EPN Ban Hammer

Looks like the eBay Publisher Network is again issuing mass bannings for it’s affiliates.  This, like their previous BAN happy endeavors are targeting those who claim innocense on a mass scale.  These bans are targeting those who were tied to another account that was previously banned.  But again, users are claiming no affiliation with pass accounts that were banned through CJ, PJN, or on EPN.

Here is the message received by a number of EPN affiliates:

“we found that your account is related to a previous banned account”

There is already a thread started at DP about the mass bannings.  Furthermore there is a thread on the official EPN boards where little to no information is being shared from EPN.  Will checks in with his copy’n paste response that basically helps nobody.  Sad state of affairs, looks like the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.

Another eye opener to make sure all your eggs are not in one basket.  I fell victim to the EPN Bans awhile back and have since then been trying to develop other affiliate income streams.  It’s difficult, because I’ve been using Build A Niche Store to help build sites, obviously targeting eBay.  It’s a long process, costly one, but it will be worth it to diversify, because it doesn’t look like anyone is safe with EPN.

Try These If You Are Banned on EPN

This will be a very brief post as I’m completely overwhelmed with the task of switching over a bunch of affiliate sites and tweaking PPC campaigns.  Will you forgive me if I agree to do a complete write up of how I will be replacing my $1000 per month EPN revenue?

uBid looks like it will be a stable replacement for EPN visitors.  Time will truly tell but this is where I will be focusing some of my efforts.

PepperJamNetwork is a back door to EPN.  I’ve been banned from EPN but I’m still able to earn revenue the exact same way through PepperJam.  Again, I’m sure time will tell when they will bring the hammer down on PJ affiliates as well.  I’m not betting the farm it will last, but at least it will give me longer than a 7 day window to jump ship.

Look for a full write up instead of a quick link post in the upcoming days.  For those who received the expired from EPN letter, the sun will rise tomorrow.

Banned From EPN

It looks like the proverbial fecal matter has hit the fan and there are a lot of unhappy affiliates.  Like countless others I received an email and message last night in my dashboard from EPN saying that they are expiring my account.  Although the message was very vague, it does make reference to my visitors being less engaged with eBay.

The part about less engaged has me confused, because the majority of my income comes from winning bid recvenue, NOT ACRUs.  Furthermore my EPC is less than $3 which is not a crazy amount that should send a warning flag.  Also I should add that I have never undertaken any black hat methods of promotion for the eBay affiliate program.  I earn far too much to jeopardize that program, so it’s all been white hat methods and quality traffic sent.

Currently there are countless discussions going on over at the BANS forums and directly on EPN.  Obviously that is just one thread amongst others that is getting the most attention.  The frustrating part, zero contact from EPN in regards to this mass ban hammer.  This shows a serious lack of understanding in regards to proper affiliate program attention, maintenance, and just common courtesy.

For now I’ve not seen a pattern in regards to those being banned from EPN.  My guess is that there is an automated script that takes a look at Impressions per Click ratio and sends out messages accordingly.  On any other affiliate program this would make sense, since many black hat methods involve cookie stuffing.  However with eBay they provide API’s that require no impressions, so it should be null and void.  Perhaps some outside company have sold their services to EPN with promises to automatically take out the bottom feeders.  Although to me it looks like they just ended up doubling their work load.

I’m chilling for now, knowing that I have an account with the PepperJamNetwork, where I can still make money as an eBay affiliate.  That is until that automated script gets ahold of them too.  I’m praying a notice will be sent out that this was just an error on their behalf and things can get back to normal.

EPN Announces ACRU Tiers

Let me start by saying I’m very, very excited about the new program eBay Partner Network will be putting into place, which will promote quality registrations and help weed out the thin affiliates.  Their plan, which will effect new signups but not existing EPN members until November 1st, is to not pay a flat $25 for all ACRU’s in the US.  Instead, EPN will give payouts at the end of the month based on the quality of traffic sent and how eBay views the new registration, in terms of longevity and potential revenue to eBay.  If you derive most of your EPN affiliate revenue from winning bids, then this won’t really effect you because those tiers are not changing, only ACRUs.

The tiers for the new ACRU system is wide and I mean wide, meaning that you could earn as little as a dollar for sending crap traffic or as much as $50!  I’m hoping to be at the latter end of the scale, since repeatedly my new signups purchase multiple items throughout the eBay cookie length.

To aid in the shock of this new system EPN will be providing parrallel stats until November 1st which will show you what affiliates would be making and will be making on the new system.  However, actual payouts on the new tier ACRU will only take effect in November, so if you are a thin affiliate sending craptastic traffic it will give you an opportunity to bail out and find something else.  On the flip side, it’ll be hard to stomach those bigger numbers when you know you can’t get them till later on in the year.

