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Swim Laps With eBay Affiliates

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The online e-tailer thinks people offer a great opportunity to bring more users to eBay, and has put up the cash to reward those who bring traffic, and buyers & sellers, to the site.

Editor’s Note: eBay is rolling out the proverbial red carpet for affiliates, rewarding those high volume sellers with opportunities to make even more. Can you see your small business joining something like this? Discuss in WebProWorld.


Affiliates with eBay have a couple of ways to profit from that relationship. One method gives website publishers the ability to affiliate with eBay, deliver visitors to the e-commerce site, and make money based on what the visitor does when he or she arrives.

To best profit from the eBay UK Affiliate Program, your site should deliver a large volume of visitors through your affiliate links to eBay. This is where all of your efforts at optimizing your site for search engines like Google comes into play. And if you need help with that, a number of people on the WebProWorld forums can probably offer helpful suggestions.

We’ll come back to the usefulness of search shortly. First some details on the affiliate program.

Volume matters because eBay rewards affiliates based on their month to month performance. The site defines its tiered payment structure on two concepts: Active Registrations and Bids/BINs from clicked-through links.

Active Registrations is a way of referring to visitors who complete certain tasks after traveling through the affiliate link:

•  registers for eBay from the specific URL designated by eBay;
•  confirms his or her registration with an eBay-supplied password sent by email;
•  then goes onto eBay and places a bid or uses Buy It Now (BIN) to purchase an item within 30 days of their original registration; and
•  does not have an account with eBay at the time of registration.


Since the process for the affiliate does not rely on everything happening within a single session, as long as the new user completes all the tasks within 30 days, the affiliate receives credit that month for the Active Registration.

eBay pays for clicks through affiliate advertising when those clicks result in a bid or a BIN purchase. Active Registrations and post-affiliate click-through Bids or BINs combine each month and eBay pays the affiliates.

eBay also helps affiliates who are developers by making API calls available for developers. Last year, eBay’s Affiliates Platform Program Manager Sean Crotty told us more about that side of the affiliate life and eBay.

Many affiliates in the eBay UK program want to proceed beyond placing links on their sites, too. They can build applications drawing on eBay UK’s API Guide, and use the APIs eBay makes available to hook their applications into eBay’s systems.

Since both types of affiliates need traffic themselves to gain the best chances at profiting from the affiliate relationship, we will come back to the topic of search. eBay suggests in its Business Models page for affiliates that any or all of natural (or organic) search, paid search, and site materials can have a place for a successful affiliate.

Natural search benefits those sites that can rank highly in the organic results of a query for given keywords. Google and other search engines penalize sites that attempt to game their algorithms for higher rankings, so an affiliate needs to create quality content and navigable links on a published site, and not take shortcuts that could get them banned from an index.

Paid search has been popular for some affiliates as it does not require publishing a website to benefit them. While site publishers can use paid search to bring visitors to their sites and affiliate links, other entrepreneurs can use paid search and eBay’s Flexible Destination Tool to embed a tracking ID in a link and send the visitor directly to an eBay destination.

eBay recommends using what site publishers already have, their websites, and the various promotional items from eBay UK’s Editor Kits. Webmasters can also choose from eBay’s assortment of banners, buttons, and text links to place on sites.

Affiliate work is real work; it isn’t easy to do because a lot of it involves sitting at a PC and typing and tweaking one’s business model. Quite a few affiliates, and not just big names like Verizon Superpages, have found ways to make it work for them. But success means doing some work first. eBay UK’s Affiliate site places the tools for profiting out there for those willing to take on the challenge.

In May, we would like to discuss a growing part of the eBay ecosystem – the drop-off stores, where people stop by with stuff and the store sells it on eBay. If you have experience with iSold It stores, we would like to hear from you.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Swim Laps With eBay Affiliates
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  • http://www.buy-senuke.com buy senuke

    i have not managed to make even one sale with ebay affiliate network yet, most probably because my traffic is so low. Would be great to promote their products, especially ones where you have a passionate interest in, I think that this always comes across to the buyers.

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