eBay is cutting "loyalty" affiliate rates to zero commissions as of May 2, 2020. Members of the eBay Partner Network (EPN) received notice on Wednesday, and some were unclear as to whether they would be impacted.
As eBay explains, "Affiliate marketing is a referral program where sites pay commissions to affiliates who send traffic to their site that results in a sale."
- Content (Blogging)
- Deal & Coupon
- Email Marketing
- Loyalty & Rewards
- Online Comparison Shopping (OCS)
- Product Listing Ads
- Social Sharing
- Tools & Mobile App ("many could also be considered loyalty & reward publishers," it states)
eBay explains it compensates affiliates in various ways, including commissions on the sale of goods and flat fees paid for the completion of a form, to bonuses paid on the types of visitors that affiliates send. Loyalty & Rewards publishers "provide either purchase rewards or incentives in the form of points, miles, cash back, or charitable contributions."
One EPN participant said the eBay email said, loyalty publishers would be reduced to zero commissions as of May 2nd and that the change was "indefinite and will be reevaluated on a regular basis as we continue to monitor the situation."
The full email read:
"The eBay Partner Network is continuously making adjustments to our business practices as market conditions shift. As our partner, we wanted to make you aware of an important update to your account.
"Effective May 2, all Loyalty publishers will be reduced to zero commissions. This change is indefinite and will be reevaluated on a regular basis as we continue to monitor the situation.
"This decision was made after careful evaluation of your account and market conditions. We appreciate your continued partnership. Please feel free to contact us any time at AskEPN@ebay.com."
One participant who emailed us said many affiliates who are impacted by the change were upset because they received only a few days' notice. "Seems Amazon did something similar recently so eBay followed," he added.
Indeed, Amazon made several changes to its affiliate program, which it calls Amazon Associates. AdExchanger reported
on April 6th it had heard reports that Amazon would no longer compensate affiliate networks such as Skimlinks and Sovrn, and CNBC reported
on Amazon's changes to affiliate rates that went into effect on April 21st.
DigiDay said it believed
such changes were made by Amazon "to tamp down demand for non-essential products" amid the COVID pandemic.