I got the email about this several days ago, but have put off writing anything about it because it is unclear what the impact will be to those of us who use the affiliate program. I think it would be silly of eBay to not continue to allow the redirection of their current links, but based on the email, they will.
The eBay Partner Network and Commission Junction will run in parallel for one month through this process, so please plan to complete your migration by May 1st, 2008.
Sounds like broken links all over the place to me. They do mention that the affiliate API will still work. That’s good as there are lots of programs and sites that make use of it. Build a Niche Store and the 45n5 mashup script are two well know examples. But the individual publishers that have been doing a lot of link insertion without redirection could run into problems.
One bright spot here is that any old links that go to auctions will be void anyways since the auction will be over. You’ll still lose out on the cookie and any resulting sales, but since the auction is over, the click-through should be small and the loss even smaller.
What is even more exciting is the ability to do affiliate work with all the eBay sites around the globe. Very nice. Instead of being restricted to the US or Canada sites, we can now sign up with the UK, Australia, France and other international sites. That could open up for a lot of new opportunities for some people.
As an added incentive to switch over as fast as possible, they’re offering a 5% bonus to all sales made through the new system during April. Very nice.