When you start an eBay store, you know you’ll have a lot of competition and that you’re going to have to do some marketing to get your items noticed. The best way to make sales isn’t to just sit and wait and hope.
Selling on eBay is just like selling anywhere else – you have to make some noise. One really interesting way to do that is to integrate your eBay store into your own WordPress website.
eBay is one of the most popular sales outlets on the ‘net. Virtually anybody can set up a shop on eBay and run an online store. Integrating your eBay store into your WordPress website will give you an advantage because you have a platform to promote your items from. You can take it even further by becoming an eBay affiliate through the eBay Partner Network and make even more money from affiliate sales.
The eBay Partner Network
One reason to display eBay auction items on your own website is you can get a commission from the sale. Anyone who goes to eBay through your link and makes a purchase is an affiliate sale for you. This is done through the eBay Partner Network (ePN). You can get a good commission through this network. The affiliate rewards vary depending on the category and location.
What’s even cooler is that you get a commission for the sale even if it’s your own products that sell. So you get paid twice – once for selling the item and once for being an affiliate and having someone buy through your link. You can share these links on several sites and social networks. Just make sure that when you share your eBay listings that you follow eBay’s policy. You can post links on other sites, but buyers must come to eBay to buy your items.
To optimize your affiliate sales, and promoting your own items from your WordPress blog, you’ll want to follow these tips:
- Write relevant and value-added articles
- Update your site regularly
- Drive traffic through social networking
- Encourage users to write product reviews
- Always inform users that your links are affiliate links
- Always inform users they are going to eBay with your affiliate link when they click on your links
- Direct traffic to the most relevant eBay site by using geo-targeting
- Send users directly to the products they’ve clicked on
- Provide Advanced Search options on your website
- Target new users
- Target users that haven’t bought on eBay in a while (you get an extra bonus for this)
- Use analytics to your advantage
- Integrate eBay listings into your site using pages, posts, widgets, and embedded into your theme
This last tip will be the focus for the rest of this article. The listings can be your own or someone else’s.
Integrating with eBay
There are many advantages of integrating eBay listings within your site. We’ve already seen the advantage of affiliate sales, but there are also advantages for your own sales and your business and brand. Integrating your eBay listings into your WordPress website increases your brand awareness. It also gives you a platform where you can discuss your products and promote them.
What This is Not
What This Is
This is a way to show your (or anyone else’s) eBay listings on your WordPress site. That’s a great way to show your products that you have for sale on eBay. There are two ways to display eBay listings on your WordPress website: posting them manually, and by using plugins.
Posting eBay Listings to Your WordPress Website by Hand
WordPress makes it easy to paste outside links in your posts and pages, but it’s not the same process as just pasting a regular URL. For eBay links this will only display the URL and not the eBay auction. To post the auction, you just go to your ePN page, select tools, select Link Generator, fill in the information, generate the link, copy the URL, and paste it into your post or page on its own line.
This works great for a few posts. One problem is there is no way to automatically handle the post after the auction has ended. This means you either have to delete the post, manually update the post, or have a post on your site that links to an auction that has ended. This can get very time-consuming if you run a store on eBay and you want to post all of your items (which could be a LOT of items).
A better way to handle this is by using a plugin.
The Best Plugins for Integrating eBay with WordPress
There are lots of plugins that display eBay listings in WordPress. You can display them in several ways including pages, posts, widgets, and even theme integration (instructions are included with many of the plugins, so they help make this easy). Most use shortcodes and allow you to choose what to display using categories and eBay user ID’s. Here is a look at some of the better, and up-to-date, plugins that will perform these tasks easily without having to use other supporting plugins.
With Auction Nudge you can add your eBay listings to posts, pages, and widgets using shortcodes. You can display your listings based on your eBay user name, your user ID, or your eBay page. It is available for 13 international eBay sites.
You can integrate:
- Your listings – your most recent active items. You can filter them by keyword or category, and show up to 100 items per page. It updates every 15 minutes.
- Your listings as an ad – an interactive banner ad with your most recent listings. You can choose from different sizes and colors. It updates every 15 minutes.
- Your profile – all of your profile information including your feedback rating and the date of your registration. It will display this as a badge. It updates every 6 hours.
- Your feedback – your recent comments. It updates every 6 hours.
It has lots of display options such as a theme, number of items to show, number of pages to show, number of columns, width, number of items to scroll, whether or not to auto scroll, image size, open in a new tab, and whether or not to display the eBay logo. You can also insert your own CSS rules so you can modify the appearance.
It has a help file that shows you how to use the shortcodes and paste them within your pages and posts, from within the theme files, how to modify the CSS, and where to get more information. There is also a 7.5 minute video tutorial to step you through using the plugin and its features.
