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Thinking out loud about EPN Quality Click Pricing (QCP)

| 13 Comments

ebay-partner-networkSo, I’ve been paying close attention to analytics and most importantly, my QCP preview in EPN reporting. Just like what it was stating for the end of August, my earnings will be looking really good under this model and I was trying to figure out why.

I really think the major benefit in my case is that I use limited PPC via YSM to promote my good earning niche sites. I never been too heavy in SEO, and relied on PPC to drive traffic to these sites. Finding the right balance of advertising cost with profits earned is tricky, but I think that is why my EPC is good on these sites. I’m driving ‘buyers’ to come to the site, and eventually ‘buy’ on eBay vs. driving a bunch of readers. I wrote a post about this in January 2008 “Readers vs. Buyers“.

Now, with this improvement with EPC, I think I’ll do some tests in October or November by ramping up my PPC campaigns to drive more quality traffic to eBay.

While I’m still waiting for the dust to settle, I’ve been working hard (hence the lack of recent posts) on creating Amazon store fronts, CJ based store fronts, hub support blogs to my various sites. I’ve been working on creating a new Amazon store front plugin, but I’ve been absolutely LOVING ReviewAzon. I can’t say enough how great this plugin is. If you’re interested in working on your Amazon affiliate efforts, please pick this plugin up. Only $79, you can’t afford to NOT try it.

13 Comments

  1. I still wish for the days eBay was run by CJ – it seemed to produce far better results.

  2. Hello Guys

    It’s tough to determine better. I remember CJ having it’s issues as well back in the day. The QCP is a new thing that will make a lot of people upset, but I think it you’re initial goal was to bring in quality traffic to EPN, you’ll do better than the original EPN or CJ models. If you’re primary goal was to generate clicks from massive traffic.. then your EPC could get hit.

    It’s a tough call.. in a few months, I might be super upset, but initial signs look really good for this change.

    hanji

  3. Up until the last few days I was satisfied with my QCP EPC vs. the old EPC method. I have about 15 low volume websites with each receiving < 10 eBay clicks per day and make some decent $. Every month since the beginning of 2008 I made more $ than the previous month.

    Last month was spectacular but this month was dismal for some reason (economy I guess). Because this month started slow, my QCP suffered and never caught up to my actual earnings. No problem I said, the buyers will come back and QCP will work just fine in the end.

    Well disaster struck on 9/19 when one of my sites received 1,400+ eBay clicks from some bot (unfortunately I don't have the raw logs to find out who is was). I have nofollow's on all links but this bot ignored that. On that day, every single one of my campaigns was given a QCP EPC of $0.00! Even though I have $'s coming in using the old method, I would be earning $0.00 under the new QCP method.

    I have reported this to EPN on 9/19 and tonight on the EPN forums. I'd like to know how one website in the campaign can have such a negative impact on all sites within the account. I'd like to know if they reset the QPC EPC every month (doubt that one).

    It will be interesting to see how they respond to this because as you know we never had to worry about this in the past. If I don't get a positive response to problem, I have just learned that you can't run a serious business using EPN because some situation completely out of your control can take down your entire business.

    I'll keep you posted. Thanks for the great website.

  4. Hello Weef

    Trouble news indeed! I think if memory serves me correctly from one of the webinars, that they said that EPC would be averaged with the low performers. With that said, you should be above $0.00.

    You mentioned you don’t have access to the raw logs, I’m not sure about your programming skills, but it may be worth creating a ‘click through’ script some how that would capture destination, referrer, IP and User Agent of the click. Are there useful analytics? Google Analytics or Awstats that would include high traffic? These would not include the click through, but you might see unusually high traffic from a single source on 9/19 that you could send to EPN.

    Also, are you sure this isn’t bot traffic? Did you get slash dotted or experience a digg effect on a product, post, category, etc?

    Thanks for commenting!
    hanji

  5. No I wasn’t slash dotted or anything like that. I have access to my StatCounter stats and it was an average day for this website, 9 unique visitors and 11 page loads. StatCounter doesn’t record bot traffic so apparently they were able to identify this as a bot but EPN couldn’t. My hoster keeps raw logs for 1 day only unless I’ve requested that they be archived. I hadn’t requested this before 9/19 so the valuable info is lost. My aggregated awstats for the month show the increased traffic from an unknown bot.

    At this point all my campaigns are still at QCP EPC = $0.00 and no contact back from EPN either via email or through their support forum. I’m coming to the realization quickly that trying to run a business with low volume, long tail niches using eBay/EPN is just not possible. It’s too easy to be suddenly put out of business.

  6. Quality Click Pricing is designed to do one thing only – allow ebay to pay affiliates less and make more for themselves. Why? Because they can and there is nothing you can do about it as an affiliate.

