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Auction Ads – eBay Auction Ads

ShoeMoney and MediaWhiz (the owners of Text Link Ads) have today launched a new ad service – Auction Ads (aff). I’ve been lucky enough to dig around the back end of Auction Ads this last few days and it’s a professionally designed ad service that I think will suit some bloggers down to the ground – particularly those who have a blog which is product related (as always – ads that are product related perform best on blogs that are on those same products).

Here’s how the ads look:

Auction-Ad

  • Auction Ads display live eBay auctions to visitors to your blog which are based upon your keyword selection.
  • The payment is CPA (ie you get paid if a reader registers on eBay or if they make a purchase).
  • Auction Ads uses eBay’s built in affiliate program – you could actually run these ads yourself as an affiliate – but Auction Ads cuts down the work involved considerably
  • There’s also a built in affiliate/referral program built into the system – if another publisher clicks your ad and signs up as a result you get 2% of their earnings for 6 months (not the most generous aff program going around – but I suspect the margins are tighter on this program).
  • Set up is very similar to other ad networks (AdSense, Chitika etc) in that you put in the parameters that you want the ad to operate under (ad size, colors etc) and then are given some code to put into your blog.
  • Ads are geo-targetted to your reader’s local ebay store – ie my Aussie readers will see an ebay auction to eBay Australia while my US readers see eBay US auctions.
  • Payment is via PayPal each month when you hit a minimum $10 threshold.

Revenue Share – Auction Ads are initially passing on 100% of earnings from your blog onto you as the publisher.

What’s in it for them? Well how they’re running this is that all publishers in their system are coming in under one affiliate at eBay which means the earnings for everyone will be a lot higher than if any one individual became an affiliate (see eBay’s sliding pay out scale here). Once they rise to the top of the pay out scale you can expect them to take a cut of your earnings.

It’s a little complicated but from what I can see the pay-outs of going with AA will be significantly higher than signing up as an individual eBay affiliate – even if AA decide to increase their share of what they’re going to take at a later time (although I hope they’re not setting their publishers up with false expectations here).

Can Auction Ads be used with AdSense?

The answer to this commonly asked question is yes – IF you ensure that they look different to AdSense ads run on your page. AdSense allow other ad programs on the same site/page as them if they don’t confuse your reader and look the same. So make your designs different and you won’t have a problem.

The Inner Workings

The publisher interface of Auction Ads is easy to use. Instead of ‘channels’ they have ‘campaigns’. The set up of ads is easy and reasonably quick – with color selection, keyword selection and then being given code to paste in to your blog.

Earnings

A system like this will only succeed if publishers actually make money. The jury is still out on whether they do – but I can’t see why we won’t. One of the weaknesses of other ad networks is an over supply of publishers and an under supply of advertisers – the beauty of this model is that eBay have millions of auctions each year.

Initially I suspect earnings won’t be massive for publishers but as the sliding scale kicks in and more publishers come on board the power of the system will begin to kick in.

Who will it Work For?

As I’ve said in my intro any ad works best when there is relevancy between the site the ad appears on and the ad that is appearing. As a result blogs with a product focus where people are actively seeking information on the type of products that eBay holds auctions on will work best with this.

Traffic is going to be a consideration too. CPC programs like AdSense pay out each time there’s a click on an ad so there will be income even with small traffic. CPA ads like Auction Ads will payout less often because they require the reader to DO something (buy, register etc). As a result I’d expect to see less conversions with these ads – a lower percent of your readers will actually convert to dollars.

So if you have decent traffic on a product related site this might be a program to try. It could also be worth setting it up as the ‘alternate ad’ for your current AdSense and/or Chitika ads.

Conclusion

As Auction Ads are brand new it’s very early days and as with any new program that you test – I’d advise to test test test. Give it a little time to see how it goes – but don’t throw all your eggs into one basket too quickly.

