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.
[phpbay]affiliate, 3, “58059”, “”[/phpbay]
Let me start by giving a brief over view of the WordPress plugin phpBay. It’s a tool used to help integrate you’re eBay affiliate marketing with any WordPress powered blog. By entering a few variables and filters you can easily add a list of eBay items into your post with each link automatically containing your referral link. It’s not a free plugin and requires a one time fee for unlimited domains for $39.
Who could benefit from such a plugin?
Almost any blog could benefit from this plugin. Chances are even personal blogs go into details about certain products from time to time and this is just another tool in your shed of marketing. However, just because you could benefit from the plugin doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. eBay affiliate commissions can be minimal and require substantial traffic to convert to anything worth getting a check for.
Can it be used with other advertising programs?
Typically when people ask this they mean, ‘Can I use phpbay with Adsense and not get banned?’ Yes, you can use this side by side with Google Adsense, because it is not a form of contextual advertising.
List me the Pros of phpBay.
- plain and simple installation, exactly like every other WP plugin.
- decent selection of options to make sure you display the right eBay items.
- fairly inexpensive for what you get.
- good customer support.
- does not require a mysql database, therefore ideal for light weight hosting.
List me the Cons.
- only one instance of phpBay ads can be displayed at one time, therefore you must place phpBay ads after the <more function. (See below for more of my frustration in this.)
- not enough options. Although decent I’d like to see the ability to integrate it into sidebars, not just in posts and better category selections.
- costs money. Yes I did list that as a Pro, but as many free WP plugins that are available, this should be one too.
It was a decent purchase and defintely not a waste of money like so many other programs and scripts available out there. I would consider this plugin juvenile in it’s existence and would hope for some more development in the very near future. The inability to display more than one instance of itself on a page is very frustrating and should at least be remedied with a short cut fix.
Adsense Deluxe is a perfect example of a plugin that was designed to work with no more than X instances of itself on a page. This should be easily integrated into phpBay so that if it detects more than one instance of itself on a page it doesn’t load the others. As it stands now, it will screw up your RSS feed without placing the code after the <more tag.
Currently there is nothing else really to compare it to in the marketplace of WordPress plugins. However, when compared to other eBay affiliate tools like BuildANicheStore, it has a long way to go. Check back soon for my review on BANs.
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