*** CLASSIFIED *** *** TOP SECRET *** Secret Confessions of an eBay Partner Network(EPN) Affiliate…
Did I get your attention with that annoying red pitchy red text? Good. But I’m not here to sell you on anything other than the idea that eBay’s affiliate program may not be in your general best interests if you are a hard working affiliate marketer. Here’s why… I averaged between $5000 to $7000 annually promoting eBay’s affiliate program (proof below) until one day out of the blue (and without a legitimate reason) they decided to terminate me from their program. Now I’d been with eBay roughly since 2005 so they must have liked something about my efforts and up until this month – six years later – I never received any complaints about my traffic that generated thousands of dollars for eBay and dividends for their stockholders. All, and I mean ALL traffic I’ve ever sent to eBay has been HIGHLY targeted traffic and sent directly to products they’ve indicated interest in by the way I optimized my
websites and by the ways I’ve obtained traffic to those sites. You will see my eBay earnings screenshots below my commentary regarding why (as one who has been in the affiliate marketing business since 2004) I strongly think all affiliate marketers should AVOID promoting eBay’s affiliate program – at least until they drop this ridiculously unreliable EPC (earnings per click) algo system they’ve put into place and go back to the old commission structures or something similar. For those that aren’t aware of this EPC commission structure – the short answer is: they pay you want they want to pay you based on what they determine is “quality” traffic. Can you imagine being a used car salesman going to apply at a dealership and they informed you that they pay their salesman according to the “quality” of the transaction? Ridiculous, right? Exactly my point. That means no matter how much time you invest, no matter the money you invest, no matter the diligence you put into ensuring your sending laser focused traffic tightly to a narrowly defined niche on eBay – it DOESN’T MATTER. They determine what is quality to them – NOT YOU!
Like many newbie affiliate marketers I joined eBay’s affiliate program back in 2005 when they were with Commission Junction. Since that time I couldn’t tell you the exact number of the multiple thousands of visitors I’ve sent to eBay and when I think back to how many hours I devoted doing that (time away from my wife and kids) it rightfully infuriates me the way they (at random) decided to let me go from their program. The only explanation given (to me and hundreds of other EPN affiliates)…well just see for yourself as this is the canned email they send to terminate their affiliates:
Dear _______, Thank you for your participation in the eBay Partner Network. After a thorough review of your account, our team has determined that your account has been generating low quality traffic as gauged by our internal measures. We wanted to bring to your attention that our team has decided to terminate your account on June 9th, 2011. We ask that you please remove your affiliate links and update your payment information within 3 days. You will not be compensated for any traffic associated with your account after that date. If your payment and tax information have been entered and your account has generated more than twenty-five units of your payment currency, your pending earnings will be paid by the next payment cycle . You are not permitted to rejoin the eBay Partner Network. As stated in the ePN Network Agreement Section (L)(3)(a): (3) Termination by ePN or an Advertiser a. ePN may terminate this Agreement and your account, one of your websites, your use of a Promotional Method or your participation in a certain Program at any time for convenience
in its sole discretion upon 3 days notice. An Advertiser may terminate your participation in its Program or your use of a Promotional Method at any time for convenience in its sole discretion upon 3 days notice. Again, we thank you for your efforts and wish you the best of luck. At this time, we are not reconsidering our decision. Regards, The eBay Partner Network Quality Team
“…we thank you for your efforts” LOL … By terminating you sweetheart. Love, EPN.
Here are my “secret” EPN income secret” screenshots…
In 2009 I generated 27103 clicks with an average EPC (earnings per click) of .21 cents with a grand commission of $5,635.52.
In 2010 I generated 32101 clicks with an average EPC of .21 cents per click and a grand total commission of $6586.80
Total earnings to date for 2011 from 1/1/11 – 6/4/11 ($1,553.90) with 9888 clicks.
With this final night of my contract agreement with EPN and this last screen shot I leave with these final words below (scroll down)…
One of the greatest things that attracted me to affiliate marketing back when I started was the concept that a Third Party would track clicks and referrals on merchants sites so I could (at least hope I could) rest a little easier in my hard efforts to drive traffic knowing that there was a third unbiased (cough, laugh, saying “unbiased? BS!”
under my breath, cough again) watching over my clicks to ensure the merchant didn’t rob me of commissions. That was the idea, I think, from the beginning – to protect affiliate commissions, and to allow merchants the power of leveraging affiliates for significantly reduced advertising expenses than they paid a decade ago and higher conversion rates than more traditional methods of marketing. Somewhere along the line, someone or group of people at eBay figured it would likely be more cost effective to take out the middleman (Commission Junction) and bring the affiliate program in-house. Thus a dictatorship ensued. All one needs to do is look at their own message boards and read what (a vast majority) of their affiliates have to say. All this said… In faith I believe my financial needs will continue to be supplied by God through His creative supernatural wonders that often come in the least expected ways. All be alright as long as I remember daily I’ve been blessed with the gifts of hands to type on my laptop, eyes to view my screen to create my websites, and good health and stamina to keep moving forward in my affiliate endevours. To anyone who happens to have read this file – thanks for taking time to read my story – I hope it provides you guidance in making decisions with your time spent as an affiliate marketer – as TIME is finite while you’re here on earth so it’s best to make the absolute most of it.
Tonight I’m off to replace my EPN links with another well known online merchant who’s public stock has actually tripled recently while eBay’s stock has fallen significantly. Remember: the only time the devil wins is when you quit fighting. Keep Moving Forward!!