to list products with your affiliate links. They also provide a set of affiliate guides that has tips and best practices to be succesful as an affiliate. Publishers are provided a huge variety of banners, buttons, and text links in the tools section of the Publisher Portal.
eBay also has an inclusive API.
eBay Affiliate API
Tools like Prosociate interact with the api to search for relevent products and automatically let you post them Your products become WooCommerce products with access to all of the inherent capabilities. You can post single products, products with graphics, categories of products, make wish-lists etc.
In addition to Prosociate there is an ecosystem of other tools you can use to manage eBay affiliate products on your site or social page.
Unlike Amazon who limits their api to established affiliates, eBay makes it available to all affiliates. This gives Save & Exit you access to product data if you are a programmer or professional tools developed to integrate with eBay.
Gettin API access is straight forward. eBay has a quick and easy setup to get your keys. They provide an easy to follow getting started guide
Prosociate provides detailed steps to get api access in our post about setting up Amazon and eBay sites.
How to Promote eBay Online
eBay allows you to promote products on your website and social chanels. Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr are all acceptable platforms . Generally if a social platform allows users to add affiliate links then eBay allows it.
The 24 hour cookie however is not aligned to the way auction transactions work. Most auctions have few bids in the early days. Buyers start bidding in the final 24 hours. I would use a strategy of adverising and listing “auctions ending today”. This however would be a maintenance issue if you did not use the api and a software tool.
Another strategy would be to focus on items that are available both on Amazon and eBay as buy-it-noe. This will bring you buyers ready to make a purchase not bidders waiting to snipe a product in 3 days after your cookie has expired. For these buy it now purchasers focus on keywords with buying intent.
According to eBay, the affiliates that do the best with eBay focus on “creating a great user experience”. Tips from eBay to achieve this include:
- Create relevant copy, update it often and only embed relevant inks.
- Avoid lists of products with no content relevance
- Encourage product reviews from users
- Leverage the eBay brand by being clear they are linking to eBay.
- Send traffic to products or at least departments. The eBay homepage will not convert well for affiliate referrals.
- Target new users and take advantage of bonuses
- Test, test, Test every niche and site will convert differently.
Pros and Cons —
eBay Affiliate Program
All in all a good program but hard to recommend to affiliates who do not have traffic for used and auctioned products. Th ecookie issues are hard to profitably navigate.
Worlds biggest flea market
Huge brand trust
Generous signup and new customer bonus
24-hour cookie length
7-day acution not aligned with 1-day cookie
Should You Become an eBay Affiliate?
The eBay affiliate program is a tricky one to navigate. Of major concern is the 24 hour cookie vs. 7-day sales. To be succesful I would consider using them as a suppliment to Amazon vs. a replacement. You could offer products from both networks on a comparison basis. It is hard to find any affilaites doing well these days with eBay. In fact the testimonial section of their website returns a 404!
“In addition to several inspiring success stories that you can check out on the EPN website …” — oops 404!
But the bonuses are nice, they have huge trust and brand awareness. The marketing value and service to your community is valuable. Offering used versions of niche products from eBay may yield more goodwill in your community then commissions.