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AuctionAds Review: The Good and The Bad

Posted on June 13, 2007 by Tim Schroeder

Chances are that you have heard about the new AuctionAds network. The program allows you to monetize your website by displaying live eBay auctions on your website. You might be thinking, doesn’t eBay already have their own affiliate program? The answer is yes but read on because there is a better reason to use AuctionAds instead. At only a little over three months old, AuctionAds has already amassed a whopping 17,000+ members.

After sitting on the sidelines for awhile and reading performance reviews I thought it was about time I gave the AuctionAds program a try.

Most of the reviews I have read on various webmaster forums and blogs of AuctionAds have been mixed. There are some AuctionAds members sending heaps of clicks and making very little money while other members are writing about very positive results. I’m sure a lot of it has to due with the volume and genre a traffic being sent.

A pretty common consensus among most AuctionAds users is that you have to give some time for commission earnings to catch up before deciding if the program is right for your website. The affiliate cookie lasts for 30 days.

Why consider AuctionAds instead of the regular eBay affiliate program?

To answer that, first look at eBay’s normal commission structure which went into effect on June 1st.

Total Revenue ($)
generated
% of Revenue
$0 – $99.99 50.00%
$100 – $4,999.99 55.00%
$5,000 – $199,999.99 60.00%
$200,000 – $699,999.99 65.00%
$700,000 – $2,999,999.99 70.00%
$3,000,000 + 75.00%

You would have to be a big time eBay affiliate player to make it into the 60%+ tiers. The beauty of AuctionAds is that through the power of the group you will instantly being making much higher eBay commissions. Based on the AuctionAds current member base, I suspect the they are already in the 65% to 70% range. Go solo and it would be hard for the average affiliate to make it past the 55% range. eBay pays the AuctionAds network. AuctionAds pays us. Make sense?

Here is what an AuctionAds Ad looks like:

So what’s my take on what is the “good and bad” aspects of using the AuctionAds program?

1. The AuctionAds Referral Program is Embedded Right into Your Ad Units.

The Good: Anytime anyone clicks on the “Ads by AuctionAds” and signs up for the program, you will earn 2% of those new publisher’s earnings. Yes, that is a “Pretty sweet deal.” It’s to bad Google Adsense does not do that as well! In addition, given that the program is still new, you have a good chance of racking up lots of referrals.

The Bad: I do wish referral revenues lasted forever or at a minimum of a year. The affiliate networks I’m most inclined to promote are the those that offer lifetime referral revenue such as AzoogleAds or OfferWeb.

2. AuctionAds is Not Contextual.

The Good: You can run AuctionAds on the same pages as you currently use Google Adsense or the Yahoo Publisher network. Most users are reporting that they are not seeing a drop in Adsense revenue after adding auction ads. It adds an additional revenue stream without having to remove others.

The Bad: The ads are not always as relevant as I’d like them to be. For example, adding “seo” to my keywords list sometimes shows ads such as:

Alternator 145 amp SILVERADO 05-06 ESCALADE KG3 w/o SEO
and
2003 Bowman Chrome JAE WEONG SEO Ref Refractor

3. AuctionAds Uses Pictures Next to the Ads.

The Good: The pictures help increase the ad’s clickthrough ratios through increased visibility. They catch your eye. Often times the pictures look nice and are relevant to the ad.

The Bad: The pictures are generated by the eBay Auction listers themselves. Because of this, some of the pictures can be irrelevant to the ad and offensive to some. While I’m sure it helps the clickthrough ratio, I really don’t want pictures of female’s naked butts on my webmaster forum. This is one of the biggest negatives in my opinion. In addition, depending on the ad size you choose, the pictures sizes are sometimes reduced so small that they look very messy and are hard to make out.

4. AuctionAds Pays Out 100% of the eBay Commission Table.

The Good: AuctionAds is taking ZERO profit at this time. They pass 100% of the commissions on to you.

The Bad: This will change soon. They never have claimed that they will always be passing on 100% commission. It’s just during their beta launch period. They will have to start taking a percentage of the total commissions to stay in business. However, because of the high volume of sales the group will be generating, they should be able to take some of the commissions for themselves while still passing on higher commissions than you would make going solo.

5. AuctionAds Ads Are Easy To Setup and Customize.

The Good: The code creation options include choosing the ad’s keywords, ad format size, campaign (like Adsense’s channels), and link colors. You can also choose to open clicks on the ads in new windows. Then you just copy a piece of Javascript code into your website. It’s simple and straight forward.

The Bad: I wish I could upload a default picture that would show next to each ad or have the option to remove the pictures all together.

Here is a screenshot of the get code page options:

——————————

SideNote:

I wonder what eBay thinks of AuctionAds? On one hand they probably have a LOT more webmasters promoting eBay on their websites that never would have previously. On the other hand they are paying out much higher commissions to these affiliates (even though AuctionAds as a group is like a single giant affiliate). My prediction is that AuctionAds will be sold to another company (maybe even eBay) within one year from now.

I’ll be posting another thread on how the performance of my AuctionAds campaign is going in a few weeks. Do you use AuctionAds? Please share your results in the comments section.

Click Here to visit or join AuctionAds.

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4 Responses to “AuctionAds Review: The Good and The Bad”

  1. Zac Johnson

    - 16th Jun, 07 06:06am

    I’ve been testing with AuctionAds a lot over the past month or so. You can read up on my performance with them on my blog at http://www.zacjohnson.com. Since the new ebay pay structure has been in place, I have seen much better earnings.

  2. Graham

    - 27th Jun, 07 06:06am

    My guess is that AuctionAds will start to struggle if they keep doing more of the same.

    The main issue is that whilst the ads are related to the keywords, clicking on a link to an actual listing doesnt actually take you straight to that listing. In my opinion people will quickly learn to ignore the ads if they think they are being misled… and I do believe that a lot users will think this way.

    To fix this, AuctionAds need to be able to link directly to the exact item that the banner advertises… not just a generalised ebay keyword search.

    They need to do this quickly BEFORE people get annoyed with the ads.

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