The Word Bay

How to promote eBay as an affiliate, without joining the eBay Partner Network!

Been wanting to promote the niche treasure-trove that is eBay, but could never get in the eBay Partner Network?

Well now it is finally possible to make money promoting eBay products even if you are not a member of the eBay affiliate program!

And not only that, you can now use an awesome WordPress plugin like Wordbay to display eBay listings on your blog, without being an EPN member!

That’s Wordbay over in the right sidebar, below the member login, running in a widget. And here is another example, embedded in a post:

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NEW Vintage Apple iPod Classic 1st Generation (5 GB) M8541

NEW Vintage Apple iPod Classic 1st Generation (5 GB) M8541
Current price:
Ends in:
0d 2h 28m
NEW Vintage Apple iPod Classic 1st Generation (5 GB) M8541
Seller: eBay
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Cool or what?! Yes, Wordbay works out of the box with the two services I am going to tell you about – so now you can promote eBay just as though you were an EPN affiliate, and you get to use this cool tool!

Without delay, here is how: by joining one of two affiliate networks – Skimlinks or Viglink – in fact you should go and join both now! Skimlinks is your plan A, Viglink plan B (I’ll explain why in a minute). You still need to have a nice product-based site to show them and to briefly explain how you plan to monetise using the service – just give them a general strategy (search engine traffic, whatever). If you have some good stats, all the better. Both shouldn’t take more than a day or two to approve you – it should be a lot smoother than getting approved by EPN, just make a bit of an effort with your application, that’s all.

Once you are approved by Skimlinks you are instantly able to promote eBay through their service, including any of the dozen or so eBay country sites, and you can use the Wordbay WordPress eBay plugin with Skimlinks out of the box, using one of two methods I will explain later!

If you get approved by Viglink, you need to email them separately to request manual approval to promote eBay. That’s why Viglink is your plan B. Honestly, I don’t know why they have a different procedure, or what their criteria are, but I got approved very quickly just by submitting a decent product-based blog I have. Viglink can also be used out of the box with my Wordbay plugin, you just need to manually add a snippet of Javascript to your template.

Promoting eBay using Skimlinks or Viglink – the details

Skimlinks and Viglink are both “umbrella” affiliate networks – by signing up with them you have access to a huge number of online merchants’ affiliate programs. All you have to do is send your product-related links through one of the two services (let’s take Skimlinks as the example) and they will be converted to affiliate links. You will get paid for the clicks or sales by Skimlinks. Skimlinks have a special partner relationship with many of the merchants they feature and so get a special commission rate, so often you don’t even lose out – you get the full commission you would have received anyway! This is unfortunately not true of eBay currently – Skimlinks will, ahem, “skim” some 25% off (I believe), but look at it another way: before you weren’t earning anything from eBay and now you are! And anyway, if you start sending a bit of traffic to eBay through Skimlinks then you have a much improved chance of successfully reapplying to the eBay Partner Network and getting the full value of your clicks in the future!

For a more detailed explanation of Skimlinks, bookmark my Skimlinks review and read it later – the details really don’t matter now.

How Skimlinks and Viglink work

Both of these services provide a snippet of Javascript that you can insert in the footer of your site template (simple instructions are provided, it’s easy to do). Once the Javascript is installed, any plain links to online merchants (e.g.,, and about 18,000 others!) are converted by the Javascript to a Skimlinks/Viglink affiliate link! So you could actually monetise an entire forum, say, and capitalise on ALL outgoing links to online merchants posted by users, just by installing the code. You get paid for all sales (and in the case of EPN, clicks) by Skimlinks.

So you can just create a plain link to any eBay page on, say, your niche affiliate site, and it will get converted on-the-fly to an affiliate link, and you will get credited for the clicks, under the exact same QCP (Quality Click Pricing) “pay-per-click” system that EPN works under.

Wordbay – the WordPress eBay SKIMLINKS plugin!

Wordbay takes integration with Skimlinks one step further. Instead of relying on you installing the Javascript, Wordbay has an integrated Skimlinks option whereby you can simply choose Skimlinks as your affiliate network (instead of EPN) and specify your Skimlinks publisher ID instead of your EPN campaign ID. Wordbay will display eBay listings like the ones you see at the beginning of this post, but will internally convert the eBay links to valid Skimlinks affiliate links, so you know the visitor is getting sent to eBay via Skimlinks and you are getting credited for the click – you don’t need to rely on the Javascript, which can always misfire, slow down page load times or possibly be blocked by some visitors.

However, if you want, you can also have Wordbay generate “vanilla” eBay links and use the Javascript method to have Skimlinks convert the plain links to affiliate links. That is also the way to use it with Viglink for which, for technical reasons, Wordbay cannot internally create affiliate links currently. That’s the other reason Viglink is plan B right now. But the Javascript method does also work fine – I have tested it with both networks and seen earnings come through nicely! And the advantage with that method is that other outgoing links on your site will also get “affiliated”, sometimes even without you realising!

So that’s it! You can finally make money promoting eBay products without joining EPN, through the alternative networks of Skimlinks and Viglink – and you can do it  with the help of the awesome power of the Wordbay plugin, which works out-of-the-box with both networks! Go and get Wordbay now!