On the EPN blog, they announced that the way publishers get paid (how much they get paid) will be updated soon.
They did not say what the changes are
They simply stated that in the next few weeks / months the terms will change and that they will inform us soon.
Some may wonder why they would announce a change, but not say what the change is, but I understand why. They get their heads chopped off with critiques when they change something without warning.
This is that warning
This change to terms has something to do with how much EPN will value existing customers with new customers. Many publishers are worried about what that will mean, and rightfully so.
Publishers work hard to create loyal and returning fans to their websites and therefore to Ebay
Many publishers entire strategy is to keep their niche well informed and return often to see what is new on their site and what is newly available on Ebay. If EPN devalues such customers then there will be a strong reaction from publishers.
Ebay Partner Network has survived many such fiascoes
EPN has made several unpopular steps, that in hind sight were not so bad. They left CJ (Commission Junction) and that was supposedly the end of the world but it was not. Then they changed the pricing for ACRUs and that was another end of the world that wasn’t. Then they started Quality Click Pricing, an entirely new way to pay affiliate publishers, and that didn’t end the world either.
However just because the world doesn’t end doesn’t make it helpful
I am pretty committed to EPN and their program, but they haven’t been very committed to us publishers. What they see as small changes can create months of work for others or restructure entire strategies to keep up with their changes.
Publishers haven’t gotten to have much input in the past.
The wildcard search problem
Not long ago Ebay made a change to the way they did searches on their site. The change affected a great deal of publishers who were not given any warning it was coming.
Ebay decided something, and did it. They have that right. At the same time, publishers were only given a few days of notice for that change (which Ebay later extended). It really told publishers that they were not that important, which I sort of understand.
It is Ebays job to maximize their profits and make things useful for their users. I get that.
Ebay is an auction site, not a publisher hand holding service.
Publishers (I am one of those publishers) had every right to be mad because it was really unbelievably a radical change that would affect most publishers. They didn’t even warn us at all that it was coming.
What publishers can do about it
I only know what I will do about this and other such changes they throw at us publishers.
- I will accept that I am an affiliate of Ebay, not Ebay.
- I will understand that Ebay is a fluid company that will make changes that are not always ideal for me.
- I will have a backup plan.
- I will have other ways to monetize my websites at the ready.
- If the day comes that the negatives outweigh the positives I will consider not using them anymore.
- I will appreciate the good things about the program, and there are a great deal of good things to appreciate.
EBay might like that I think that way, but they shouldn’t.
You see, Ebay is an internet company. Internet companies come and go. The ones that last typically take care of their partners.
Right now Ebay has an army of publishers who are very adept at what they do. If a better deal comes along will that army be loyal? I am starting to think they won’t.
The worse they treat their publishers and API users, the less loyal they will become.
A smart venture capitalist could recruit the “army” who create or channel 30 or 40 percent of Ebay transactions (Ebay publishers and API users) by providing a better environment rather easily
But they can’t do that to loyal partners.
Ebay provides so many publishers with such great tools and products to sell that make websites able to make money that wouldn’t be able to without Ebay. I think publishers should be more patient in general. In all actuality, some of the changes I “had” to make because of Ebay changes have made my sites better.
I myself am giving them the benefit of the doubt
The EPN team has really been trying to be more transparent in their dealings with publishers lately and have stated that is one of their main goals for this year. We will find out if that is true soon. But like I said I am willing to wait to see what they are going to do and how they are going to do it before critiquing them for it.
What the EPN team can do to lessen the blows they deal to publishers
I would hope that they give ample warning and preparation time to publishers. Ebay has a way of just stating “hi, next week this or that will change”. A week isn’t enough time for anyone to adjust to anything.
Let us say for example that they are going to pay less for existing customers and more for new customers then they should understand that this is a major change for publishers.
Ebay asked publishers to send them quality traffic and we did that and we created websites and strategies to do so. Now if they are going to ask us to do something different, they will hopefully realize that it could take some time to adjust to their new wishes.
Can’t wait to see what happens The internet is exciting and I like it.