Action Nudge makes it easy to embed the code into your theme files. To embed the code within you theme, you first generate your snippets from the Action Nudge website. You then go to the Action Nudge settings and choose Within Your Theme. You then paste in these functions:
<code> /* To display Your eBay Listings */ <?php an_items(); ?> /* To display Your eBay Profile */ <?php an_profile(); ?> /* To display Your eBay Feedback */ <?php an_feedback(); ?> </code>
That’s it. It couldn’t be easier. You can generate and paste as many snippets as you want.
Auction Nudge is free.
This one will display your eBay auctions in real time. You can display them in your sidebar using the widget or paste them within posts and pages using shortcodes. You can show items from a specific seller (so you can show your own items), most popular items, or you can show the eBay Daily Deals section.
You can also display items based on a keyword or phrase. This is a good feature for niche bloggers and niche websites. You can display items that only pertain to your audience. Keywords can be specified globally or within individual posts. Users can also insert their own search terms within the search box, allowing them to search eBay listings right from your website.
There are four skins to choose from, or you can choose to not use a skin and specify a background color (as a 6 digit hexadecimal number).
You can enter your ePN account number to potentially get commissions for eBay purchases that your visitors make through your links. There are two options for commissions using this plugin. If you choose to receive 100% of the commissions, there will be a logo and link from WatchCount.com placed at the bottom. If you share the commission (you get 80% and WatchCount gets 20%), the logo and link are hidden.
There are advanced customization options so you can customize the title, font, size, text color, background color, specify a y-offset, search button text, provide an info message, hide the search box, choose the number of results, and more. There is a live preview, so you can instantly see the results of any changes you make.
There is also a section in the admin panel that shows quick tips. It gives you advice on using keywords, post tags, and anchor tags. You can sign up to the newsletter to receive information on updates.
WatchCount.com WordPress Plugin is free.
This one hasn’t been updated in a while but I installed it with the latest version of WordPress and it still works great. It adds a tab in the menu that adds links to specific pages on eBay. They include:
- Standard Selling Manager – a link to your selling account my.ebay.com
- Advanced Selling Manager – a link to your My eBay: All Selling page
- Seller Dashboard – a link to your seller dashboard
- My Store – a link to mystore.ebay.com
- My Messages from eBay – a link to View My Messages
- My Feedback – your feedback page (must be set up through XML)
- eBay status – your status page (must be set up through XML)
- Tools and Extras – links to other tools by CaliCoTek
CaliCoTek has plans for expanding the plugin with a pro version. This version would fully integrate your eBay store into your WordPress site so you can post and manage your eBay store from your WordPress dashboard. This was planned in 2013, so there may have been changes to that plan and it may no longer be valid. If the update does see the light of day it would be a great way to fully integrate your eBay store into your WordPress website.
CaliCoTek Ebay Dashboard Tools is free.
Here’s another plugin that will allow you to place eBay listings in posts, pages, widgets, and themes using a shortcode. You specify the feed and the number of items to display within the shortcode. It also has settings where you can specify the default feed, number of items to show, whether or not to open in a new window, no follow links, and fallback text (what to display if the links fails). There is also a debug mode if you need it.
It also has a widget that lets you specify the title, text, number of items to display, and the eBay feed to display.
This one doesn’t have as many features and settings as the others do, but that’s not always a bad thing. If you just want something simple that you don’t have to fuss with, this might be the one you want.
eBay Feeds for WordPress is free.
This one allows you to add eBay auction listings to your pages, posts, and widgets using a shortcode. You can also embed them within your theme.
It adds a new box under your visual editor in your post / page editing screen that contains two tabs: Item Lister and Item Banner. Both have the same fields and there is a shortcode for each. The shortcode uses the fields for that post or page to know what to display.
- Your Query – here you type in keywords for your search query and your ePN Campaign ID
- Affiliate Options – you choose the country for your network, enter your ePN Custom ID, and select whether or not to use geographical targeting
- Item Options – choose whether or not to search title and description, select the listing type, choose how to order the results, select the condition filter, enter the minimum and maximum prices
- Display Options – select a theme, choose whether or not to display the eBay logo, type in the number of items to show per page, type in the output width and colors
- Advanced Options – type in the categories to include and exclude, type in a seller ID, make selections such as free shipping, etc.
You can set some of these options as defaults in the admin screen so you don’t have to type them in on every post or page.
You can also manually create options within shortcodes and use multiple shortcodes per page or post. This allows you to show separate listings of categories even of your own listings. You can use this to show a certain number of listings from one category, a certain number of listing from a second category, and then a different number of listings from a third category on the same page. This gives you a lot of advanced flexibility in the way you display your listings.
