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New Ad Network – AuctionAds

written by John Chow on March 6, 2007

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Today is the grand opening of Auction Ads (aff). AuctionAds displays live eBay auctions to visitors based on the website owner’s keyword preference and pays out on a CPA (cost per action) basis. The new network is the work of ShoeMoney and MediaWhiz (the owners of Text Link Ads (aff) and ReviewMe(aff)).

Leveraging eBay’s Affiliate Model

In a nutshell, AuctionAds is one big eBay affiliate. eBay does their affiliate payout based on volume – the higher the volume, the higher the revenue share. The exact payouts are shown below.

ebay.png

Now, the chance of a single small publisher signing up 3,000+ new eBay accounts or doing over $1 million a month in revenue is slim to none and slim left town. Therefore, most eBay affiliates receive the minimum affiliate payout ($12 per sign up and 40% to 50% of revenue).

What AuctionAds does is put all their publishers into one big “collective” to go after the higher revenue share. By ourselves, it’ll be hard to get the top tier payouts because we can’t generate that kind of volume ($1 million a month? Are you kidding me?), However, as part of a collective of AuctionAds publishers, it could be doable. Publishers can leverage AuctionAds’ creative delivery of eBay’s auctions and AuctionAds’ ability to achieve the higher performance incentive tiers with the aggregate volume of traffic to make more money than they could with their own eBay affiliate relationship.

How Does AuctionAds Make Money

AuctionAds will not make any money off their affiliates at the start of this program. Right now, affiliates will get 100% of any money they make from the system. As the collective moves up the eBay revenue share tiers, AuctionAds will start to take a cut of revenues. The goal is for you to make more with AuctionAds than directly with eBay’s affiliate program, which will be the case as the network increases its volume.

In order to build their network as fast as possible, AuctionAds has no minimum entrance requirements – anyone is welcome to join. The bigger the network gets, the more volume it can generate, and the faster it moves up the eBay payout tiers. If the network doesn’t grow, then AuctionAds will never make any money since they’ll be paying out 100% all the time.

The AuctionAds Ads

acutionads.png

The AuctionAds backend features an intuitive, easy to use system for showing targeted eBay auction listings on a publisher’s websites. The system features 11 different size banners with adjustable background, border, heading, description and link colors. You can also add custom campaign to track different parts of your site. To create a banner, just enter some keywords that best match the target of your readership, adjust the colors and hit the Create button. A preview of the banner will be shown.

The ads are triggered by the keywords that you enter. Because it is not contextual, AuctionAds can be used alongside Google AdSense. You just have to makes sure the two ads don’t look the same or you may run afoul of Google’s new “look and feel” rule.

Publishers also have the advantage of a referral system built into the ads. There is no need to sign up separately for the AuctionAds affiliate program because their affiliate program is built right into the ads you display. If a user clicks on the “Ads by AuctionAds” that is displayed with each ad and signs up for the service, you earn a bonus 2% of all revenue generated by that user for 6 months. Not a huge amount, but every little bit helps.

Who Should Use AuctionAds

Because the ads are mostly product related, AuctionAds will work best on shopping or product review sites like The TechZone. However, the service maybe used for non-product sites and blogs. eBay sells enough stuff that you should be able to find something that will match your site.

Because AuctionAds is CPA based, it will require more tweaking than CPC or CPM advertising. A publisher should stick with it for at least a month or two to give it a fair chance. I will be running AuctionAds as a Google default. I want to run them as a main banner but simply don’t have the free ad space right now. I am going to be running them on The TechZone as well.

Sign up for AuctionAds (aff)

*Update – Right after I wrote this article, AuctionAds sent me a ReviewMe (aff) request to review their service. Thanks guys! I was writing about you anyway. Now I get a bonus. :twisted: *Evil strikes again*

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{ 109 comments }

Jonix March 6, 2007 at 6:25 pm

I was saying “great find john”, but since it was turned into a review, i must say “greate review john”. I loved this one, a great valued information for all sites, since ebay sells everything even their “mothers” :)

I think this is a great idea, and has “legs” to walk to a very successful ads network. I would like it was CPC, but that’s ok, CPA if done it right, can bring alot more.

