We had the pleasure of catching up with our partner Bart Verschueren of BC.net. He runs a series of websites including For-Sale.co.uk, an online shopping search engine for quality, second-hand items. For-Sale.co.uk was created because of irrational price drops of second hand items. If you want to start promoting eBay’s products on your platform by becoming an affiliate like BC.net, your job will be to link buyers with sellers by promoting eBay items on your website, driving traffic and hopefully conversions!
How long have you partnered with eBay Partner Network and what first attracted you to working with them?
We’ve been partnered with eBay Partner Network for four years now with our French and Italian platforms, which now attract more than 4 million visitors per month. With a revenue share of around 75% and a wealth of used and new products put for sale by professional and private sellers, eBay Partner Network is probably the most competitive monetisation option for our business.
We started a couple of months ago in the UK with www.for-sale.co.uk and are seeing a visit increase of around 20% week over week since the beginning of the year. It’s growing really quickly now!
Which of ePN’s tools do you use and why?
Our goal is to provide our users with the highest quality used objects for their search. The eBay API is a fantastic tool to accomplish this. Its extensive list of search attributes enabled us to create optimised search algorithms to find the best bargains within eBay’s millions of items for sale.
ePN’s reporting is also really helpful. It offers details on all transactions generated by our traffic. By tying these conversions and earnings back to our own individual pages, we can identify the pages that are particularly worthwhile to improve, and the ones that are not…
For us, this is where analysis becomes especially interesting and valuable. It allows us to verify hypotheses made when looking at weekly or monthly aggregates, with details from the lowest level of your dataset. That’s something most affiliate platforms can’t offer.
Since working with ePN what specific aspect of the relationship has had the most impact on your business and why?
As I’ve said, the ePN tools and reporting capabilities are very powerful, but we would probably not have used them as well as we do now without the support of the ePN team. You could easily get overwhelmed by all the possibilities. The challenge was to find out what worked for our application, and the eBay team certainly helped!
What three pieces of advice would you offer other businesses thinking of becoming eBay partners?
Understand why people visit your site. If you have a blog about electric guitars and a page about rock in particular, you’ll probably know which guitar brands, bodies and pickup styles will suit with your readers. Use these product criteria to show your users the best electric guitars offered at the moment on eBay.
Take the time to go through the documentation of all of the eBay API’s. This can be hard going if you’re not technical, but well worth the effort. Ask the ePN team for support if you are struggling to find your way around.
And lastly, take a deep dive into the transaction reporting. Find out what are the drivers for your eBay revenues and new eBay users. Try to understand the numbers and verify your thoughts by setting up tests. Building up insights like this will help you define your next steps.