An eBay community member reports the eBay Partner Network (ePN) affiliate program has experienced a major drop in performance, with revenue declining 80% since August. 🤯
We've been with ePN (eBay Partner Network) for many years and this year we started seeing a decline revenues, for the same amount and quality of traffic (about half million people a month), and then, in early August, a HUGE DROP of 80% in EPC month-to-month!
As the code on our website and quality of traffic has not changed significantly, it's obvious that something has changed on the eBay/ePN side of things. They're not admitting to it and claiming nothing has changed in their code nor attribution.
Their customer support has not been helpful and for months we're having a message ping-pong with the same representatives who's replying but with nothing useful every few days.
Who can we actually talk to to resolve this issue? ePN used to be a good deal for us but now it's not at all and we're only staying with it in hopes we'll find someone who can figure this out and solve it.
While it's not clear if it's related to the issues this user is seeing, I did notice the eBay Partner Network agreement was updated in September with sections that indicate some new features including Cost Per Click (CPC) campaigns and coupons.
I did a side by side comparison with that page from August 1, 2022 (from the Internet Archive) and that page today with the updates from September.
The only major changes were the additions of the following terms:
Cost Per Click Programs
EPN may, in its sole discretion, offer to allow you to participate in a Program that involves payment based upon a Cost Per Click model rather than payment based upon end user transactions successfully completed (a “CPC Program”). In the event that you are invited to participate in such a program, the rate card governing your participation (your “CPC Rate Card”) shall be reflected in your contract, which can be viewed in EPN’s Partner Portal.
If you participate in the CPC Program:
A CPC Program Qualifying Click (“Qualifying Click”) occurs when a valid end user clicks a Link that has been authorized for use in a CPC Program. For any Qualifying Click you will receive an agreed upon fee as set forth in Your CPC Rate Card as reflected on your contract, which can be viewed in EPN’s Partner Portal.
Note that the scope of the CPC Program may be more limited than the normal Affiliate Program described above and certain items and categories for which eBay Inc. earns low or no revenue may not be included in the CPC Program.
You may only be paid once for each Qualifying Click; no duplicate payments will be made. For clarity, all provisions of this Agreement shall apply to CPC Programs except for the Global Rate Card and definition of Qualifying Transaction above, which shall be governed by this “Cost Per Click Programs” section.
EPN Exclusive Coupon Programs
From time-to-time EPN may invite you to participate in a curated "Coupon Event". You will be able to review and join or decline to join the specific Coupon Event.
During the time period specified in the Coupon Event ("Coupon Period"), EPN shall make Links available for incorporation into your approved Promotional Methods allowing end users to use promotional codes on eBay ("Coupons"), and these Coupons will be redeemable by qualifying recipients during the period of validity specified in the Coupon Event ("Coupon Valid Dates").
The Coupons can be applied to the purchase of certain items or items within certain eBay selected categories ("Coupon Eligible Items") and expire at the end of the Coupon Valid Dates. Once an end user has clicked a Coupon Link they will have twenty four (24) hours in which to redeem the Coupon before that Coupon expires, regardless of the time period of the overall Promotion Period.
The Coupons shall be subject to the Coupon Event Terms and Conditions specified in the Coupon Event and all Promotional Methods including or directing to Coupons must direct the end user to Coupon Event Terms and Conditions page. Coupons and Coupon Events do not impact the Rate Card and do not effect payment for any Qualifying Events, and are purely to be used as Promotions to increase end user engagement; You will receive no additional compensation relating to Coupons or Coupon Events.
Even if this user doesn't use those features, it's entirely possible that launching these new features could have possibly introduced bugs to the system or changed something about ePN attribution.
I'd love to hear from more ePN users if they've noticed any significant changes in performance in the last few months - leave a comment below or if you'd prefer to remain anonymous, contact me!