Jez March 7, 2007 at 10:25 am

I wonder what Ebays take is on this, on one hand they pay more, on the other they potentially get more referrals… but if they wanted more referrals they could offer better rates to smaller sites directly…

Justin Slife March 16, 2007 at 12:31 am

I applied for TLA and got a letter saying I could be a part of this…great. :cry: Seems like a good idea, but it won’t work for my niche. That’s why I started my blog, I wanted someplace to use ads for digital cameras, flat sceen tvs, and laptops.

Mark Johnson March 6, 2007 at 6:45 pm

I am just wondering. In the payout chart you showed, the small print at the bottom says that it is “only available via Commission Junction”. What has Commission Junction has to do with anything. I know it is an affiliate network on its own… is Commission Junction partners with Auction Ads or something?

John Chow March 6, 2007 at 7:07 pm

Commission Junction handles the eBay affiliate program on behalf of eBay.

HMTKSteve March 7, 2007 at 5:49 am

I have been seeing this pop-up on other websites. Was this a sponsored review?

Secondly, why would I want to use this service rather than sign up directly with eBay as an affilliate?

John Chow March 7, 2007 at 8:45 am

Read the article! :twisted:

HMTKSteve March 7, 2007 at 10:56 am

Read the article? Why would I want to do that when I can just post a question here in the comment section? ;)

PS: I already signed up…

ilker March 6, 2007 at 6:45 pm

More cheeky affiliate links!

InvestMe March 6, 2007 at 6:51 pm

thanks for the info. this will added help to a blogger like me :cool:

Jimi March 6, 2007 at 6:53 pm

I saw you over looking at your linkbacks John…lol

Those are just extra. I’m going to write a review about you this week some time as well.

Jimi March 6, 2007 at 6:54 pm

Crap…forgot I had that Alexa redirect on my name. :lol:.

Mr. Stockshaker.com March 6, 2007 at 7:06 pm

John, I have to demote you from Evil, to Jr. Evil. If Matt is gonna whoop your butt in this contest, I’m passing the title over to him.

Please, John, PLEASE, step it up a notch.

An Evil one would NOT settle for second place.

Keep up the posts, Junior. :lol:

JerkyBeef March 6, 2007 at 7:12 pm

Anything ebay i have to turn my back on… Not much of a fan anymore… I’m sure they will find a way take from their affiliates.

Good review though John…

Jonix March 6, 2007 at 7:15 pm

Why don’t you like ebay anymore jerkybeef?

Jez March 7, 2007 at 1:09 am

I know this question was not addressed to me, but I dont like E-Bay because they dont seem to care about their users.

There are loads of scams operating on there which are very difficult to report. They are obviously scams and E-bay just let them run riot.

lyndonmaxewell March 7, 2007 at 1:30 am

You would find that it is pretty hard for them track these unscrupulous sellers. One another side, Ebay is just a third-party in these transactions and it still boils down on the buyers and seller to be careful.

I always bank on the words, “If a deal sounds too good to be true, it is.”

Jonix March 7, 2007 at 7:46 am

And you allways can do a business with a system like escrow. That will get ride of scammers.

Jez March 7, 2007 at 10:32 am

No there is a lot more they could do to track unscrupilous sellers, they could extend the customer feeback section to allow standard complaints that generated stats, identified areas for investigation.

I raised a dispute on a dodgey seller, they refunded me imediately, thus closing the dispute automatically, then raised a dispute against me for non payment…

A lot of these sellers know the game and just how far to push it, and Ebay dont give a F.

They make it as difficult as possible to raise complaints beacuse it saves them money having to deal with them, end of story.

As for third party, they are offering a service and have to take responsibility for that service, or people wont use it any more.

Judging my the amount of advertisisng they are doing in the UK, I think that may well be happening.

lyndonmaxewell March 6, 2007 at 8:55 pm

Yea, does ebay sounds so bad?

Thilak March 8, 2007 at 12:44 am

I have to agree with you on this regard

Kanwal March 6, 2007 at 7:17 pm

If a user clicks on the “Ads by AuctionAds” that is displayed with each ad and signs up for the service

Your Ads by AuctionAds link doesn’t work.

Points to http://www.johnchow.com/go/acutionads.php
Should be pointing to http://www.johnchow.com/go/auctionads.php

John Chow March 6, 2007 at 9:01 pm

Thanks, it’s fixed.

