EBay, an auction company started in 1995, is the largest global marketplace for trading goods and services. A diverse community of businesses and individuals form a part of the 90 million active users around the globe. At any given point of time, there are 200 million eBay listings and 6.6 million listings getting added everyday.
An eBay seller has access to 50,000 product categories, excluding alcohol, tobacco, drugs and pornographic products. The eBay is unlike Amazon, another online industry leader – Amazon doesn’t hold auctions or biddings but sells products directly or through affiliates whereas eBay auctions products, services and goods which are sold to the highest bidder.
The bids continue from a few days to a few weeks and the highest bidder is chosen after the auction ends. The company has its foundations in United States and it has grown to serve over thirty countries around the globe.
Buying and Selling on eBay:
The buying and selling process of eBay is a standard process – a user needs to have a merchandise account for both selling and buying. Account creation is free of cost but sellers have to a pay a minimum 2 USD for each product listing. The listing amount increases as the seller adds newer features to the product. The bidding time and start price is both determined by the seller.
On the other hand, buyers have the freedom to bid as many times as they want. Some buyers wait to bid at the last moment, as it increases the chances of winning the product or services.
Once the highest bidder is approved and selected, the seller ships the goods and the buyer pays, mostly by PayPal, after the purchased goods are received in good condition. After the transaction is complete, the buyer and seller leave feedback on each other’s user section.
Becoming a direct seller on eBay is one way of earning money. The other way, of course, is to become an affiliate partner.
Joining the eBay Partner Network (ePN) Affiliate Program:
The ePN Affiliate Program receives thousands of applications daily but only some get accepted because their rules and regulations for accepting new affiliates are very strict. Nevertheless, Internet publishers, online partners and webmasters can apply as an affiliate.
As an affiliate, you are paid commission and expected to promote eBay with text links and banners, and other innovative tools like the Flexible Destination Tool and the Editor’s Kit made available by the ePN network. The affiliates receive commissions for driving traffic to the eBay website or to particular ongoing bids.
If you are an existing eBay seller, you can become an affiliate too and work towards sending targeted traffic to your listings. However, don’t be under the impression that since you are a registered seller, eBay is going to accept you as affiliate automatically – you will have to apply and undergo the same screening process as other new affiliates.
The chances of becoming a successful eBook affiliate is high because you are promoting an already popular and well known website, plus the commission percentage is generous as well. When you sign up as affiliate, don’t forget to check out the Affiliate Guide.
If you want to get accepted as the eBay affiliate, you need to make sure that you meet their standards of acceptance. The website gives more importance to quality rather than quantity; therefore, the stricter rules. Below are the three basic criterias for getting selected in the ePN Affiliate Network:
Your first step is to assure that the website for which you are applying in the application form should be an authoritative website. Just registering a domain name and posting a few articles does not make the website ‘authoritative.’ What eBay administrators want to see is a website that receives an acceptable amount of traffic daily and the published content engages the readers / websites.
Building an authoritative website is not the work of a day. You have to put in months of hard work to get the site search engine optimized and show a decent Google page ranking. Moreover, the category you want to promote on your website for eBay should match with the existing website content.
For instance, just because you want to sell antique pieces for a higher profit margin will not hold any importance with eBay when they see that your authority website is about fashion and anything else completely unrelated to antique pieces!
If you are in the process of setting up a website and wanting to become an eBay affiliate later on, the best way is to target a category on an eBay listing and begin to create your website along the same lines.
However, please make sure that your website is not a clone or copy of eBay. In other words, the addition of ePN affiliate network should be ‘complimentary’ and not influence its formation.
You can increase income opportunity if you select a product category that is in high demand because it will help to become affiliates for other authority websites like Amazon.
Once your have an authority website, the next step is to fill the ePN affiliate network application. The eBay affiliate administrators are often impressed with websites that have a great story to tell. No, it does not mean your website should have fictional stories!
It means that the administrators are interested in learning, “Why do you think eBay should add your website to their network?” For an affiliate, the eBay is a prospective advertiser and therefore, they would want to know the USP(Unique Selling Proposition) of your website.
In other words, how would eBay benefit by advertising on your website? If you can get across your intention (reason) loud and clear, you can hope getting your application approved.
Furthermore, you have to clearly mention the estimated traffic the authority website receives daily and monthly, the number of subscribers, the number of target visitors and other such details. You have to explain the search engine optimization model followed to gain better Google page rankings.
Believe it or not, a large number of ePN partnership applications get rejected because the contact information provided is not authentic or true. It is important that you give valid contact information in your application.
You may think that giving accurate contact information will take away your privacy but eBay assures you that all the contact details are protected and never leaked to third parties for financial gain. Among the first things an application screening process checks is the contact information.
Make sure that you give verified or valid email id, telephone number, and office address and payment details. If you are eBay seller as well, fill up your user profile with accurate details beforehand because the management will collate the user profile details and application details closely.
After your application is through and you are a verified eBay affiliate, you have to begin with promotions. Of course, the first way would be to place eBay links and banner ads on your website.
Here you have to make sure that the website readers are informed about the newly published links. What we mean is that the readers should be made aware or educated about the links and the banner should clearly show where the reader will be redirected if they happen to click on those links.
It will be against eBay policies if they come to know that you are not displaying eBay information on your advertisements and misguiding visitors. If you do so, the affiliate partnership will be terminated.
Anyways, eBay affiliates make commissions in two circumstances:
Firstly when a visitor becomes an eBay member through your affiliate links and places a bid within 30 days of registration.
Secondly when the visitor to your website is already an eBay member but follows your affiliate link to bid on a live auction and the affiliate earns the commission. Again, you can use several Internet marketing methods online not only to increase visitors to your website but also increase eBay affiliate profits.
Word of Caution – The internal team of eBay keeps on monitoring the registered websites of affiliate partners. Therefore, you have to make sure that your website does not lose its traffic or its ‘authoritative’ status because it will lead to the loss of your eBay affiliate membership.
It is possible to create a second source of income from eBay as a direct seller and as an affiliate.
If you are directly selling products and services, you must sell those products that are high in demand and does not cost you too much in shipping charges.
Moreover, eBay gives you multiple options to create custom made product deals, like the “buy one get one free” or “buy two of X product at Y% discount” types. You need to figure out your own business model or strategy as a direct seller.
If you want to become an eBay affiliate, you can only be one from your country of residence. Depending on your affiliate goals, prioritize your business plan and move accordingly. An authority website with good quality content attracting huge traffic on a daily basis is the prime criteria for eBay to select an affiliate.
If you work hard with affiliate promotions, it is not difficult to earn anywhere between 1000 USD and 5000 USD in affiliate commission. If you need more assurance, know that the topmost 25 super affiliates in eBay average around 100,000 USD in commissions.
Need we say more?