eBay vs Amazon Affiliate Program: What You Need To Know

eBay and Amazon are massive online marketplaces, so I’m not surprised that you’d want to be either one’s affiliate partner. If you want to take your online marketing career to the next level, what’s the better program to join? That’s what you’ll find out in this eBay vs Amazon Affiliate Program comparison. 

Affiliate marketing is actually a model or framework that allows brands to collaborate with individuals or businesses. 

ebay vs amazon affiliate program

These collaborators are referred to as partners or affiliates. Brands use this model to track and measure their performance in a cost-effective and scalable manner. 

For example, let’s say you’re a direct-to-consumer business that sells makeup. Through your affiliate program, you might like to partner with: 

  • Sites focused on budget-friendly cosmetics 
  • Review sites focused on cosmetic brands 
  • Content creators who promote products through giveaways and exclusive tutorials 

Whatever you want these partners to accomplish for you, you pay them when they’ve completed the task. These tasks are meant to drive sales, new clients, and leads.

To put it another way, you’re paying for actual results.

Who Participates in This Affiliate Marketing Model? 


Affiliates are brands’ marketing partners. Bloggers, active social media posters, specialty content sites all fall under this category.

Alternatively, you could be an owner of a personal website, product review site, shopping site, mobile application, or app-to-app marketing platform. 


Brands are companies that market a product or service.

These companies could be in retail, subscription services, financial services, travel, telecommunications, broadband, gambling, e-commerce, marketplaces, B2B, and other industries.

Affiliate Networks 

Affiliate networks typically handle all tracking, reporting, and payment to affiliates in an affiliate program.

Some affiliate networks offer full-service management or self-service management of a program in addition to tracking technology. 

Affiliate networks also provide marketers with access to a network of affiliates who apply to join their network through programs. 

SaaS Platforms 

SaaS platforms offer businesses performance tracking, reporting, and payments in affiliate programs.

However, they do not administer affiliate programs or provide access to a network of affiliates.

They are solely concerned with the technical components of an affiliate program.

Brands choose one of two technological partners: an affiliate network or a SaaS platform.

Affiliate Agencies 

These agencies supervise and manage the program’s day-to-day operations and strategies on behalf of brands.

These operations include partner relationships, partner recruiting, activation, and optimization. 

They deal directly with affiliates as well as the affiliate network or SaaS platform that handles the program’s technological requirements.


Of course, you’ll need a target audience for affiliates to persuade you to make a purchase.

Consumers are encouraged to fill out lead forms, subscribe to a newsletter, try out a service, become a new buyer, etc. 

Related Reading: Best Credit Card Affiliate Programs – Learn More About The Programs Here.

So How Do Affiliate Programs Work?

So How Do Affiliate Programs Work?

The inner workings of affiliate marketing networks might be complicated and baffling to those on the outside.

Some marketers even believe it’s a channel that can be turned on and off like paid search (spoiler alert: it isn’t).

While affiliate partnerships are complex, they are based on transparency and long-term connections rather than one-time transactions.

An affiliate program’s overall purpose is to build a win-win framework for both brands and their affiliate partners. 

It’s a structure that, when correctly set up, may account for a considerable chunk of a brand’s online revenue. The goal is to have a high ROAS and low CPA.

eBay vs Amazon Affiliate Program: A Comparison In Features


Now that we all know how affiliate programs work let’s turn our attention to two of the eCommerce behemoths around.

I’ll discuss them in terms of their features to see which one suits you the most. 


The variety of items available on eBay is incredible. There are niche goods that are hard to come by and fantastic deals on gently worn items.

Many new products and retail arbitrage items are also available on eBay. 

For those wishing to make an immediate fixed-price purchase, several things are available as buy-it-now options.

Amazon’s affiliate program may feature the broadest choice of products to advertise of any affiliate program on the planet. It’s appropriate for a wide range of physical product categories.

Whatever your website is about, there is almost certainly an Amazon product related to it that you may sell.

This makes Amazon’s affiliate program an excellent place to start when it comes to monetizing your blog posts.

Commission Rates 

eBay affiliates get a portion of the sale price, ranging from 50% to 70%. This amount comes from the fees they receive for referred transactions.

Different commission percentages apply to other categories.

However, the cookie is only valid for 24 hours. This is similar to Amazon’s, but more than half of eBay sales are seven-day auctions. 

Most bidders are attempting to snipe auctions, which means they will bid in the last hours of the auction. It requires a bid to gain credit for a sale as an affiliate. 

The good news is that eBay is shifting more and more of its business to buy-it-now transactions.

For most niches, Amazon’s commissions are competitive. The cookies are only valid for one day.