Erik March 6, 2007 at 7:26 pm

Wow. The easiest $250 ? Nice “review” :razz: .

lyndonmaxewell March 6, 2007 at 8:59 pm

Easiest? Oh gosh, the reviews just keep flowing in for John, it seems! Everyday passes by without the failure of one in place of another.

Thoughts and Musings March 6, 2007 at 11:19 pm

no kidding…reviews seem to be never ending for john…

Jez March 7, 2007 at 1:12 am

Yeah its very popular, there have been a couple that were interesting to read but most are not as good as ‘original posts’.

I have only done one review myself and there is a conflict between writing what you want and…. getting paid :twisted:

Thilak March 8, 2007 at 12:47 am

Oh yeah! I wish I had the freedom to turn down reviews. I bet John gets hell lots of reviews, but he turns them down.

Marc March 7, 2007 at 6:03 am

John only gets a somewhat better than 50% cut. Normal ReviewMe payout is 50% but I think John mentioned he hustled his percentage up a little.

Thilak March 9, 2007 at 12:48 am

I don’t think so, ReviewMe has a same publisher policy for everyone.

Anyway, I’m not that influential enough to comment on this.

Doug Karr March 6, 2007 at 7:32 pm

Excellent review and a fantastic idea. I got ripped off by a user of eBay 4 years ago and haven’t purchased since… but I have to give them credit for this initiative. It’s sure to be a winner!

Thanks for sending this our way, John.

lyndonmaxewell March 6, 2007 at 9:02 pm

Well, ebay is just a third party, and sometimes it is just pretty hard to stop the cheaters though. It like hackers. They just keep going strong in what they do! Do not be influenced by a one-time experience, that is how I feel.

Jez March 7, 2007 at 10:35 am

So is a travel agent, would that stop you complaining if they sent you on holiday to a building site?

Would you use them again?

Would you recommend them?

Jez March 7, 2007 at 1:15 am

I dont know how popular E-Bay are now, they have been advertising very heavily in the UK recently which suggests perhaps usage is slowing. A lot of people I know have had bad experiences with E-Bay.

I had one very annoying problem and came to the conclusion that E-bay simply dont care, or have no idea how to control their sellers.

The customer feedback thing gets abused and is simply not enough to keep the site even semi ‘clean’.

I dont use them any more either….

lyndonmaxewell March 7, 2007 at 1:35 am

I have had two bad experiences in ebay before. But mainly is that the buyer on both cases withdraw from the deal and do not pay. However, there are still some good experiences in which I have not given up on ebay either.

Jez March 7, 2007 at 10:37 am

They have their moments, it depends to a poiint on what your buying. The idea itself is brilliant, I just dont think they are genuinely bothered about the mess it leaves some people in, and, IMO they are in a position to do something about it.

Jimi March 6, 2007 at 7:44 pm

Got a banner up now. Just a bit of a tester on Playstation 3.

Aris March 6, 2007 at 7:59 pm

Sign up only took few minutes. I got it on my page now.

Jon March 6, 2007 at 8:33 pm

I say you have a random draw to reward someone with that “free money”. :lol:

lyndonmaxewell March 6, 2007 at 9:08 pm

haha.. that is seriously killing two birds with one stone, on coincidence.

Jonix March 6, 2007 at 9:24 pm

Please don’t kill the birds… :mrgreen:

lyndonmaxewell March 6, 2007 at 9:46 pm

Okay, let’s leave them out of the picture then. Or else, we would have animal-lovers splashing their abuse on us.

Michael Kwan March 6, 2007 at 8:33 pm

Some guys have all the luck :lol:

lyndonmaxewell March 6, 2007 at 9:05 pm

Especially the evil-er ones… :twisted:

Jonix March 6, 2007 at 9:25 pm

oh yeah :) and remember, each one of us that sign the auctionads, will bring 2% to john of every sell that we made over there ;)

Marc March 7, 2007 at 6:04 am

Yep, luck favours the prepared, and evil.

ilker March 6, 2007 at 9:58 pm

True

Mark Johnson March 6, 2007 at 9:15 pm

gosh, lyndonmaxewell… you are really trying to rack up the comments huh. do you rent a room at JohnChow dot com or something? :wink:

lyndonmaxewell March 6, 2007 at 9:50 pm

Yea, I just took a ‘storeroom’ in the corner of his virtual home for lodging. :) But I hadn’t asked John, yet.

