EBay Affiliate Program Review (2023): Should You Join?

Are you looking for new ways to make money from your website traffic? Well, you’re in the right place! It’s always a good idea to explore different affiliate programs so that you don’t rely too heavily on just one source of income, don’t you think?

Now, when it comes to e-commerce platforms that offer a wide variety of products, many new affiliates often turn to Amazon. But here’s a little secret that often goes unnoticed: eBay is another major player in the game. Yes, you heard it right – eBay!

Interestingly, eBay doesn’t seem to get much attention from mainstream affiliates and those self-proclaimed “gurus.” It makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Is the eBay Partner Program really as bad as they say, or are they simply keeping the good stuff to themselves? Well, my friend, we’re about to delve into the matter and find out. Get ready for our in-depth review of the eBay affiliate program. Let’s dive in!

eBay Affiliate Program

eBay recently made a shift from their in-house affiliate program to a custom one on Impact’s affiliate network. However, there’s a bit of a twist. The eBay program is somewhat hidden on Impact, and you can only apply through the eBay Partner Network. It seems eBay wants all affiliates to have an eBay account, which explains why they didn’t make their affiliate program publicly available on Impact. 

To apply, you’ll need to log in to your eBay account (or create a new one if you don’t have it yet) and then navigate to the application page.

One thing that can be a bit frustrating is that eBay doesn’t allow you to use your existing Impact account. If you already have an account with Impact, you’ll have to create a new one specifically for the eBay Affiliate Program. It’s a small inconvenience, but it’s worth noting.

The Application Process

When signing up, you’ll be required to provide some basic information. Additionally, you’ll have the option to select from various promotional channels, such as your website, mobile apps, or social networks like Facebook and Instagram. Once you’ve completed the application, you’ll need to wait for it to be processed, which typically takes up to 24 hours. 

However, in my case, I was fortunate to receive approval within just one hour. It’s worth mentioning that eBay doesn’t mention any specific requirements on the sign-up page.

Program Details

The eBay affiliate program offers a cookie duration of 24 hours, which means that if a user clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase within that timeframe, you’ll earn a commission. It’s important to note that the cookie duration used to be seven days, but eBay made the change a few years ago.

As an affiliate, you have the freedom to promote products from any category available on eBay. Whether it’s items with the “Buy it Now” button or products up for auction, you’re free to choose what suits your audience best. 

If you decide to promote auction items, keep in mind that any bids made by the buyer after clicking on your link must be placed within 24 hours of the initial click. Even if the auction continues for several days, rest assured that you’ll still earn your commission.

eBay affiliate program

Learn more: 15 Best Affiliate Programs For Beginners To Earn Money

Discover the Most Profitable Product Categories on eBay

With over 300 categories to choose from, it can be overwhelming to find the most profitable ones. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you! So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in.

The Top-Selling Category: Electronics & Accessories

The top-selling category on eBay is none other than “Electronics & Accessories.” Surprising? Maybe, but it actually makes sense when you consider that the first item ever sold on eBay was a broken laser pointer. Within the Electronics category, the most popular products include digital cameras, smartphones, headphones, and tablets/eReaders. These consumer favorites consistently perform well.

The Top-Selling Category

Other Profitable Product Categories to Consider

While Electronics & Accessories take the crown, there are plenty of other categories and sub-categories worth your attention as an eBay affiliate. Here are some notable ones:

  • Baby formula
  • Industrial face masks
  • Beads
  • Scrapbooking supplies
  • Hair accessories
  • T-shirts
  • Hats
  • Perfume and cologne
  • Hair loss treatments
  • Power tools
  • Water filters
  • Necklaces
  • Wristwatches
  • Musical equipment
  • Pet supplies
  • Golf clubs
  • Movie action figures
  • Travel luggage and accessories
  • Video games
  • Cotton sheets
  • Seeds

Remember, these categories are just a starting point. You can still make money with the eBay Partner Network by promoting items from other categories. In fact, specialty niches like vintage clothing thrive on the eBay platform. The list above simply provides affiliate marketers with the easiest path to profitability.

Other Profitable Product Categories to Consider

Tools for eBay Affiliates: Boosting Your Affiliate Game

Tools for eBay Affiliates

When it comes to promoting eBay products and earning those sweet commission dollars, you’ve got an arsenal of tools at your disposal. Let’s take a closer look at what these tools are and how they can help you maximize your affiliate game.

