The Ultimate Guide to the TDR: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know (But Were Afraid to Ask)

EPN-Blog-21.jpg

As our valued partner, it’s our mission to help you optimize your traffic and earnings with a variety of tools created specifically to give you deep, rich insights. Custom reports are one great way to check your performance, and topping the list of reports that can help you analyze your account at a detailed level is the Transaction Download Report (TDR). From click time stamps and campaign IDs, through to the specific items they are buying, the TDR gives you crucial insight into how effective your campaigns are, why your conversion rate is what it is, and what you can do to improve.

Your window into your audience

The data-packed TDR will show you what was purchased, when the transaction posted, what you earned from the sale, and more. It will give you a clear picture of what’s working- and what isn’t- from specific campaigns to tools and time frames. You’ll also gain a better understanding of where your commissions are coming from, which will empower you to promote the listings that your audience responds to best, in a more effective way that will accelerate and multiply your conversions.

Getting the goods

This trusty report is simple to access and download. On your EPN homepage, under the reports tab, the TDR lives under “Download Reports.”  Simply choose “Transaction Download Report” under report type and indicate the time frame for which you would like to see data. Then, identify your program(s), and your preferred exporting format. (Hint: Excel is the easiest way to look at the data). You can choose to download “All Events” or “Earnings Only.” Most partners use the "Earnings Only" option, as this shows only the events that generated revenue. The “All Events” option shows other details, like if a user clicked on your link and made a bid on an auction.

While the data about items purchased and related commissions is always interesting, it’s also helpful when it comes to providing context around any negative earnings transactions you may be experiencing.  For instance, upon closer inspection, you might see that a purchased item has been returned.

To illustrate how this situation might look on the TDR: On Friday, June 23, a Shelby Cobra Go Kart was purchased and you earned $360 in commissions.  The person who bought it decided to return it on Friday, June 30.  On Saturday, July 1, the return was posted and the earnings were reversed.  So on that Saturday, if you earned another $500 in commissions, you would actually see $140 in Total Earnings for that day.  The fact that this could happen up to 30 days apart is another reason why this insightful report is particularly beneficial. You’ll be able to see each event date, including the initial purchase as well as when the return was posted. And in this case, you gain the understanding that there was nothing you did or didn’t do that may have impacted your bottom line -- it was part of the normal flow of business.

Picture1a.png

Keep in mind that you can see higher earning adjustments as well, like when a “New or Reactivated” buyer (someone who hasn’t shopped on eBay in 12 months or longer before clicking on your link) makes a purchase. For example, say you promote an iPhone X for $1,000. When the purchase is completed, we may make 9%, and you make 50% of revenue share, which could amount to $45. When the sale happens, the buyer may be identified as “New or Reactivated.” If this is the case, your commissions will double, and you’ll see your earnings from this sale increase to $90. Click here for some fast tips on how to attract more of these bonus-worthy buyers.

How the TDR Works

The TDR uses a set of columns that frame your data with context to tell the story of your performance. These columns include event dates, types, amounts, campaigns, tools, and more.

Some helpful hints on how to interpret key columns:

●      “Posting date” is the date on which the transactions post. Transactions usually post a day after the actual event date.

●      There are multiple “event types” that post for each transaction. Most find the “Winning Bid (Revenue)” type to be most relevant, as this is the event type that shows your earnings on a transaction.

*Expert tip: Filter out the other types and only look at “Winning Bid (Revenue).”  If you choose to “Download Earnings Only,” every other event type will already be filtered out.

●      Campaign Name & ID fields will include the Campaign you selected for your tracking link.  If you use more Campaigns that the standard Default one, this grants you visibility into individual promotions or pages based on how you built and used the links.  (i.e. “Black Friday 2017”, “Electronics Deals”, etc.).

●      The “Tool Name” column shows you which tool was used to create the link that led to this transaction. The Tool Name maps to a Tool ID that you can also see in this report - that Tool ID is one of the parameters in your EPN links.

●      The Program Name lets you know which eBay site the transaction came from. This maps to a Program ID number, which you can also see in the report.

●      “Meta category ID” is category ID for the item. If you notice a trend in this number, it is safe to assume your audience is shopping within a specific category

●      The fields that show you your revenue include the following:

○      “Amount" is the amount eBay earned on the transaction.

○      “eBay Total Sale Amount” is the price the consumer paid.

○      “eBay Quantity Sold” is how many of the item sold in that transaction.

○      “Earnings” is the amount of commission earned for this transaction, considering the category of the item and if the buyer was a NORB.

*Expert tip: Use this to tailor your promotions and share more items within this category.

●      “User frequency ID” indicates the type of buyer who made the transaction. “2” or “3” indicate a recurring eBay buyer.  “1” = a New or Reactivated buyer (NORBs). These NORBs grant you double commissions, so the more 1’s you see here, the more money you’ll earn. 

Picture2.png

Step-By-Step TDR Creation:

  1. On the EPN dashboard, under “Reports,” click “Download Reports.”
  2. Select your report type: “Transaction Download Report.”
  3. Posting date: Select a time frame.
  4. Programs: Select the eBay program you’d like to see transactions for, or select All Programs.
  5. File format: Select Excel for the easiest to view and sort file type.
  6. Lastly, you can Download All Events or Download Earnings Only.

After you have the report in Excel, you can filter by event type, or sort by Earnings smallest to largest.  You may even want to create a Pivot Table to summarize by Posting Date, Campaign, Tool Name, Category, etc.

The TDR gives you a detailed window into the shopping behaviors of your audience, and helps you make informed decisions about what tools to use, and what product categories to feature (among other insights). By continually evaluating the outcomes of your transactions, you can increase your earnings and improve your performance.

Let us know in the comments if you have questions or suggestions about the TDR, or email us at AskEPN@ebay.com if you have questions.

More helpful resources:

Optimizing with the Transaction Download Report

Why Am I Seeing Negative Transactions?

EPN Affiliate Reports