Jimmy Tang March 6, 2007 at 9:34 pm

John,

Not sure if I understand it correctly as how by using this, eBay would pay us at a higher tier since we would still be using our own PID #. Please elaborate or do I need to contact the AuctionAd guys? Thanks,

Jimmy

John Chow March 6, 2007 at 10:06 pm

You will no longer be using your PID. You will be using AuctionAds PID. AuctionAds will keep track of how each affiliate does.

Stretsh March 6, 2007 at 11:22 pm

Great info. Thanks for mentioning it

Norish Aida March 6, 2007 at 11:27 pm

Great review! I love your site, full of info to make money for bloggers.

Webmaster Labor March 7, 2007 at 12:01 am

Given the identity of the guys behind this new program, it’s easily a “shoo in” (I know, I know, bad pun) to be successful. Great implementation, guys.

Adam March 7, 2007 at 12:09 am

Good post John,

I’ve heard of them a few days ago and am getting ready to join, but other then that I also wanted to say that I’m going to be taking you down tomorrow haha.

Well my Heroes blog which can be viewed under my name was ranked 27th with 555 views while yours was ranked 26th with 558 views, this is all based upon the Spotplex website, if your wondering what I’m talking about.

I know were in different markets here but I’ve been coming to your blog back and forth for the past month or so and just thought I’d toss this little message out.

I’ll see you around.

John Chow March 7, 2007 at 8:49 am

Oh ya, Spotplex finally fixed my stuff. It was ranking zero and only start to rank yesterday. So that 558 wasn’t a full day. Good luck. :twisted:

Adam March 7, 2007 at 11:12 am

Really and to think I thought I almost had you in the rankings. haha.

Anyway I’ve started to like Spotplex already, its seems pretty good, they’ve got a few bugs that I reported to them but other then that I like the way they set things up.

Matthew March 7, 2007 at 12:11 am

hah very evil. cha-ching

Ajith March 7, 2007 at 3:00 am

Your review will never be over…
How do you mange to do so much review John

lyndonmaxewell March 7, 2007 at 3:51 am

If you have been watching closely enough, Michael had been lending some help in the reviews. There is like a mountain load of them!

Michael March 7, 2007 at 3:20 am

Sweet deal. I read about this on another blog yesterday. Snow today closed schools again, what should I do ???? :lol:

Michael

Erik March 7, 2007 at 3:23 am

If he is getting 2-3 requests a day for reviews, I think he should raise his $250 price a bit.

lyndonmaxewell March 7, 2007 at 3:56 am

He can’t, can he? The price is set by ReviewMe themselves.

Marc March 7, 2007 at 6:10 am

He can. ReviewMe recently changed their policy allowing bloggers to set their own price point. But the thing is that it’s a crowded field. IF he raised his prices by too much, he could easily drive all of this income over to other $250 blogs.

lyndonmaxewell March 7, 2007 at 6:39 am

I see, now that I know of it. Yea, he could give it a try, if he wants to.

Jonix March 7, 2007 at 8:18 am

It’s all strategy. John can invest the reviewme money in PPC and bring more traffic. With more traffic he can put the reviews with a higher price. With higher prices (even if he have few reviews) he’ll win more money and can invest more in ppc, and bring even more traffic. It’s a circle.

lyndonmaxewell March 7, 2007 at 8:23 am

An endless cycle you would say. Definitely so, if John wants to work out that way.

Ashish Mohta March 7, 2007 at 4:33 am

I have already started using it today morning.Seems to be good.I had been using amazon but it didnt work well i am not sure will it work there or not.Lets see

Ajay March 7, 2007 at 5:08 am

Hi John,

I’ve written a short tutorial on making AuctionAds contextual using Ultimate Tag Warrior keywords.

Do take a look at it and let me know your feedback.

http://techtites.com/2007/03/07/wordpress-wednesday-make-auction-ads-contextual/

C March 7, 2007 at 5:17 am

do we need to be part of the ebay affiliate program via cj?

John Chow March 7, 2007 at 8:52 am

No you do not.

