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  1. #1
    Newbie ClayBillionaire's Avatar
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    ALL Ebay Affiliates...
    I wish ebay informed us first that they were planning this new Guest Registration feature but apparantly we affiliates are no longer a driving enough sales force??

    What I do know is this...

    From what I understand ebay has rolled out this Guest Registration feature slowly but will soon (if not already) have this feature loaded for every category - and every ebay affiliate who relies on ACRUs will feel the effects.

    Please share your revenue losses here and feel free to vent !

    The more venting, uniting of affiliate voices, and substantial affiliate revenue losses they incur through paused PPC campaigns, etc. - the sooner we will get questions answered and the professional communication and attention we hard working affiliates deserve.

    For those of you who are going to post how your doing just fine and dandy...please hold your posts a week or two until we are all clear that every category has the Guest Registration feature.

    Or look like an idiot and post something sarcastic anyway.

  2. #2
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    I'm confused. What exactly is the controversy?

    A guest buyer can only make purchases of of BIN items using a paypal account. If they get to eBay with your link, then you obviously should be paid for any purchases they make. Ebay is encouraging them to join after the transaction is complete. So if your cookie is on their computer you should get credit for the registration.

    Or are you saying you don't get credit for one or the other or both?

  3. #3
    Newbie ClayBillionaire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy
    I'm confused. What exactly is the controversy?

    A guest buyer can only make purchases of of BIN items using a paypal account. If they get to eBay with your link, then you obviously should be paid for any purchases they make. Ebay is encouraging them to join after the transaction is complete. So if your cookie is on their computer you should get credit for the registration.

    Or are you saying you don't get credit for one or the other or both?
    Affiliates receive commissions on the sales but not the ACRU - unless they choose to register after the fact when ebay 'encourages' them.

    For affiliates who focus their marketing efforts primarily on generating ACRUs -they are experiencing - or are going to experience drastically reduced ACRU commissions.

  4. #4

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    Haven't seen any drop in ACRUs, if anything an increase.

  5. #5
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm not going to get worked up about this. Ebay is my top performing program, and I don't focus my "marketing efforts primarily on generating ACRU."

    I focus my efforts on promoting products. Today alone I had four active registrations and I'm sure it's because people found something on eBay that they couldn't find anywhere else, and fortunately for me, weren't members yet. My Winning Bids each day are phenomenal.

    Seriously, I can't fault the company for looking for ways to help increase sales for their sellers. I highly doubt it is some sort of devious intentional ploy to cheat affiliates out of their commissions. Personally, I think they are very generous to their affiliates. They raised us from $12 to $25 for active registrations this year, and give up 50 to 55% of their share of the earnings to affiliates for successful bids.

    Sometimes, you have to look at things from the other side's point of view. And, in this case, I believe all eBay is trying to do is test something new in an effort to generate more sales. I don't think it's going to make much of a difference, and people are going to join anyway.

  6. #6
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    ACRUs haven't been a meaningful component of my eBay revenue since they went to revenue share... and I'm damned glad they did, since my site is geared towards repeat visitors and buyers.

    Of course for those with programs that compensate solely on ACRU, that would indeed suck. Time to change your revenue model...
    EPN - Cautiously, but paranoically, optimistic.

  7. #7
    Newbie ClayBillionaire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dharding
    ACRUs haven't been a meaningful component of my eBay revenue since they went to revenue share... and I'm damned glad they did, since my site is geared towards repeat visitors and buyers.

    Of course for those with programs that compensate solely on ACRU, that would indeed suck. Time to change your revenue model...
    I've read this in other forums - and I agree that it seems wiser to build your site focused on revenue shares, however, I can't grasp the concept of repeat visitors.

    If I were to go to your site and buy something from ebay and got a good deal - what stops me from going to ebay rather than your site for the next great deal?

  8. #8
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClayBillionaire
    I've read this in other forums - and I agree that it seems wiser to build your site focused on revenue shares, however, I can't grasp the concept of repeat visitors.

    If I were to go to your site and buy something from ebay and got a good deal - what stops me from going to ebay rather than your site for the next great deal?
    You can build a niche site that categorizes items nicely. That way folks can find what they want without wading through a ton of items.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ClayBillionaire
    I've read this in other forums - and I agree that it seems wiser to build your site focused on revenue shares, however, I can't grasp the concept of repeat visitors.