But if a client adds an item to their cart, the cookie extends to 90 days.

You get a commission on everything someone buys within 24 hours of using your cookie, which is a nice bonus. Amazon is a genius at upselling and converting customers.

Customers may go on your link to Amazon to buy a hairdryer and leave with a lawnmower.

Related Reading: Best Affiliate Programs Beginners – Click Here To Learn More.

Network Tools 

Network Tools

When the program was last revamped, eBay really stepped up in this area.

There are numerous methods for inserting links, as well as conversion-boosting software. 

Affiliates can access their Publisher Portal through the eBay Partner Network.

This is where you’ll get inspiration and instructions on how to use all of the connection tools. 

These are some of them:

Smart Share 

Smart Share is a Chrome plugin that allows you to browse eBay. It will enable you to pause on a product and receive an affiliate link. You may even post it right away on social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest.

Link Generator 

The Link Generator will add your affiliate id to any deep link to any product or website.

Sitewide Linking 

This is similar to eBay’s Viglinks. Any eBay link may be made profitable. A short piece of code is added to your website. It also generates banners on its own to aid conversions.

Bookmarklet Tool 

This creates a link with your id and bookmarks a page.

Now let’s look at some Amazon tools that you could find handy. Amazon has a lot of options to help you make more money, but I recommend focusing on just one: OneLink.

OneLink works by redirecting visitors to their country’s Amazon store.

Visitors from outside your region will be directed to Amazon’s website for your country if you don’t have OneLink.

This will be inconvenient for many of your visitors and have a negative influence on your earnings.

For visitors from outside your country, OneLink increases your earnings per click.

This is especially significant if you live in a country other than the United States.

Because regardless of where you live, the United States will likely account for a large number of your sales.


Tools like Prosociate use the API to find relevant products and submit them automatically. Your products then become WooCommerce products, with all of the inherent features. 

You can upload single products, products with graphics, product categories, wish lists, and so on.

There is an ecosystem of other tools, in addition to Prosociate, that you may use to handle eBay affiliate products. 

Unlike Amazon, which only allows existing affiliates to use their API, eBay makes it open to all affiliates. If you’re a programmer or use professional tools that interact with eBay, this enables Save & Exit access to product data.

How To Recieve API Keys?

Getting API access is a simple process. To receive your keys, eBay has a quick and straightforward setup. They provide a simple how-to guide for getting started.

The Amazon API isn’t a must-have tool for everyone, but it can be helpful. As I previously stated, there are a few things that Amazon does not want you to do, like: 

  • Mentioning product prices 
  • Using Amazon reviews 
  • Pulling images straight from Amazon (If you do so, your account will likely get banned) 

You can get around these constraints by using the API. The API retrieves data directly from Amazon and is constantly up to date.

So if you get pricing via the API, it will be the same as what visitors see on Amazon. 

It’s also okay if you’re using the API to display reviews. And if your photographs originate from the API, Amazon won’t mind.

The API gives you access to Amazon’s more dynamic features with Amazon’s permission. Amazon gives you a lot more flexibility if you can use the API.

Previously, anyone could access the Amazon API. These days, qualified sales must be made within 30 days to use the API.

To keep access to the API, you must make a sale utilizing it within 30 days of receiving it.

You won’t be able to acquire the API if you don’t have any sales on Amazon. If you receive it but don’t sell anything, you’ll lose access.

The API also contains a function that limits your access based on the number of sales you make.

If you get API access but don’t make enough sales, you may still be unable to use it. Your usage is likely still being throttled.


You can promote things on eBay using your website and social media networks. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are all suitable.

In general, if a social media site allows users to add affiliate links, so does eBay.

The 24-hour cookie, on the other hand, is incompatible with the way auctions operate.

In the early stages of most auctions, there are minimal offers. In the final 24 hours, buyers begin bidding. 

I would advertise and highlight “auctions ending today” as a strategy. If you didn’t utilize the API and a software tool, this would be a maintenance issue.

Another method is to concentrate on things that are offered as buy-it-now on both Amazon and eBay. This will send you buyers who are ready to buy immediately. 

This will help you avoid bidders who are waiting to snipe a product three days after your cookie expires. Focus on keywords with buying intent for these buy-it-now buyers.

eBay is emphasizing this type of transaction, which is beneficial to affiliates.

According to eBay, the most successful affiliates focus on “providing a fantastic user experience.” To do so, eBay offers the following advice:

  • Keep making relevant copies and update them often. 
  • Be selective and embed only relevant links. 
  • Encourage your audience to leave product reviews. 
  • Leverage more prominent brands to attract more customers. 
  • Send your audience to specific products. Leading them to eBay’s homepage doesn’t usually yield significant results. 
  • Make use of bonuses to gain new leads. 
  • Test every niche you can and see how your conversions fare. 

