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Is eBay’s Affiliate Program Right for You?

Your blog is up and running. You’re ready to earn money and the eBay Partner Network (EPN) sounds intriguing.

But, you don’t quite know what EPN is all about.

How does it differ from all the other affiliate networks out there for affiliate marketers? You need more information. More details.

You’re looking for something that answers:

  • What exactly is eBay’s affiliate program?
  • How is eBay Partner Network different from other affiliate programs?
  • How do eBay affiliates make money?
  • And, finally, how do you join?

This post will answer those questions and more.

By the end, you’ll know the eBay Partner Network forwards and backwards. And you’ll know how you can sell affiliate products on eBay — fast.

So, let’s get to it — starting with a little Q&A.

eBay Partner Network (EPN) Q&A

What is an eBay Affiliate?

As you probably know, eBay Inc. is a long-standing e-commerce company that brings together buyers and sellers from around the world. They’re well-known for their auction-style sales model.

But did you know eBay.com sells millions of products at set prices? That was news to me too.

So, to help promote their slew of products, an eBay affiliate program was launched in 2008 — eBay Partner Network (EPN).

Note: eBay calls their affiliates “publishers.”

A publisher can be anyone who has an audience they can promote products to online. (There are a few restrictions, but we’ll get to those in a bit.)

If you have a blog, a website, an email list, a social media channel such as Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Reddit, Instagram, or Twitter — you, too, can be a publisher.

How is the eBay Affiliate Program Different Than Other Affiliate Programs?

Most affiliate programs are fairly similar. eBay Partner Network has a few minor differences:

  • EPN has a low joining threshold. And they welcome newcomers. So even if your blog is new and you’re getting little-to-no quality traffic from Google, you can join. And the joining process is super simple.
  • EPN’s payout threshold is low. They pay commissions once a month for accounts that have earned more than ten units of their home currency ($10, 10 euros, etc). (In comparison, Amazon’s payout threshold is $100).
  • EPN will pay your commission through PayPal or direct deposit (if your country supports this).
  • Like Amazon, eBay is ginormous. They offer Best Price Guarantee. And they offer free shipping on many products. But, unlike Amazon, shoppers don’t pay a membership fee for premium services. This means, with eBay Partner Network, you’ll never run out of items to promote and your followers can trust they’re getting the best deals through you — often with free premium services.
  • Finally, eBay has been around since 1995 and is still going strong. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives eBay an A+ rating. If you’re looking for a long-term affiliate marketing program partnership with good user experience and high-quality traffic, eBay’s Partner Network is backed by a stable and growing company.

How do eBay Affiliates Make Money?

After joining the eBay Partner Network, a publisher follows a simple 3-step process:

  1. Find a product (or products) on eBay that you like and trust to promote.
  2. Create a traceable affiliate link using one of EPN’s easy-to-use tools.
  3. Share the traceable EPN affiliate links on your blog, website, social media channels, email campaigns, etc.

Now, when one of your followers (aka “shopper”) clicks on the link, the shopper is directed to the eBay listings.

When he makes a qualifying transaction, eBay tracks the sale back to your affiliate link via a “cookie.”

You then earn a percentage of eBay’s revenue. In other words, EPN pays you a part of what eBay made on the sale.

Congratulations! You just received a commission!

How do eBay Publishers Get Paid?

EPN will pay you in your country of residence’s currency (dollars, euros, etc).

You can choose whether to have them pay to a verified PayPal account or to direct deposit (if your country of residence supports it).

And, you get paid every month — as long as you meet the $10 minimum.

What is a Qualifying Transaction?

A transaction qualifies for a commission in 1 of 2 ways:

  1. Your shopper makes a purchase within 24 hours of clicking your link for a “Buy It Now” item, or
  2. Your shopper bids on an “Auction” item within 24 hours of clicking your link and then wins that auction within 10 days.

In short, the EPN “cookie window” is 24 hours. Your shopper needs to either buy or bid on an item after clicking on your link before that cookie window expires.

But be aware. According to EPN:

“A browser cookie is only tracked within the specific browser, so if the user opens a different browser and completes an action, it will not be tracked.”

What Percentage Does eBay Take?

Publishers earn between 50%-70% of what eBay makes on the product sale — depending on the category of the item. The Rate Card shows the category level commissions:

eBay Partner Network: PlainRateCard2

eBay doesn’t earn much on certain categories and items — such as gift cards, items sold by charities, and special promotional deals. That means you won’t be earning money on these products either.

But here’s some good news.

You can earn bonus money when either a new buyer or a “reactivated buyer” (someone who hasn’t made a purchase on eBay in the past 12 months) makes a purchase through your affiliate link. The bonus equals 100% of your base earnings on qualifying transactions.

To make it crystal clear, let’s go through an example:

You tell everybody about a wonderful garden product on eBay and provide an affiliate link on your blog.

A shopper clicks on your EPN affiliate link and buys the product within 24 hours for $100.

Say eBay earns $10 on the sale (their revenue). eBay Partner Network then pays you a percentage of that revenue.

eBay Partner Network: SampleRateCard

Reviewing the commission rates on the Rate Card:

Home & Garden products earn a 60% commission on qualifying transactions.

60% x $10 = $6 — which is what you earn on the sale.

If your buyer is a new or reactivated buyer, you earn an additional 100% of your $6 — or another $6.

6 + 6 = $12, your total earnings on the garden product sale.

Ka-ching! Thanks to your new buyer, you have double commissions.

What are the Signup Requirements for eBay Partner Network?