    If I were to go to your site and buy something from ebay and got a good deal - what stops me from going to ebay rather than your site for the next great deal?
    Not all of us build BANS sites, scrapers or just "made for ebay" sites. Many have real content sites that draw back repeat visitors.

  10. #10
    Full Member bobby131313's Avatar
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    Yup.

  11. #11
    Newbie ClayBillionaire's Avatar
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    Ok...back to the SUBJECT of this forum...
    Geez...how easy it is even for Me to get taken off course in my own thread. lol.


    I think most ALL affiliates know quality content = repeat visitors.


    Has anyone who's not an old-school ebay "master" been experiencing effects from the guest registration feature??

    No or Fewer ACRUs ($25) new registration commissions??

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClayBillionaire
    I've read this in other forums - and I agree that it seems wiser to build your site focused on revenue shares, however, I can't grasp the concept of repeat visitors.

    If I were to go to your site and buy something from ebay and got a good deal - what stops me from going to ebay rather than your site for the next great deal?
    I think you have the tail wagging the dog. While many people do create pages solely with the intent of driving traffic to merchants for the sake of affiliate revenue (those inane no-value-added link farms are the bane of the Google experience in my opinion, but that's a soapbox for another day), many of us had sites with meaningful content first.

    Why would a person come back?

    Because they can find out information and/or historical data about the very item that they went to eBay to find.

    Because they can review and read reviews of, that item by other consumers.

    Because they can discuss that item with other similar-minded consumers.

    Because they can research other items that are similar to that item.

    Some people actually build web pages that have real content worth reading...
    EPN - Cautiously, but paranoically, optimistic.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ClayBillionaire
    Geez...how easy it is even for Me to get taken off course in my own thread. lol.


    I think most ALL affiliates know quality content = repeat visitors.


    Has anyone who's not an old-school ebay "master" been experiencing effects from the guest registration feature??

    No or Fewer ACRUs ($25) new registration commissions??
    I believe the guest registration is the least of anyone's worries. Outages, tracking issues, and such are considerably more damaging.

  14. #14
    Newbie ClayBillionaire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dharding
    Why would a person come back?

    Because they can find out information and/or historical data about the very item that they went to eBay to find.

    When you say historical data - do you mean completed listings on ebay?

    Or - say I built a website around a particular collector coin series.... and I offered historical data about that series ... is that what you mean?

    I guess I could see them comming back if they were going to be collecting more coins within that niche - or maybe to read updated info about that coin series.


    Personal question: Do you operate multiple sites or one exclusively?

  15. #15
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClayBillionaire
    Has anyone who's not an old-school ebay "master" been experiencing effects from the guest registration feature??

    No or Fewer ACRUs ($25) new registration commissions??
    Nope. In fact, registrations are up higher than usual. I usually get 15 to 20 per month. I'm at 34 so far this month, and 13 of them have been in the last four days during this "Guest Buyer" program.

    Quote Originally Posted by ClayBillionaire
    When you say historical data - do you mean completed listings on ebay?
    No. For me it's a history of the item in question. When it was produced and for how long.

    At my site, I have one page dedicated to each item. It shows a picture of the item, it tells the date it was introduced, describes the item, and provides links to one or more merchants that sell the item. At the bottom of the page is an eBay Editor Kit listing the auctions selling the item. There is also a Flexible Destination link to eBay that provides all the Buy-It-Nows when the person clicks it. Usually, when an item is first introduced, nobody is selling it on eBay, but people click the links anyway to check and make purchases of other things. And in time, those eBay links will populate ... and I've already put them in there when the page is created.

    When the item is no longer produced and sold by merchants online, the merchant links are removed, and the date the item was discontinued is noted on the page. The eBay links alone stay. Just because they don't make it any more, doesn't mean that people aren't buying and selling it. There is also a suggestion on every page to "BOOKMARK" the page and check back each week for new listings. This way there is never a reason to delete a page and give up any traffic it generates and it's listing in the search engines.

    In addition, I have a forum at my site where visitors can discuss different versions of the item and help each other identify items they have by posting pictures. If somebody posts a link to eBay, I go in and edit it to add the Flexible Destination Tool code and my affiliate info so I get credit for sales.

