eBay is giving sellers a new financial incentive to drive traffic to their listings hosted on its site. As of June 15, sellers who enroll in its eBay Partner Network program (ePN) can receive commission-free sales when buyers purchase through the sellers' affiliate link.
We first reported that a new plan was coming on June 7th
after eBay Vice President of Seller Operations and Engagement Marni Levine teased the news in a video to sellers.
Note that sellers were already allowed to join the ePN program to receive affiliate revenue on eligible transactions from their own or other sellers' listings.
What's new as of June 15: when a seller drives a buyer to eBay and purchases one of their own items, not only will they receive affiliate revenue, but they'll also receive a "Seller Incentive" that will be the difference between the commission fee (not including any penalty fees) and the affiliate revenue.
Here's how eBay describes the plan:
"The U.S. Seller Incentive shall equal the Final Value Fee (as defined on the seller's applicable selling fees page) less the compensation earned pursuant to the EPN Global Rate Card, exclusive of this U.S. Seller Incentive"
eBay used an example of an affiliate with an eBay Store subscription who sold $100 item of items in the Sports Trading Cards category through the ePN program:
- If the buyer purchases $100 in goods from another seller attributable to the seller-affiliate link, then that seller-affiliate receives $4 (4% of $100);
- If the buyer purchases $100 in goods from the seller-affiliate themselves through their affiliate link, the seller-affiliate receives $4, plus they will receive a "seller incentive credit" of $5.15, since the seller would owe eBay $9.15 in Final Value (commission) fees.
ePN affiliate fees vary by product category (and there are caps), and the Seller Incentive plan excludes Vehicles and Real Estate categories. Sellers who are members of the affiliate program should note that the eBay Network Agreement prohibits posting any EPN link on an eBay property, a practice referred to as "roundtripping."
Oddly enough, the new plan comes after eBay announced it was decommissioning the ePN Dynamic Feed Generator
at the end of June, leaving affiliates to figure out how to use APIs to work with the program. We welcome comments from those enrolled in the program.