eBay is killing a popular tool used by affiliate marketers to drive traffic to sellers' listings. The eBay Partner Network (ePN) program gave participants only a month's notice that it will decommission the ePN Dynamic Feed Generator (globally). See update below.
As the eBay help pages explain
, "The Dynamic Feed Generator enables you to create a trackable feed URL that provides users with dynamic eBay listing content on your web site. The RSS feed created by this tool provides live eBay listing information, such as a gallery image, price, end date, and a link to add items to a user's eBay watch list. You can also use this data to build customized ads for your site."
eBay won't be replacing the tool, and some participants said the suggested alternatives would not work for them - with some saying they would instead start marketing other marketplaces through other affiliate programs such as Amazon Associates.
eBay Partner Network describes one of the main benefits of the Dynamic Feed Generator as not requiring the use of an API.
The reaction from eBay affiliates was incredulity. Some said they are inexperienced with using APIs, others said eBay severely limits the number of calls a site can make through APIs, making it a poor substitute for the feed generator that's being killed off.
One alternative eBay suggested is called Smart Placements, but some affiliates said its functionality is limited. For high-volume sites, eBay suggested Data Feed and Feed API, both of which require affiliates to apply for a chance to use them.
eBay also said it is working on a "Deals & Events" API that would become available "soon."
Affiliates who use WordPress
to power their websites discussed the issue, with one participant writing, "Frankly, the Dynamic Feed Generator has been the only eBay advertising tool of theirs that I use or have any interest in. Why in blazes would they be bringing it to an end?"
One WordPress developer
said he would be working on a plug-in and hoped to release "WP eBay Product Feeds 3.0" by July 1st.
eBay notified affiliates of its decision to end Dynamic Feed Generator via email on June 3 and advised them to move off it completely no later than June 30.
Update 6/7/2020: eBay's ePN will be launching a plan for sellers, see more information in today's EcommerceBytes Newsflash.