Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun July 21 2019 20:21:57

eBay Will Change How It Pays for Traffic

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is changing how it pays affiliate marketers for traffic and will publish a new rate card for the eBay Partner Network (ePN) program that takes effect this fall. The biggest change is how the payouts are based - instead of paying affiliates a percentage of eBay revenue (fees it collects from sellers), it will pay a percentage of sales (presumably the selling price or total transaction value).

The change in compensation comes as eBay increases fees to sellers while it is experiencing a decline in sales (GMV).

Affiliates also learned they will have to wait longer to receive compensation.

Currently ePN rates are category-based. For example, eBay pays affiliates 70% of fees it earns in the Fashion, Home & Garden, and Parts & Accessories categories and pays 50% of fees it earns on numerous categories including Collectibles, Media, and Electronics.

In the future, rates will be based by region and sub-category. This is bound to make it more difficult for affiliate marketers to estimate earnings given the added complexity.

Another significant change: no more NORB bonuses. That stands for New or Reactivated Buyer. eBay Partner Network currently pays an additional 100% bonus for purchases made by new eBay customers and for customers who haven't made a purchase on eBay in the last 12 months.

Yet it was only 4 months ago that eBay blogged about the importance of NORBs and provided steps to earn double commission by sending new or reactivated buyers to its marketplace. 

As with many of the changes eBay has made to the affiliate program, there's less transparency and accountability with this restructuring: eBay said that while it was removing the NoRB bonus paid to every partner, it would instead issue "strategic bonuses selectively to partners that demonstrate an ability to acquire high-quality buyers for eBay." 

However, there's one aspect of the announcement that gives affiliates a ray of hope: "Expanded attribution with cross-device tracking." That means if a customer clicks on an affiliate link on a tablet and finishes that purchase on a laptop, the affiliate will receive credit for that transaction. It would be an improvement that has been a long time coming.

eBay scaled back the program in January. eBay CEO Devin Wenig made it clear that 2019 is the year of the marketing scale-back, reaffirming during last week's post-earnings call that eBay has cut marketing costs and, as perverse as it may seem, he said he was cognizant of the fact that reduced marketing equals "suppressed" GMV.

Until eBay publishes the new eBay Partner Network rate card, affiliates remain uncertain about the impact of the changes. Pessimists may wonder if the coming change to ePN compensation could be part of Wenig's continuing strategy to boost eBay margins by cutting costs - meaning less money in their pocket, therefore less incentive to push traffic to eBay. 

Optimists may wonder if the CEO sees affiliate revenue as a way to grow GMV risk-free (since it only pays affiliate marketers for results), in which case they could see a bigger payout for driving traffic to eBay. 

This matters greatly to sellers, of course, because affiliates who choose not to promote eBay listings will likely move to promote other ecommerce listings instead.

Here's a link to the announcement page where there's a link to FAQs with more info.

Comments (16) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Will Change How It Pays for Traffic   eBay Will Change How It Pays for Traffic

by: Grady This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 21 21:36:46 2019

What could possibly go wrong. We trust you E Bay, we really do.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 21 22:53:04 2019

eBay ... paying you LESS, for the same or more work - THAT is the eBay way.

Its just the beginning of the nickle and diming of sellers. This one just hurts the fewest/weakest people.

Lets see what eBay raises NEXT!

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by: notfunanymore This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 22 07:02:48 2019

Ha ha! eBay taking more money. Wake the hell up sellers!  

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by: eastwestphoto This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 22 07:24:52 2019

Fix the god awful AI Algorithm search system and all your problems balance out.

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Jul 22 08:54:36 2019

A DECLINE IN SALES.
Because they're STUPID.

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Jul 22 08:56:07 2019

Gimme the wheel you morons (Devin et al).
Let me show you how it's done.

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by: grumpwell This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 22 09:55:37 2019

I may be wrong, but I read this as a very good thing. If eBay is giving away less money they should be able to show increased income WITHOUT charging sellers more. The seller money has really run dry so it is nice to see them going after someone else this time.

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by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 22 10:17:44 2019

The affiliate program, for me, seemed like a lot of work for an unknown amount of income, basically, give up listing/selling activities & just send messages all day... spam people & hope the buy something.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Jul 22 12:37:43 2019

WOW, I might have to change my business model.

I bet I could get a lot of people to buy gun parts on eBay!

I'll have to look into this new source of income. . . .

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Jul 22 14:13:32 2019

Anybody notice alot of free listing promotions lately?  I keep listing stuff for auction starting at half off and none of it's moving.  No wonder eBay wants to pay affiliates a percentage of sales.  No sales, no payout.

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 22 14:54:26 2019

Just another cut in expenses when it all settles out.  Wenig is just continuing his dismantling of the platform and dreams that the sellers that he is already taking to much money from will cough up even more.  For some reason he seems to think that Sellers are making more money than they deserve to as they are nothing but sales people and Ebay is made up of all these professionals with college degrees.  The clown has no idea just how much more knowledgeable most of the sellers that used to make a ton of money for ebay are, which is why Ebay continues to stumble along and continues to become less and less of a player in the ecommerce industry while those sellers move on to other sites or create their own sites and find that leaving Ebay was the best thing they ever did.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Jul 22 15:15:18 2019

@Silver Ice King

If I were to leave eBay I would have to file for food stamps and welfare.

