Holiday Sales Continue - eBay Expects $815 Million in Unwanted Gifts

Christmas may be over, but eBay’s holiday shopping season continues! That red sweater just isn’t Aunt Susie’s style, and Cousin Tyler already has an iPod. Now it’s time to figure out what to do with those well-intended but unsuitable gifts that were exchanged around the Christmas tree.

Help is on the way! Selling an item on eBay provides a great opportunity to give unwanted gifts a new home, and sellers can put that money toward something that didn’t get crossed off their Christmas list. eBay expects $815 million in resold gifts this post-holiday season, and whether it’s ugly sweaters or duplicate electronics, new owners are waiting to scoop up some post-Christmas loot.

For affiliate partners, the post-holiday season offers a great opportunity to link shoppers to eBay’s global online marketplace, while you benefit from the traffic you send this way. There are many ways affiliate partners can use this trend to appeal to your audience. For example, eBay Instant Sale provides the most convenient way for Cousin Tyler to get immediate cash for his unwanted iPod or other electronics, while he can reinvest that money in another hot gadget.

By reminding your audience that they’re not stuck with a sleigh full of unwanted gifts and showing them the options they have for reselling unwanted gifts and buying new items that they’ll love, you have a timely and relevant opportunity to increase your earnings potential.

 

[INFOGRAPHIC] Tackling Financial Items Before Year's End

We know that many of you earn your living - or a good portion of it - through your participation in our program. As 2012 winds to a close we wanted to pass on some information we found over at Open Forum about wrapping up financial loose-ends before  we ring in the new year.

We realize that some of these items may not apply, but others are just great year-end planning techniques to maximize your financial strength going into 2013. Either way, we hope you found a few of these items helpful as you prep for a prosperous new year.

Are there things this infographic doesn't cover? What other year-end items are essential for small business owners to check off? We'd love to get your feedback in the comments below.

Happy Holidays from eBay Partner Network

It’s crazy to think that in just a few days, 2012 will be coming to an end. It’s been an amazing year here at eBay Partner Network. For starters, we built relationships with tons of new publishers and got them up and running in our program. Internally, we built out an entire team in our new Seattle office and welcomed a lot of new blood to our affiliate channel. It’s been a really exciting time to be a part of ePN.

Before we close the book on 2012, we wanted to take a minute and send our very best wishes to our valued partners during the holidays. We value and appreciate your commitment to our program and we’re looking forward growing those relationships further in 2013.

On behalf of our entire ePN Team all over the world, we wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season and a prosperous new year! We can’t wait for an amazing 2013!

Christmas SALE Starting Early at eBay UK - Up to 50% off from Top Sellers

Ho ho ho Merry Christmas one and all! The big day is just around the corner and you’d have to be living under a giant humbug if you haven’t noticed that Christmas sales have started early here in the UK.

Not to be outdone, eBay’s Christmas elves have been very busy and just launched a HUGE sale on the eBay.co.uk site! With up to 50% off RRP from eBay’s Top Sellers, categories include men’s and women’s fashion, toys, electronics and home garden - all from brands such as French Connection, Timberland, Rockport, Nike, Samsung, Toshiba and many more.

You can find full details on the sale page/deeplink here.

Remember that eBay are offering publishers the chance to earn up to 30% bonus on EU campaigns in December. This sale represents a fantastic opportunity for another big push – a few extra conversions on these sale items could be the icing on the cake for your Christmas campaigns and push you onto the top tier.

To help you on your way, the eBay elves have provided the following top tip to generate a tracked deeplink to the sale page:

“Log into your ePN dashboard and navigate to Tools > Link Generator and select Custom URL from the options. Simply copy/paste the deeplink into the tool, assign your Program and Campaign, and hit Generate Link.

Merry Christmas!”

Wishing all of our publishers the very best of luck for their Christmas campaigns from all of us at eBay Partner Network.

 

Half.com Offering Discounts on Textbook Sales and Rentals

As December rolls along students from all over are thinking about wrapping up classes and enjoying a well-deserved holiday break. However, once we ring in the New Year, it won’t be long before classes resume and students start thinking about the textbooks they’ll need for the coming semester. Half.com wants to help ease that burden with a promotion running from December 17, 2012 until February 15, 2013:

All Shoppers:

  • 10% off books on Half.com (minimum order of $25, maximum discount of $25) Limited time offer.
  • Coupon Code: HALF10WINTER

NEW Shoppers Only:

  • 12% off books on Half.com (minimum order of $25, maximum discount of $25) Limited time offer.
  • Coupon Code: HALF12WINTER

Coupons are valid for both purchases and rentals. To redeem, simply enter coupon code at checkout.