    I've also allowed eBay sellers to link to the stores at eBay (and embedded the code in those links as well). It's taken several years but I've built quit a community, and I can find numerous references to my site around the Internet saying that it's the best place to go to identify and locate the items. I've built every page by hand and usually add several pages every day. This month I hit the 10,000-page mark. Just adding a few pages, day after day, year after year. (I use the The Daffodil Principle.)

    I can run my reports at CJ and see by the numbers that people come back again and again.

    I don't understand promoting eBay just for the active registrations. It makes no sense to me. What reason do you give to people to join? Besides with the millions of members eBay already has (A March 6, 2005, New York Times article said: "eBay has 66 million registered users in the United States and 135 million worldwide ..."), chances are that somebody visiting your site is already a member. I'm sure the numbers have grown substantially in the last 2 1/2 years.

    The way I look at it, my job is to help people find what they are looking for on the Internet. I'm going to be a success when I do that. How many times have you done a search on the Internet and ended up at pages that have nothing to do with what you are looking for? There is too much of that crap out there.

    If somebody comes to my site looking for discontinued Blue Widgets, and they see the eBay listings and click on a listing and want to buy it, then they are going to bid or buy it. If they are not a member, they'll join; but if they're already a member, I'm still going to earn something for my efforts showing them where they can buy the item. Then there are those who click a link and buy stuff that has nothing to do with what I'm promoting. Love it when I see one of those big-screen televisions go and I make a $30 or $40 commission for one sale I wasn't even promoting.

    I've been thinking a lot about this for the last few days. And, I can't help but look at it from eBay's point of view. Affiliates who only go after registrations add no value for them. It's those of us who keep sending buyers back again and again that are of value and are making the real money with eBay. Because we've figured out that the real money is in making repeat sales. So in my mind, the reason for this thread is pointless. I'm certainly not going to fault eBay for wanting to try a new way of making more sales.

    Don't get me wrong ... I appreciate the commissions from active registrations, but my bread and butter comes from the "Winning Bids." I can count on earning commissions from "winning bids" every single day of the year. I have never had a day go by where I didn't make something. Some days it's only a few dollars, but most days it's anywhere from $20 to $80.

  16. #16
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Another thing to remember: When people are looking for something, the first thought in their head isn't, "Let me go and see if somebody is selling it at eBay." If that were true, eBay wouldn't need us to keep sending people there.

    Case in I live with eBay every day. I sell stuff on eBay, I buy stuff on eBay, and I make a lot of money generating sales for eBay through my site.

    Yesterday, I decided to buy a tree house for my cats so they will stop scratching on my couch. First I went to Amazon and found the name of a company that makes one I like. Before buying it at Amazon I went to the company's site, and discovered that they offered Free Shipping at their site, but not at Amazon. I was about to purchase a large one for $149 but first I clicked on the FAQ link. On the page they talked about returns, and mentioned if you bought it through eBay to include the listing number in your email. Seeing "eBay" I decided to check their prices there before I made the purchase at the site. And I'm glad I did because I ended up getting the very same model for $102 at eBay.

    If somebody like me who lives and breaths eBay didn't go there first, why would you question our efforts to promote selling items at eBay? People don't go there directly if they have a place to go that has filtered down all the listings to show just the items they are looking for, and they don't necessarily think to go there without our suggesting that they do so.

    -----

    And, I haven't forgotten your comment:

    For those of you who are going to post how your doing just fine and dandy...please hold your posts a week or two until we are all clear that every category has the Guest Registration feature.

    Or look like an idiot and post something sarcastic anyway.
    I don't think I look like an idiot. Quite the contrary, I think I look like somebody who has figured out how to successfully promote eBay. What do you think?

    Okay, think I'll get off my soapbox now.

  17. #17
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    Did earnings (and ACRUs) on the 9th of this month look particularly low?

    Does anyone remember if they posted a message about an outage for that day (possibly starting on the 8th and ending on the 10th)?

    Thanks in advance for checking your stats.

  18. #18
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    60% of users choosing the guest checkout button vs. the register link
    This one surprised me

    This came from the guest buyer workshop board

    http://forums.ebay.com/db2/thread.js...597910&start=0


    Q: How are you going to advertise this feature to non-eBay registered buyers?

