eBay Affiliate Program FINALLY Drops the CJ Dead Weight

by Jeremy Schoemaker on March 17, 2008 · 83 comments

When we won eBay’s developer of the year award for 2007 (last year) for AuctionAds at the eBay Live! / Developers conference we were given the opportunity to have lunch with President of eBay U.S. John Donahue. While at lunch he asked me and dillsmack several questions about AuctionAds and the eBay Affiliate program. Somewhere in the conversation he asked me what was the 1 biggest thing they could do to improve the affiliate program? My answer: Drop commission junction asap. He inquired more and I gave him reason after reason as to why CJ was a really bad partner for them. From our bad experiences in tracking, reporting, signingup (we have horror storries that I dont even want to say) basically lets just say it was very difficult to work with them.

Anyway today on eBay’s afflilate site:

Today eBay unveiled the eBay Partner Network, a new global affiliate program for publishers driving traffic to eBay. Officially launching on April 1st, 2008, the eBay Partner Network will be eBay’s new in-house affiliate network, designed to more fully align the programs across eBay’s global properties and give affiliates expanded access to revenue opportunities across its platforms.

Since 2001 eBay has enabled affiliates and Web site publishers to be paid for all traffic driven to eBay. With one of the most competitive payouts in the industry and one of the broadest and deepest product selections available to affiliates, the eBay Partner Network will continue to help eBay extend the reach of its platforms to the edges of the Web. The new in-house program will allow eBay to more closely align the program with the needs of its publishers and the eBay Community, and will eventually engage all of eBay’s assets to create one of the most robust affiliate networks in existence.

The washington post also has a big write-up on it here in which they talk to our friend Matt Ackley.

I think everyone who has been doing eBay affiliate stuff has seen this coming for a long time. I was still surprised to see it finally happen though. But honestly it was time. Good call eBay!

Hat tip to @manatee for tipping me off this morning

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 2858 posts on ShoeMoney.com.

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.

Jeremy recommends you check out these amazing posts:

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1 Royal Radande

I’m pretty excited, too. I’ve been having so many tracking problems with CJ, it’s not even funny. I like the fact that we’ll be able to sign up for multiple ebay locations all in one place.

2 Tony Thomas

I’d be really interested in hearing some of the bad experiences you had with CJ and why, Shoe

3 Iantrepreneur

ahh damn! I wonder what this means for all those BANS users (myself included) hmm I wonder how this will incorporate everyones ebays inhouse stores and scripts…

I am pretty excited, I wonder if there will be a big change in commission from CJ to inhouse

4 jtGraphic

One thing’s for sure. Cutting out the middle man is a good way for one or both sides to make more money. Hopefully it’s the affiliate side.

5 Jeremy Steele

The “eBay Partner Network” hmmm I love that name, could get you in trouble with a less than tech savvy wife or husband though… “Hey Hun, I’m one of eBay’s partners!” *slap*

6 Erica DeWolf

I also received this email today and am very excited! Ebay is so large that I had originally thought it should have its own affiliate network. Hopefully there will be some better tools so that we (the affiliates) can customize our links!

7 Erica DeWolf

I agree. I’ve been having a few issues with Commission Junction myself. This will help out a lot.

8 ShoeMoney

it was switched over to rover a long time ago… I dont think there is a need to change links.

9 Mary

Thank you thank you thank you for influencing eBay to drop cj!!

Cj is bad news for publishers, not only is their tracking not accurate, they also give themselves the right to drop anyone at any time WITHOUT NOTICE. That means, your ads are working, you’re driving traffic, but your click throughs are not being tracked, and they don’t even tell you about it. In the meantime you’re wondering why your links aren’t working.

Kudos also to eBay to drop that dead weight!!

10 Chad Frederiksen

Yes, this is great news.

11 Sockmoney

I may actually use their program now. CJ was awful.

12 Solo Programmer

It does sort of sound like eBay is going to start competing with AshleyMadison and AdultFriendFinder doesn’t it.

13 Solo Programmer

I’m curious to see what kind of impact this has on CJ/ValueClick. The eBay program has to be a significant portion of the revenue for them. This could really shake up things in the affiliate world if CJ looses their dominant position.

