eBay Affiliate Program
eBay is one of the largest marketplaces in the world, with close to 200 million active buyers.
It started as an online auction website where people would sell their used products. It was called AuctionWeb and was founded in 1995.
Just two years later, it was rebranded to eBay, and it became a synonym for online shopping.
Funny fact: eBay's letter "e" does not stand for electronic, as many people think, but for "echo." The eco refers to eBays founder's company called Echo Bay Technology Group
In this review, you will learn everything about the eBay affiliate program. You will learn how to join the eBay Partner Network and how to become a successful eBay affiliate.
eBay Affiliate Program Overview
Cookie Duration: 24 hours
Where to Join: Impact
Payment Options: PayPal, Electronic Funds Transfer
eBay Affiliate Program
eBay switched from an in-house affiliate program to a custom one on Impact's affiliate network.
For some strange reason, the eBay program is hidden on Impact, and you can only apply to the program through the eBay Partner Network.
My guess is that eBay wanted all affiliates to have an eBay account. This would be impossible if they listed their affiliate program publicly on Impact.
Now you have to first login into your eBay account (create a new account if you don’t have one), and then you can apply to the eBay affiliate program (you will be redirected to the application page)
What I find a little annoying is that eBay does not allow you to use your existing Impact account. If you already have an account, you must create a new one.
During the signup process, you have to fill in basic information.
You can select the following promotional channels: Website, Mobile (probably mobile apps), and Social Networks (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
Once you fill in the application, you must wait up to 24 hours for your application to be processed (I got accepted within an hour)
eBay does not mention any requirements on the sign-up page.
I applied to the program with a website that has decent traffic.
If someone tries to apply with a new website, let me know in the comments if you got accepted.
The eBay affiliate program has 24 hours cookie duration. It used to be 7 days, but that changed a few years ago.
You can promote products in any category on eBay.
You can promote products with the "Buy it Now" button and products in auctions.
If you promote products in auctions, any bids made by the buyer after clicking on your link must be placed within 24 hours of the initial click.
An auction can last many days, but you will still earn a commission.
eBay Affiliate Program Commission
You receive a commission every time your referral converts into "Buy it Now" purchases or "Winning bid" auctions.
eBay has category-level commission rates ranging from 1% to 4%. You can see the eBay affiliate program commission below, and you will also see the up-to-date commission structure on the Impact sign-up page.
As you can see, eBay also has a cap on how much you can earn from a single sale. If your referral bought an expensive house on eBay, you would receive just $100.
You can withdraw your earnings once you have earned at least $10, and you can choose between electronic funds transfer and PayPal as a payment method.
Paypal has a 2% processing fee capped at $20.
Your commissions are approved in around 30 days. If you get a referral at the beginning of June, you can withdraw your commission at the beginning of July.
The eBay affiliate program provides you with a code snippet that you put on your website, and it will automatically convert all links to eBay to affiliate links.
You can use it globally on all your pages or only on selected pages. The snippet code should be placed between <head></head> tags.
This tool allows you to create custom banners. You can select things like size, product category, and even search terms. You will see a preview of how the banner looks, which is great. Then you will just copy the embed code and place it on your website.
A link generator is a tool for creating deep links. All you have to do is paste the URL of an eBay product that you want to promote, and the link generator creates an affiliate link for it.
This tool is extremely helpful. It allows you to create affiliate links right from the browser. You will drag the Bookmarklet tool to your bookmarks and then you will just click on it while browsing eBay.
Smart is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to create affiliate links right from the browser, just like the Bookmarklet tool. The only difference is that the Smart Share tool allows you to quickly share your eBay affiliate link on Facebook or Pinterest.
eBay gives you the option to create your own custom banners but you also have a choice to use banners made by the eBay team.
eBay provides various API solutions for developers. You can integrate eBay products into your own stores and much more. However, this is harder to set up and most eBay affiliates will not take advantage of this.
How to Make Money with the eBay Affiliate Program?
eBay has many product categories that you can promote.
However, I recommend building a niche website around just one subcategory.
To be successful at affiliate marketing, you must focus on building topical authority, and you cannot achieve topical authority if you write about everything.
Select just one subcategory and produce both informational and transactional posts for it.
For example, let's assume you choose the category "Fashion" and within it the subcategory "Watches."
First, you would do keyword research to find keywords with low competition and decent search volume.
Then you would write SEO-optimized articles for these keywords.
In the beginning, focus on informational posts. You could write an article about the watch brand differences, material, etc. (based on your keyword research).
After some time, add transactional posts. Unlike informational posts, transactional posts have a purchase intent.
Usually, transactional posts start with the word "best." For example, "the best military watches under $500."
If you use a tool like Surfer, you will easily see what informational and transactional keywords you should focus on.
Don't forget that the cookie period is just 24 hours.
You should select products for which the purchasing process doesn’t usually take very long. For very expensive products, the purchasing process is longer.
Most people would first compare the product to alternatives and consider the options before deciding.
Even if you wrote a fantastic transactional post on the best luxury watches, most people would still read other articles and seek further confirmation.
With cheaper products, the purchasing process is much faster.
I am not saying you should focus on the cheapest products and earn a tiny commission from each sale, but that it is easier to start with reasonably priced products with a shorter purchasing process.
PS: Watches very just an example. I don’t recommend promoting them as it is a very competitive subcategory.
eBay Affiliate Program vs. Amazon Associates
Should you become an eBay affiliate or promote Amazon products with Amazon Associates?
These two affiliate programs are very similar. They both have 24 hours cookie duration.
However, unlike Amazon Associates, eBay does not prolong the referral period to 90 days if a person adds the product to their cart but doesn’t buy immediately.
Amazon Associates also has higher affiliate commissions, as shown in the table below. You earn a nice 10% commission for luxury beauty products and for Amazon Games 20%.
Amazon also has more product categories than you can promote and a bigger variety of products.
Nevertheless, if someone shops for vintage, rare, or hand-made items, eBay is the place to go.
eBay also supports auction-style listings, while Amazon only has fixed-price listings.
However, these are just small wins for eBay. The eBay affiliate program is a great alternative to Amazon Associates, but overall promoting Amazon products has bigger earning potential.
If you, for some reason, can’t or don’t want to promote Amazon products, become an eBay affiliate.
eBay Affiliate Program Pros & Cons?
The eBay affiliate program's main pros and cons can be found below in one place.
- Excellent affiliate tools and creatives
- You can withdraw money with PayPal
- The payment threshold is just $10
- Some eBay products cannot be found on Amazon
- Unlike Amazon, eBay supports auction-style listings
- The cookie duration is 24 hours and does not extend when a product is added to a cart
- The commission is pretty low
- Cap on how much you can earn per referral
- The requirements to join the program are unclear
Should You Join the eBay Affiliate Program?
eBay has a great affiliate program. The cookie duration is just 24 hours, and commissions are also not the highest, but that is standard for online marketplaces.
The program is hosted on Impact and provides eBays affiliates with many cool tools that make promotion easier.
Becoming an eBay affiliate is easy; you just need to complete a short application form. Nevertheless, eBay does not state the program’s requirements, so it is hard to tell how hard it is to get accepted. Since the program does not appear in the Impact brand search, it is impossible to see the acceptance rate.
Even though the eBay affiliate program is good, it falls behind Amazon Associates.
Frequently Asked Questions
The commission rates on eBay vary depending on the product's category, with rates ranging from 1% to 4%.
Most categories have a commission cap at $550.