I’m keen to hear the results you get with Auction Ads – let me know what you find.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Looks interesting. I have had some reasonable success with ebay before, I will give this a try on my camera blog and let you know how I get on … Unless I make a million, in which case we will have to see if tropical islands have wifi …

  2. jhay says:

    Neat new ad really. Maybe when my traffic grows a little more, I’ll try them on. For now, Adsense and TLA works fine for me.

  3. Glen says:

    looks interesting I just signed up for it will test it out to see how it goes.

  4. Raj says:

    The setup of this ad had been pretty easy and looks very neat. Chitika has never worked for me and so it might be same with this ad program as well. But I like to test the new ad programs and see how it performs with my kind of blog site. Thank you for writing to a great detail about it. Appreciate it.

  5. eBay? You mean that thing is still around? :P

  6. I posted about this today as well. eBay has some really niche services like real estate, local eBay Motors, and other professional services that could fit into a lot of other blogs than just product-based blogs.

    I don’t know enough about eBay’s affiliate program to determine whether their commission structure differs on services, but it does make for a potentially good revenue model for a variety of niches.

  7. Jason says:

    Hey that’s pretty neat. I bet everone will know about Auction ads in a week or so.

    Compared to Chitika, as I know you mentioned you use, how do you think revenue will compare?

  8. Nick says:

    MediaWhiz is really doing remarkable things on the advertising front. They are taking simple ideas like swapping Text Links and Affiliate programs and turning them into hugely successful ventures. I have no doubt that this product will take off.

    -Nick
    http://adgridwork.com | free advertising for bloggers

  9. Ashish Mohta says:

    Sounds good.Its on my blog lets see how it works…I will give it a month…amazon failed at that position..guess needs some other kind of strategy but this I will see

  10. Edward says:

    Time to put a new face on my blog !

  11. Ebay Germamy offers these type of ads already themselves – they looks similar. I bet Ebay US will follow soon.

  12. markowe says:

    Let me just quote, “Set up is very similar to other ad networks (AdSense, Chitika etc)”. Set-up (prefer the hyphen myself :) ) is veeeeery similar to Adsense! The concept of the code is identical, it is similar in every way.

    Looks like it could be a good alternative though – surely the visual aspect must have an advantage over ordinary textual ads. The downside is that product links are maybe too specific, i.e. if the customer is not interested in the specific item, you may not get an action. On the other hand, as we all know, people often browse after clicking and end up buying other stuff.

    In terms of the front-end appearance to the visitor, I don’t see much of a difference between this and the old Amazon product links etc… Remains to be seen how effective this will be…

  13. Second time I’ve seen this mentioned today. I took a look at a couple of the blogs that have said they’re trying it out, and when I click on the ad, because I’m in the UK it goes to ebay.co.uk, and the nearest item that matches. If US residents click those ads, do they go to the actual item shown? And how does it affect earnings for the blogger/webmaster if I’m going to a different item?

  14. markowe says:

    Right, and what if the clicker is already a member of Ebay?! (as most of us probably are!) Does the publisher still get the referral?

  15. Mike Panic says:

    It seems every blog is talking about these day, but I have still not yet found a reason to use them over CJ.com directly. I guess if you live outside the USA and have trouble getting approved it would make sense, but I don’t want any middlemen between and affiliate and myself. If you actually take the time to learn the eBay affiliate, it is extremely powerful and very customizable.

  16. Jesper says:

    Image based ads haven’t performed too well in the past, especially if being intrusive. Users can be turned off very quickly if they experience that they are being pushed something. But as Darren said, if it is closely related to content (good keyword match) the user might appreciate and consider it a service.

    Not for any of my blogs, but I can see the niche where it may work.

  17. AskaX says:

    I just try this and clicking the ads, but it didn’t take to actual Item. it just going randomly to one of the eBay category….. Do you think it still under development?

