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ePN QCP – Don’t Jump Ship Too Soon!

Written By Ben Johnson on 6 September 2009 8 People Commented

pirate shipBy now you should know about the new QCP structure which eBay Partner Network are about to impose from the 1st of October for current affiliates, if you don't know then where have you been?

ePN launched their new QPC preview in all member dashboards a few weeks back and since that happened there have been a lot of current affiliates talking openly about how they won't stay with ePN and how they want to walk away. The new QPC preview allows current ePN affiliates to view what their current earnings would have been under the new commission structure which is due to go live for all affiliates on the 1st of October. Many people have seen that their earnings preview is lower than their current earnings, causing them to react!

Now, I can understand to a certain extent why people are annoyed with the change, I'm not going to sit here and say that I am 100% ecstatic about it either. Even though I make sure I don't rely on one affiliate program, I still have a good chunk of my income coming from ePN. When I saw my earnings preview for the first week I was actually down by 40% which, as you can imagine, annoyed me somewhat but I didn't react in the same way that a good a majority of people did. Instead of contemplating leaving ePN I began to try and understand why my earnings would have been down under the new system, what sites weren't performing and why they weren't. I also began to look for ways to improve the sites which were performing less by looking at the sites which were out performing their 'actual' earnings, or to put it better comparing and contrasting. Ultimately there are going to be sites which I am going to remove ePN ads from and substitute with similar ads from alternative programs such as Amazon or Overstock using phpZon or phpOStock but there are also going to be sites which do a lot better under the new system, such as the 10 I am currently developing under the new N1Way model. These sites will be built to focus purely on getting targeted 'quality' traffic to eBay with the aim of achieving greater EPC.

Overall, what I am trying to say to you is don't make any quick decisions, be sensible about this and put your feelings about what ePN are doing to one side. Remember to treat this like a business, think of it in a business like manner and remember that you CAN potentially make more money out of this change and that is what you should be aiming for. Yes, you may need to adapt some sites and Yes you may need to ditch some sites but ultimately if you shuffle things around in a planned and well thought out process by using the information you have in your ePN dashboard then there is no reason why you shouldn't continue to do well or even better than before.

My final peice of advice, and I will be doing this myself, is this:

  • Hold off making any big changes in the next 2-3 months
  • Observe your EPC and your overall earnings
  • Break down your earnings and analyze which sites aren't performing
  • Work out why certain sites aren't performing and look for ways to make improvements
  • If no improvements can be made and certain sites are bringing down your overall EPN then consider monetizing that site in an alternative way to ePN

If after 3 months you still think it isn't worth it then and only then make the decision to walk away. Of course, in the mean time if you know you have sites which are going to perform badly under the new QCP structure then you may want to revise them now before it goes 'live'.

Over the last few years the internet has changed drastically in many ways and so has affiliate marketing. The internet is not, never has been and never will be a stable environment. As a result we will continue to see changes and we will HAVE to adapt to those changes if we want to continue making money online. There's no point fighting against something you cannot change, you may aswell try to turn it around to work in your favor!

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  • Diane said:

    Ben,
    Good advise. I was down 70% with QCP which doesn’t give me a good feeling about the future. The traffic was from very small niches with 2 or 3 eBay catagory numbers and it seems to show they bought things in those categories. I don’t know if it was the exact thing they clicked on, but it was in the same categories!
    I will go back to your blog about trying to get accepted by Overstock and be ready to head that direction if things don’t look up in a couple of months.

  • Carl said:

    I’m still trying to get my head around the new system. My figures this month showed me making less on the new sytem than on the old system until I had a day when I had no sales at all and the result was that my earnings under the new system jumped above the old EPN.
    It’s hard to make sense of it all.

  • Gerri - Ninety Niney Ways said:

    You do have a good point there. I was and am still trying to get my head around the changes which will have a negative impact on certain types of sites but there will be some out there who will experience a jump in earnings under the QCP model and good for them. I am not going to ‘jump ship’ just yet and am just waiting to see how things go.

    When I first learnt about QCP Wade was someone who came to mind and how it may affect sales of phpBay?

  • Ben said:

    @ Diane – I’m sorry to hear that, hopefully there will be the opportunity for you to increase your EPC. Essentially you are aiming for sales in that particular category but ultimately the highest EPC will come if the buyer purchases the actual item that they clicked on, in the shortest period of time.

    I know a few people have had issues with Overstock, I think they are looking to work wth current publishers so I would suggest using phpOStock Lite to display items from Overstock and use that site to apply for Overstock through CJ.

    @ Carl – I think intitially it’s gtoing to take some getting used to, try looking at specifically what items sold. Look at improving the Overall quality of your websites. You want users to have made their ‘decision to buy’ by the point they click and leave your site.The last thing you really want is them clicking through and browsing around eBay still trying to make a decision. This is why researching your market is going to be so important so that you answer the ‘questions’ which people are searching for.

    @ Gerri – There are certain sites which will bring a higher QCP than others and then there are sites which will perform in ways which make little sense. For example I have a site which is doing very very well under the new system but it isn’t exactly a fantastic site. The niche is just very very tight with a good amount of visitors.

    Yes, that’s a good point and not really one I had considered. I think many people who have not been able to monetize Amazon in the past may try with products like phpZon. On the other hand there will be new affiliates who have never worked under the old structure, so to them the whole change won’t make that much difference.

    Ben

  • Daisy said:

    From the previews my earning actually have gone up a little, but this is only a preview. When I first heard about the QCP, I was ready to can Ebay there and then. Surely this will only benefit Ebay? I will however keep Ebay on some of my sites and move to other programs for my other sitesa and track progress. We’ll see what happens in a couple of months.

    On a side note: How is your BANS experiment coming along?

  • Diane said:

    Fellow travelers on the eBay rollercoaster,

    Just an update, the last 2 weeks since I posted, my payout comparisons have turned around and I am up a net of $30. I still don’t know how it will be long term and I still don’t trust their numbers. I still have sites with hundreds of clicks, but no impressions, etc, and don’t understand the new list of credits, but at least the money is looking up. Like Ben’s says, lets see what happens.

  • Ben said:

    @Daisy – I think that it will benefit eBay from the point of view that affiliates who were earning $500 a month just in ACRU’s or sales to random items now won’t be. The situation which eBay got themselves into was only their own fault, they chose to pay out ACRU’s and give the cookie which allowed people to earn of multiple sales.

    Ultimately though, affiliates who choose to try and stay and work with ePN are going to earn more as a result as long as they get it right and they do what eBay essentially want them to.

    Is what they are doing right? Yes, it probably is, I don’t think they are mistreating affiliates by any means. I will be trying to increase my earnings by doing everything they have recommended, if my earnings don’t increase as a result then I’ll be asking questions.

    @Diane- There are going to be good days and bad days, what we need to aim for are higher EPC months as a whole rather than concentrating on the days alone.

    Lets just see how things pan out by the end of October for you.

    Ben

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