Depending on the popularity of this offer, we may need to end this promotion BEFORE the original February 15th deadline. If that happens we will provide advance notice. Questions? Leave a comment below.

London Calling

This week several members of our U.S. team traveled to London to meet with the broader global team and sync up on all things ePN. As I'm currently flying over the Atlantic, I've been reflecting on many of the discussions from this past week. In addition to looking back at 2012, we were able to look ahead to the coming year and align our goals and strategy on a global level. I can tell you that the entire eBay Partner Network Team left energized and excited about what's to come.

Riccardo Casalino presents to a group at our London office

Why are we sharing this with you?

Throughout the year we communicate different types of news to our publishers. Usually, it's a product announcement or change, a seasonal promotion or a tidbit about best-practices in digital marketing. We believe those types of communications are essential and they will continue. We also believe that it's important, on occasion, to take stock of our relationships and let our partners know how much we value them. This week the needs and satisfaction of our partners were at the center of every conversation in every meeting.

eBay has made significant investments in our team this year - especially in our new Seattle office. We have an incredible group of passionate, talented people that are empowered to take ePN to the next level. Our series of meetings in London were paramount to getting our global team ready to execute on the V.O.T.E.S strategy that Brian Marcus laid out recently and the corresponding initiatives we've laid out for 2013. I'll be the first to admit that we're not always perfect, but we're working hard to gather your feedback and fix the things that aren't meeting your expectations.

Members of our global team brainstorm at our London offsite

Brian Marcus, Director of Global eBay Partner Network, presents to the team

Shortly after the new year we'll start rolling out some of these new initiatives - and you'll hear about them on the blog. In the meantime, we want to thank you for your partnership and your continued participation in our program.

Don’t forget, the ePN Blog can now be delivered right to your inbox. Simply enter your email address in the right-hand sidebar in the section titled “Subscribe by email” and follow the instructions.

How the Election Affects eBay and eCommerce

With the 2012 election over, many of us have turned our attention away from politics and back to the things that affect us most in our everyday lives. However, who we elect in Washington does have an effect on how eBay conducts business and what you can expect in the near future for eCommerce.

Our friends over at the eBay Ink Blog have identified four specific areas we should be aware of post-election:

Internet Sales Tax

As it stands today, momentum for the internet sales tax bill still remains. Will the House use this as a revenue generator for state and local government or will it become a chess piece in the showdown over the year-end tax fight?

Financial Services Regulation

With Republicans in charge of the House, the likelihood for new financial services legislation is low. However, the Obama Administration's financial service regulators remain active and will probably continue to be over the next four years. While most agree that the financial services and payment worlds are changing rapidly, there isn't broad consensus on the right path forward.

First Sale and IP Rights:

This issue hits fairly close to home for eBay as the benchmark case, Wiley vs. Kirtsaeng (a former eBay seller) on First Sale rights, sits with the Supreme Court. In the meantime, intellectual property rights industries continue to maintain a strong presence on Capital Hill even though there is no consensus on how to move forward on internet-enabled piracy.

Privacy and Cyber Security

The trajectory of this issue remains largely unchanged since the election. Romney's plan would have favored less regulation, while Obama's Administration appears to have a strong plan for moving forward.

Impact?

While some of these issues may not have any direct impact on your business, we believe it's important to keep our Partners up-to-date on our rapidly changing industry and how legislation may affect eBay. You can read the full article over at the eBay Ink Blog.

Do any of these things surprise you? We'd love to get your take in the comments below.

 

ePN TV: Introducing Kristiné Kirschke

A few weeks back we introduced you to Peter Bexelius from our Account Management Team. This week, we’d like you to meet Kristiné Kirschke (or “KK” as she’s affectionately known around the office). Like Peter, KK has been a part of the ePN family for quite awhile now. We thought it might be fun to formally introduce her to you via ePN TV.

Lots of you may already know KK and work with her regularly. For those that haven’t, we hope you’ll take a minute to say “hello” in the comments below.

