Best Practices for Publishers who are also eBay Sellers

In 2007 we opened up the eBay Affiliate Program in the US to eBay sellers with off-eBay websites and it’s now allowed across all our global programs. Our goal in doing this was to allow eBay sellers to earn additional compensation for driving traffic to their own listings. We have seen many sellers integrate ePN links into their sites to add extra value to their visitors and supplemental revenue streams to their income. Some examples of ways to successfully incorporate ePN into your site include:

  • Promoting listings of complementary products to items that you sell. For example, if you sell cameras on eBay, you could promote listings that highlight accessories, frames or relevant books.

  • Additionally, you can promote other related items that your customers will likely be interested in. For example, if you sell purses you could feature the new Clothing Shoes & Accessories Widget (US only), or highlight jewelry listings.

  • We have found that with nearly any subject matter, promoting the Daily Deals program in the US or UK, the Big Deal in Australia or WOW Deals in Germany is a great addition to your site and increases value to your visitors.

  • Another value-add to nearly any items you sell would be to highlight the program. Displaying eco-friendly products is a great way to further engage your customers.

As you can see, there are many great ways to promote eBay listings that will not only add value to your customers, but also allow you to earn commissions that will not take away from the sales of your own eBay listings.

Now, at the same time, in order to continue to grow these partnerships, we need our eBay sellers who are also publishers to make every effort to ensure that their traffic is not originating from eBay.

What does that mean exactly? If you have an off-eBay store, you should be sourcing traffic independently of eBay by means of natural search engine optimization efforts, Pay Per Click campaigns to your own site, posting insightful and useful information in related forums with a link to your site, etc. Whatever your acceptable methods of promotion may be, they must be separate and independent of eBay sites.

Specifically, per our Advertiser Terms and Conditions, the following is prohibited:

(b)(1)(iv) All eBay Programs disallow Promotional Content placed on an eBay website itself (for example, in your listings, your "About Me" page, your store or the eBay message boards).

(b)(1)(vi) All eBay Programs disallow redirecting end users from the eBay website to an Affiliate's website where one of the possible outcomes of this redirection is that the end user clicks back to the eBay website via a Link that places a cookie for the Affiliate.

Some of the common violations we see include:

  • The use of a link, or a widget containing links on the eBay site, to redirect a user off eBay to the affiliate website.

  • The use of a link, or widget containing links, to open a new window (ex: enlarging images, providing more detail on a product, etc) which places an affiliate cookie on the user’s machine when the user navigates back to the listing.

  • The use of merchandising widgets that place an affiliate cookie on the user’s machine when they click through to view other items on eBay.

  • The purchasing of ad inventory on eBay via AdCommerce, eBay’s advertising product, to drive traffic from eBay to the seller’s affiliate website.

If an eBay Partner Network affiliate is doing any one of the above actions, their ePN account may be suspended, and may ultimately result in account termination and a reversal of commissions. So it’s worth double checking to make sure these aren’t issues with your account.

As a reminder, it is important to link your eBay account to your eBay Partner Network account so that we can better serve and communicate with our publishers who are also sellers. For more information, see the ‘Ability to link your account with your eBay Partner Network account’ section in this post.

Thank you for your cooperation and your continued partnership.

The eBay Partner Network Team