The New eBay Partner Network Potentially Has Major Issues

On April 1st eBay moved off of Commission Junction, and onto their own platform for managing their affiliate program. Their new platform goes by the name of “eBay Partner Network” (EPN). This was potentially a great move by eBay, offering more direct support, better reporting, better tools, more customized administration, etc.

Now it’s 15 days into the new program, and from what I’ve seen, there are some potentially major problems going on with the program in the name of revenue earned by its affiliates.

Revenue Issues

The biggest issue seems to be the amount of revenue generated as compared to the previous CJ program. My own personal experience shows the same issue. I normally generate at least 1 transaction per day, and average about $2-$5+ per day. I converted my links over to the new program on April 1st, I didn’t see my first transaction until April 10th. It’s now April 15th, and I’ve generated 6 transactions for a total of $6.80 or a $2.27 EPC. On Commission Junction I would generate about $10-$15 EPC. So we’re talking about a pretty drastic difference here. I don’t want to come to any conclusions based on my experience just yet as I’d like to wait it out until the end of the month. Expect an update to this from my end come early May.

This seems to be quite a bigger issue, and eBay seems to be somewhat ignoring it. If you take a look at their partner network forum, it just has a ton of posts with people complaining that their revenue is way lower than what it was on CJ. One thread with the title “Has anybody seen and commissions or leads yet?” has 237 posts (at the time of this writing). eBay representatives have responded, basically saying that there is no problem, but they will continually monitor everything to make sure nothing is wrong.

I don’t like to use myself as an example for the issue since I really don’t do that much in affiliate sales just yet, but I’m happy to use others to prove a point:

Username flyinglotta: This user is one of the bigger affiliates posting on the forums, that was doing about $500/day when the program was on Commission Junction. He is now seeing a 50% drop, doing about $250/day, a loss of close to $8,000/month. You would think that an affiliate generating this much would be able to get some sort of personal support from eBay, but he can’t even get a direct e-mail address or phone number to get help. He’s forced to wait on public answers on the forum from representatives that probably need to have a lawyer go over any response they give before they post it.

My other concern in this realm is that there is no third party anymore. What I mean by this is that there is no company overlooking to make sure commissions are accurately paid out and tracked for. Essentially an auditor. eBay could realistically just do whatever they want and pay whatever they want, and nobody could really argue with that. Commission Junction was the third party before.

Contact Issues

There are all sorts of stories similar to this not only on the eBay forums, but also on other forums. One of the arguments eBay is using is that there are thousands of affiliates, and relative to that number, not enough seem to be contacting them with issues to make it an issue. The other side of this story is that not everybody is complaining on their forums, and there is not exactly an obvious way to contact eBay.

The forum link is only on the dashboard homepage. Not everybody wants to post publicly. There is no “Contact” link of any kind in the admin section…making it a bit hard for somebody to complain. The only thing that I have found to contact eBay directly was to go into the help section, click a category, which will also have a link to contact them if it doesn’t answer your question. I did this earlier this month, only to receive a canned response that didn’t answer my question, and was obviously outsourced and not somebody directly working in the program.

Report Issues

I think there is a lot of room for improvement on the reports that eBay offers. Now that everything is in-house, reporting capabilities should be way better in terms of tracking where links are coming from, what is being bid on, where they clicked to bid, etc. I don’t want to get into this right now because eBay seems to be working to continually improve the program, and I have a feeling this will be worked in the future as there are now more affiliates to give feedback.

Are There Really Issues?

I think this is the question of the day. I think there are generally enough complaints from people that literally have switched over and are seeing lower numbers after the switch to say that there is a problem. At this point in time, it’s less about the affiliates like me who think there are issues as I don’t do high enough numbers to make an example…but some of the bigger guys seeing a difference and complaining should say something is up. I think for the smaller guys, we should give it the full month before starting to really complain there is an issue.

For now, those of you having issues, please respond to this post with a comment (there is no need to register, so it’s easy to post) and give a little background on the issue you’re having. The most important information you should post is the following:

When did you change your links to the new program?
What were you averaging per day in February and March 2007?
What was your EPC for Feb and Mar 2007?
What kind of results comparatively have you been seeing in the new program?

Maybe if enough people respond and comment, and compile it one place, we can take it to eBay and make some changes.

  • http://www.davidpitlyuk.com David Pitlyuk

    I’ll start this off:

    When did you change your links to the new program? April 1st
    What were you averaging per day in February and March 2007? Feb: $1.15/day (14 sales, 1 lead) March: $3.94/day (56 sales, 0 leads)
    What was your EPC for Feb and Mar 2007? Feb: Around $26.00 Mar: Around $6.40
    What kind of results comparatively have you been seeing in the new program? $2.27 EPC on 300 clicks for $6.80 in earnings.

    I would say based on these numbers, I’m way off what I should be making, but I’ll give it until the end of the month.

  • Johnny C

    I am perhaps a rare case, but I am actually just starting to see more business through EPN than I was through CJ. I’m not a massive affiliate but I still make about $100 a month.

