This is the topic I meant to write about yesterday. There is a sudden dissing of Auctiva in the forums lately by eBay Partner Network (ePN) affiliates.
Auctiva is a 3rd party solution provider for eBay sellers. In 2005, they switched their business model of 6 years to the eBay affiliate model, and away from the traditional pay per month model.
What they do best: free photo-hosting, listing tool, and scheduler for eBay sellers. eBay charges $.15 per photo for photo-hosting and $.10 for scheduled listings. Auctiva offers these for free.
When a seller subscribes to Auctiva, a cross promotional showcase is embedded into their existing listings and newly created listings automatically. This is one of the ways they drive traffic to their Auctiva store which contain ePN affiliate links.
Affiliates are complaining because Auctiva overwrites their ePN cookies. Here’s what ePN says of the overwriting of ePN cookies:
First, I hope that everyone is aware that Auctiva is a long-standing member of eBay’s affiliate program so none of this activity is new.
We constantly analyze and evaluate affiliates and their various business models that are used to drive traffic to eBay via eBay Partner Network or in this case, provide tools for buyers or merchandise other items to users that are not directly shown on the eBay sites via seller tools. One if the factors that we look at is how incremental the traffic and activity is to the eBay sites. As highlighted in earlier posts, the last cookie on a user’s machine gets attributed the commission for any actions the take, which means that affiliates’ cookies can get overwritten within the 7 day cookie latency window. Something we watch for closely is whether there are affiliates that disproportionally overwrite other affiliates’ cookies – in this case with Auctiva and similar tools, we have not found that they are disproportionately overwriting other cookies.
That being said, we’re going to continue to evaluate the existing and new business models that are being used on eBay Partner Network to make sure they continue to drive quality incremental activity on eBay sites as eBay, your sites, and the web continue to change.
This statement means the affiliate model is going to change. Me thinks it will be pretty soon.