Auctiva Going Up, InkFrog Holds Firm and Vendio to Offer Discount
eBay’s decision to cut partner program benefits for auction management companies roils the market.
Last month eBay announced that third party service providers such as auction management companies Vendio, InkFrog, Channel Advisor, Auctiva and others would no longer be allowed to earn commissions through eBay’s Partner (affiliate) Program on sales they made through the eBay check out process.
The process is a little complex to understand, but let me try. When an eBay seller uses a third-party auction management company, those services have a feature where buyers are exposed to other items selling on eBay as part of the check-out and payment process. Those companies were members of eBay’s affiliate program called the eBay Partner Network (ePN) that would pay commissions on the sales made during that process. This income represented a substantial segment of the revenue of these companies.
eBay reasoned (correctly I believe) that these buyers were already engaged with eBay since they bought something. The purpose of the ePN was to bring people off of eBay into eBay to buy. Affiliates who did that are rewarded with commissions. But if someone is already on eBay including those who arrived via another affiliate, should eBay pay commissions when the purpose is to bring new sellers in?
I have not been active in the ePN since they switched over from Commission Junction, but I always wondered: If I send a customer from my website to eBay and they bought something from a seller who uses a system like Auctiva, does the Auctiva cookie replace my affiliate cookie if they also buy something during the checkout process? I don’t really know the answer, but since most affiliate programs credit the most recent cookie, I suspect I would lose my position.
The reaction from the companies has been interesting.
InkFrog –stunned the market when they announced today that they would hold their $9.95 per month fee for three years for current customers and anyone who signs up before December 31st of this year.
Vendio – Vendio which normally charges $10/month plus commission fees, will be completely free for Auctiva users through the end of the year, and will stay at $10/month with no commission fees for the full year, 2010. The Vendio platform allows sellers unlimited listings on eBay and Amazon and also includes the company’s Vendio Store offering, which is currently free for all users.
Other third-party providers will soon be making changes as well.
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