    A: For right now, we are hitting them at the most contextual point in the purchase cycle which is the sign in page. We are also considering adding some messaging on the visitor homepage but that's not quite live yet. We certainly want the word to get out about this feature.

    eliang@ebay.com View Listings | Report Nov-28-07 11:19 PST 20 of 40
    Q: Wording on sign in page could be clearer?

    A: I agree we can make it more clear and we are looking at making slight tweaks there - probably post x-mas though. Right now we see about 60% of users choosing the guest checkout button vs. the register link when presented with the option.
    Last edited by whatsunderneath; November 29th, 2007 at 04:54 PM. Reason: first page

  19. #19
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Thank you for posting the thread. I found this very interesting:

    Q: If there are not registered with Ebay what would make some get the sign-in Page? Just curious.

    A: Good question. Generally, a new user should be interested in purchasing the item and then when they click BIN they see sign in. This is where a lot of folks use to drop off when they see we require you to register in order to continue. We also see a lot of drop off the minute they hit the registration page. We hope guest buying helps ease them over that hurdle to purchase their first item.
    Looks to me like eBay noticed a lot of people stopped the purchase process when they found out they had to register. That's why they've started this guest purchase in the first place. I also noticed that they limit people to only two guest purchases before they HAVE to register.

    This still looks like a reasonable business move to generate more sales.

  20. #20
    Newbie ClayBillionaire's Avatar
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    Tracy - this is why I asked folks to wait a couple of weeks. I wanted to see how how things would settle once ebay rolled the guest registration feature out for every category (still don't know if that's happened yet - but that is their goal).

    I wasn't trying to sound like a jerk when I started the thread and I am indeed impressed by your accomplishment and your loyalty to ebay.

    It is also not my goal to in any way spread garbage about ebay's affiliate program - as ebay has helped my income substantially.

    The purpose of the thread was to be an outlet for affilates who ARE being effected by the change - to share and to vent.

    It's one thing for a webmaster with 10,000 pages - which by your statement appear to be doing well in the search engines - its obviously something all together different for marketers who mainly focus on PPC advertising.

    I do greatly appreciate all that you (Tracy) had to say in your post above. I think it is very insightful and helpful to affiliates trying to see the big picture of making a website around ebay.

    I learned quite a bit actually - and thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    For the record -- the last few days have picked back up for me in ACRU's but I've also been marketing on a larger scale so I can't base results yet.

    Tracy - you mentioned that you are able to see "repeat visitors" come back in your CJ logs - could you elaborate on that. How do I know who's who in my CJ logs??

  21. #21
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClayBillionaire
    Tracy - you mentioned that you are able to see "repeat visitors" come back in your CJ logs - could you elaborate on that. How do I know who's who in my CJ logs??
    Easy. After a month has closed I run a report on all eBay transactions and open it in Excel. I then copy it to a master file that has the accumulated data from previous months.

    The column you want to look at is "Order_ID," which is a list of numbers separated by semicolons. The first number identifies the buyer. Each eBay user has a unique number associated with their user name. If I sort all the data on that column in my master file, then it is very easy to see the people who come back again and again because as the first number in the column, and they all group together.

    The second number is the Item Number at the auction. You can go to eBay click the Advanced Search button, and select search by Item Number. Enter the number to see the auction and obviously who the winning bidder was. In very rare instances that information is blocked out as private ... usually on high-dollar items.

    If you're proficient at Excel, there are easy ways to parse out the other data using FIND() and MID(). I even use a formula to merge the ebay url with the Item Number so that I don't have go in and search for every number I just copy and paste the url in a browser.

    What really tickles me is that my step-mother collects a certain type of depression glass toothpick holders, which has nothing to do with my site. However, years ago I created an eBay page filtering down all the items so only the ones she would be interested in would show up. There is another page at my website talking about her and I linked to the eBay page, saying she collects the stuff. Gotta love the search engines because they picked up the page, and several years ago this one person bookmarked it, and visits it regularly. The beauty of it is that this person collects other stuff and often buys things like $1500 Chinese vases. Fortunately for me, he/she often starts by reviewing that one page at my site, and then I get credit for all his/her purchases for the next 7 days.

    In case you're wondering, the the remaining columns are: Category Id; Click Date; Bid Date; Quantity Sold, Sale Price, Currency, and Record Id.

