How to Make Money with eBay Affiliate Program

You probably know eBay Inc. – the giant e-commerce platform that connects buyers and sellers globally. While eBay is famous for its auction-style sales, here’s a surprising fact: also sells millions of products at fixed prices. It was news to me too! To promote this vast array of products, eBay introduced the eBay Partner Network (EPN) affiliate program back in 2008.

Here’s the interesting part: eBay doesn’t seem to get much attention from mainstream affiliates or self-proclaimed “gurus.” This raises a question: Is the eBay Partner Program as bad as they say, or are they keeping the best opportunities a secret?

In this article, we’ll simplify the process of making money with the eBay Affiliate Program for you.

How to Get Paid on eBay Partner Network?

eBay Partner Network works on a “net 30” basis, which means if you make a sale on August 10th, you’ll receive your payment on September 10th.

When it comes to payment methods, eBay keeps it simple. You have two options: Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or PayPal. There’s a low payment threshold of just $10, and if you choose PayPal, the fees are capped at $20. They don’t really offer payment by check, probably because they own PayPal. It’ll be interesting to see if they ever start offering cryptocurrency payouts.

Now, here’s something to keep in mind: eBay puts a limit on how much you can earn from certain types of sales. For instance, there’s a $100 cap on real estate sales. So, even if you manage to sell a $200k house through your affiliate link, you’ll only get $100 for it. You might as well dress up as a house and shout “Buy a house!” on the street – you’d probably earn more.

Make sure to check the eBay rate card to know what to expect for your category. Promoting the wrong category won’t earn you any money here.

In terms of commission rates, you can earn anywhere between 1% and 4% on all eligible items sold through your affiliate links. This puts eBay’s partnership network in the same league as the Amazon Associates Program, and it might be subject to changes as well.

Here is the most updated information on the eBay Affiliate Program commission rate:

eBay Affiliate Program Commission

How to Earn Money with eBay Affiliate Program: 5 Steps

Getting started with the eBay Partner Network is easy, and it all comes down to a simple 3-step process:

  1. Find a Product: Choose a product (or a few) on eBay that you genuinely like and want to promote.

  2. Create an Affiliate Link: Use one of EPN’s easy-to-use tools to generate a special affiliate link. This link is what tracks your referrals.

  3. Share Your Links: Take those special EPN affiliate links and share them wherever you connect with your audience – whether it’s on your blog, website, social media, email campaigns, and more.

When one of your followers (we’ll call them “shoppers”) clicks on your link, they’ll be taken to eBay’s listings.

If that shopper goes on to make a qualifying purchase, eBay keeps tabs on the sale using a “cookie” linked to your affiliate link.

For your efforts, you earn a percentage of eBay’s earnings. In simple terms, EPN pays you a piece of the pie from what eBay earns through the sale.

Ready to dive in? Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Sign up for the eBay Partner Network

It’s quick and easy to create an eBay account. If you don’t already have one, head over to eBay. Click on “register” in the upper left-hand corner of the page and follow the prompts to set up your eBay account. You can choose between a personal or business account.

Scroll down to the bottom of eBay’s homepage and click on “Affiliates.”

Once you’re on the eBay Partner Network page, click on one of the “Sign Up Now” buttons. Fill in your details as requested.

After you’ve provided your information, accept the eBay Partner Network Agreement. You’ll typically get accepted into EPN almost immediately.

Log in to your eBay Partner Network account, and you should see a Welcome page. Click on the “Account” tab for a drop-down menu.

Fill in the remaining information, including your address, payment method (PayPal or direct deposit), and tax information (you’ll need your social security number or employer ID number).

If you’re curious, take a look at the dashboard for valuable information on affiliate marketing and EPN.

Step 2: Find Affiliate Products

Now, let’s get down to the exciting part – choosing the products that will earn you those sweet affiliate commissions from eBay.

With a whopping 300+ categories to sift through, it might feel a tad overwhelming at first. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back! So, grab your favorite cup of coffee and let’s explore.

The Top-Selling Category: Electronics & Accessories

eBay’s reigning champion category is none other than “Electronics & Accessories.” Surprised? Well, consider this: eBay’s very first sale was a broken laser pointer.

Within this Electronics category, you’ll find hot-selling items like digital cameras, smartphones, headphones, and tablets/eReaders. These goodies are perennial favorites among consumers, which means more potential earnings for you.

The Top-Selling Category

Other Profitable Product Categories to Ponder

While Electronics & Accessories take the top spot, there’s a whole universe of categories and sub-categories waiting for your affiliate magic. Here’s a glimpse at some noteworthy 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

But here’s the kicker: These categories are just the tip of the iceberg. You can still rake in the cash with the eBay Partner Network by promoting items from other categories. In fact, niches like vintage clothing thrive on eBay. The list above simply offers you a smoother path to profitability.

Other Profitable Product Categories to Consider

Step 3: Generate Affiliate Links

Now, let’s get into the core of affiliate marketing – creating those crucial affiliate links. eBay has simplified this process with a range of easy-to-use tools available in the portal’s Tools menu.

Link Generator

This tool gives you control. It directs users precisely where you want them to go, whether it’s a specific product listing, a page of search results, or eBay’s homepage.