Smart Links: Making Link Conversion a Breeze

Say goodbye to manually converting links to affiliate links. With Smart Links, eBay’s got you covered. All you need to do is grab the code snippet provided by the eBay affiliate program and place it between the <head></head> tags on your website. This nifty tool will automatically convert all eBay links into affiliate links, giving you a seamless experience. Use it across your entire site or selectively on chosen pages to drive those conversions.

Smart Placements: Customized Banners Made Easy

When it comes to creating custom banners for your website, Smart Placements is the go-to tool. With just a few clicks, you can select the size, product category, and even search terms for your banner. The best part? You get a preview of how it looks before copying the embed code and placing it on your website. It’s like having your own personal banner-making assistant!

Smart Placements

Link Generator: Deep Links Made Simple

Creating deep links has never been easier, thanks to the Link Generator tool. Simply paste the URL of the eBay product you want to promote, and voila! The link generator creates an affiliate link for you. No more hassle or guesswork involved. It’s quick, convenient, and gets you one step closer to those enticing commissions.

Link Generator

Bookmarklet: Affiliate Links at Your Fingertips

The Bookmarklet tool is a game-changer for eBay Affiliates. It lets you create affiliate links right from your browser. Here’s how it works: drag the Bookmarklet tool to your bookmarks toolbar, and whenever you’re browsing eBay, simply click on it. It’s like magic! Say goodbye to switching tabs and hello to effortless link creation.


Smart Share: Share and Earn

If you’re a fan of social media sharing, then Smart Share is your new best friend. This Google Chrome extension works just like the Bookmarklet tool, allowing you to create affiliate links directly from your browser. The added bonus? Smart Share lets you quickly share your eBay affiliate links on platforms like Facebook or Pinterest. Spread the word and watch those commissions roll in!

Creative Gallery: Let Your Creativity Shine

eBay not only gives you the freedom to create your own custom banners but also offers a selection of pre-made banners crafted by the eBay team. Whether you want to unleash your inner designer or prefer to utilize the expertise of the eBay pros, Creative Gallery has got you covered. Choose what works best for you and captivate your audience with eye-catching banners.

Creative Gallery Let Your Creativity Shine

API: For the Tech-Savvy Affiliates

For the tech-savvy among you, eBay provides a range of API solutions. These powerful tools allow developers to integrate eBay products into their own online stores and more. However, it’s worth noting that API integration requires a bit more technical know-how and setup. While not all eBay affiliates may dive into this realm, it’s an option for those looking to take their affiliate endeavors to the next level.

With these tools in your affiliate toolkit, you’re well-equipped to make the most out of your partnership with eBay. From effortless link conversion to customizable banners and social media sharing, eBay has your back. So go ahead, explore these tools, and watch your affiliate earnings soar!

eBay Affiliate Program Commission

eBay offers category-level commission rates ranging from 1% to 4%. This means that depending on the category your referral makes a purchase in, you’ll earn a commission based on that rate. 

To see the exact commission rates, check out the eBay affiliate program commission information below. Remember, you can always find the most up-to-date commission structure on the Impact sign-up page.

eBay Affiliate Program Commission

Commission Caps

While earning commissions is exciting, it’s good to know that eBay has set a cap on how much you can earn from a single sale. For example, even if your referral buys a luxurious house worth a fortune on eBay, your commission will be a maximum of $100. So keep that in mind when promoting high-ticket items!

Earnings and Payment

Once you’ve accumulated at least $10 in earnings, you’re eligible to withdraw your hard-earned commissions. eBay provides two convenient payment methods: electronic funds transfer and PayPal. Just choose the one that works best for you. However, it’s worth noting that PayPal charges a 2% processing fee, which is capped at $20. So be mindful of that when considering your payment options.

Earnings and Payment

Approval and Withdrawal

After your referral makes a purchase, your commissions will be approved within approximately 30 days. So don’t worry if you don’t see the funds immediately—it just takes a little time for the process to complete. If you refer someone at the beginning of June, you can expect to withdraw your commission at the beginning of July. Patience is key, but the rewards are worth it!

