eBay Changed Their Affiliate Program

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.

Define: Affiliate

There are several definitions for the word affiliate.  The meaning that we hear most often in the Online Make Money area is the use as an affiliate for someone.  As in affiliate marketing or as an affiliate of an affiliate network.

The easiest way to think of this use of the word is to think of the relationship between a manufacturer, distributor, and retailer.  The company who provides the item(s) is the manufacturer.  The affiliate network is the distributor.   And you are the retailer.  It’s your job to find the best ways to sell the manufacturers product through your “store”.  And of course, your “store” is the internet.  You’ve got many, many “aisles” that you can place your items on.  The main difference in this analogy is that, you as the retailer do not get to set the price of the item.  It’s already set by the manufacturer.  Similar to a MSRP I suppose.

When it’s all said and done, who has made the most profit?  Not the retailer.  And probably not the Manufacturer either.  The distributor in this case is all smoke and mirrors.  A secure website with a small crew to keep it running and handle customer service.  No need for any physical storage of items for “distributing”, just track the clicks and sales and collect your profit.

Next in line is the manufacturer.  The affiliate makes the least of the bunch.  And yet, there are still millions to be made as an affiliate.  But you can easily see that if you want to continually make money, you need to branch out into these other areas.  It’s difficult to begin operations as a distributor.  It’s easy to become the manufacturer.  Write an instructional e-book.  Create a template and sell it.  There are a large number of things that you can create.  Then, just sign up a distributor and let your affiliates sell it for you…

Holiday Season Starts Online Monday

Many people look to the mass hysteria of yesterday (black Friday) as the official start of the holiday/Christmas season.  And if you’re a brick and mortar company, it really is.  I noticed that even a few of the online shops like Amazon are trying to horn in on it as well.  What really starts things off for the online sector is a day called Cyber Monday.  It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving.  Like Black Friday, Cyber Monday is a day of mass shopping, just online instead of in stores.

I haven’t seen any deals like what you’ll see on Black Friday, but I wouldn’t be surprised if online vendors start doing some pretty decent deals.  For those of us that don’t have a store, we have to horn our way in some other way.  Of course, the most obvious way would be to use search advertising to pull in sales for your affiliate companies.  If there are more shoppers online than any other time of the year, you can bet that they will be searching for lots more items than normal, looking for a deal.

If you’re more of a affiliate site person, you’d have to had your work done a bit earlier in the year, but with any luck, it’ll be paying off over the next month or so.  All those links you’ve added will start paying dividends as people start showing up to your site in larger numbers and your conversion rates go up.

The truth of it is that you’d have to be trying to not make some amount of money in the next month.  If you don’t make anything normally, you’ll likely make a few sales soon.  And if you normally make a lot of sales?  It could be a good month.  But you knew that, didn’t you.

YouTube Adsense for 45n5’s YEA Mashup Script

After some pondering that resulted from a conversation about landing/holding pages for undeveloped domains and Mark’s sharing of a $99 commission from a site running his YouTube, Ebay, Amazon mashup site script, I decided it was time to give it a try. It really is as easy to use as Mark makes it out to be. And what a great way to get your keywords into a holding page while developing the site!  The hardest part was getting the developer ids if you don’t already have them. I had the eBay one, and had to get the YouTube and Amazon ones.

After setting up the ids, you simply change a few things to set options and upload. That easy. Only one thing stuck out to me. The eBay auctions use your affiliate codes for the auctions, so you get affiliate earnings from them. Same goes for the Amazon listings. The YouTube video, on the other hand earns you nothing except embedded video on the cheap.

Being the tinkerer that I am, I decided to try and integrate the Adsense YouTube units instead of the normal YouTube units. The idea being that the video will then be monetized. And we like monetization! So, after a bit of tinkering last night and some coding this morning, I got it to work. And I’m going to share it with you!

If you’ve used Mark’s script before, you’ll notice a few slight changes. The code that calls the YouTube video has changed slightly, but you shouldn’t have to make any further changes. What you will have to do, is go and get the script code for the Adsense YouTube and put it into the stufftochange.php file. You’ll see where. I’ve taken the liberty of throwing in a true/false flag so that you can turn off the Adsense YouTube units if you choose and go back to the regular units. Simply change the flag from a 1 to a 0. Simple, no?

If you haven’t used the script before, you obviously won’t notice any changes. But there aren’t any instructions included in the download, so you’ll want to go over to 45n5.com and watch the tutorial video for the script that Mark put together.

So, without further adieu, Download the YouTube Ebay Amazon (YEA) script! The licensing still belongs to Mark, so it’s still his link in the footer that you have to leave there.  Small price to pay for a great script.  Thanks Mark!

Oh, if you want to see some examples of this modified script in action, check out the following sites: