This article shows how to make money as an eBay affiliate on your WordPress blog or web site using the BayRSS “eBay affiliate plugin” to list auctions directly in your blog posts! If you’ve heard about the PHPBay Pro WordPress plugin I’ll discuss that as well. Even if you don’t use WordPress – read this entire post and learn how to put eBay auctions on ANY type of web site, and I’ll even explain how to build your own ebay “niche store” as well!

***UPDATE October 4th, 2009***

I DO NOT RECOMMEND BAYRSS ANYMORE.

Actually, because of all the poor support and problems with BayRSS and it’s creator, it’s has forced me to partner with Fredrik Ahlen and create my own eBay WordPress affiliate plugin WP EASYBAY™. Read about the WP EASYBAY™ Product Launch here.

**UPDATE March 2009**
It appears that when you buy BayRSS now the version you get for download (2.5) doesn’t work for some reason. The version I use everyday on all my sites (2.3b) works perfectly with no problems at all.

It appears that the BayRSS plugin author (Azlan) is not active any longer and ignoring all support requests and not even updating the current version to be workable. I no longer recommend purchasing BayRSS only because of this support problem and the 2.5 version issue. If you purchased a non-working version contact me and I will furnish you with a working 2.3b version – no problems at all.

My Personal Alternative to BayRSS:

 

WP EASYBAY™

 

The original BayRSS below is here for informational purposes ONLY – DO NOT PURCHASE BayRSS – it’s NO LONGER a reputable product

 

I have used “affiliate programs” for several years to monetize my blogs and web sites and make money online. But a good eBay affiliate WordPress plugin has always escaped me. I’ve tried many cheesy little scripts, a few I paid for and some were free. None did exactly what I wanted. First, let me talk to you a little bit about why a “WordPress eBay plugin” is so important to me…

A lot of people keep really detailed tracking stats on what’s making money in their sites. I don’t often have time for that – so I try all kinds of things and re-do things that seem to be consistently working. Besides this blog about blogging, I have all different kinds of web sites. Some are just fun, like my web site about jokes. Some are techie and gadget releated, and some are pop culture. I’ve monetized using Amazon, eBay, Commission Junction, LinkShare, Adsense, Kontera, AdBrite, Text Link Ads, MaxBounty, and all kinds of others. In a future post I’ll in greater detail about my experiences with each one. Suffice to say – the most consistent money I’ve made has been made being an eBay Affiliate.

Being an eBay affiliate is nice because I believe it’s simply what I call the “long tail of monetization”. I’ve added links for CJ (Commission Junction) before, say for a cell phone accessory vendor, and the products over time either aren’t available, or the vendor can quit their affiliation with Commission Junction altogether. Then the links are invalid – and you have to revisit EVERY post you ever put them on to remove them and add more. This isn’t to say I don’t use CJ links – I do…but let’s say I have a post about a RAZR cell phone. I may post a link to buy the phone new on Amazon, some accessories from a CJ vendor, and last I’ll put a link to some eBay auctions. Even when the cell phone is 2-3 years old and the CJ links are bad, the eBay link should STILL be bringing up the phone used in auctions for sale (for many years). And people always go for what they think is cheapest, and sometimes they choose to view the auctions rather than the other links to see if they can get a deal. Also, if someone clicks on your auction, goes to eBay to check it out – and then BUYS SOMETING ELSE, you STILL get commission on the sale! I can’t tell you how many times someone started out on one of my sites looking for cell phones but bought an iPod charger or a book instead.

Let’s talk about how you make money on eBay auctions. You get 50% commission on the eBay fees. So if something cost $100 on eBay the insertion fee would be say $2.40. If the person added a picture (50 cents), made the ad bold ($1), made it Buy it Now (25 cents), and set a reserve price ($1.50) – the auction could be say $10.15 in eBay fees once it completes. Your profit on the sale would be $5.07 (half of the eBay fees)! That’s for one sale! Imagine the commissions you could make if the items you listed were $200-$300? The only place you can find items with that high commissions are on clickbank, and they don’t give you any advertising or promotion tools at all – and eBay is probably the single most trusted and well know shopping web site in the world, other than Amazon. Nearly everyone I know has bought or sold something on eBay.

I have a web page on one of my sites that gives tips and tricks on the first cell phone I ever bought. It was (and still is) a very long page. This cell phone was one of the first to have a memory card slot. It was also one of the first to play video and work like an mp3 player. I think it’s like 3 years old now. I put a link to a CJ vendor that sold these cards (with picture), and to some accessories. At first I sold all kinds of memory cards, it seemed like every day. Over time this tapered off, and I placed some eBay auctions on the bottom of the page for used and new ones. This was the first eBay affiliate link I ever placed. I now know that was the smartest monetization link I ever placed. That web page still exists – if you want to look at it for reference, view my A920 Cell Phone Guide Here.

To be an eBay affiliate, you have to sign up with Commission Junction. They collect the money and pay you. At the eBay Affiliate Web Site you have access to tools to build auction listings for placement on your site.

**UPDATE** April 2008: I struck out the previous paragraph because eBay announced in March that it would be leaving Commission Junction to start their own “in house” affiliate program called the eBay Partner Network. The same tools (and more) are available to use the eBay affiliate program, but now your affiliate ID (and your check) comes directly from eBay.

My favorite ebay affiliate tool is the “Editor Kit”, where you input some keywords, pick some style, and it gives you the code for a nice block of live auctions. I love to put these on my pages, but going back to the eBay Affiliate Site every time is such a pain and so very time consuming. That’s why I am so happy to have found the “BayRSS WordPress eBay Plugin”.

Let me tell you why I think that placing eBay links is some of the “smartest monetization” you can make…

The cell phone web page I talked about has been up a few years now. I have watched the same registered users over time revisit that page again and again, and some have even emailed me with questions. What I’ve found is they are revisiting my page to view the eBay auctions!. Many repeatedly, because the auctions are live. So (to my astonishment) – an ad on my web site (the auctions) is actually DRIVING traffic to my site! On that particular page I really don’t sell any memory cards or accessories anymore, but people are STILL buying used cell phones from those auctions (I saw one commission on one just earlier this week). I’ve had many ideas for sites that would thrive with auction listings and good content like some kind of niche collectibles, concert or sports tickets, niche electronics, jewelry, even flat screen tv’s. But who wants to go back to the eBay affiliate site every time I want to list another auction?

Enter the BayRSS WordPress plugin for listing eBay auctions on your web site!! Install this plugin and you will be able to add a little tag into your post with some keywords and how many auctions you want displayed and BLAM! you have live eBay auctions in your posts and pages. It’s sooooo easy to use! You can also choose to only show auctions with so many bids or a certain dollar amount, share the revenue with other authors within your blog, and more!

I use BayRSS to list eBay auctions in my blog(s) every day. BayRSS is a premium WordPress plugin and it costs $39. It’s only competitor at that price is the WP EASYBAY™ WordPress plugin. As far as I can tell from online screenshots and examples BayRSS and WP EASYBAY™ are identical except for the fact EASYBAY has 16+ more features than BAYRSS. In addition, even though the layout of auctions on your page from each plugin is the same – BayRSS “cloaks” (redirects) the links. That’s so you don’t have tons of external “affiliate links” on your posts and pages that google might find excessive and give you a penalty for. I don’t know for sure if PHPBay Pro has this feature or not, but none of their online example sites was cloaking their links if it was (big mistake!). I do have another use for PHPBay though – which I’ll explain later in this article.

Going back to BayRSS – you get free updates for life and support. These are both things worth paying for. Free wordpress plugins are great, but if you have a problem sometimes getting technical support can take a few days. Also you might wait 6 months for the lastest version of WordPress to be supported. Since I purchased and started using the BayRSS eBay plugin I’ve gotten updates quickly and fast email response to support questions. Azlan Kasim – who is the creator of BayRSS has always been quick to answer all my questions and emails. He has released a brand new update to BayRSS to be compatible with the new eBay Partner Network, so BayRSS is now ready to use EPN ID’s switching from Commission Junction.

I want to show you why I’m so enthusiastic about BayRSS. Before I show you how I use it in my blogs (and the kinds of sales I make) – let me sum up the BayRSS feature set again:

  • Free Upgrades for Life
  • Revenue Sharing, so you can share with guest authors
  • Can be used to list both Amazon items and eBay
  • No Visible Outgoing Links to eBay (cloaking) – so you don’t worry about “nofollowing”
  • Specify Minimum Bid and Price for auctions
  • Ability to place localized auctions by zip code
  • Unlimited license, use on as many sites or blogs as you want
  • 100% full satisfaction 60 day guarantee
  • Works with new eBay Partner Network

I think that eBay auctions are a good fit for bloggers. In my post Personal Profits with eBay and YouTube I talk about how you can “personally monetize” by writing about something you either know about or are passionate about – and connect related products to it. If I write a post or review about “wireless hard drives” (follow that link for an example page) all I have to do is place one line of code at the end of the post like this:

inserting an ebay auction with bayrss insert tag

This tag gives the parameters for the BayRSS plugin to do it’s work. The first section are the actual keywords that will bring back the auctions from ebay – just like you typed them in a web browser. You can put nearly any search query here, including ones with advanced parameters. I often “subtract” items that I don’t displayed. For the query “sata hard drive” I might modify the search terms to be “sata hard drive -enclosure -adapter” to make sure that the auctions are for hard drives only and not ones selling hard drive enclosures or hard drive adapter cards. The next number is how many auctions will be displayed on the page. I recommend you keep this to 10 or less, because the listings come live from eBay’s RSS feed search function (nothing is stored in your WordPress database).

Only the first 2 parameters are mandatory, the rest are optional (but useful). The third parameter is the minimum number of bids to show, like if you wanted to show only auctions with at least 1 bid. I choose zero always so I can see everything. The fourth parameter is the minimum price for bid, so if you wanted to show all hard drives with a cost more than $50, just enter 50 there. The last parameter is your “SID” or tracking code. When someone bids on an auction and wins from your site, when you see your commission in Commission Junction, the “SID” will be listed at the end of that line so you know which blog and post it came from (if you use good descriptions).

Here’s an image of from one of my blogs with what the auctions actually look like:

BayRSS auctions example

The auctions look really nice, but the thing that makes BayRSS auctions stand out from any free eBay affiliate plugins (yes there are a few free ones I’ve found and tried – which weren’t very good) are the SEO benefits it provides. You may not be aware of this, but when you monetize a web site with affiliate links – if you have too many you may incur the wrath of google and obtain a “google penalty”. Your search rankings could suffer as a result. Google would like you to place a “rel=nofollow” link on your affiliate links so they aren’t counted when your page is indexed. BayRSS goes one better, and rather than placing direct links to eBay in the auctions (which could hurt your SEO), when you click on “Bid Now” or “Add to Watch List” the clicks go to the file “bidnow.php” which comes with the BayRSS eBay plugin. That file in turn redirects you to eBay. Because the auctions are setup in this way, the search crawler doesn’t see eBay auctions – it instead see content on your site (protecting your search rankings).

If you’d like to see some more auctions in action – live examples of posts I placed auctions on with BayRSS that have paid me cash money in eBay affiliate commissions:

Digital Notepad Review
Coach Purse Optic
Agile Guitar New and Used Review

So, I’ve told you how to use BayRSS and shown you live examples of how I use it – isn’t it time that bought it to monetize your web site with eBay auctions? If all I’ve said hasn’t enticed you, let me say (other than the fact I use BayRSS everyday myself) it comes with a 60 day money back guarantee and free updates for life! If you’re not happy you get a 100% refund. But the main reason I bought BayRSS in the first place was the fact that you can use it on an unlimited number of web sites you own! That’s right – there’s no restriction. If you you own 100 blogs or web sites, you can use it on each and every one for only $37!

Maybe you’re still not convinced. I’ve explained to you how BayRSS works, why I like it, and that I use it nearly every day. Let me give you some example commissions:

This first example is of some eBay affiliate commissions on April 7th, 2008:

CJ ebay affiliate commissions

You can see that I get exactly half the of the eBay fees. It didn’t all fit in that pic, but most of those commissions are from a Bluetooth Headset Review I did just a couple weeks back. Here, let me show you the rest of that screen:

CJ ebay affiliate commissions

You can see in the rest of the rest of that pic that the first 7 commissions were made selling jabra 8040 headsets. The commissions weren’t that much because the auctions were probably <$50. Any sale is good, but then look at the last 2 auctions where I sold 2 designer handbags. I sold one Bottega Veneta, which was probably another low dollar sale, but then I sold a Coach Beekman purse and earned $16.41 from one item. That's a designer laptop bag that can sell from $150-$400. The seller probably listed the auction in "gallery" with a high reserve price, which resulted in higher eBay fees - that I got 50% of in the end as an affiliate.

In this next example I’ll show you what happens when someone creates a new eBay account:

CJ ebay affiliate commissions

It’s true that nearly everyone you know probably already has an eBay account. But believe it or not there are still people out there that don’t. Think about it – someone turns 18 every day, so there will always be someone that needs a new eBay account that didn’t already have one. If one of your visitor’s clicks on an auction from your site and once they get to eBay signs up for a new account you get $25 for each “advanced lead”! You can see my $25 commission for a new user in the example pic above. Now let’s look at where these auctions come from too…

CJ ebay affiliate commissions

In this example pic you can see I on this day (April 5th) I sold a digital notepad, some IP Cameras, and again some designer purses in addition to the new user commission. The very last commission doesn’t have any description, but it came from my handbag web site. That means they didn’t buy what they clicked on, but found something else on eBay – and since the transaction originated from my web site I earned commission on it anyway. I hope viewing these commission examples puts it in to perspective a bit more for you and you understand that what I’m saying is true, and that you can really make decent money placing relevant eBay auctions on your blog and web pages.

People who know me will tell you that I’m a “web scrooge” and I will spend dozens of hours trying to get something open source to work just to avoid paying $20 for a product that does the job well. I couldn’t find anything free to place eBay auctions on web sites that worked well at all, and I found BayRSS to be a complete bargain for what it gave me. It paid for itself within 3 days of installing it. The links on this page to BayRSS are affiliate links, and if you click on one and buy the WordPress plugin I will get a small commission for my efforts of putting this article together for you. But unlike a lot of what you read on “make money” blogs I actually use this product (*a lot*), and I’ve shown you plenty of example pages on live sites I have running right now, and I’ve shown commissions from those pages and sites so you know it actually works. I can and will work for you no matter how great or little your traffic is. All my pages tend to have the “views” listed on them – go back to those examples pages I gave you and look again. You’ll see the ones making me money aren’t very high traffic pages at all.

If you’re interested in a piece of software that automatically builds and populates an entire web site with eBay auctions, please read my series: “Watch Me Build a BANS Niche Site from Scratch! I use “Build a Niche Store” PHP software scripts to build an entire eBay affiliate auction filled web site in very little time.

*UPDATE*
One thing that I get asked a lot in email and through my contact form is “How do I place an eBay auction on a regular web site”? What they mean is, they’re not using WordPress and they want to put auctions on their site too to get affiliate commissions. I have a way that you can place eBay auctions on any site, and it’s a method that you can use whether you’re using static web pages, Drupal, Mambo, Joomla, Xoops, Geeklog, Blogger, or even a web forum – it doesn’t matter! Anywhere you have the ability to place PHP code you can use PHPBay Pro’s API! Remember the PHPBay Pro WordPress plugin I talked about earlier? They also have a PHPBay Pro API that you can buy and intall on ANY web site you can use PHP code with. When you get to the web site just click on “API”. The PHPBay Pro API is just $49. If you don’t use WordPress, or have another non-Worpress or static web site, PHPBay Pro API is the only way I know of to just copy and paste PHP code to display eBay auctions on any kind of web site.

Still have questions or comments? You can comment below, or Contact Me anytime!