14 Farmer

Dominant of what?

15 ShoeMoney

eBay has always been their biggest earner. It will indeed be interesting to see now who will follow.

16 ShoeMoney

CJ does dominate the industry right now. They have almost 5,000 programs. Sure they pay like shit but most people dont know =(

17 Jonathan Volk

I sure hope not. Changing every aff link would suck.

18 3magin8

“eBay has always been their biggest earner. It will indeed be interesting to see now who will follow.”

I also wonder…


19 Sean

great! maybe the interface won’t be so clunky.

20 Steve

I was going to try my luck in the eBay affiliate niche, I guess I’ll try it now. :P

21 big money

Mr. Shoemoney, I have an important question. I signed up for CJ after I seen your picture of how much you made in your CJ account and thought that maybe you were also recommending them. Now you don’t care for them? Which affiliate program out there do you honestly think is the best. I haven’t made a penny with CJ and I sense something wrong with the tracking myself as no one ever clicks on anything.

22 Roseli A. Bakar

Its about time but kinda bit late :)

23 Andrew Pavelski

Interesting, Ebay disconnecting w/ CJ.

24 cristian


25 Mark Hansen


Jeremy, didn’t you mention some BIG APRIL FOOLS joke for this year?

Hmmm I wonder!?

26 CVOS man

I feel bad for valueclick shareholders right now – ebay must be their largest advertiser and this stock will fall faster than a wounded gazelle.

27 Syed Balkhi

CJ is still dominates and w.e they pay is better than alot … now Pepper Jam has entered so lets see how that works.

28 Syed Balkhi

lol i dont think this is a joke ;)

29 Affiliate Confession

The email all of us eBay affiliates got this morning said that all links would have to be migrated over to the new affiliate program by May 1. Maybe “migrate” just means that we’ll have to sign up with the new affiliate program?

30 Terry Tay

I guess it’s better late than never. I’m sure there are a lot of happy people out there because of this news. I wonder how much influence came as a result of that lunch? We’ll see how much this benefits everyone soon.

31 Arejay

Google search about CJ horror stories, do the same at DP , NP , SP ect… If there ever was a first selective scamming affiliate company, this is it! Or WAS it…

32 PotPieGirl

I think this is a fantastic move on eBays part. Cutting out the middle man is a smart business move and should make for a more effective affiliate program.

The incentive to switch early for an extra 5% bonus for the month of April in nice…and kinda removes that agitation I feel if indeed I do have to redo ALL my eBay aff links out there in the www.

Hopefully, the migrations will be smooth and eBays servers will be tough enough to handle the over-load…especially on April 30th ;)

Great post.

Shoe, if you had a hand in this decision, THANK YOU!

33 blackysky

finally !!! CJ report sucks !!! I think ebay alone will do a better job !!! Now I wonder whos next???? I hope buy.com and priceline will leave CJ…

34 Affiliate Confession

I have seen some weird reporting with CJ for sure. I’ll have several days in a row where I make $40 or $50 each day from my eBay links and then I’ll go through a stretch where I’ll see like $3.15 or thereabouts for 5 days in a row. That freaks me out.

35 Greg C.

Will this affect Shoppingads inability to show relevant ads? I was getting all this traffic from my KWs being mentioned on the biggest show on national TV and Shoppingads is serving irrelevant ads for counterfeit purses and ipod cases ( i swear they must have some weird default that shows the worst items in ebay while hundreds of my KW items are available). After this I had to change all my eBay links to CJ. I would say 50% of the time SA serves up irrelevant ads. Then half the time it will correct on a refresh, but how may visitors refresh?

36 Sean W

I got the email from eBay today. Actually got three uk, canada, us. It’s for real.

37 MochaProductions

I’m curious about the BANS implication as some of your loyal readers did actually take the dive into the program. I have not seen any official word from BANS, but I’m hoping that it will be addressed soon.

38 Mayank Rocks

Same here. CJ closed my account and on contacting them, sent me no reply. wtf

39 Mayank Rocks

Wonderful news. Thanks a ton!

40 Mayank Rocks

Its a good thing who had issues with CJ!