  18. Jeremiah says:

    I have implemented a few of these on my user-generated wiki of toy instructions to test. I have found the eBay affiliate program to be way too much hassle to implement on my other blogs, Z Recommends and Think In Pictures. For some reason they always have very strange hoops you have to jump through to get the code right and it is just not worth the mental effort compared to other ad providers.

    The AuctionAd format was very intuitive, quick and simple, even simpler than AdSense. I would have liked to have a few more choices of format because the ones they offer have a big size gap and even the big ones don’t seem to pack very many items in the ad box. Here’s an example: (http://toyinstructions.wikispaces.com/g . You can clearly see the ads could be better served; they have to be in that main content pane in order to be page-specific (a wiki constraint) but I could certainly use more options when setting it up. Could be a dealbreaker as having a professional-looking site is important to me.

  19. David says:

    I just signed up and I’ll give it a try before I form an opinion… but I’m not sure it’s going to work with my site… I don’t want to my site overrun with ads… I’d like to target ads that work only. Blogs are primarily a source of information.

    Without this article though, I can say that I probably wouldn’t even be giving it a try.

  20. Side-Line says:

    I have been using it for 20 days now and had ‘sales’ for every day now from the 7th day on. I do notice a lot more clicks than is the case with adsense, but of course, they do not all convert which makes the revenue about 6 times less high than with adsense (because I have a music related site and CD’s cost nothing these days on ebay). BUT the good thing is that I do not lose out on adsense revenue either as I have put these ads in those places where adsense didn’t work anyhow. The images shown seem to push people to click on the adverts.

    It’s a nice extra for me and surely for technology related sites this is a way to make lots of extra income as the items sold in that category often are way higher priced than in the entertainment sector.

  21. Jamie says:

    I use them on my sidebar, and in the last 2 days i’ve had 48 clicks out of 1280 impressions, 3.36% CRT which is pretty high but as of yet no buyers.

    I think making your advertrange small will benefit you here, i currently use 6 words related to my dance music website “dj, headphones, speakers, walkman,ipod,dj decks”.

    The only downer is that the click does not lead to the product shown but what keywords your using in your advertising in an ebay search. I hope this can be changed in the near future!

  22. James says:

    Just registered lets see how are the results.

    http://www.crawlingthenet.com

  23. I have been hearing a lot about AuctionAds and I decided to give them a try a few months ago. I figured that since earnings would depend on my traffic actually having to buy or sign up with the progrogram that it would take some time before I saw any hint of earnings.

    Imagine my surprise when I decided to take a look at my stats and actually found that I was eligible to get a payment this month!

    Now I will check my stats more often!

    I am due a payment this month and I even emailed them to make sure. So I’m looking for my payment now.

    I also see that you mention that the minimum to get a payment is $10. I thought it was $50?

  24. goykanok says:

    I will try to see if it’s going to work with my site

  25. Lumpy says:

    Just added AA to my site front page… I like the fact that it’s:

    1). Relevent content auction items
    2). Loads quick
    3). Meets W3C
    4). Enhances my page to the user
    5). Adds to page views, due to changing items on refresh

    Now, let’s see if it can make any money before I start writing the script into a hundred pages….

  26. Lumpy says:

    Couple more things I like….

    1). Easy to ad the code to the page
    2). Opens in a new window so users don’t lose my page
    3). Doesn’t send users to my competitors (Adsense)
    4). Not having to worry about getting Google Bombed
    5). $25 per ebay sign-up, purchase within 30 days. You kiddin’ me?

    I’m a hopin’ this works… Looks like a great alternative to Adbrite and Adsense

    I’ll report in a few weeks – The Jury’s Out (but feelin’ good)

  27. Lumpy says:

    I’m a friggin’ idiot!

    Is Auction Ads even alive, at all? So after I put the code on a few hundred pages (after I said I wouldn’t), I noticed a bunch of “features” on the AuctionAd site site don’t work. Their Blog is down, and a bunch of links just 404…. Damn, I think I did it all for nothing…

    Anybody? Is this a scam? Has ANYBODY been paid? Even one person?

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