Big Question

There is still talk that EPN is having trouble tracking ACRUs and even winning bids and on a large scale if you believe the official EPN forums.  Will they be able to accurately track this new level of data?  I would expect some serious discussions going on between now and November 1st, most likely very heated discussions.

It was just last month that eBay announced that they would be hiring an outside firm to help test EPN tracking.  Would be nice if they would at least publish these results fix or state things are running smooth before rolling out a completely new revenue system.  But, I’m just a worker bee, not a thinker bee.

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Programs I use to generate EPN ACRUs are phpBay and Build A Niche Store. Two great scripts that I highly recommend to any affiliate marketer new or experienced with eBay.

Auctiva

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First, thanks to the CEO of Auctiva for having a pair and calling me direct on this, it does say something about the character of the owner.  Second, this post will be reserved for further insight into the Auctiva business practices that have been reported to me, with the hope that case studies will become available so that I’m not considered just a blogger spouting lies.  Lord knows I don’t have the pocket book for that and also have what some would consider morals.  If what I find is completely contrary to what was originally reported on Auctiva, yes, an apology will be written.

Lastly, to whom it may concern, threatening a person willing to work and listen to you is just bad business practice and frankly makes you look like a dick.  Check in your support department, I’m the one who called you back.

ACRU TO CRU Ratio

Yes, I’m on an EPN kick this month and with good reason, since it’s currently one of my leading earners in the affiliate realm.  I’m getting a pretty decent number of bids, considering the limited traffic I’m pulling in, but what I feel I’m struggling with is converting CRU’s(When a new user registers to ebay) to ACRU’s(when said new user makes a winning bid or BIN).

Below are my stats so far in May:

CRU ACRU Bids Winning Bids

10                    4                       158                       56

Keep in mind that I’m not selling low priced items, so even at 56 winning bids my EPN earnings are fairly high. 😉  I guess I’m just greedy for those $25 ACRU’s, but they are just not converting.  Hopefully as the cookie carries over for the 30 days it will give them an opportunity to win one of the other 102 bids that were placed so I get that commission and ACRU commission.

Is anyone else having similar issues in the month of May?

EPN Announces Problems and Fixes

It looks like the eBay Partner Network is finally addressing some problems that date back to the beginning of April, unfortunately it doesn’t look like problems that most are concerned with.  You can find a list of fixes and bugs that they’ve squashed on the EPN Blog.  Judging by the EPN discussion forums and other webmaster forums most people were concerned with actual ACRU and revenue reporting issues.  Personally, I’ve not experienced any problems.

According to the EPN blog they have addressed issues like Customer Support downtime, confirming registrations, API Id’s and the like.  These issues do not discuss anything to do with their possible reporting errors with a small percentage of their publishers.  I’m still assuming that the ones having problems are just not use to the swing cycle of online marketing, especially on a garage sale affiliate network.  Guess what, people are outside this time of year and they don’t have any money anyways.

I think Yoda knows what he is talking about, ‘Patience’.

Check out the full post for the list of fixes on the EPN.

Continue reading “EPN Announces Problems and Fixes”

No Commissions With New eBay Partner Network

I never was a big earner with CJ, being an eBay affiliate, but it was a nice way to supplement my Adsense earnings on a lot of my blogs. Starting April 1st eBay decided to move their affiliate network in house and it looks like there are a number of marketers experiencing tracking issues or no commissions at all. Personally, I think there is a little problem with both, considering the relationship eBay had with CJ and constantly needing to recoup lost sales, incorrect reporting, etc.

According to individuals in forums, whom are using 3rd scripts to market eBay products, some revenue has dropped as much as 90%, even though clicks and impressions remain the same. Because of this it’s important to make sure you are using the latest versions of BANs (Build A Niche Store) and phpBay, to work with the new EPN (eBay Partner Network). Making sure you are using the correct campaign ID helps too. 😉

But is there a problem with the new EPN affiliate reporting? My seeing no sales on my end, where before I was earning a few dollars per day. A quick search will reveal that there a number of angry individuals sending unaccounted for visitors to ebay auctions. Check out the eBay’s official affiliate forum to see the 250+ responses to their reporting methods. There are a few official responses throughout the 7 page thread, but none that make me feel any better about my lost advertising costs.

I’m willing to give the new EPN tracking issues (if there are any) another month to settle in and possibly set right. In the past it was not unusual for eBay to have issues with their affiliate program while using CJ, but now that it’s in house there are going to be a lot of directly unhappy individuals if something isn’t addressed quickly.

Anyone else having issues or do you feel like the reporting is accurate with the new ebay partner network.

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