How to Make Money on eBay Without Selling Anything

To make money on platforms such as eBay it is always said that you have to sell products and build an actual eCommerce business out there. Even though that is true, but what if I say there is a way around to make money on eBay without selling anything and it’s legit.

Before researching this topic, I didn’t understand how one could even make money on eBay without being a seller until I found it was through affiliate marketing. If you’re an affiliate marketer (or) a blogger you might have already heard about affiliate marketing on Amazon. Similar to that, one could start doing affiliate marketing on eBay but it’s a little different than what you think.

Hence in this article, I wanna take through the exact details on that and I also cover up some tips to help you start making money on eBay as an affiliate marketer.

Firstly, Join The eBay Partner Network

eBay Partner Network

eBay partner network (EPN) is an affiliate market network launched by eBay in 2008 especially for sellers all across the globe.

To understand the affiliate market network, you must know the basics of affiliate marketing. For those who don’t know, it is a type of marketing where affiliates (which in this case is you) promotes the products and get a commission on a product when somebody purchases it through the links.

This is a very viable promotion channel used by dozens of brands to reward their own users by sharing a small commission with them. The point behind starting the affiliate marketing program on eBay was to boost business growth and also to encourage sellers to cut off their eBay seller’s fees.

Hence, in a nutshell, an affiliate program is a place where users are promoting and selling stuff, and in return, brands are rewarding them with a commission. Isn’t it interesting? If you have a lot of traffic on your eBay store, then the eBay partner program is a goldmine for you.

Well, if you’re interested and want to join the eBay partner network:-

  • All you need to do is make a store on eBay, list some products, and then sign up for the partner program.
  • Once you get approved to the program, then you can use the product link to promote products in your store.
  • Remember that users get unique affiliate links and when somebody buys the product using that affiliate link, a small commission is added to your eBay account.

For instance, if you have a store around gadgets on eBay, all you need to do is join the eBay partner network and search for the relevant products that you can sell outside of your store. The commission will get added to your affiliate account whenever someone purchases a product using the link. It is necessary to track the link to know how much you have earned from it. eBay itself offers many tools to track the link. 

Now, I know there is a little twist to this, which is you have to own a store and have to list some products to apply for EPN. In case, if you’re not actually prepared to sell products on eBay, you can just list random products with no intention to sell but you can continue to use your EPN access to promote products of other sellers and eBay will reward you with a commission for sending clicks and sales (Make sure to check the terms on EPN because it keeps changing).

Why You Should Join Ebay Partner Network?

eBay Partner Network (EPN) is actually very simple to use and the features that it presents make it worth a try to make money on eBay selling nothing and in this section, I will wanna share what you can expect once you get access to eBay’s partner network.

1. Opportunity to work with a Global Commerce Leader – To survive in today’s volatile economy, you need to have a business available at every corner of the globe and you need to be able to sell everywhere also you should learn how to sell anything. From global brands to local stuff, the eBay partner network opens a door where you can connect with millions of sellers and buyers. Hence providing an opportunity to affiliate marketers out there.

2. Leverage Deals and Promotions – eBay offers lucrative deals and promotional deals to attract buyers, this is why people visit eBay for shopping because buyers know they will get a good product at affordable pricing. You can leverage deals and promotions to drive sales to your store. Further, not just this, eBay rewards users for bringing traffic too.

3. Track, Analyze, and Optimize – One of the important strategies to improve your affiliate marketing game is to have access to the tools that can help you keep an eye on buyer’s activity. If a marketer knows which item is bringing more commission to him, then he will work accordingly. eBay partner network provides a separate dashboard to all affiliates from where they can track their product links. Further, one can analyze the buyer’s activity and optimize the store accordingly.

4. Get Rewarded for Innovation – Lastly, if you believe in experimenting with things, you can try a hands-on program since the platform rewards for executing unique strategies. It doesn’t matter if you are integrating platforms or using mobile apps, the way you delight buyers is all that matters.

How Much Can You Earn Through eBay Partner Network?

Since I have boasted so much about the eBay partner network, then you must be curious to know how much one can earn through the eBay partner network. However, if you think that the program will make you a million bucks from the start, then you have to burst that unrealistic bubble. There are two ways to earn money through the eBay partner network. Let;’s understand both in detail.

The only way to earn a commission on eBay is through sales. Affiliates will get a percentage of sales based on the product category for fixed listing sales. For auction sales when someone clicks on an affiliate link and laters bid on the product, affiliates can assume commission according to the bid price. Now the query must be crossing your mind. What if the person clicks on the link and doesn’t place a bid on the same day but decides to bid on an item after 2-3 days? Then, in that case, would someone get the commission?

