eBay Partner Network Income

Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 2:00 am Pacific USA Time.

OK I think I've tried just about everything, and I just can't make the eBay Partner Network (ePN) into any sort of decent revenue-generating thing. I'm sure if I "sold out" more, maybe it would work, but I can't bring myself to do that. I already hate how much I pushed some of these links, and for what?

Experiment 1: Dropping eBay items into an existing Twitter account with a following

I have a twitter account called yourppl, which mostly covers the music business, focusing on concerts and touring. I had a small following, and I thought I'd see what happens if I had a feed drop a few tickets from eBay sellers every hour. I figured people who wanted to know concert news might be interested in concert tickets.

In a month, I had 6,000 clicks on those concert tickets, and ZERO purchases. So if this was to see if anybody cared, it looks like some people were interested. But from the world of making money, I made none. Nobody bought a single concert ticket. I just pissed people off, evidently.

The outcome is that I lost some really nice followers. They hated the ticket listings, even though they were not the main "content" in the account. People called me "scalper scum," and HATED me for listing tickets for sale. I mean venomous hate. It was really bizarre. Someone even suggested that I should be shot. None of these listings were mine anyway, so it was really interesting to be so hated for something I wasn't even selling.

So after a month or so of that, I have removed that feed. I'd rather not plug tickets to people who will hate me for it. I don't want to sacrifice what I'm building up with my @yourppl account just for the experiment of who will click on tickets, and would it make me any money. I have shut the feed off, and promise people who follow that account: no more eBay ticket listings.

Experiment 2: Creating a blog and twitter feed just for stuff from eBay

On the assumption that stuff in blogs and twitter would get attention in search, I ran a separate twitter account just to dump stuff from eBay in there. An expert suggested that I dump higher priced things that are very in demand so that if I do make ePN money, it'll be decent money. So I dropped in high-priced things based on what I thought was in demand… concert tickets, Coach bags, iPhones, Wii systems, a real hodge podge of stuff, all higher-priced.

I got some clicks, and I think a couple of purchases. I think I got around $20 last month from people clicking on these. Barely worth the web hosting I set up for the domain name. So I consider this a failure.

Could I work harder at this? I guess. But that would be work. :) And for what I bill for an hour of my time, I'm not sure this is how my time is best spent. I don't think I've ever received a payment of more than $40 in a month from ePN. Barely worth the time.

Experiment 3: The blog and twitter thing tried by someone else

Someone I know decided to try a similar experiment. She set up a blog and and twitter feed, but rather than go for the higher-priced thing, her idea was to do focused items for a narrower audience. She aimed at items around $50 that were housewares and craft-related things like for knitting.

It sounds like she got some action and some purchases, but not enough to call this any kind of part-time living. Maybe it'll pay for one dinner out each month.

What is your experience?

Have you been able to make serious revenue from the ePN without "selling out your friends" and getting your life threatened like my experience? :) I have only found one person claiming to make more than $50/month, and I wasn't able to reproduce that person's results, even though he gave me clear directions on things to try. I tried a BUNCH of things (not all listed here), and couldn't get more than $70 in a month.

I think that until ePN allows more links to be commissionable, it's not that viable as a real revenue source. I believe that more links SHOULD be allowed to be commissionable, but that'll be a blog post for another day. :)

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Categories: That's Bad Marketing

Comments Closed

4 Responses to “eBay Partner Network Income”

  1. Chuck says:

    What links are NOT commissionable? I wasn’t aware of any.
    With Spring in the air I am going to make another go of it with my left handed golfer domain.
    EPN would end up about 50% of the potential ad slots. SO I do have other ways of monetization.

  2. Best to read the terms, condition, and rules, Chuck! ePN has a LOT of rules and limitations. I don’t even know all of them.
    Plenty of links are NOT commissionable, so be careful!

  3. Hillary says:

    Now, I speak as someone with stuff we sell so to some extent we most make income from referring people to our own stuff.
    But for instance, from a non-seller standpoint, in a blog post a while ago I mentioned those singing fish, Billy the Big Mouth Singing Bass things and linked to the eBay listings for that item to remind people what they were. It put the link through the EPN just to see if anyone clicked it. I made $60 from that one random link. So now I am in the habit of any random pop-culture item reference, linking to eBay. For most people, it will serve the original purpose of just reminding them what the item is but if they later buy something through the link, heck, I’ll take it.
    Another example is in the blog for our company, when the author of Jurassic Park died a few months ago, in addition to our little article about it, we put a widget of Jurassic Park toys on eBay. In that case, it felt like a natural extension of the topic of the blog post anyway so it worked.
    The EPN isn’t going to work for every website. But there are definitely ways to make it work, we have found.

  4. Chuck says:

    Best to read the terms, condition, and rules, Chuck! ePN has a LOT of rules and limitations. I don’t even know all of them.
    I guess it is a good thing I only use the links from RSS feeds then!