The Word Bay

EPN country programs, the RSS feed and Wordbay

WordBay is as consistent as is possible with the different language and country options available through the eBay Partner Network, although the different EPN country options and programs get somewhat confusing. At some stage during the development of Wordbay (back in 2008) I think I unravelled most of the threads, and so here is an explanation of eBay country sites as related to the EPN program, and its use with WordBay, though I cannot vouch for how up-to-date this information is.

These are the sites available through the EPN program, and I believe that on application to EPN you would normally tick all of these countries, though I don’t know if it is possible to be accepted for some but rejected for others:

United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, eBay Motors (the latter functions a bit like a country site but is not applied for separately)

These are all fully-functioning (I hope!) in the WordBay options.

Non-EPN eBay sites

However, there are other international eBay sites which canNOT be monetised through EPN. So you will not earn any commissions with them if you choose them as options, even though they may produce listings. These eBay sites are also divided into two groups which I’ll explain in a second:

Group 1: Germany, China, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland

Group 2: Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippines, Poland, Sweden

Of these, it is possible that even though you can choose one of these as your default listings site in WordBay, you actually won’t be served any listings. I cannot be sure which these are – I have not managed to get China and Taiwan to work, for example, I don’t even know if they are fully-fledged eBay sites, I include all of these for the sake of completeness and I may just remove them one day for reasons explained below. These non-EPN countries are shown in brackets in the drop-down option lists in WordBay.

In addition, Group 2 sites do not even have a so-called “Placement ID” so you cannot refer users to the relevant site through EPN.

Country sites and geotargetting

There is one problem with all this if you are using the geotargetting option in WordBay – have you spotted it?

If you have geo-targetting switched on and you get a visitor coming from a country with a non-EPN site, like Sweden, say, they will be served Swedish eBay listings, but you will not receive any commissions for sales made by eBay because there is no EPN program for Sweden! We just have to accept that this is a small price to pay – do we really hope that a Swedish visitor will go and join US eBay and start buying from there if only we were to serve them US eBay listings? Not worth the worry in my opinion. Unless you REALLY resent eBay earning any money from you without paying you a commission!

More seriously, if someone is visiting from China, or one of the other eBay locations that do not seem to provide a product feed, well… they’ll get an empty page, for now. Again, are you that bothered about this? If so, I will try to think of some way to get around this in future versions, probably simply by eliminating those countries, once we have identified them. If you want to do remove any countries yourself – easy, just delete the rows pertaining to those countries in the countries.txt file that comes with WordBay. Then when a visitor comes from those countries they will simply receive listings from the default country.

I hope that goes some way to clearing things up if you were confused about this, and I would be happy to hear any more insights into this issue!