To add it within your theme files, use the shortcode format and pass it to the WordPress do_shortcode() function. The code would look like this:
Auction Affiliate is free, however 15% of the links to eBay will specify the Auction Affiliate Campaign ID instead of yours. This effectively means that Auction Affiliate will get 15% of your commissions.
If This Then That is an interesting free service that allows you to have something happen based on events you choose. In other words, if this happens then do that. These are called recipes. They create connections between products and apps. This can be used to create posts for your WordPress site. There are a couple of ways you can do this.
You can use IFTTT to send you an email if something is posted to eBay (such as a certain item, something posted by a certain user like you, etc.). You can then have that email to automatically post to WordPress. This can get complicated. Another way to post to WordPress using IFTTT criteria is by using a plugin. You can use IFTTT Bridge for WordPress to automatically create and publish new posts based on criteria that you set.
IFTTT Bridge for WordPress creates a bridge between the two products, allowing you more control over the flexibility of both products. It does have a little bit of a learning curve and there isn’t a lot of information available. It will work with other IFTTT plugins and features.
IFTTT Bridge for WordPress is free.
This is a highly customizable plugin that lets you easily add eBay listings to your pages and posts. You can control each post or page individually with shortcodes. It also has a sidebar widget that can be overwritten for each post or page.
This plugin has been around since 2007, was completely rewritten in 2011, and continues to be updated. You can use targeted keywords and it connects to your eBay affiliate account through the eBay Partner Network. It’s one of the most feature-rich eBay plugins available for WordPress.
It includes localization and includes all countries. It will display the results in columns or rows. You can create as many custom templates as you want. You can list items by keywords or phrases, category, price, location, by a specific seller ID so you can show only your items, you can exclude keywords, and lots more. It’s SEO optimized and has Google Analytics tracking.
It has a member’s only support forum and you get free updates for life. It also has a detailed manual with step-by-step instructions on how to use it.
phpBay costs $79.
This one will automatically post eBay auctions to several different sites, including WordPress websites, based on keywords that you choose. You can choose a specific seller, so you can post only your items if you want. It’s compatible with 13 countries. With all of its automatic features it stands up to its name.
Your posts are campaigned-based and you can set up unlimited campaigns with different keywords for each one. It even has keyword suggestions. It will post to your website under a specific category, as a specific author, and use keywords as tags. You can specify two ad slots for each post. It supports custom post-types, it will auto-hyperlink keywords, you can choose which words must exist within the content, and you can exclude words and phrases if you want. It will automatically set a featured image and cache the images on your server.
It will automatically translate the content using Google Translate. It will automatically add custom fields. It will auto search and replace. It uses thebestspinner.com to automatically replace synonyms. It has support for post templates. It even has set and forget and internal cron jobs.
It has unlimited keywords with automatic keyword hyper-linking, automatic link-striping, spintax support, multisite and proxy support, and automatic TrueMag theme integration.
Updates and support are free. If you have any issues you can submit a support ticket to the help desk. It also contains help files that introduce each item and its features.
WordPress Automatic Plugin costs $17.
This plugin lets you post auctions from eBay to your WordPress site automatically so you can put your site on autopilot. The automated posts include a screenshot of the product, the current bid price, the buy it now price, and the product details. It comes with a customizable template system so you can make your posts look any way you want. You can include your own text, ads, and links. You can post based on an unlimited number of keywords.
It connects to your affiliate program so you can earn money through the links. It will create content in one of 9 different languages. You can place as many auctions in a single post as you want.
WP Robot comes in three different versions, ranging from $89 to $329.
This plugin will automatically create posts for you based on keywords that you choose. The idea behind this one is that it will create an automated niche site that you just set it and forget it. It will post 100’s to 1000’s of auctions based on your keywords and you just sit back and rake in the dough from your affiliate program.
While this will create a niche site, if this is all you do with it you won’t have any of your own content that brings readers back to you. Its SEO would hope to bring in those that are searching for the keywords that are used in the auction. I don’t recommend this as a stand-alone site, but you can incorporate it into your own site along with your regular content. It’s fully customizable with templates and can be integrated into your current site. It has Pay Per Click advertising that you can have displayed when an auction has expired.
There are forums that provide tips, FAQ, and written and video tutorials that step you through the features and getting it set up. You get lifetime support and upgrades.
Auction2Post is $299 and has a money back guarantee.
Integrating eBay auctions into your WordPress website has several benefits. You can promote your own sales and you can make money through the eBay affiliate program. Integrating eBay auctions is so simple that it should be included in your marketing efforts.
Now I want to hear from you. What’s your favorite eBay plugin for WordPress? Do you prefer to post your listings from eBay onto your WordPress site?