This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase
eBay is one of the largest online brands and with the eBay affiliate program you can promote over one billion listings from any category you can possibly imagine. If you want to promote a specific product, you will find it on eBay.
In this affiliate program review, you will learn everything you need to know about the eBay affiliate program, so you can decide if the program is worth your marketing efforts or not.
eBay has an in-house affiliate program: eBay Partner Network (EPN). Everyone with an eBay account can apply to EPN. If you don’t have an account, you will have to create one first.
There are no requirements for joining the program; however, eBay is quite strict with who it allows onto the program.
The program has a very good affiliate landing page with all the information every affiliate needs to know. However, it is worth noting that the information often differs from page to page. Obviously, when eBay make changes to the program, they don’t correct the information on all pages. If you find any contradicting information, the information that is included in their Network Agreement is the binding one.
The biggest drawback of the eBay affiliate program is the referral period. Cookies used to remain active for seven days but now they are active for just 24 hours, which is a ridiculously short period. The standard referral period is 30 days and many affiliate programs have even a 90-day referral period.
This change has understandably raised a lot of complaints among affiliates as it has cut their earnings significantly.
If you have ever used eBay, then you know that an important part of the platform is auctions. eBay claims that half of all the products on the platform are purchased via auction so it is logical that shortening the referral period to only 24 hours has reduced the potential of earning a commission from auctions.
Auctions can take up to 10 days on eBay and since buyers often wait until the very end of the auction, you have very little chance that someone buys a product within the 24-hour window.
Drawing traffic to auctions is therefore not the best approach. You have a better chance of earning a commission if you link to eBay products that have the ‘’Buy it Now’’ button.
The eBay affiliate program allows deep linking so you can link directly to any listing you want and not just to eBay’s homepage. The program has a custom link generator tool which is very easy to use.
Besides link generator tools, the program provides you with a couple of other useful tools.
The most useful is a tool called ‘’Smart Placements‘’. This tool allows you to display dynamic banners that identify your visitors and show them products that they viewed on eBay in the past but didn’t buy.
The eBay affiliate program provides you with a variety of banners in all standard sizes. They also create seasonal banners so you can feature what’s happening on the platform at the moment.
Every time your traffic converts into ‘Buy it Now’ purchases or ‘Winning bid’ auctions, you receive a commission.
eBay has category-level commission rates ranging from 50% to 70%. The categories with the highest 70% commission are ‘’Parts & Accessories‘’ and ‘’Fashion’’.
eBay also gives you a 100% bonus if the purchase is made by a new or reactivated eBay buyer. A reactivated buyer is someone who hasn’t purchased from eBay in the prior 12 months.
You can withdraw your earnings once you have earned at least $10. As a method of payment, you can choose between direct deposit (available in 11 countries only) or PayPal.
The short referral period is a bummer, but the program still has high earning potential. Commission rates from 50% to 70% are quite high and cannot be found in many affiliate programs.
If you want to be successful with the eBay affiliate program, you should avoid promoting products that are on an auction lasting more than 24 hours. If the auction takes longer, people will wait to bid until the last moment and thus you will earn nothing because the purchase will not be made within the 24-hour referral period.
I would personally avoid promoting auction-style listings on eBay altogether and just focus on promoting products with the ‘’Buy it Now‘’ buttons.
When you promote the ‘’Buy it Now‘’ products, you should still take the short referral period into account and select products that you want to promote strategically.
You should select products for which the purchasing process doesn’t usually take very long. For instance, I would not promote laptops as I know it takes people quite a long time to decide which laptop is the best choice. If you write reviews about laptops, it’s very likely that a visitor to your website, after reading your article, will still go and search either for more information about the product or for other alternatives. The more expensive the product is, the longer the purchasing process will be and the fewer chances you have that your visitor will convert into a buyer within the 24 hours.
I am not saying that you should focus on the cheapest products, of course, as you would not earn much commission. In my opinion, finding products in mid-price ranges are your best bet. Also try to promote products that don’t have that many variations or alternatives as this prolongs the purchasing process.
People often decide whether they should join the eBay affiliate program or the Amazon one (Amazon Associates).
Amazon has, just like eBay, cookies that last only 24 hours. Amazon prolongs the referral period to 90 days if visitors add the product to their cart but don’t buy immediately.
Where the eBay affiliate program has the edge are the commission rates. Amazon’s commission rates range from 1% to 10% depending on the category, which is lot less than the commission on eBay.
However, Amazon is a bigger brand with more trust. Also, a lot of people still see eBay only as a place where they can buy used products.
I say it often in my affiliate program reviews, but I will say it again. Instead of thinking which program is better and selecting just one, try both of them and see which program earns you more.
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