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Power Up with the eBay Partner Network

Posted on 1.31.2012

Everyone who has heard of the Internet is probably aware of eBay. The company is important because it is really responsible for uncovering the moneymaking potential of the Internet. And, like every successful Internet company, eBay also happens to be a great place for affiliates to bolster their personal moneymaking endeavors.

The eBay Partner Network (ePN) is among the most valuable and secure networks available to affiliates because of the uniquely specific niche ads they are able to render (as opposed to the sometimes irrelevant advertisements served by Google AdSense), and the profitability of eBay itself.

However, eBay is also very particular about the partners it selects for the ePN. On the network's registration form, it explains that to apply to be a network member you have a functioning website “relevant for promoting eBay” that “has unique or value-added content of functionality that will drive incremental purchases on eBay.”

The Essentials
Although getting involved with the ePN can be a process, the stringent requirements are actually a good thing, for you and eBay. By being picky about who can run its ads, eBay is ensuring a worthwhile investment for itself and promising that you’ll make some money in return.

ePN gives affiliates “all the tools” they need to run successful campaigns. These include link generators, customizable banners with filtered search results, an RSS feed generator, a product feed, mobile SDKs for iOS and Android, an editor kit to add “relevant, real-time eBay listings” to a site or blog, access to eBay’s API for developers and various “creatives,” including colorful graphics and interactive ads.

eBay only asks that affiliates make sure that all of their traffic is tracked, but to simplify the process, tracking is automatically integrated into all of the tools provided. eBay will monitor all of the traffic that comes to the site after a visitor clicks on one of an affiliate’s links, where it will be determined if the traffic qualifies for a commission payout; so again, this requirement is meant to make sure transactions are beneficial to both parties.

Acquire Currency
Payouts are based on a “Quality Click Pricing” system, which, if it isn’t self-explanatory enough, means that “the amount paid per click (EPC) on a daily basis depends on the traffic’s quality.”

Quality is based on a number of factors such as revenue of sales, a visitor's long-term value, eBay advertising and PayPal revenue and a number of other user behavior factors. According to the ePN site, “the more incremental revenue your traffic generates for eBay, the more you’ll be paid per click.”

Basically, the quality of all traffic you drive to the site will be evaluated and then eBay will determine your EPC amount. The benefits of such a system include decent payouts for “good” publishers referring quality traffic, regardless of the amount of traffic they drive, rewards based on multiple sources of value (such as PayPal transactions) and a more stable day-to-day EPC.

eBay provides affiliates with helpful information on how to improve traffic quality on the ePN site here.

Gaining Acceptance
Of course, the first step is just getting accepted into the network. Some affiliates have said that it can take up to four weeks for their applications to be approved by eBay, so obviously the company takes choosing the right partners seriously. However, there are a few things you can do to help improve the likelihood that your site will be accepted, and hopefully expedite the application process.

Be Established
It’s not worth it to try to sign up for the ePN right after registering a domain and building a website. Remember, eBay wants quality traffic with long-term potential, which is much more likely to come from regular visitors of a proven site or blog. Establish your authoritative role in your niche first to prove to eBay that you’re going to be worth an investment.

Follow the Rules
Be aware of the terms and conditions that eBay has established for its affiliate partners, and make sure that your site meets them even before applying. And this means maintaining your site to follow the rules if and when you’re accepted as a partner, because the company is known to completely shut off accounts found violating the terms.

In the end, eBay is looking to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with quality affiliates, and it is willing to compensate them for the value they bring. The exclusivity and stringent requirements of the ePN not only help to ensure that eBay’s investment is solid, but also that its partners are in a position to make a lot of money, as well.

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