Related Reading: Walmart Affiliate Program – Get The Details Here.

Product Linking 

The “Product Linking” tab on Amazon’s dashboard is a valuable feature. You can make ordinary links, banners, native shopping advertising, and mobile popovers here.

I suggest skipping pop-ups because they can be annoying. 

With Amazon, I wouldn’t be too concerned about banners.

There are a lot of choices, but they’re all extremely specialized. These banners are frequently used to promote Amazon’s current promotions.

Please note that there’s always the possibility that the offer may change. That same banner might change and might no longer be relevant to your reader.

The Native Shopping Ad is one of the best features on the Product Linking tab.

Native shopping ads are great since they may be used in place of traditional advertisements on your site. 

If you can’t get authorized for Google Adsense, Amazon is the way to go.

This also applies if you aren’t happy with your current ad network’s earnings.

These native adverts can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You may create ads that use Amazon’s browsing history to suggest products to your readers. 

You can create advertisements that allow readers to look for their own products. And there are adverts where you have to enter things manually.

These adverts can be placed in your sidebar, content, footers, or anywhere else you desire.

A mobile popover is another good technique to incorporate adverts into your site.

Reports and Analytics 

The eBay Partner Network, or ePN, takes care of all payments. This eliminates the need for invoices and tracking data that are common in other affiliate programs.

eBay issues 1099s to its partner’s affiliates who make more than $600 per year in order to file tax returns.

Users who comply with eBay’s rules and conditions can apply for the affiliate program, and approval is not conditional.

Reports and focused analytics that assess or monitor performance assist affiliate partners in better understanding their production insights.

eBay can post revenues on the partner’s dashboard following sale day by tracking the activity of a linked website owner.

You can examine your account’s performance in Amazon’s “Report” section. Clicks, ordered products, dispatched products, and earnings are all accessible here. 

One of the things I like about Amazon is that you may have different affiliate IDs. These IDs can be used to split test different page layouts or items.

Amazon monitoring can help you figure out where your clicks and conversions are coming from.

You’ll be able to see which links, banners, pictures, native advertisements are bringing in the most money and converting the most. 

Quick Pros and Cons – eBay vs Amazon Affiliate Program


eBay - ebay vs amazon affiliate program

Overall, the eBay affiliate program is solid. However, it’s difficult to suggest it to affiliates who don’t have traffic for used and auctioned items.

Cookie concerns are challenging to navigate profitably.


  • The largest flea market in the world 
  • Brand loyalty is extremely high. 
  • Has bonuses for new customers and signups 


  • The cookie’s window is only 24 hours. 
  • The 7-day auction is not in-sync with the 1-day cookie. 



Amazon Associates is an excellent method to make money off your website. They can be a little challenging to work with at times. However, there are a lot of items available to sell.

Plus, the commissions are frequently excellent, and the platform is pretty user-friendly.


  • So many products to review and sell 
  • Commissions are competitive 
  • Intuitive, a breeze to use 
  • Support is quick and efficient


  • Not the best choice if you’re in a highly specialized niche 
  • Their TOS is convoluted and could be laid out better. 
  • You might get contradictory info about Amazon policies if you contact support. 

Related Reading: Amazon Work From Home Jobs – Learn More About The Jobs Here.

Final Thoughts

People frequently debate whether they should join the eBay or Amazon affiliate programs (Amazon Associates).

Amazon, like eBay, uses cookies that are only valid for 24 hours. Visitors often add products to their cart but do not purchase them right away. If that’s the case, Amazon extends the referral term to 90 days.

The commission rates are where the eBay affiliate program has a distinct advantage.

Amazon’s commission rates range from 1% to 10%, based on the category, significantly less than eBay’s fee.

Amazon, on the other hand, is a more well-known brand with a higher level of trust.

Moreover, many consumers still think of eBay as a location where they can buy old goods.

It’s something I mention a lot in my affiliate program reviews, and it’s something I’ll repeat again.

Instead of deciding which program is better and choosing one, test both and see which one earns you more money. Good luck!

Disclosure: This article might contain affiliate links to the resources I refer to. It's at no cost to you, and it's how we pay the bills. Get more info here.

Brooks Conkle Banner Image
Brooks Conkle

Brooks is an entrepreneur, father, husband, & follower of the golden rule. He has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur after graduating with a Finance degree from Auburn University. Addicted to starting new business projects, he believes in creating multiple income streams and a life of flexibility. Business should work around your life, not the other way around. He creates content on his website, sharing his projects to help other hustlers in marketing, personal finance, and online business.