Here’s a quick news item I wanted to mention. It seems that eBay is going to establish their own in-house affiliate program and stop using Commission Junction. Here’s the press release:
As part of the move to an in-house affiliate network, eBay and Half.com will no longer run their affiliate programs through ValueClick’s Commission Junction platform.
Of course, this will impact anyone using the BANS (Build a Niche Store) affiliate store site or any other such eBay product feed scripting tools. How much will need to change is unclear at this point although the cut over date to the new program is said to be May 1, 2008.
UPDATE: Here’s some of the text from the announcement email in case you missed it or aren’t already signed up as an eBay Commission Junction affiliate.
We are excited to announce eBay’s new global affiliate platform: the eBay Partner Network.
The new platform will go live on April 1st, 2008 PST, at which point eBay will no longer be running its affiliate program through Commission Junction. Beginning April 1st, affiliates should register with eBay Partner Network and migrate their links from CJ to the new platform.
While CJ and ValueClick have been valuable partners to eBay throughout the years, we’ve decided to give our affiliate community a customized experience for eBay affiliates. All the great tools and benefits of working with the eBay program will remain the same – access to the Editor Kit and affiliate API, the flexible destination tool, the great payout structure.
In addition, the eBay partner network will provide several new features:
• Easy global registration to multiple countries simultaneously
• New, targeted banners and rich media creatives
• New landing page optimization and geo-targeting capabilities
• More detailed reporting capabilities for eBay’s programs
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.
You can receive an additional 5% bonus for all traffic tracked through eBay Partner Network in April 2008 (bonus applicable to traffic sent to Half.com and US, UK, Australia, Canada, Italy, India and Spain eBay sites). The sooner you migrate, the more you’ll earn!
• Register with eBay Partner Network on April 1, 2008
• Confirm your registration, and obtain your new identifiers
• Update your links with your new identifiers.
• Reminder: Please plan to complete migration by May 1, 2008.
You will receive more information and step by step directions for the transition on April 1st. A special help desk to answer your questions about migration will also be available starting April 1st. You can find more details, including a list of programs that will be affected, at http://affiliates.ebay.com.
Thanks for being a valued partner. We’re excited for a successful transition, and the opportunity to grow your business through even more innovations, information and communication moving forward!
eBay’s Affiliates Managers
eBay spokespeople, known to speak out of both sides of their mouth particularly when talking to sellers, have said that affiliates are central to eBay’s ongoing business strategy. But, given their commitment to “user experience” will they crack down on BANS sites? Will they restrict and regulate to the detriment of their affiliate partners or will it be business as usual?
Exactly what the Terms of Service of this new affiliate program will be won’t be available until April 1st. Until then, we can either follow the Red Queen’s advice, “When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!”, or just keep building sites and hope that the eBay “power that be” don’t screw stuff up, even though that’s what they’re famous for doing. You can keep up with this saga on the eBay web site at: http://affiliates.ebay.com
What do you think about this move by eBay? Disaster or a positive sign? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.