    Example, I earned 92.00 for sept. Quality Click Pricing predicts my payment would be 32.00 for the same traffic.

    What is wrong with that?

    The 92.00 is based on actual earnings for auctions won by people who come to ebay through my links. Why is it ok for ebay to now claim that traffic is worth only 32.00?

    The 92.00 was based on performance. Quality Click Pricing is based on voodoo.

    I will be removing every ebay auction link I have and replacing them with something else. Probably aff links from a source who sells something from my site’s niche but anything is better then dealing with a company who just wants me to be happy being screwed.

    ebay, you suck!

  7. Hello Tom

    I think it comes down to the traffic that you’re sending them. $92.00 in earnings is pretty hard to determine a ‘trend’ per se. Meaning, was there a single big purchase in that mix to make it to $92, while the majority of sales were in sub $1 range? If so, that would directly impact your EPC and affect your earnings.

    If I was in your position, I would continue to ride it a few more months and think of ways to generate recurring traffic to the site, if the sales are still low, then move on, or improve your tactics.

    For me, the new scale is very promising. The first preview, I would have doubled my earnings. I was up $1000 for September if I was on the new system.

    Change is concerning, and I’m going to be definitely watching dips. In fact the last two months I’ve done nothing but build Amazon store fronts, until the dust settles. If EPN still looks good, I’ll get back to promoting EPN again, but I need to get my confidence back. No sense to panic and ditch without seeing some cold hard numbers first.

    hanji

  8. Well, looks like a big EPN scam to me.. Don’t mean to be harsh, but doesn’t everyone feel like EPN is pulling the blanket over what you are really generating for them in sales? Seems like it isn’t really a pay per click model like Google Adsense at all.. The first day I had 400+ clicks, yet I earned $0.0?? This is quality traffic for organic search results.. Last month my EPC was $0.16(from acutal generated sales). Then today, they readjusted the click rate to $.05 (I’m assuming it was because of a sale or two they just tracked for this month). In reality it’s like you are still getting paid on a cost per completed sale, otherwise the pay rate would be reactive with each click initially, not 24 hours later.. It’s more like the EPC is being configured after your sales are calculated, so you’re really being paid by your sales, correct? What was the point of this change then, other than additional concealment of your true earnings for Ebay? The only difference, is they blind you with a curtain. I totally don’t trust their new system. I’m watching my monthly earning very closely, if they drop anytime in the future, I’m dropping their crap of an affiliate system. Much better affiliate programs out there, without all the hassles.

  9. Hello Johnny

    Day #1 might be a little hasty to get worried. Did you look at preview reports for mid-August and September? How did you do with QCP? What was your EPC?

    Again, I’m having a weird theory related to organic search (readers) vs. PPC (buyers) and their QCP model. Seems like with organic, you’ll be risking the browsing type that will click but not purchase.. and more importantly, not create a recurring purchase. eBay is looking for repeat customers, and customers that are using your site as a source for a good purchase.

    Personally, day #1 I had over 700 clicks and almost made double my average daily commission. I do some PPC to my EPN sites, but I also focus on ‘tight’ niches and provide a benefit for users to use my sites to help navigate eBay… or that was the plan anyway.

    If you’re relying on organic search solely, I would see if you can target keywords that are related to purchases vs. browsing. Not sure how to do that in your particular niche, but I’ve been reading lots of posts of targeting organic buyers. If you’re getting a ton of readers/browsers to eBay, your quality will go down.. and so will your earnings. I’m surprised you still didn’t get ‘earnings’ with a EPC of .05 though? That should have still calc’d to earnings? Odd.

    Hang in there.. and diversify to other networks in the meantime. I have done 0 EPN development in the last 2 months and been working on other projects. If EPN turns out good, I’ll fire up development, but if it turns out bad, It’s good to know that I’ve been working on other options.

    Good luck! And thanks for commenting.

  10. I’m out. It’s a scam, clearly. Some people will make more based on some secret formula, but epn can dial that back anytime they feel like it since it’s not tied to results. I was doing a few hundred a month. QCP shows about a third. Dumped them in the shitter where epn and ebay management belong.

  11. I agree with geomark, clearly a scam and they must really think people are stupid. Ebay probably assumes that it’s ok to lose all their old affiliates because there will be tons of new affiliates coming in that they can now fool. But all the old affiliates like us will post about it and word of mouth will reach anybody considering signing up for that scam now. Ebay is a very dishonest company and they are horrible business “partners” with no business ethics whatsoever.

  12. Their quality click pricing isn’t at all consistent.. Last monty my per click rate was $.28 per click (and I send them 10,000 bidders a month), and this month I’m consistently at $.07 per click. I was happy with $.28 (as it is similar to what Google Adsense pays me per click), however I will not leave it on my valuable websites at $.07 per click, when I can make 4 times more via Google ads and/or other affiliates.

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