  • http://www.davidpitlyuk.com David Pitlyuk

    @Johnny C – Is it possible that your site(s) using the affiliate network are getting more traffic this month over previous months?

  • http://www.hurlbertconsulting.com Brad Hurlbert

    This is not the only post that has affiliate concerns about the numbers. I’m one of them….

    These numbers don’t jive and I need to find out why…
    This is from my Report by TOOLS Since April 3rd for one of my campaigns.

    Total For All Tools
    Impressions=5,567 Clicks=1,568 Commissions= 78.31 Earnings/Click=4.99 Cents

    Tool Unknown
    Impressions=0 Clicks=1,394 Commissions=51.16 Earnings/Click=3.67 Cents

    Tool – RSS Generator
    Impressions=0, Clicks=1,394, Commissions=51.16, Earnings/Click=3.67 Cents

    This is where it gets interesting….

    Tool – Link Generator
    Impressions=0, Clicks=77, Commissions=27.15, Earnings/Click35.26 Cents WOW!

    And now the ACRU numbers…

    Creatives Generator – eBay_Registration_468x60
    Impressions=5,567, Clicks=24, Earnings=0.00 Earnings Per Click=0.00

    Widgets RSS Generator
    Impressions=0
    Clicks=73
    Earnings=0.00
    EPC = 0.00

    The numbers don’t seem right!
    4 cents per click – 35 cents per click?
    Seems like a lot of clicks on the Unknown Tool are missing….

  • http://www.1MarketNiche.Com Dave

    I’m not a very good base to go off of. I bought Bans in the middle of Jan. I should also say that my EPC #’s are probably off because my clicks and impressions seem screwy. I hope this helps.

    When did you change your links to the new program? April 1st
    What were you averaging per day in February and March 2008?
    $.38 (2 sales 1 lead) Feb.: $4.92 (34 sales 1 lead) Mar.
    What was your EPC for Feb and Mar 2007?
    $7.61 Feb. $127.24 Mar.
    What kind of results comparatively have you been seeing in the new program?
    $3.36 EPC on 642 clicks on 9 sales for $21.79 in earnings or $1.55 average daily sales. This is including April 10th when I had about 400 more clicks than average and no bids.

  • http://marketsecrets.biz/ebay-burn-in-hell-bandwagon/ Caleb

    How the new platform would affect BANS members and no longer having a third party are what greatly concerned me but I went for it anyway because it was my main revenue stream over at CJ…that is until Ebay terminated me!

    Has anyone had this particular issue?

  • http://www.davidpitlyuk.com David Pitlyuk

    @Caleb – Definitely keep me updated regarding your situation. How much revenue/month were you bringing in?

    How does the platform affect BANS members?

  • http://marketsecrets.biz/ebay-burn-in-hell-bandwagon/ Caleb

    I’ll let you know when I know,but I don’t believe they’ll readmit me because thats just their “M-O”

    There was no problem with this until Ebay switched over. The BANS question was a concern,but it doesn’t matter until I hear back from Ebay.

    I did get a response from Amazon on the framing issue and they -too- are against it. What’s up with all the hating on iframes?

  • Veronique

    Caleb, if you were creating the tracking cookie within an iframe, you are basically using the system fraudulently. Basically, you are getting commissions but you are not redirecting traffic, since the visitors get their tracking cookies without knowing it. I completely understand that any affiliate program would be against that. If that’s not what you meant by the use of iframes, though, then obviously my comments do not apply.

    Back on topic: I’m sorry I’m no help but I’m one of those whose earnings are consistent with what they used to be on CJ…

    - Changed my links on April 1st
    - Daily average for Febrary: $60.34 (minus the performance incentives bonuses: with all the bonus, it gets to $68.31)
    - Daily average for March: $75.95, $82.37 w/ bonuses
    - Daily average for April so far: including CJ leftovers, $98.52: on EPN alone, $86.37
    - EPC in Febrary: $4.30
    - EPC in March: $5.37
    - EPC in April: $5.93
    - So far, April is pretty good, even better than the last months, though of course we’re only halfway in it.

    I don’t know if that’s useful, but there you go.

  • http://marketsecrets.biz Caleb

    To be honest,I have no idea what it means to “…create the tracking cookie within an iframe” :?:

    And how can the traffic NOT be redirected when Ebay shows all the impressions and clicks?

  • http://marketingfreeway.com Terri

    Where can I find or locate my EPN # ??

  • http://www.123HostCheap.com 123 Host Cheap.com

    We’re pretty new to this whole thing.

    We just got this email from EPN:

    Our Customer Support system experienced issues on Tuesday, 4/22 and Wednesday, 4/23.

    If you submitted a question on those days, our system might not have logged it. Please resubmit your inquiry to ensure a prompt follow up.

    Our apologies for the inconvenience,

    The eBay Partner Network team

    Now, if they are admitting not logging in this part of the system, it stands to reason there are systemwide ‘logging’ (or rather FAILURE TO LOG) problems, does it not?