Don’t forget, the ePN Blog can now be delivered right to your inbox. Simply enter your email address in the right-hand sidebar in the section titled “Subscribe by email” and follow the instructions.

ePN TV: Brian Marcus Wants Publisher V.O.T.E.S. in 2013

This week on ePN TV, Brian Marcus, the Director of the Global eBay Partner Network, is laying out his vision for the future of the program. Interestingly, his chosen acronym ties in nicely with the recently wrapped-up election season here in the U.S.. Simply put, V.O.T.E.S. stands for Valuable, Open, Transparent, Easy and Scalable and in this episode Brian will explain how we plan to make that happen in the coming months.

We’re excited to share the 2013 vision for ePN and the value proposition it extends to our partners. If you have questions about any of the things that Brian discussed, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Don’t forget, the ePN Blog can now be delivered right to your inbox. Simply enter your email address in the right-hand sidebar in the section titled “Subscribe by email” and follow the instructions.

Publisher Stories: Pascal Wegner of wusoma GmbH

The ePN Team is always looking for effective ways to support the work of our partners. In order for us to gain deeper insight, we met with Pascal Wegner, Managing Director of wusoma GmbH, and asked him about his work with our program. In the interview he looks back at his early days in affiliate marketing and talks about what makes his offers unique. He also provides some useful tips on how to be successful in eBay Partner Network.

When did you get involved in affiliate marketing?

I started to do affiliate marketing at the age of 13 and at that time I wasn’t even aware that I was involved in affiliate marketing. In those days I was running Scherzbold.net, the biggest fun website in German. Apart from managing editorial content I also brokered picture text messages and “mobile phone logos” for phones such as the Nokia 5110.

How did you learn about the eBay Partner Network?

At first I was focused on other more “classic” partner programmes, i.e., affiliate programmes with affiliate networks. But then, at one event, my affili.net Account Manager persuaded me to join the eBay Partner Network in 2009. I happily agreed and it has turned into a success story for both sides.

Tell us something about your pages and what makes them special.

Despite some editorial content traffic, most of our traffic is generated using the shopping comparison business model. Our largest pages manage billions of products and offers, making them available to millions of interested visitors each week. We put in a lot of effort to provide a superior shopping experience to our users and to offer them exactly what they are looking for. We gather products from a number of data sources – such as eBay – and consolidate them using automatic systems. Our system automatically learns from the searches of our users and tries to offer even better results to the next user searching for the same or a similar product.

What do you do to increase traffic sent to eBay?

We are constantly working on our search engine ranking and we are expanding our business to all countries where the eBay Partner Network is available. At the moment, we are focussing on serving the mobile market. That’s an area where the eBay Partner Network is a pioneer in the industry.

Which ePN tools do you use? Are there any obstacles to overcome when using these tools?

Obviously, the primary tool we use is the API. But for editorial content we may also make use of the Link Generator or Custom Banners. I find all these tools to be very efficient and intuitive to use.

For Publishers that are new to promoting eBay, what are the advantages of the tools you use?

The API is incredibly versatile and flexible, which is very important for us. Obviously, you have to work a bit to become familiar with it. The other tools offer the advantage that they can get you started even if you have little knowledge.

Do you have tips for other eBay Partner Network Publishers?

I often get questions about our EPC. For me, the EPC system is a real success story. You can greatly influence your EPC – but only by influencing your own traffic. The EPC is really no more and no less than a success indicator of your traffic. So, all you need to do is to direct valuable visitors to eBay – and the EPC will confirm your success. I’d also recommend to take a close look at your website or blog and to find ways to generate value for users by incorporating eBay items.

Looking at the eBay Partner Network, what do you like most?

eBay is one of the most important shopping platforms on the Internet. The eBay Partner Network gives us a chance to increase our success – and to join in. There is a tool for virtually any website operator which helps them to successfully promote eBay.

In addition to Germany, where else do you do business?

We started in Germany and then moved on to Austria and Switzerland. In the meantime we’ve also successfully launched our business in the UK, the US, France, Spain and Italy. Later this year we are going to start in a handful of other countries – and we are hoping to be able to serve all ePN countries by the first half of next year.

Working internationally, what do you think are the biggest differences between the countries in which you are active?

There are huge differences in the purchasing behaviours from country to country – in all aspects. It starts with the browsing behaviour. Traffic peak times in Germany are fundamentally different from the ones in France or the UK and so are the clicking, buying and bidding behaviours.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Fellow publishers who have questions can contact me. I’m happy to assist beginners and I don’t regard them as competitors. We are all fellows in an exciting industry – and I am looking forward to having a beer or two with you.

We thank Pascal for sharing his thoughts with you and us. We hope that you find some of the information and tips in the interview useful for your own business. As always, please feel free to leave your questions or comments below.