Common Missteps To Avoid
Like other affiliate networks, eBay Partner Network has rules and policies that govern how partners are expected to work within our network. We definitely encourage partners to promote eBay on their sites, and send traffic to eBay, but to do so in a spirit consistent with eBay’s values, and avoiding any behavior that runs counter to those values.
Sometimes well-meaning publishers, particularly those new to affiliate marketing, unintentionally get themselves into trouble due to a lack of familiarity with our rules.
So we thought it would be helpful to highlight a few policies that sometimes cause problems for new partners, so that they can avoid them. (The complete rules can be found in our policy documents, including our Network Agreement and Code of Conduct).
We provide a variety of eBay logos that partners can incorporate into their websites, apps, and other content after downloading them from our Creative Gallery. It is important that you use the current logo, and not outdated versions that we no longer use. Beyond that, when it comes to logo usage, it is important that you:
- Don’t warp or stretch it
- Don’t crop it
- Don’t use low resolution versions of it
- Don’t recolor it or use non-eBay approved colors
- Don’t apply effects to it, like drop shadow, bevels or glows
- Don’t alter the composition of the logotype
- Don’t update it with a different typeface
- Don’t outline it
It is critical that partners don’t confuse their relationship with eBay to potential customers. To do this, we want to ensure that customers understand the relationship between eBay and its partners.
As a result, we do not allow partner to bid on eBay-specific terms on search engines, or to send paid search results traffic, or other promotional placements, directly to eBay. All traffic needs to go to the publisher’s site first, and then to eBay.
Similarly, partners are not allowed to register domain names that include eBay, which might confuse customers into thinking the site is owned by eBay.
It is important that the relationship between the partner and eBay is completely transparent, and that the partner is driving traffic to eBay. Because of that rule, partners must avoid teasing their customers with mystery deals or any other promotional method where potential customers do not know they are being redirected to eBay in advance.
Under U.S. law, the Federal Trade Commission requires partners to disclose their relationship with eBay whenever promoting a product or services to your audience. Your users need to understand that if they click links to eBay from your website, you will earn a commission. You can accomplish this with a statement like: “When you click links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.”
In some markets, failure to disclose the relationship could legally imply that the partner has "adopted" the content and is therefore liable for it. So this measure also protects your business.
Similarly, posts to any social media channels should also include #ad, #advertisement, #sponsored, or something similar at the beginning of the post to clearly and conspicuously disclose that the posts are an advertisement.
Please remember that under the EPN Network Agreement you are responsible for complying with all applicable laws relating to your participation in the Network. Depending on the jurisdiction(s) in which you operate, there could be other applicable laws that require you to make different and/or additional disclosures. It is your responsibility to know what laws apply to you and to comply with those laws.
The entire drive behind our partner network is to drive new traffic into eBay. Roundtripping, which is when partners drop new cookies on users who are already visiting eBay, in order to be the last partner link clicked before a purchase is made, is not allowed. This also includes the use of affiliate links on your other eBay listings to drive traffic to those items.
Special Business Models
The eBay Partner Network requires that some partners use promotional methods that require advance permission. You can see these special business models, as well as apply to use them, on our website.
Some partners get into trouble by promoting the eBay Partner Network in connection with content we deem controversial, including adult content, firearms, or discriminatory content, to name a few examples. You can review the full list of Unacceptable Placements in our Code of Conduct.
While maintaining certain principles of behavior is a necessary part of every functioning community and network, it is important to note that ignorance is not innocence. Partner accounts can (and do) get suspended or terminated immediately for breaking these and other rules, depending on the severity of the violation.
But once you know what to avoid, it becomes second nature to know how to easily and successfully work within the guidelines. But, a word of advice: if you ever receive an email from our Operations Support or Network Quality teams, please respond right away with whatever detail is requested, so your account stays active.