  • http://www.EMBARQSUKs.com/ EBAY SUCKS

    MORE news today > Migration deadline extended until May 31st

    April 25th, 2008
    We wanted to thank all our affiliates for your effort in switching your links to the eBay Partner Network. We??re off to a great start and we are happy to report that in the three weeks since launch, more than two thirds of our affiliates?? traffic has already moved over to the new system.
    Several of you have asked for a bit more time in migrating your links. Because we know there are some special circumstances that may require this, we have arranged to extend the migration deadline until May 31st. This will apply to Half.com and all eBay countries migrating EXCEPT Belgium, Netherlands, Hong Kong, and Singapore, which will still expire on April 30th).
    Note that because of our contractual obligations, as of May 31st, you will no longer be able to receive any commissions through Commission Junction. This will include commissions from clicks in May that convert into purchases or ACRUs in June. So please switch all your links as soon as possible to eBay Partner Network to ensure you receive all your commissions and begin to enjoy all the new benefits of global registration, new creatives, and better reporting on the new eBay Partner Network.
    If you have any questions about migration, please check out our help section, where you can also find links in each help topic to reach our customer service group. You can also find more info in our getting started post, our migration guide, and our FAQs.
    We really value your support and look forward to a long continued partnership together!

    ……

    Yeah, what gets me is if they so valued their partners (buyers, sellers, affiliates) why is it so fricking impossible to reach any human beings for help on anything?

    You can’t leave comments on their blogs. You can’t criticize ebay in the forums or else your comments will be removed. You can’t comment on a removed comment else you’ll be banned from everything….

    more like a bunch of fascists — oh, yeah, Meg Whitman is supporting the republikkkans for president — that makes total sense now. THEY ARE A BUNCH OF FASCISTS.

  • http://banksyartsales.com/ James

    Hey E-S,

    Don’t pussyfoot around, tell us what you REALLY think of eBay :-)

    It’s a problem that’s also being widely discussed on the BANS forum – lots of research into cookies, etc, but no solutions yet.

    Communicating (or rather, trying to communicate) with eBay is almost impossible. Another corporate monolith…

  • Reality

    I am very upset with ebay so far. I was making between $150 – 240 per month the past 4 months and now in April I have made less than $5.

    I have sent hundreds of visitors there way, but no sales.

    So I went in and tested it by having a friend bid and win an auction from my link.

    Ebay didn’t give me anything for that sale.

    I am sure I will begin making money again but I know they are not giving credit for all sales.

  • http://www.tvlamps.net Mark

    This CJ to “Partner Network” migration is really starting to scare me. Never a high-roller, I could still count on at least $125 a month via CJ. Having migrated on April 8th, I finished the month with a big $40! That may not sound horrible, but I actually added eBay links to another of my websites on the same day, so in theory I should be making more money. This sucks.

  • http://marketsecrets.biz/customer-service-runarounds/ Caleb

    I still haven’t heard back from eBay regarding the issue I commented on within this post nor am I looking to hear back from them…

    Amazon and PriceRunner has now replaced them on my online shopping site.

  • http://marketsecrets.biz/customer-service-runarounds/ Caleb

    Ooops! I messed that link up showing how I replaced eBay with Amazon and PriceRunner. But this one is right…

  • Reality

    Now a few more days has gone by with no more sales.

    I had another person make a purchase and it didn’t shop up once again. It has been 17 hours since the purchase.

    The lack of good communication from Ebay is frightening.

  • http://internetbusinessdaily.net matthew berman

    i just posted on the BANS forum on your thread, here’s what i posted:

    I am at about 5-10% of my revenue that I was making with CJ.

    My clicks are actually 30% HIGHER than with CJ (because my sites grew)…but my revenue is ridiculously low.

    I was averaging $600/month with CJ.

    I am going to average about $10/month with ePN.

    0 ACRU’s as well.

    please let me know if you get an answer from them…since they are basically ignoring me.

  • Pingback: Pepperjam Announces Exclusive Partnership with eBay Partner Network | David Pitlyuk

  • http://www.pullingladies.com ashton

    Im as confused as anyone here I guess:
    New to the game and confused that I have generated:

    Program Impression Clicks EPC ($) Earnings ($)
    Total 1 3774 0.00 0.00
    eBay US 1 3774 0.00 0.00

    Thats a little confusing but its close to 4000 clicks and no sales. Im guessing the traffic is not very targeted at all but hell someone of the 4000 people must have bought something???

    Any thoughts?

    Pepper jam could be an alternative tracking system

  • http://marketsecrets.biz/ebay-aint-the-only-game-in-town/ Caleb

    I have an update to my EPN situation finally. Check it out here along with the ridiculous email they sent me.

  • AJ

    This is an old thread but it came up first when I searched ‘ebay partner network problems’ which shows you they are still having issues. I have signed up with 2 sites, 2 email addresses. I have never recieved an email to confirm them but when I try to log in with have no password, it prompts me to reset, I try to reset the password it says an email has been sent to me (which never arrives)however i can’t reapply as my email address has already been used…. and of course cannot contact them…

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