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March 17, 2008

Ebay Affiliate Program goes In-house

Posted in: phpBay

Many Ebay Affiliates woke up this morning to a self-induced shock of the news that Ebay is moving it's affiliate program from Commission Junction to manage it internally. It's no surprise that something of this magnitude might cause some anxiety. Many webmasters earn their living through Ebay's affiliate program.

The news of Ebay's decision to manage it's affiliate program in-house has even made to top mainstream media outlets such as the Washington Post. Let's look at how this will affect current Ebay Affiliates:

1) It will not affect those who are using affiliate provides other than Commission Junction (ValueClick), such as TradeDoubler, Affilinet and Mediaplex. For affiliates using those services, it's business as usual.

2) Ebay will not just disconnect everything on April 1st (and odd day to begin a transition, for sure!). Affiliate links using CJ will run parallel with Ebay's new in-house program for one month to allow for everyone to make a smooth transition from CJ to Ebay.

3) Most likely, all that will be required is the addition of a new identifier and affiliate ID to existing applications, making it very easy for those using software such as phpBay Pro to quickly update their settings and move on to creating new sites.

4) One thing that really caught my attention was the new ability to apply to multiple global countries at the same time. Many of my customers have international sites that utilize the Ebay Affiliate program coupled with new geo-targeting features. This will be great news for them! (I was so tempted to add geo-targeting to phpBay Pro for the upcoming 3.0 release! Now I'm glad I waited!)

5) More detailed reporting features! This has truly been lacking with CJ. Many of my customers use third party tools to enhance performance tracking, so these new features will be welcome to many. I'm hoping they will add keyword tracking and other tools to help identify the most successful pages/keyword phrases a site uses.

Powerhouse affiliates like Jeremy Shoemoney seem to welcome the news with open arms. After all, Ebay is not dismantling it's affiliate program at all. It's moving it in-house to make it even better! There's no doubt the news has caused some anxiety, but really, there is nothing to worry about. CJ didn't provide the RSS feeds, Ebay does. CJ didn't provide the rover affiliate links, Ebay does. CJ wasn't linked to, Ebay is. CJ provided the affiliate link, basic reporting, and paid us on the 20th of each month. Now Ebay will.

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