Instead of earning a living I could depend on the American tax payer to pay my bills.

I hear every things going to be free in the future.

Just ask Bernie or Alexandria

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Jul 22 15:38:41 2019

Off Topic:

Has anyone here enrolled in "Managed Payments"

I'm wondering how long it takes eBay to deposit money into your bank account once you've sold the item and requested the funds.

Are you having to pay for shipping out of your own pocket?

eBay should take on the USPS shipping cost like they do Fedex and just add that to your monthly bill. . .

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 22 15:45:32 2019

Cutting expenses? start with DW

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by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 22 18:23:49 2019

You can be sure this is another scheme with eBay fighting to save pennies, nickels, and dimes to their bottom line. Set up to pay out less affiliate money because they can't afford it with GMV declining. As with anything they do, this isn't gonna benefit anyone but eBay. The smokescreens are endless and keep coming at a breakneck speed with this company.

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 01:48:43 2019

@Toolguy

I am not enrolled in Mangled Payments but am acquainted with some who are.  Here is how things normally work, in the CC Industry which I have a lot of experience in.

Ebay gets your buyers charge on their credit card and they submit it to Adyen as a batch each evening (Day 1).  That batch is processed by Adyen and the funds are returned to Ebay via Ach or Wire Transfer the next day (they get next day due to their volume as smaller customers may have to wait a second day for the funds to hit their account.  

Now Ebay will submit all of the charges that they received from Adyen their Sellers via ACH on Day 2.  Those funds must now go to the ACH clearing house and depending on many factors can take anywhere from being in your account the next day (Day 3) up to 3 or 4 more days (Day 6 or 7).  As long as Ebay releases the funds promptly on Day 2 as they state they will (that can be changed at any time by giving you notice) control of the funds is basically out of Ebays hands at that point. Ebay may have an arrangement with their bank as to when they lose the float on these funds so it is possible that Ebay can still earn interest on these funds while they are in transit.

If your bank handles ACH Transfers quickly you should have your funds in your account at some point in time on Day 3, however there can be snags and other holdups that delay the ACH transfer from processing properly and the funds can possibly be tied up at the ACH Clearing house for a few more days and there is nothing that Ebay can do about that.  All of these factors play into when the money will show up in your account and depending on what you use as your handling time, you could very easily be shipping before you ever see the money in your bank account.

Another factor that many Sellers do not take into consideration is that Ebay at this point plans on making deposits daily to your bank account.  Many banks only allow so many electronic deposits into your account before they begin charging a fee for each excessive deposit.  You will need to research that potential problem and might need to open your Ebay account at another bank other than the one you currently use.

Lastly, Ebay has the right to change payments to whatever duration they care to so although they will probably give you a 30 day notice, they can very easily change their payment frequency.  This can be changed to once a week, once a month, only after a tracking number has been entered for the item or the buyer shows that they received the item or any other combination of factors that Ebay determines is best for their people.

I am not saying Ebay will do any of these, but based on Wenigs history of stealing every penny he can from his current sellers because he is to incompetent to grow the company the way most companies are grown, I would not put anything past him.  This would include taking their fees out of each payment before paying you as well as charging the shipping costs to you before you receive your money as well as holding the money for 30-45 days or at least until the buyer confirms they got the item AND are happy with it.  This last possibility could be disastrous based on the low number of buyers that currently leave feedback on Ebay.  So if the buyer doesn't bother to log in and mark your item as delivered you could very well wind up having to wait a longer number of days until Ebay decides that the Buyer has had plenty of time to agree the item arrived and was good.

Once Mangled Payments is forced on all of us we are completely at Ebays mercy and Wenig knows it.  Ebay could even state that if you want your money by the 3rd day that you will be required to pay an additional % of the total to Ebay for the quicker turn around.  They could very easily make it 3% to get it on day 3 in your account and 2% for Day 5 and even 1% for Day ten.  This is something that American Express used to do, not sure if they still use this method or not.  So be ready for anything can happen and probably will if it benefits Ebay which is why Wenig has been pushing so hard for Mangled Payments to become live as soon as possible and that ALL SELLERS who sell on Ebay MUST use that Payment system and nothing else.

I hope this helped you somewhat as I did try to make sure I got the information that you need to know when the time comes, along with my personal thoughts on how things are going to go. When Ebay had Paypal they had a lot of experts in that field who came with the Paypal purchase and also have many of their employees very active in the conversion.  Most if not all of those employees are now gone and Paypal is its own company which maybe in competition with Mangled Payments at least on other sites but on Ebay Paypal will be accepted but the paypal funds will be deposited directly into the Ebay account not the sellers, at least at this point in time.



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