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by Mike Vestil 

How To Make Money On eBay Without Selling Anything!

Most people don't know that you can make money on eBay without selling anything. 

You can indeed use eBay as a place where you buy and sell products, but there are other ways to make money on it. In fact, you can also use it as an affiliate platform or even use it to get a job.

We've done all of the work for you and created an easy-to-follow guide with everything you need to know about how to make money on eBay without selling anything!

This article will explain exactly what you need to set up your own profitable online business as an eBay affiliate - no matter if you're brand new or already established as a seller! You will also learn about the various employment opportunities at eBay.

Let's get to it!

Join The eBay Partner Network (EPN)

What is the eBay Partner Network?

eBay Partner Network is the actual affiliate program for eBay, offering thousands of top brands and retailers. Affiliates earn money by driving traffic to eBay's advertisers' sites. EPN offers competitive payouts and flexible tracking options that let you optimize your results.

eBay is a trusted marketplace with multiple products from leading brands like Nike, Adidas, Samsung, Sony, and more. There are always new offers waiting for you to promote on your site, social media page, or blog with thousands of advertisers. All it takes is to join, create, and share to start earning money.

How To Join The eBay Affiliate Program

Joining EPN is quite simple.

First, sign up for an eBay account if you don't have one. The sign-up process is easy; just click "register."


Image credit: eBay.com

When you click “register,” select the type of account you want to create, either personal or business. 


Image credit: eBay.com

After creating an account and signing in, click on “affiliates” at the bottom of the page.


Image credit: eBay.com

Clicking “affiliates” will take you to the eBay Partner Network home page. Click “sign up” and fill in the relevant details.


Pictured above: EPN Sign Up page

It won't take long before you're accepted, and if it takes more than 24 hours, contact eBay support.

After you're accepted, log in to your account and fill in all necessary addresses, payment information, and tax information.

How To Create eBay Affiliate Links

To generate an affiliate link, use the tools provided by eBay. Here are the tools plus how you can use them.

Link Generator

To use the link generator, select it from the tools menu. A screen will pop up where you'll fill in your campaign name, custom ID (this helps track your performance), and the eBay URL of the item you want to promote. 

Click on generate and choose from simple, HTML, JavaScript, or QR code. You can also click on "Link Action" if you want your links to open in a new tub and "Shorten Link" for short affiliate links.

You will then get your generated link to share with your audience.

Smart Share

Smart Share is a Chrome extension that makes it easy to create and share affiliate links when using eBay. Click on Smart Share under the tools menu to add it to your Chrome browser.

Log in to your EPN account first to use this tool. Then click on the Smart Share extension to open the link-building interface. Select a campaign to get a personalized link. You can choose to shorten it, and either use a simple link or a QR code. 

You can share your affiliate link on FaceBook, Pinterest, or Twitter by clicking on the logos under your generated link.

If you are approved to use the Deal Flag Feature, you can use it with this tool. The Deal Flag Feature allows affiliates to see commissionable deals on eBay.com and eBay.ca. Start by selecting "options" in your Smart Share icon on your browser then clicking on "Enable Deal Flag." To know which products are commissionable, look for the word commissionable and a green star. 

Bookmarklet Tool

eBay's Bookmarklet tool allows affiliates to create hyperlinks on eBay pages easily. When you click on this tool from the tools menu, you will select your campaign. Then you will see an icon that you can add to your bookmarks menu.


Image Credit: eBay Bookmarklet Tool

When you find an item that you want to share, click on the icon to generate an affiliate link.


Image Credit: eBay Bookmarklet Tool Quickstart Guide

Smart Links

Smart Links is a tool that will turn all your eBay links on your site into affiliate links. To use Smart Links, select it from the tools menu. Select a campaign to get a code. Copy the code and paste it between the <head></head> tags of the pages with non-affiliate links. This will automatically change the links to affiliate links.

Smart Placements

Smart Placements is a tool that helps to create banners based on your content or shopper interests. It is simply a remarketing tool for auto-optimizing links in real-time. Once you set up this tool, you don't need to adjust anything.

How To Promote eBay With Logos And Branded Banners

To share eBay logos on your pages, download them from the "Creative Gallery" found under the "Build Ads and Campaigns" page. You will also find downloadable banners on this page. The banners are under categories such as fashion, motors, and sporting goods.


Image credit: eBay banners

When using the banners and logos, create links that you can track using the tools discussed above.

How To Drive Traffic To Your Affiliate Links

So you created an affiliate link, and now you want eBay buyers to find it. You could be satisfied with people stumbling upon it and buying, but this doesn't happen often enough for most affiliates. Fortunately, there are several approaches to get people to your links that can dramatically improve conversion rates.

Let's start with the easiest method: social media. Let's say you created a link for an affiliate product on Twitter. All you need to do is tweet your link out to your followers and ask them to check it out.

Again, this is one of the easiest methods but also one of the least effective. If you have a low number of followers, it will be rare that they will click on your link and check out the product.

This method only works for affiliates with a high number of followers or many different social media accounts that they can promote their links across.

Another way you can drive traffic to your affiliate links is through a review or comparison article. This is where you have a piece of high-quality content and include a link at the end to your affiliate offer, but this time you're comparing several different products instead of just one.

This requires more work than promoting an affiliate product with an article because you need to compare all of them, but the reward may be worth it. If you compare three different products fairly, and people trust your opinion, they are more likely to click on your affiliate link than if you just wrote about one product.