Pros and Cons of EBay Affiliate Program


  • VIP Status: If you can generate enough traffic, you have the chance to attain VIP status within the program. This can unlock additional benefits and opportunities.
  • Brand Recognition: eBay enjoys unparalleled brand recognition in the auction website realm. This widespread recognition can work in your favor when promoting affiliate links.
  • Vast Product Selection: With literally billions of items available on eBay, you’ll never run out of options to sell through your affiliate links. The sheer variety ensures there’s something for everyone.
  • New Products Galore: Around 80% of the products on eBay are new, which appeals to buyers looking for fresh and unused items. This can boost the chances of successful affiliate sales.
  • Niche Market Potential: eBay stands out as the go-to marketplace for ultra-niche items. If you specialize in promoting rare or hard-to-find products, this program offers a unique opportunity.
  • Affiliate Tools and Creatives: eBay provides a range of well-designed and helpful tools and creatives for affiliates. These resources can enhance your promotional efforts and attract more buyers.
  • User-Friendly Dashboard: The affiliate dashboard on eBay is intuitive and easy to navigate. You can efficiently track your performance, monitor earnings, and access important data.
  • Low Payout Threshold: eBay has set a very low threshold for affiliate payouts. Once you reach this threshold, you can quickly receive your earnings, which is a plus for affiliates.


  • Short Cookie Duration: The 24-hour cookie provided by eBay is relatively short. This means that if a user clicks on your affiliate link but doesn’t make a purchase within that timeframe, you won’t receive a commission.
  • Complex Commission Structure: At times, the commission structure on eBay’s affiliate program can be confusing. It’s important to carefully review and understand the terms to avoid any unexpected surprises.
  • Earnings Caps: Regardless of the value of the sale, there are caps on how much you can earn per transaction. This limitation may prevent you from maximizing your earnings potential.

Comparing eBay Affiliate Program to Amazon Associates: Which One Should You Choose?

When it comes to deciding whether to become an eBay affiliate or promote Amazon products through Amazon Associates, there are a few key factors to consider. Let’s take a closer look at these two popular affiliate programs and see how they stack up against each other.

Similarities and Differences

Both eBay and Amazon offer affiliate programs with a 24-hour cookie duration. This means that if someone clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase within 24 hours, you’ll earn a commission. However, there is one notable difference: Amazon Associates extends the referral period to 90 days if a person adds a product to their cart but doesn’t buy it immediately. Unfortunately, eBay does not offer this extended referral period.

Affiliate Commissions

When it comes to affiliate commissions, Amazon Associates generally offers higher rates. Let’s take a look at a few examples: luxury beauty products earn you a nice 10% commission, while Amazon Games can earn you a generous 20% commission. These higher commission rates can be quite appealing for affiliate marketers.

Product Variety

Amazon takes the lead when it comes to product variety. They offer a vast range of product categories, giving you plenty of options to choose from when promoting products. Whether it’s electronics, clothing, or home goods, Amazon has it all. On the other hand, eBay is the go-to platform for those looking for vintage, rare, or hand-made items. So, if you’re targeting a niche audience interested in these unique products, eBay might be the better option.

Listing Types

One advantage eBay holds over Amazon is its support for auction-style listings. eBay allows sellers to set up auctions, where buyers can bid on items and potentially get them at a lower price. This can be enticing for bargain hunters and collectors. On the other hand, Amazon only offers fixed-price listings, where the price is set and non-negotiable.

Earning Potential

While eBay has its strengths, it’s important to note that promoting Amazon products generally has greater earning potential. With higher commission rates, a wider range of product categories, and a larger customer base, Amazon Associates can provide you with more opportunities to earn money through affiliate marketing.


If you have the option to promote Amazon products and you’re looking to maximize your earnings, Amazon Associates is likely the better choice. 

However, if you have a specific audience interested in vintage, rare, or hand-made items, eBay’s affiliate program can be a great alternative. Ultimately, the decision depends on your niche, target audience, and personal preferences. If you can’t or don’t want to promote Amazon products for any reason, becoming an eBay affiliate is still a viable option.


In conclusion, eBay’s affiliate program offers a range of impressive tools and a user-friendly interface that sets it apart from other programs. 

While it does have some drawbacks, such as a 24-hour cookie window, low commission rates, and earning caps, it still presents a compelling alternative to Amazon’s program.

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