The iPad Opportunity

In a matter of weeks the Apple iPad has found its way to the front page of every major media outlet and technology blog in existence. It’s been praised by some universities, banned at others and is even being adopted by the US Army. This product’s momentum shows no signs of slowing and it will inevitably be one of the hottest tech gadgets released this year.

Back in March, Wade Sisson over at Schaaf-PartnerCentric posted about the potential leverage awaiting eBay publishers with the upcoming launch of the iPad. Thanks to higher than expected demand in the US, this rare opportunity just got a one-month extension. Last week I received an email from Seth at 9to5mac.com regarding a statement Apple had made on the international sale of the iPad. Due to overwhelming popularity, Apple has pushed back international shipments of the iPad until at least late May, leaving eBay the only major outlet where international buyers can purchase this highly anticipated Apple product. During the first days of launch, some iPads sold for as much as $5,000 USD. Currently, it's being reported the iPad is selling in some locations for double its comparable retail price in the US.

How it Works

If an eBay seller in the US lists an iPad with worldwide shipping, it is likely that iPad is going to be available for purchase on other eBay country sites as well. With eBay’s quality click pricing, eBay’s winning bid revenue (WBR) is a major factor in determining the payout, and we’ve recently seen WBR for iPad’s ranging from $25 to $75. Some publishers promoting the iPad during its first week saw the equivalent of 80% or more of this WBR come back to them in the form of commissions.

How to Promote the iPad on eBay

Before the launch of the iPad, eBay created an iPad specific mini-site at iPad.eBay.com, which has a listings page with all of the iPads for sale on eBay. By using the custom url option in the link generator tool, it is easy to create a link to this page, or any of the others. However, we suggest using the iPad.eBay.com/listings page, as it will convert the best. Another great aspect of this page is that it should be around indefinitely, and it will always have the best selection of iPads for sale on eBay. Place a link like this in a blog post or editorial about the iPad, and it could potentially generate revenue for years to come.

Another option is to use the custom banner in conjunction with the free eBay geo targeting tool that R.O.Eye recently created. Use a keyword query like “ipad -(sleeve, case, stylus, film, silicone, address, protector, email, domain, neoprene, oem, bundle, usb, accessory, adapter, alternative, iphone, email)”, and forgo applying a category id so the geo targeting feature will work. By integrating the geo targeting script, the custom banner will show iPads available on the eBay country site associated with the users ip address. If you’d like, feel free to use the code for the custom banner integration below, but be sure to apply one of your own campaign ids to “campId=”.

On The Horizon

The 3G version of the iPad is slated to be released in the US on April 30th, but there is no known date for an international release, let alone international data plans. When the 3G version of the iPad launches at the end of April, expect another opportunity to capitalize on the limited availability of this revolutionary product. Also, with the recent media frenzy surrounding the next generation iPhone found in a SanJose bar, the release of this product on the open market should create even further opportunities for eBay affiliates locally and abroad.

Mike Kansa / eBay Partner Network