The final method is probably the most difficult - Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This means creating a website that contains tons of high-quality content and targeting a specific keyword.

For example, if you wanted to promote 'fidget spinners', you would create a site with lots of content related to fidget spinners - articles, reviews, videos, photos, etc. So in your website, you target the keyword' fidget spinner' so each page is optimized towards that one phrase. When people search the web looking for information on fidget spinners, your site will be the first one listed.

This is why you need high-quality content - because people won't trust a website that has hardly any information on it. On the other hand, if it's filled with great detailed articles, then they are more likely to trust it and click on your affiliate link or ad.

Once you've decided which method you're going to use, it's time to start writing and promoting your eBay affiliate links. It takes a lot of practice to get the right experience, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes much easier.

When sending traffic to your links ensure your links land to the right pages. Here are the pages:

  • Category Page - For unique inventory and seasonal items
  • Product Page - For promoting specific items
  • Brand Page - For promoting offers from a specific brand
  • Search Results Page - For showing multiple search results for keywords
  • Deals Page - For hottest daily deals
  • Promotional Events Page - For deals related to events such as holidays and back to school

Pictured Above: eBay page types

Getting Paid Your eBay Affiliate Commissions

EPN pays via Paypal or direct deposit, so you must verify your payment information to get your commissions. Your commission ranges from 1% to 4%, depending on product categories.


Pictured Above: eBay Affiliate Program Rate Card

Note that you will only be paid for qualifying transactions. A qualifying transaction happens when:

  • A shopper buys an item within 24 hours after clicking your link
  • A buyer bids on an auction item within 24 hours and wins the auction within 10 days

Note that items such as gift cards, real estate, charity items, and some deals are not commissionable.

eBay Affiliate Program Rules

To make money as an eBay affiliate, you have to follow the following rules:

  • Never modify eBay logos
  • Include all disclosures required by law like FTC
  • Don’t include “eBay” in your domain name or social media pages
  • Request for approval for eBay’s special business model before promoting links via text, email, mobile app, loyalty programs, paid traffic, software, and sub-affiliate networks

Work For eBay

There are two types of gated categories: Category and brand restrictions.

Category Gates

To make money on eBay without selling anything, you could also work for the company. eBay has a careers page that you can visit to view current openings.


You can search for jobs by location or category. The locations include North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific. There are various categories such as Engineering, Customer service, and legal.


Pictured Above:eBay jobs by categories

Benefits Of Working For Ebay

The benefits vary according to location and change over time, but here is a summary of the benefits:

Health And Wellness Benefits

eBay has wellness programs, quality health insurance, plans to cater for current and future financial security, and time-off programs for recharging.

Financial Benefits

eBay offers its employees stock purchase plans, stock awards, credit union memberships, savings and pension plans, and life insurance and disability for a secure financial future.

Balancing Work And Life

eBay employees enjoy programs such as sabbaticals and paid holidays for motivation.

Other Ways To Make Money On eBay

Although this article focused on how to make money on eBay without selling, here are some tips on making extra money selling products.

1. Start An eBay Dropshipping Business

This is a fairly easy method that you can use to make money online. You don’t need any investment and you don’t have to worry about stock, shipping, or storage. To learn more on how to make money on eBay with dropshipping read our guide titled, “eBay dropshipping: Is It Worth It?”


Image Credit: oberlo.com

Become A Reseller

You can make money on eBay reselling items. This simply means you buy items at low cost and resell at a higher price. You can start with a few items to see what is in demand to avoid stocking up on slow-moving items. To help you earn money with reselling read our step-by-step guide to becoming a reseller in 2021.

How To Make Money On eBay Without Selling Anything - FAQs

How do beginners make money on eBay?

Beginners can make money on eBay by joining their popular affiliate network or by becoming eBay sellers.To learn more about affiliate marketing, read our blog post on how you can make money with affiliate marketing. Selling can be achieved via two main methods: dropshipping and reselling. If you want to learn the best tips when it comes to reselling, check out our guide on reselling on eBay.

What are the most profitable items to sell on eBay?

There is no one correct answer, as it depends a lot on you and what your goals are. Needless to say, if you want to make a million dollars by selling every possible thing on eBay, you're going to have a much harder time than if you choose just a few specific niches. That means that it’s a good idea to start with niches that have positive feedback to make more money.

Can you really make money on eBay?

Yes. You can make money on eBay selling products and without selling anything; this can be done via affiliate marketing and working for eBay.

Wrapping Up

So, you have learnt how you can make money on eBay without selling anything. As an extra bonus, we’ve also touched on how you can join other sellers on eBay with reselling and dropshipping. 

Choosing the right method that fits with your lifestyle is crucial. We encourage you to take the time needed to make the right choice. After you’ve done this, you can then get started knowing full well that you are moving in the right direction.

In the meantime, you can also learn more about other types of marketing that you can do online. For example, if you wish to start with affiliate marketing, then we suggest that you read up on how to do affiliate marketing without a website. This provides a great way to earn a side income without needing to go through the technical process of starting a website.

It’s time to take action - the ball is now in your court!  Take action today and start your journey to financial freedom.

Want to make an extra $250 per day online?

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About the author 

Mike Vestil

Mike Vestil is the author of the Lazy Man's Guide To Living The Good Life. He also has a YouTube channel with over 700,000 subscribers where he talks about personal development and personal finance.

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