AuctionAds Review – AuctionAds Partially Solves Two International Affiliate Problems

AuctionAds

Shoemoney Media and Mediawhiz (The parent company of Text Link Ads and ReviewMe) have released an innovative new monetization model, based upon Ebay Auctions – AuctionAds.com

Mainstream media will no doubt not even think let alone write about the 2 core advantages of this system for a large segment of the affiliate marketplace.

  1. International – Even affiliates in the UK were unable to join the Ebay affiliate program in the US
  2. Payment – Payment is made by Paypal rather than check, with a $10 threshold

International Affiliates

If you are an affiliate based in the US, almost all affiliate marketing doors are open. If you live anywhere else, or if your company is registered somewhere else, you ultimately always hit barriers for your participation.

Ebay International Affiliate Barriers

Here is an excerpt from the Ebay (US) Affiliates FAQ

Ebay US Policy on International Affiliates

The Ebay affiliate program is managed by Commission Junction, who provide an international affiliate management system.
Unfortunately Ebay has chosen to separate their affiliate program by territory, at least for some.
Affiliates based in the US can join the affiliate program of other counties, affiliates outside the US cannot join the US program… one day the European Union might decide that is not free trade.

Here is an excerpt from the Ebay UK Affiliate FAQ:-

Ebay UK Policy on International Affiliates

It is not Commission Junctions fault, they provide an international platform, although it is confusing for affiliates to identify which affiliate programs they are entitled to join.

Commission Junction

International Payment

With Paypal being offered there are several advantages

  • Low $10 payment threshold
  • No excessive charges for processing international checks
  • No delays in cashflow (though it is not specified how quickly AuctionAds will pay)

This might not be a universal advantage for all affiliates, because Commission Junction do offer direct bank transfers in a number of territories. A lot will depend on how AuctionAds calculate when a payment is due.
If their system allows for them to make payments faster than Commission Junction, that is a significant advantage.

There is no need to sign up for our affiliate program because our affiliate program is built right into the ads you display! If a user clicks on the “Ads by AuctionAds” that is displayed and signs up for our service you earn a bonus 2% of all revenue generated by that user for the 6 months.

You will get paid the first of every month via Paypal. We feature a 30 day cookie on all referrals.

Ebay With TradeDoubler

I noticed that the affiliate program for Ebay.pl is actually handled via TradeDoubler – I don’t currently publish any sites in Polish, but that might be something I will look into for some of my future publishing – maybe their Ebay interface is more “International Friendly”.
I do know that the payment threshold quoted was 150 zloty – $50 USD which is far higher than the $10 Threshold offered by AuctionAds.

If TradeDoubler doesn’t provide global Geo-targetting, it would only be suitable for non-English language sites, at least compared to AuctionAds.

Other Advantages of Auction Ads

What is the advantage over CJ/eBay direct affiliation?

Easy implementation and the leverage of AuctionAds’ creative delivery of eBay’s auctions and our ability to achieve the higher performance incentive tiers with the aggregate volume of traffic to make more money than they could with their own affiliate relationship.

I have niche websites which receive 90% US traffic, but I have never been able to offer Ebay as an alternative sales channel. Whilst I have been able to use Chitika adverts, and have included affiliate links through mainly Linkshare, Ebay quite often was offering much better deals for the products my visitors wanted to buy.

Being able to offer the best deals and make money from doing so is always the best option for affiliates.

Live AuctionAds Examples

So here are some example “live” adverts – no screenhots you will have to click through if reading this in an RSS Reader.

Keyword: Blogging

Keyword: Internet Marketing

Keyword: Gardening and “Mole trap”

Feature Suggestions

  • Keyword Targetting – very much like Chitika, a very specific product related keyword seems to be the best option currently. I am not actually sure it would be an advantage to offer contextual or based on several keywords. I did try comma delimited keywords and they didn’t seem to work. Maybe category + keyword would be a good alternative.
  • Remove Ads By AuctionAds – if you wanted to place 3 half-banners vertically because that suited your layout, the AuctionAds link in each of them would be inappropriate. Alternatively provide multiple image alignment options – also allow the colour to be changed
  • RSS Feeds – I would love to be able to use an RSS feed of the adverts, that I could then use to style in whatever way I choose.
  • Direct Affiliate Link – Please provide a direct affiliate link – I missed the link in the interface which is under Account Home.
  • Pay Per Click – It would be great if AuctionAds in some way to provide a bridge for international affiliates to advertise Ebay products in the US market via PPC
  • auctionads_ad_client – for the tin-foil hat brigade, there needs to be a way of generating multiple values for every niche website. Maybe you can do a deal with Google Yahoo and MSN so these don’t appear in search results, but that isn’t total anonymity.
  • Campaigns – Ability to create a campaign on the fly, or at least while you are creating code – this is possible using the wizard, but it seems you have 3 seperate processes currently, and it should be possible to have just one.
  • Presets – the ability to save a preset for colour selection, and maybe retain a complete history of ads already created for different campaigns.
  • Live Results – Currently the number of results are displayed using Ajax, it would be good to be able to preview them
  • Hide Campaign ID – The ability to have none human readable campaign identification (this seems to have been added while I was writing) – I would love to be able to assign my own (as above, campaigns on-the-fly)

Take A Look For Yourself

I strongly encourage you to take a look at AuctionAds for yourself. If you are an international affiliate, it is in my opinion the best option for the Ebay affiliate program, other than features such as PPC and various RSS and API integration. If that can be added to the mix at a later date, AuctionAds as a conduit for Ebay is going to be huge.