To create a single affiliate link, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your partner account on

  2. Go to the Tools menu and select Link Generator.

  3. Choose your Campaign from the dropdown menu.

  4. (Optional) Add a custom ID to improve tracking and future optimization.

  5. Copy the URL of the eBay item you want to promote and paste it in the eBay URL address field.

  6. Click the “Generate Link” button.

Link Generator

Smart Share

For Google Chrome users, here’s a handy extension. It’s all about fast and flexible promotion. Once it’s installed, just browse eBay, find the item or page you want to share, click the Smart Share icon in your browser’s toolbar, and you’re set! You can grab the link for use elsewhere or instantly share it on platforms like Facebook or Pinterest.

Here are steps for accessing and using the Smart Share tool:

  1. Log in to your EPN account.

  2. Click on ‘Smart Share’ in the Tools tab’s dropdown menu.

  3. On the Smart Share tool page, install the extension by clicking the ‘Install Smart Share’ icon from the Chrome Browser Gallery.

Smart Share

Bookmarklet Tool

This tool is perfect for on-the-spot linking. After adding the bookmarklet to your preferred browser, any eBay page becomes instantly promotable.

Bookmarklet Tool

Using the Bookmarklet Tool is a breeze:

  1. When you find an item you want to share, simply click the icon in your browser toolbar.

  2. This action instantly creates an affiliate link that you can share. It’s as easy as that!

  3. Copy and paste this link wherever you promote eBay products, whether it’s on your website, blog, or social media.

  4. For more advanced options, click the icon next to “Advanced” to access JavaScript/HTML code.

Using the Bookmarklet Tool

Smart Links

If your website already has many eBay links or you manage a dynamic, high-traffic e-commerce site, Smart Links are your time-saving solution. With just one simple line of code added to your site, Smart Links ensure that all your past, present, and future eBay links automatically include your tracking information. 

Smart Links

To start using Smart Links:

  1. Go to

  2. From the Tools menu, select “Smart Links” in the portal.

  3. Choose your desired campaign from the “Select Your Campaign” dropdown menu.

  4. Copy the code provided in the “Copy Your Code Snippet” window.

  5. Smart Links automatically optimizes for mobile devices, but if you prefer not to use this feature, you can disable it using the code in the “Excluding Mobile Ads? Use this Code Snippet Instead” window.

  6. Paste either code snippet between the <head></head> tags on the web page(s) where you want eBay links to become affiliate links.

  7. Confirm your setup by loading your web page and hovering over each eBay link.

Step 4: Promote eBay Affiliate Links

To make money with eBay Affiliate Program, you’ll need an audience interested in your promoted products. If you have a website, blog, or social media profile related to your niche, you can create content that matches your audience’s interests. Here’re some popular marketing tips to help you promote products on eBay:

  • High Quality Content: Create content that shines – think top-notch product reviews, helpful tutorials, and engaging articles that your audience can’t resist. You can write comprehensive, unbiased reviews that strategically weave in your affiliate links. Become the trusted voice your audience relies on.
  • SEO Optimization: Improve your content’s visibility with SEO magic. Use relevant keywords, savvy meta tags, and clear headings to attract organic traffic.
  • Social Media: Take advantage of social media platforms to showcase eBay products and your affiliate links. Engage with your followers and drive traffic through your social presence.
  • Email Marketing: Build an email list and send targeted promotions, exclusive offers, or irresistible product recommendations to boost click-through rates.
  • Influencer Partnerships: Collaborate with influencers in your niche to expand your reach and boost your affiliate conversions.
  • Visual Appeal: Use eye-catching banner ads and widgets on your website or blog to showcase eBay products.
  • Forum Engagement: Participate in relevant online forums by sharing valuable insights and dropping your affiliate links when it makes sense.
  • Paid Advertising: Consider pay-per-click campaigns or social media ads to target specific keywords or demographics for increased traffic.

Step 5: Withdraw Earnings

After your referred customer makes a purchase, sit tight – your commissions will be approved in about 30 days. So don’t fret if you don’t see the money instantly; it’s just part of the process.

Once you’ve racked up at least $10 in earnings, you can cash out your well-deserved commissions. eBay keeps it simple with two payment options: electronic funds transfer or PayPal. You get to pick the one that suits you best. However, here’s a heads-up: PayPal charges a 2% processing fee, but it’s capped at $20. So, consider that when making your payment choice.

Now, while earning those commissions is thrilling, there’s a catch to be aware of. eBay has put a cap on how much you can earn from a single sale. For instance, even if your referral splurges on a mansion worth a fortune on eBay, your commission will max out at $100. Keep this in mind, especially when promoting high-value items!

Earnings and Payment


Learn more: Best Affiliate Marketing Courses

Final Thoughts

eBay’s affiliate program stands out with its impressive tools and user-friendly interface.

The vast selection of items available on eBay, numbering in the billions, ensures you’ll always have options to promote through your affiliate links. This incredible variety caters to a wide audience.

Approximately 80% of the products on eBay are brand new, making it particularly appealing to buyers seeking fresh, unused items. This can significantly boost your chances of successful affiliate sales.

While there are some downsides, like a 24-hour cookie window, relatively low commission rates, and earning limits, eBay’s program remains a compelling alternative to Amazon’s offering.

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