The answer is yes Since eBay drops its cookie on the person visiting the page, so it doesn’t matter if he/she places a bid on the same day or not. Nevertheless, the bid placement should be within 30 days. The duration is 30 days, which means buyers need to place a bid on an item within 30 days of clicking an affiliate link.

On average most users can assume to get 4% of commission by selling items through their affiliate links. The amount of income you can earn through EPN is only dependent on the selling price of your affiliate products, therefore it is very unrealistic to assume you could make sustainable (or) replaceable income to your ongoing job using EPN is highly unlikely. But being said that EPN could prove to be great for side hustlers and might pay off their bills.

3 Ways to Promote Your eBay Partner Links and Make Money

It doesn’t matter whether you are just starting out or a top-notch seller, you need to have a marketing strategy to allure clicks. Promotion is the only way how successful businesses and affiliate marketers are ruling the market.

To stand out in the same market, you need to follow the strategies that already have worked for many brands and individuals. Considering the same here, I wanna discuss the ways to promote your eBay partner links and make money with them.

1. Start a Blog and Write About eBay Products

Nothing works better than blogging. You should know that one of the best ways to drive organic sales is through blog traffic. The reason why blog traffic is highly rated is that every buyer loves to do a little research about a product before buying anything. And to do so, the very thing he/she does is visit the search engine and type anything related to the product. Hence that’s your best chance to land your blog in front of them and convert the clicks into sales.

If your SEO is strong, you will have a high chance to convert the visitors into customers. But to do that, you have to start a blog, create high-quality content and optimize it with images and videos to engage customers. Later you can focus on promoting your blog through multi-channels like backlinks, social media, and email marketing.

However you should know that blogging does take time but the best part is that starting a blog is not that expensive, you can eventually buy a domain name and hosting plan for one year for less than $100 through sites like BlueHost (or) SiteGround and take your first strides towards starting and growing a blog.

Once you create your own blog, publishing content becomes the essential element to rank and bring in search traffic and since here we’re all focused on promoting eBay products as affiliates. Hence I would recommend you start writing product reviews on your blog regarding the existing products on eBay and obviously, these reviews will be written after you do the keyword research.

As I told my readers earlier in the article ‘Pros and cons of blogging‘. I would again like to mention that blogging takes time and it’s not an overnight venture. Hence, people who are looking for long-term gains, consistent traffic, and growth should leverage blogging.

2. Start an Instagram Account And Share Your Product Pics

The second way to promote affiliate products is using the Instagram account. Instagram is known to be a platform for millennials. Since most of the young population is active on the platform, businesses are trying to attract an audience. Forget about big businesses there are actually individuals who are selling clothes on Instagram for a side hustle and making money. Similar as an eBay affiliate you can sell/recommend multiple eBay products through your affiliate link on Instagram and could churn out some commissions from Instagram.

Thus being an affiliate on eBay, here all you need to do is create an Instagram business account and share your products on the page. I know uploading photos, writing captions, adding hashtags, and later promoting your account on Instagram is a hefty and time taking process.

But the upside of using Instagram for your eBay affiliate marketing is that it doesn’t cost a penny to do Instagram marketing and also these days sharing viable content through stories, reels, and IGTV has become an easier channel to gain exposure and leverage Instagram for more link clicks.

3. Write Answers on Quora And Link Them to Your Products

If you don’t want to use Instagram and at the same, you also want a website for affiliate marketing. Then, in that case, I find Quora to be the perfect option to start affiliate marketing without a website and this implies eBay affiliate marketing as well.

Quora is the platform for an audience who are interested in reading your answers and most probably writing their answers too. To promote on Quora, you need to have an account and start answering questions about your product. In between the answers, you can add the affiliate link to your products. But remember that, Quora doesn’t allow direct affiliate links of your product hence I would advise you to use link-shorteners (or) link re-directs before placing your affiliate link on Quora.

Publishing relevant answers on Quora and generating clicks to your affiliate links is a very good way to redirect an enthusiast buyer to the eBay product page and Quora is anyways free-to-use, which means you get to leverage free traffic with your simple writing skills and later make money through their conversions.

The Bottom Line

Tada! Here I have mentioned all about how to make money on eBay without selling anything. eBay is a diverse platform for many sellers and buyers. Many sellers are making their ends meet using the platform. But when it comes to earning from the platform, many people believe that to earn money from the platform, they need to have something to sell. But that’s not true, their affiliate program can actually allow people to have passive income. Thus, apply for this affiliate program, become a mediator, and bring in the clicks.

So what are you waiting for now? Take advantage of the eBay partner program and share your experience with us in the comments section.


Vignesh Wadarajan

I am Vignesh Wadarajan, a tech buff, sports enthusiast and adreneline junkie. I started my own company when I was 18 years of age, Jankosoft, a web and mobile application development firm in 2001.