How to Make More Money with eBay’s Affiliate Program

If you’ve been on the web for a while, the chances are that at some time or other you will have taken part in an affiliate program. They generally work by giving you a URL to send people to their site that contains your affiliate number, and then giving you a small amount for each person who comes in using your link and signs up or buys something.

eBay’s affiliate program follows this basic formula, but with a few twists.

It pays a lot. Each user who follows your link to eBay, signs up and then bids on anything within 30 days will earn you $20. Most affiliate programs will only give you something like 10% of the user’s first purchase. What’s more, for each existing eBay user who clicks through from your site and then places a bid or buys something, you’ll get 10c.

You can be your own affiliate. If you just link to your own auctions with your affiliate link number from your own website, then you’re getting money without sending buyers to anyone except yourself. There aren’t many affiliate programs that can say that.

So Where Do I Sign Up?

You can visit eBay’s affiliate program at affiliates.ebay.com/. Once you’re there, just click ‘Join the Program’. You will then be required to sign up for Commission Junction, which is free.

How Can I Get People to Click the Links?

eBay suggest a number of ‘business models’ for their affiliates. Before people can click your affiliate links, they need to be at your website. There are two ways to get them there using a search engine, which eBay refer to as ‘natural’ and ‘paid’ search.

Natural search: This is when someone finds your website in a search engine’s normal results, either because something you wrote is relevant to them or you used SEO (search engine optimisation) techniques. Be careful not to use any dodgy methods to get a high search engine ranking, though, or eBay might come after you and keep your affiliate money.

Paid search: This strategy involves paying for traffic to your website or directly to eBay, by buying ads on search engines. If you go for this option, it’s actually worth placing ads on the less popular search engines instead of the big ones: they’ll have similar click-through rates as a percentage, but the cost typically won’t be anywhere near as high.

Content: What you can do is just have a normal website, with articles on a variety of subjects and perhaps a community forum. Run the website for pleasure, but place the occasional eBay affiliate link there.

Newsletters: Don’t ignore the potential of putting your affiliate ID in each time you send out a newsletter. You can get 10c for every bid it generates with no extra work, which could be enough for the email to pay for itself, whether it leads to any sales or not.

Sadly, our time together is nearly at an end, but there is one thing that I have left to show you. It’s called the featured gallery, and it could help your sales. Look out for the next post!

*** About The Author ***

Hannes Johnson publishes the Home Business Tips Newsletter which you can join for free by clicking here.
( www.workathomemadeeasy.net/homebusinesstips.html )

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Understanding eBay’s “Description Theft” Policy

When a seller writes an original description of an item or takes an original picture, they own the copyright on their work. This happens without any requirement for them to register or even to want the copyright – that’s just the way copyright works. What that means is that it’s actually illegal to copy another sellers description or pictures.

eBay’s Policy.

eBay refer to the practice of copying another seller’s listing and using it in your own auction as ‘description theft’. It is against their listing policies, and ignorance of the rules is no defence.

What Could Happen?

If your ‘theft’ is discovered, then your listing will be ended and all bids will be cancelled. Do it more than once and your account could get suspended, and you’re subject to the usual eBay punishments: you could lose PowerSeller privileges, or your auctions could be ended, leaving you with a stack of eBay fees.

Is it Likely?

It’s only likely that eBay will investigate description theft and go after you if the seller whose description you took actually takes the time to report you. When you’re competing with that seller directly, though, don’t be surprised if they do turn you in – after all, you’re their competitor!

Think of how you’d feel if someone was re-using a description that you took the time to research and fine-tune for the most sales – and not only that, but they were using it against you, to list competing items. That’s why other sellers don’t want their descriptions taken.

But I Don’t Like Writing Descriptions.

Instead of taking another seller’s descriptions, you can use the stock descriptions that eBay have on file for many items, especially things like CDs, DVDs and books. Simply enter the item’s unique ID number (an ISBN for a book, for example), and the listing will be created for you. If you can’t find any unique ID, then you can also search by name to find a matching item.

Once you’ve found your item, you’ll get a listing with all the technical details on the item, and often a stock picture, too. This is called ‘pre-filled item information’, and eBay licence it from big databases on your behalf.

It really is worth taking the time to write your own descriptions, though, as many people will be listing items using the pre-filled information. Remember that if you sell the same things often then you can re-use your own descriptions as many times as you want. You can keep your own database, re-using the ones that get high prices and re-writing the ones that don’t. Writing descriptions is the biggest way that you have control over your auctions.

It’s easy to keep discovering new things about eBay, isn’t it? So many of the rules and functions are completely hidden away that sometimes it feels like unravelling one big mystery – and, for me at least, that’s a big part of the fun. In the next post, we’ll take a look at how to make more money with eBay’s affiliate program.

*** About The Author ***

Hannes Johnson is an eBay fan and recommends The Auction Resource Network - The Ultimate Learning Resource Site for Online Auction Sellers! ( www.workathomemadeeasy.net/go.php?c=riz_ebayseller ) for anyone interested in making money through eBay.

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Tips for Selling Collectibles on eBay

Yes, collectibles! Collectibles are where eBay started, and they’re still one of its biggest areas – however much they might want you to believe they’re not. eBay’s most hardcore and long-time users are almost all collectors of something or other – it is quite common to post what you think is a mundane item, only to have collectors suddenly go to war over it because it is somehow linked to something they collect.

Collectors are the people on eBay who really do pay top-dollar for things that seem like junk to you and I – not to mention to the people you’ll be getting your stock from! That’s why you can make so much profit on collectibles. Here are a few tips.

Go to people’s homes. People’s homes are full of things that someone out there collects – they are the best and cheapest source of collectibles out there. Sure, you might find something if you hang around at enough garage sales, but you’d have competition. Getting invited to people’s homes to look around should be a dream for you, and one you’re doing your best to make a reality.

Buy on other auction sites. You’ll be surprised how much money you can make if you buy the collectibles that people sell on smaller auction sites like Yahoo Auctions, and then list it on eBay. These sellers will often be perfectly knowledgeable about their item, but simply getting a lower price because they serve a smaller marketplace. Sometimes you can almost double your money.

List in non-collectible categories. If your collectible doesn’t have a category of its own under ‘collectibles’, you might prefer to list it in a category that has something to do with the item but nothing to do with collecting. What you will often find is that people browsing a category for their favourite thing will pay more for your collectible than actual collectors would.

Do lots of research. Never list something you think might be valuable without searching and searching to dig up every piece of information you can on it. Everything you find out is likely to be useful when you come to list it.

List every tiny, tiny detail. Remember that collectors really care about the most seemingly insignificant things. An item from one year can be worth thousands while the one from the year before is near-worthless, or an item that is one shade of a colour can be worth far more than one of a subtly different shade. It’s not worth puzzling over and it’s not worth trying to pass your items off as something they’re not – just make sure you put absolutely everything you know in the description.

When you are listing items that require close research and description down to the tiniest detail, however, don’t be tempted to steal someone else’s work! Whatever you do, don’t take another seller’s description and try to pass it off as your own, as this could have all sorts of consequences for you. Our next post gives you a guide to eBay’s policy on ‘description theft’.

*** About The Author ***

Hannes Johnson is an eBay fan and recommends The Auction Resource Network - The Ultimate Learning Resource Site for Online Auction Sellers! ( www.workathomemadeeasy.net/go.php?c=riz_ebayseller ) for anyone interested in making money through eBay.

NOTE: You have full permission to reprint this
article within your website or newsletter as long
as you leave the article fully intact and include
the “About The Author” resource box. Thanks! :-)