Where is the link? At the bottom of the example ads or just click here.

Further Discussion

Actually very few sites so far have picked this up, so I will add links as I see them

Techcrunch seems to be first with the news – they are thinking about giving it a test run on their more product related sites. The advantage AuctionAds for them is that it is Geo-targetted – AuctionAds handle the backend merging of multiple affiliate programs.

Linda at 5 Star Affiliates so far has what she admits to being a short writeup, but she has spotted that sometimes the auction items are expired. She has also managed to hack an affiliate referral ID, which I will have to take a look at doing as well.

Update on AuctionAds

Darren emphasised that AuctionAds is very much a network that will work best with product focused sites. He says he has also had a chance to have a look at the backend – I am not sure that is behind the scenes of what a normal publisher sees, but Mediawhiz normally put together fairly solid services, and I am sure Shoemoney’s team have the security under control.

John Chow also did an in-depth review of of AuctionAds explaining how the payment system works for normal Ebay affiliates in great depth, and also how he intends to use the adverts on his product reviews sites.

Ajay has knocked together some code for making AuctionAds to a certain extent “contextual”, either using UTW or SimpleTags Data.
I don’t think this approach is ideal currently, because I have had a chance to exchange emails with Ddn and currently the widget uses keywords supplied randomly rather than in priority order, unlike Chitika which uses a priority scale. This is something that will be fixed in the near future.

This is important, take for instance this example (though unlikely a good example for Ebay content)

wordpress theme, wordpress, blogging

If these were used randomly, you would probably end up with more adverts which used the keyword blogging, and you might end up with Britney Spears T-shirts or other celebrity stuff. The adverts are often being optimised based on which adverts will finish soon.

If they are taken in priority order then this is ideal, and you could use

barcode number, camera model, camera manufacturer, camera type, photography

For many blogs, using a mixture of custom fields and categories might prove better for targetting, because they can be listed in a specific order. UTW allows tags to be displayed in popularity order, so maybe that could be reversed to achieve almost the same thing.

Liked this post? Follow this blog to get more. Follow

Comments

  1. says

    That’s strange in the EBay US not accepting international affiliates, I have been affiliated to them via CJ for years and I live thousands of miles away from the US!

    • says

      We are a Canadian company, and have also been a member of many of the various eBay affiliate programs for various countries (including the primary US eBay.com site) through CJ for several years now.

      It is obvious that many CJ advertisers enable a geotargetting credential that will automatically decline publishers with a non-US address, but in the case of eBay, we managed to work around that.

  2. says

    I have checked auctionads out and it seems like a fantastic opportunity for non US users. For webmasters based in Ebay’s home country its difficult to see large benefits with this system as it stands. The main benefits i see are ease of use and better support. Not having to deal with Commissionjunction is almost worth it alone.

    • says

      That is a good read Robert. I have been meaning to chase DDN about whether there is a way to handle prioritised keywords yet. I will take another look and have a play.

      Whilst optimization is important, so is some level of automation.

  3. says

    Their backend interface repeatedly stalls in my Firefox, the pages won’t load properly, I have to hit refresh often. They were down today several hours as well.

    But as pointed out for international affiliates this is a great idea, until now I was restricted to Ebay AU.

  4. says

    I have been having trouble with auctionads lately as well. They are not loading properly and when they do, its for penny insurance ads. As far as revenue reporting, it has been down for over 5 day’s now for me. None of my ads are getting accounted for. Its rather frustrating.

    I am having HUGE luck though with Voxant TheNewsRoom, they pay out huge advertising rates CPM as compared to other advertising sites. They are unique too. Whats great about Voxant is they provide FREE web content, news stories in video, text, images, etc. & pay out handsomely everytime your page loads.

    CPM On Your Site CPM On Referred Site
    Video Feed $4.00 $1.00
    Video Story $3.00 $0.50
    Text Story $1.00 $0.50
    Image $1.00 $0.50

    As you can see, they pay top dollar. As much as $4.00 for every 1000 impressions. You can even make extra money when someone embeds the content you posted on your site by clicking the embed button.

    You can sign up here:

    http://www.thenewsroom.com/?C_id=e8491

    I am starting to make bank with them and glad I locked on to them. As far as auctionads.com goes, I’m not sure if I am going to keep them or not. I am providing them with about 22,000 impressions a day and not seeing any return and not getting any customer service.

Trackbacks