    More interesting to me, though, is the SID. I key in two separate SIDs for each eBay page. For example, for Blue Widgets, the SID for the Editor Kit Listings is SID=BlueWidgets; and for the Flexible Destination link I would use SID=BlueWidgetsBIN. This way I have been able to identify which areas of my site are more profitable and determine if I need to add more items from those particular collections.

    One of the smartest things I ever did was add those BIN links. It always bugged me that they didn't show up in the Editor Kit listings, and on a lot of items I promote that's all there ever is is the BINs so the Editor Kit was always empty. I see a lot of sales come through on those links. It was a real PITA manually going through thousands of pages and adding the link after the fact, but it was worth it, and thankfully global search and replace sped up the process.

    Oh and back to venting ... I still have nothing to rant about. Three active registrations so far today bringing me to 37 so far this month. I could have more because I've seen a trend where they usually post after 3:00 AM ET.

    I wonder if the fact people have the option of making a purchase as a guest buyer is easing their concerns and so now they're registering simply because they don't have to? Wouldn't that be a hoot? Maybe eBay is on to something here.

    Here's some eye opening statistics for you. Over the years the number of pages at my site with eBay links has increased drastically. Guess how many active registrations I've had each year?

    2004 = 1,434 Active Registrations
    2005 = 424 Active Registrations
    2006 = 302 Active Registrations
    2007 = 254 Active Registrations YTD

    I've been promoting eBay the way I've described in my posts since 2003 ... I just don't have the data going back that far. Back then they only paid $5 per active registration. And there were some who laughed at those of us promoting eBay for the nickel bids. (You can search ABW for eBay and my name to see those threads.) I've always had the last laugh. I only spend about $30 a month on PPC advertising. One day of eBay commissions more than covers that, and I simply still don't understand the short-sighted attempts at only promoting eBay for the registrations when there is so much more money to be made by developing a long-term following that increases income from eBay every year.

    Each year that passes, finding new users that are not already registered at eBay becomes more and more difficult .... especially since there are so many people out there vying to get those registrations. It's a one-time pop. Once somebody is registered, then what? If you ACRU-chasers don't want them ... send them over to my site to do all their shopping, I'm more than happy to earn the commissions from their purchases. I'm in this for the long-haul. I quit my job in 2003, and I don't ever want to go to work at another job again.

    If anybody still wants to vent about not making money with eBay after I've given you a road-map on how to do it successfully, then at least you have this thread as a place to do so.

  22. #22
    Newbie ClayBillionaire's Avatar
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    Wow... "chick with brains" - is right!

    Very intelligent.

    I'm going to have to re-read your post a few times tonight when my little one goes to bed and let that all sink in. I had no idea you could do that type of precision tracking. Well I'd heard about it - but never heard exactly the methodology to it. Thank you for sharing that!

    Sadly - I have very little excel knowledge - I've only used it as an organizer for affiliate programs and such - but don't know the tips and tricks. I'll have to check the read me file.

    Did you learn excel on your own - or is there an affiliate management ebook or something explaining excel with an industry focus? If not, you might consider writing one - I'd buy it.

    Well unless it was preceeded by BIG RED LETTERS at the top of a sales paged followed by ... This offer is only going to last 24hrs ... your going to get 500 bonus ebooks including "the art of stairing at walls", "how to make money buy writing a bunch of boring worthless ebooks," and the famous selling - "how to become a millionaire over night by giving me one million dollars"...This (over inflated) product has been reduced for a limited time to $197. :

  23. #23
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    Tracy, thanks for all that information.
    You should write an Affiliate guide book.

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Tracy, Great feedback and thanks. As someone who is just starting to promote Ebay more and more your info is a great start to get it going

  25. #25
    Newbie ClayBillionaire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy
    Easy. After a month has closed I run a report on all eBay transactions and open it in Excel. I then copy it to a master file that has the accumulated data from previous months.

    The column you want to look at is "Order_ID," which is a list of numbers separated by semicolons. The first number identifies the buyer. Each eBay user has a unique number associated with their user name. If I sort all the data on that column in my master file, then it is very easy to see the people who come back again and again because as the first number in the column, and they all group together.
    Tracy - When you say open it in excel - do you copy and paste or does CJ have an excel feature I haven't noticed?

    I downloaded my reports and filtered them by transaction summary but don't see any semicolons. Or a column labeled "Order_ID"

    If you have time could you elaborate step-by-step after loggin into CJ?

    Thank you!

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