Chris March 7, 2007 at 5:40 am

This could be useful for one of my sites. I’ve just signed up with your referral :smile:

Kanwal March 7, 2007 at 5:43 am

I have setup AuctionAds on my site. Lets see how they perform.

note: There should be a way to remove adult content.

Jonix March 7, 2007 at 8:20 am

Good point kanwal. Does auctionads have a filter on that?

Chris March 7, 2007 at 10:32 am

Unless you put in adult keywords I don’t see why adult auctions would appear unless there is a bug.

Kanwal March 7, 2007 at 4:49 pm

I’m assuming the keyword filter only searches the textual data. It does not place keywords on the picture.

The only way an adult picture shows up is if the item on sale has that as a picture.

Which is often the case with software and other tech products as its more likely to get more impressions which equals a higher chance in sales.

Kanwal March 7, 2007 at 4:46 pm

Jonix

AuctionAds do not have a filter.

lyndonmaxewell March 7, 2007 at 5:06 pm

So, it means that the publishers are to manually monitor this issue for themselves, since no filters are in the package?

Mike Panic March 7, 2007 at 6:49 am

I have still yet to find a reason to use their service in place of the affiliation I have with CJ.com and eBay directly. I guess if you live out of the USA and can’t get approved for the CJ affiliate it would make sense, but I don’t want a middle man between me and an affiliate company if I don’t have to have one.

Tyler March 7, 2007 at 7:16 am

I too just had to sign up. Why not? Doesn’t hurt does it? Their not too obtrusive either.

lyndonmaxewell March 7, 2007 at 8:21 am

Include that with the two powerhouses behind them, it is indeed worth a try.

caplondon March 7, 2007 at 8:23 am

I tried the “auction ads” on my sites. The ads placed were not relevent to my sites. I don’t want ads about Britney Spears on my luggage site!! Hopefully they will imporve their service!

Chris March 7, 2007 at 10:31 am

Did you put in keywords? :???: That’s what your ads should be based on

Kanwal March 7, 2007 at 4:50 pm

Keep it to a single keyword and also try to change the size of the ad to a single button like 125×125 or something.

derrich March 7, 2007 at 9:13 am

I’m all over this.

Brian at babybiotechs.com March 7, 2007 at 9:40 am

I must be blind. Where are the ads on your site? I white-listed you on my adblock and I can’t find them anywhere.

Chris March 7, 2007 at 1:59 pm

This doesn’t seem to be quite as good as I first thought.

Say there is a nice ad for a PS3 being displayed and you click it, it doesn’t take you to that auction, it just takes you to a page with loads of categories.

What’s up with that? Is it like that for everyone else too?

Thilak March 8, 2007 at 12:51 am

I wonder if they have some sort of Geo Targetting thing, what if users from India see?? Will they be taken to ebay.in, if they click on it?

Chris March 10, 2007 at 2:21 am

Well I was getting all $ auctions before from .com

Now I’m getting £ auctions and taken to .co.uk.

I don’t know about any other regions but it certainly has geo-targetting for the UK!

Kanwal March 8, 2007 at 8:28 pm

Seems like there are initial hiccups with reporting from Commision Junction. Not just that but the email was not reviewed.

The email that I received included the same message over 10x. Copied and pasted right after one another.

Weird

Ashish Mohta March 8, 2007 at 8:38 pm

Yes its weired.Felt like being spammed or something.I am not sure if its going to successful on every blog unless you are reviewing hardware and software .

Kanwal March 8, 2007 at 8:42 pm

Its about getting the right keyword. My blog is all about SharePoint (Microsoft’s Collaboration software).

Unfortunately, keywords like SharePoint or Office were not always turning family friendly results. However, keyword:Microsoft seems to be working like a charm.

For the time being, I am not testing it on my home page and rather on the single posts page.

Ashish Mohta March 8, 2007 at 8:44 pm

I doubt it will work on home page if you dont just have single post on it.Ppl coming to home page will look for some topic not for ads.Moreover if you write about something and then put the add just below it…high chances that ppl will click.

Kanwal March 8, 2007 at 8:53 pm

Well it would still work as its all about the keyword and not contextual data (unless you use UTW to get contextual ads).