EPN signup requirements are pretty basic:

  • You need to be able to form legally binding contracts (which means you must be at least 18 years old.)
  • You need to have an eBay account in good standing.
  • Live in a country where payment via PayPal or Direct Deposit is permitted.
  • You need to have an online platform that doesn’t feature “adult, illegal, or restricted” content.

And, as I said before, EPN has a low joining threshold. Unlike other affiliate networks, platform traffic is not a criterion for joining.

How Do I Join the eBay Partner Network?

Joining the eBay affiliate program is super simple.

First, make sure you have an eBay account. If you don’t, go to eBay, click “register” in the upper left hand corner of the page, and create an account.

eBay Register

You can choose between a personal account or a business account:

eBay Partner Network: Create Personal or Business Acct

Once you have an eBay account set up, scroll to the bottom of eBay’s home page and click on “Affiliates”:

eBay Partner Network: Affiliates2

Click on one of the “Sign Up Now” buttons and fill in your details:

eBay Partner Network: SignUpNowRev

After acceptance of the eBay Partner Network Agreement, you’ll be accepted into EPN almost immediately.

Log in to eBay Partner Network account and you should see a Welcome page.

Click on the “Account” tab to see the drop-down menu.

Now fill in the rest of your information — your address, payment (PayPal or direct deposit), and tax info (you’ll need your social security number or employer ID number):

eBay Partner Network: Fill Out Account

If you want, take a look at the dashboard for some good information on affiliate marketing and EPN.

And that’s it! You’re all set up.

Now let’s drive traffic to eBay and earn money!

How to Make Money with the eBay Affiliate Program

Okay, we’re down to the nitty-gritty. How do you earn money with EPN?

Never Leave Without a Trace: Campaigns and Campaign IDs

You can’t earn money if the merchant can’t track you.

So, to start, you need a campaign. EPN will start a default campaign for you when you first join. You can find it under the Campaign tab on the Welcome page:

Campaigns

What’s a campaign?

A campaign is “a group” with a unique 10-digit identifier that’s embedded into your affiliate link (the link that points traffic to the merchant; in this case, eBay).

Each campaign will have its own identifier, which EPN calls the Campaign ID.

Here’s an example of an EPN affiliate link and the embedded Campaign ID:

Campaign ID embedded

This Campaign ID becomes attached to products in your campaign and helps with tracking and analytics. It also allows you to separate and manage your traffic.

You can create different campaigns for different purposes.

For example, you can use separate campaigns for different product categories.

Or, you might want to use separate campaigns to track conversion rates on different parts of your website.

However you use them, a Campaign ID is mandatory for all EPN affiliate links in order to track sales back to you.

Note: To make sure you receive credit for your sales, eBay Partner Network recommends:

“… you always get your EPN link from a tool provided by EPN, such as the Link Generator tool, or the Bookmarklet tool. We cannot guarantee tracking if the link has been modified.”

eBay Affiliate Program: Easy set-up. Fast Earnings.

Okay, you’ve set up a campaign. Now what?

Well, you have to find something you want to promote and generate a traceable EPN affiliate link.

One of the easiest ways to get up and running fast is through promotable links. You can use the Copy & Paste method or BookMarklets. They’re both super simple.

Copy & Paste

You’ll find it on your Dashboard page:

CreateAPortableLink

So, let’s walk through it:

  1. First, find a product on eBay you want to promote. I searched under “Garden” and found a decorative garden wagon:

FlowerPotStand2

  1. Next, open the URL and copy the address:

ClicktoOpenURL

  1. Fill out the Copy & Paste form (on your EPN dashboard).
  2. Choose your campaign.
  3. Paste the eBay product URL in the correct area.
  4. Click “Create.”

choosepastecreate

  1. Your promotable EPN link will pop up on your screen:

PromotableLink

  1. Copy and paste the unique EPN link onto your blog, website, social media platform, email, etc. The traceable EPN affiliate link and image should appear.

Voila

Bookmarklets

Another quick and easy way to generate trackable affiliate links to drive traffic to eBay is through Bookmarklets. You can create these in a couple of ways.

First, from your Dashboard page:

  1. Choose your campaign.

SpeedyBookmarklet

  1. Then drag the icon to your toolbar. (Remember, this icon is specific to only one campaign. When the icon fixes to your toolbar, it changes to the campaign name.)

EPN Garden toolbar

  1. Now, when you’re browsing eBay, if you find an item you want to promote under this campaign, click the Bookmarklet on your toolbar.
  2. An EPN affiliate link will generate and pop-up onto your screen.
  3. Copy this affiliate link and share it with your audience.

Bookmarklet Link URL

A second way to create a Bookmarklet is from your Campaign page:

  1. Click on the bookmark associated with the campaign you want.

Click on BookMark2

  1. A pop-up will appear telling you to drag the link to your toolbar.

BookMarklet DragCampaign

  1. Drag the link and then click “Done.”

Once on your toolbar, the Bookmarklet acts as described above — just click on it when you come across an eBay product you want to promote.

eBay Partner Network: Quick to Start. Easy to Do.

So now you know what EPN is all about.

You’ve taken a deep dive. You’ve had your questions answered. And you’ve seen how the eBay Partner Network stacks up against Amazon Associates, ShareASale, CJ Affiliate, ClickBank, and other affiliate networks.

Is EPN the right affiliate program for you? If it is, it’s time to get started.

It’s time to get your blog working for you.

It’s time to earn some money.

About the Author: Dawn Bauman is a freelance writer and SmartBlogger Certified Content Marketer. She writes for the travel and digital marketing industries. Dawn uses skills she learned as a nurse practitioner to connect with people while educating them in a clear and easy-to-read style. Learn more about Dawn at https://writer.me/dawn-bauman. Contact her at baumancreativevision@gmail.com.

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