eBay Admits to Ripping Off its Affiliates

For those who are members of eBay’s affiliate program, and compared to Amazon there are seemingly proportionally fewer and fewer who stick with the program, spring and summer 2016 has seen a dramatic drop in reported conversions and earnings.

Affiliates with regular traffic and conversions have noted steady income being subjected to a huge decrease in earnings.

Recently, eBay admitted its mobile tracking was not working properly.

Then eBay admitted all of its tracking was off.

Obviously, there has been a major uproar from affiliates.

eBay is an affiliate program which for years has undergone upheavals, changed compensations terms, and a flood of fleeing affiliates. Criticism from affiliates reached such a level that eBay made its affiliate discussion forum private so only affiliates could get access and the criticism / comments would not be publicly distributed.

Similarly, when John Toskey issued a video about the tracking issue, eBay secretly released it so it is not listed via a search on YouTube. It’s not even listed on the official eBay Partner Network video page – which is odd given it is an important eBay Partner Network communication.

Here is the video – which is critical information if you are considering referring sales to eBay, or if you did not receive notice from eBay that the video had been released to address the tracking problems:

In the video Toskey claims eBay has multiple layers of transaction tracking, including third party tracking.

Now, after the video was released the following comes out:

- It will take eBay weeks, if not more, to fix its affiliate commission tracking problems. One wonders if eBay will ever have trustworthy reporting.

- Tracking problems are related to multiple pages and checkout processes. It is not a small or isolated problem.

- To credit affiliates eBay is using historical data for the affiliate and then for impacted months increasing earnings proportionally based on the historical data.

Example: if an affiliate made $1000 every month and was down to $500, presumably a $500 credit or bonus is being given.

That is the theory. Affiliates are reporting credits are far less than what they believe they are owed.

No explanation from eBay about crediting affiliates without a track record. They appear to be entirely screwed.

It’s an estimate of money affiliates earned but were not paid, without paying them interest, and without giving them anything about how the credit was calculated so that anyone can evaluate whether it is fair or not.

This isn’t specific to eBay, but usually when a company self-estimates how much customers have been harmed (recently, VW) it’s almost always a much lower amount than what is paid after litigation forces production of documents and information. Just saying.

Bottom line: This is really a shame. eBay can be a good money-maker for affiliates and Amazon is not a good substitute for many products. Many affiliates have spent years experimenting and fine-tuning their sites for eBay’s unique auctions and unique compensation program. To not get paid for that hard work, and to only begrudgingly get some credits after a major uproar, and with little transparency, will inevitably cause more affiliates to jump completely to Amazon, and that will hurt eBay overall. Even when credits are provided, affiliates are left with no tracking data which they can use to better their sites and increase conversions.

If there is a silver lining, assuming eBay can get its act together, remaining affiliates will have even less competition.

Then affiliates will get to address a major structural shift eBay is embarking upon to be more like Amazon with static product pages.

In the meantime – eBay – invest in your affiliate program, be more transparent, and don’t just reach for the bare minimum of giving some earnings credit, but more than make up for the lost earnings to overcompensate for the harm that has been caused, and try to restore goodwill with those remaining with your program.

Posted in Affiliate Marketing

Social Monkee Review

social monkee logo

Social Monkee is a site advertising that you can place backlinks on social sites to get unique C-class dofollow links that will bring increases exposure, tons of targeted traffic, and improved SEO.

Well, at least that is what the marketing says.

Social Monkee has seen better days.

I’ve had an account for years which was rarely used, so I decided to fire up the service and see how it is doing these days. Submitted my site (actually a Facebook page so I wouldn’t do anything too bad to a money site) and was supposed to get 100 unique backlinks.

Then I checked the report to see the placed links and clicked on each one, one by one …

There were 45 backlinks and 55 ‘server not found’ websites.

Of the forty-five backlinks there were all on gawd-awful, spammy, some of the worst possible sites you could imagine.

Needless to say, only the brave would use this for their money sites. If you believe any backlink is a good backlink then you’ve got something here. If you are concerned Google will penalize your site for bad backlinks then stay far, far away from Social Monkee. Unless, of course, you’re interested in the flip side of this analysis and that is promoting your competitors sites with Social Monkee!

Hmmmm.

Social Monkee has already gone through one site purge where garbage social sites were supposedly replaced with better properties. Hoo boy, I can’t imagine those prior sites.

According to Social Monkee some of the sites have a PageRank of 4 and the service supposedly has been, is and will keep promoting the sites to make them more and more valuable to Google. Pffft. I don’t believe that for a second after seeing the garbage list of sites being used and server error after server error – assuming the sites even exist. That is what appeared to me – you get a report showing 100 backlinks were placed but most of those were fake as the site does not exist.

As the links which were placed, to be fair, it is the garbage other users are posting to these sites which is the problem. The sites are just a platform waiting for posts.

A service like Social Monkee could be great if users were using it to get backlinks to decent sites. But they’re not, and that’s a shame. Good idea, but typical IM scammy spam garbage as Internet Marketers crap all over the net in search of a backlink.

Posted in Backlinks, Reviews

How to Make Whiteboard Videos

If you are not familiar with what a “whiteboard” video is – here is an example:

As you can see whiteboard videos are very cool. But just how do you create this effect?

Let me make this really simple for you …

GET THIS SOFTWARE!

A couple reasons why:

- It will make creating whiteboard, and many other types of videos really easy.

- More than 100,000 customers can’t be wrong.

I know this is a short post. It could have be one sentence – like get this software if you want to make whiteboard videos.

The software is inexpensive and does not require monthly fees. Works on both PCs and Mac computers. No questions asked 30 day refund policy if you decide it isn’t for you. It is, so you have no excuse not to try it out.

Posted in Reviews
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