To understand the changes that come with eBay Partner Network’s new rate card, we sat down with Michael Lill, our Director of Business Operations & Partner Success.
eBay Partner Network: Morning, Mike. Thanks for sitting down with us. Do you have your coffee? Ready to go? If so, let’s dive in. What’s the overall change we’re seeing in this new rate card?
Mike Lill: Thanks. Glad to be here. And yes, I’m on my second cup so let’s go. The overall change we’re seeing here is a rate card based on percent of sale rather than percent of eBay revenue. This is significant for partners as it makes it easier for them to calculate exactly what their earnings will be, and aligns us with many other affiliate programs.
Got it. So, partners will be able to look at an item for sale on eBay and be able to tell right away what their earnings are, right? Let’s take an example: a Magic the Gathering Box Set that sells for $235 on ebay.com. What is a partners’ commission on this item?
Right now, using our current rate card, partners would earn 50% of eBay take rate revenue (which is about 8% in this case, or $18.80). However, partners would only know what they made on this sale after it’s complete, in their transaction download report. We recognize that we can make this better, so we’ve made it more straightforward.
Got it. So, with our new rate card, partners will be able to tell right away what their earnings are?
Exactly. So, using your example, with the Magic the Gathering Box Set for $235, partners could take a look at the new U.S. rate card and understand they’d get 4% of the sale price, or $9.40. And, our new rate card also breaks down pricing by category, sub category, and region.
Will the new rate card change partners’ earnings?
Many partners may see a small change in earnings. Whenever any affiliate program changes its rate card, earnings are likely to change as a result. And in our case, we’re not only moving from percent of eBay revenue to percent of sale, but we’re also introducing sub-categories and variances by region, and enhancing our attribution of mobile transactions. So, with all of these new variables, it makes sense that earnings will change for some partners.
Specific changes to earnings for partners will depend on the traffic they drive to the subcategories within each region. There are a variety of factors, unique to each partner, that will determine how earnings will look once the new rate card is in place.
So it’s really different for each partner, right? What opportunity is there for partners to earn more?
Yes, it’s going to vary, but all partners will be able to use the sub-category data and the consistency of percent of sale (rather than percent of eBay revenue) to drive higher commission items. I recommend partners get really familiar with the new rate card, and use that to target and optimize specific sub-categories.
Looking at the U.S. rate card, let’s use the Fashion category as an example. Partners can earn 5% of the sale price for items in the Jewelry and Watches subcategory, and 6% for the rest of the category. Some partners may be only interested in selling Jewelry and Watches, but others who are more flexible within the Fashion category may want to focus on promoting items in the other subcategories, like Health & Beauty, where they can earn 6% of the sale price.
Most categories have a mix of rates with the sub-categories, so partners can change the mix of products they promote to optimize earnings per transaction.
We also learned that with the new rate card, eBay Partner Network won’t pay out the NoRB (New or Reactivated Buyer) bonus. Why is that?
We are focused on acquiring high-quality buyers to eBay, so instead of issuing bonuses to all partners for NoRBs, we’re narrowing our focus and will give strategic bonuses to select partners that demonstrate an ability to affirmatively drive high-quality buyers for eBay.
This change also means we’re on a new payment cycle. Partners will be paid monthly about 2.5 weeks later than they are currently. Why did we make this change?
Our new payment cycle gives our partners overall a better experience because it reduces reversals and returns. With our current process, a publisher might get paid in January for a December purchase, but have the amount reversed in February for a January return of an item. On our new payment cycle, we’ll net out any adjustments before we pay, so we can significantly reduce confusion and give our partners more predictable payments.
This is just one of a few changes eBay Partner Network is making this fall, right? What else is changing?
Our partners have requested several of these changes for a long time, so we’re excited to deliver them this year. The rate card is definitely a big change, but we’re also introducing cross-device tracking, a more modern platform experience, faster reporting, more payment options, including direct deposit to more countries and the option to be paid in more currencies.
Lots of changes here. Is there anything that’s not changing?
Of course! Most of the tools partners use today will still be in the new portal, though we’ll deprecate the Promotions and Sales portal and redesign the Link Generator. We will continue to use last-click attribution logic, have a 24-hour cookie window, and pay only on completed, qualifying transactions. As always, eBay Partner Network is dedicated to giving partners the tools they need to drive and convert traffic to meet their own revenue goals.