But yes, strategic placement will definitely help with higher click through rate. Mine is currently less than 1%… not sure if any of those turned into sales though. Awaiting CJ to “pick up the slack”

Dean March 10, 2007 at 1:00 am

Yes nice, I don’t know why eBay has not done this but I was reading that they were working on something in Beta.

Anyway, I will be trying this out on some of my sites.

Dave Starr March 11, 2007 at 4:43 pm

Great review and tip, John. You wrote this up much more clearly and understandably than did Shoemoney, one of the founders.

Now your question of the day, should you choose to comment, is why wouldn’t you spend all your time promoting real opportunities like this, from real companies, offering real rates of return on real products as opposed to promoting a “thing” like AGLOCO (notice I’m avoiding the pyramid issue, if you say it’s not, it’s not), incorporated under the laws of the People’s Republic of China (that’s the Communist China one for you non-geography majors)and collecting data for who knows what reasons, which can’t break any income promises since it offers no income, sells nothing and produces nothing?

I really welcome AuctionAds if fo no other reason than the honest competition will keep the Yahoos and the Googles honest and more attuned to offering publishers better deals.

John Chow March 11, 2007 at 5:57 pm

Well Dave,

AGLOCO is incorporated in Hong Kong, which technically is now a part of China, but still has its own laws and borders (Chinese citizen still need a passport to enter HK). Hong Kong is NOT China. You want to piss off a HK citizen? Tell him he lives in China.

As for the sell nothing and produce nothing, that is exactly what Auction Ad is doing. It’s not offering anything new – it’s just an eBay affiliate that is trying to get a lot of people to join so they can get a higher rev share. AGLOCO is an ad network trying to get a lot of people to join so it can get a high rev share. They should be able to work their own deal with eBay if they want to.

The only difference between the two is the structure. Auction ad pays 1 level of referring affiliate. Agloco pays 6.

Carl March 11, 2007 at 8:28 pm

Please tell me you’re not a Geography major, like you inferred. :lol:

Sreejith March 13, 2007 at 3:15 am

Well, John, I think this thing has a problem. It shows Adult ads when ads for your keywords is not found ! GROSS !!! I mean, that would tarnish the whole reputation of a site. Has anyone observed this ?

WildBluff_Matt March 16, 2007 at 7:33 am

Wow, yeah that’s not good. I picked broad topics for keywords so I havent had that happen yet. I’ve got things like “DVD” or “mp3″ as mine.

LeeTK March 13, 2007 at 10:37 pm

CPA u mention above means? only those user who buy the product.. then we only we get pay?

WildBluff_Matt March 16, 2007 at 7:35 am

That’s right. 1000 clicks wont get you anything unless they buy something.

Mike Panic March 14, 2007 at 9:23 am

So TLA sent me an invite to try out auction ads and im going to run it on two of my sites and see how it does… just wanted to report that the interface is SUPER easy to use.

WildBluff_Matt March 16, 2007 at 7:36 am

Agreed. They do have a super clean, easy interface.

Kanwal March 15, 2007 at 5:23 am

I have created a new wordpress plugin for AuctionAds. Would anyone be interested in this?

If so, what features would you be expecting?

WildBluff_Matt March 16, 2007 at 7:31 am

Anyone getting a good return on this yet? We were getting plenty of click throughs but no financial returns. I’m thinking of taking them off so they don’t take away from adsense ads that I at least get something for their clicks. But I guess that’s how a referral system works, eh?

Mark Robinson March 16, 2007 at 12:21 pm

Is anyone making any money from this?

Mark Robinson March 16, 2007 at 12:23 pm

Has anyone figured out what the most profitable search field to use is?

Mike Panic March 24, 2007 at 7:56 pm

Just an update, since I’ve been running the auction ads for about 10 days now on a few of my sites. With about a .01% CTR (just over 10k pages served with a little more then 110 clicks) auction ads has generated a little more then $13 for me. Clearly getting good keywords when you are building links is a must and I will be refining my keywords shortly to better reflect this.

The money seems to be there, however it will take some serious tweaking to work well.

My only other real complaint is that I’ll loose some of that money in a paypal transaction, but with a low $10 payout, the company would never be able to stay in business issuing checks out like that.

Payout comes at the 1st of the month, along with my gov’t cheese :) – so we’ll see how that goes next week.