41 Mayank Rocks

Adult friend finder….isnt is nothing compared to Ebay? :O

42 Blend

This great news! It great opportunity to all!

43 Farmer

Well they don’t dominate me! :)

44 Flimjo

I’m an “Ebay Partner” sounds a little weird compared with “I’m an Ebay affiliate.”

45 Flimjo

I have yet to use CJ, so I guess I don’t care as much.

46 Flimjo

That would really be SOMETHING. Lure people into a fake affiliate problem on April Fool’s. Historic.

47 Flimjo

It looks like CJ is just tanking. Amazing how many people hate it.

48 ChainsawGuy

“I’m curious about the BANS implication as some of your loyal readers did actually take the dive into the program. I have not seen any official word from BANS, but I’m hoping that it will be addressed soon”

The folks at BANS have stated that they’re on top of this and anticipate that the change over will go smoothly. They were informed of it ahead of time and are addressing the issues currently.

49 Dave King

Wow. This is great news! CJ ca get very annoying!

50 Info blog

I will like to know the how the partnership with CJ will affect Ebay

51 Affiliate Confession

More like how the loss of partnership with eBay will affect CJ.

52 CodeFreedom

CJ links are so hard to track. I just hope their new program makes you sales easier to track. I had some success with the current program but stopped when I could not figure out through CJ which links were the successful ones even using their SID tracker code option. Look forward to seeing the new offering. Released April Fool’s Day I believe !

53 Syed Balkhi

yup and I think it might be the changing all the links … or maybe their system automatically does it … I dont know but I don’t want to change each and every link.

54 Syed Balkhi

because many people believe that CJ doesn’t have a good payout rate, and alot of the people have had issues with them therefore they are happy.

55 Cheap Auto Insurance

I hate CJ too, they ban members before giving check,also site cj.com is very slow.

56 PPC Pimp

Very nice work dude. It goes to show ebay listens to their affiliates. Very very nice.
I am sure you caused someone their job at CJ :)))))

57 motorsportBABESau

best news i have heard all day


58 Toronto SEO

Good news for everyone having issues for CJ.

59 Gorilla Gripper

This is great news!!!

60 Professional Lab

Interesting. I m going to be ebay partner.

61 Scotty Mack

I suppose that is great news for those of you who already have a partner network program set up with eBay. Unfortunately, it has made it difficult to impossible for the rest of us to profit from eBay and join their exclusive network.

The eBay partner network does not seem to be permitting new members. They refuse to give a reason why sites are not accepted nor will they provide a list of parameters that they use to deem a site worthy of their program. Instead, they dismissively state in a generic E-Mail that you can try again in a few months and maybe their parameters will change.

That leaves those of us who were not grandfathered in with no options. I have just made sure to discourage people from using eBay in various posts, unless they want to waste more time and frequently more money in a bidding war.

What choice did I have?

62 Eddie

I’m joking ShoeMoney! I’m actually quiet happy with CJ. I mean, I do this stuff part time, maybe an hour a day .. and I pull in around $10k per month. Good enough for me while I got to school.

63 D

We applied for an ebay affiliate. We have 4 sites with over 2 million hits per year for good niche products that we publish.

They dismissively turned us down for no reason and no comment. Just a terse email.

We joined Amazon instead. Last week se sold $800 in commisions on used and new products cross related to ours.

We have one word Ebay and PayPal are now dirty words and we refuse to do business with them.

64 Ernie

Is there a decent alternative to ebay auction? They rejected an application out-of-hand.

65 EPN sucks

eureka: I guess we now have you to thank for how totally screwed up and crappy ebay EPN has treated their affiliates since moving in-house to the most incompetent group of wannabes and idiots since the advent of affiliate programs.

thanks alot you arrogant asshole.

66 Boat Rod

Has there been any progress with regards to the terms eBay requires partners to adhere to? My applications been rejected twice now with vague or a list of possible problems as to why I was not accepted. Anyone had any answers to this yet?

67 barefoot2k

never had a problem with CJ, always got fair pay on tents, knives, firesteel, camping equipment.. whatever I put up links for.

cant blame cj for poor marketing peoples.. :P

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