eBay commissions unusually low this week – Are they right?
Feb 20th, 2008 by estreet

eBay ran a 20¢ insertion fee sale on Wednesday, Feb. 13.

This sale has a pretty large impact on eBay commissions as reported by Commission Junction. The low commissions are noticeable 5 to 7 days after the insertion fee sale because that’s when the eBay items will end.

For example, the commission on this eBay item was just 25.5¢.

Lot of 3 Older Christopher Radko Ornaments


Commissions are 1/2 of the total fees charged to the eBay seller. The total fees for this item should be much higher than reported $.51.

The math for a $17.49 sale:

$.20 insertion fee
$.92 final value fee (5.25% * $17.49)

Total fees = $1.12.

So how why does CJ only show fees of $.51? It must be a special condition of the fee sale. {shrug}

Not good!

New eBay.com Fees Increase Affiliate Payout by ~25%
Feb 3rd, 2008 by estreet

eBay’s Bill Cobb announced a new eBay.com seller fee structure effective Feb 20, 2008.

eBay new final value fees

I used this fee calculator to see what it means for eBay affiliates. http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/pages/feecalc For an average eBay sale of $25, the total seller fees (Sales Amount) increases from $1.86 to $2.34.

This yields a 25.5% increase in the affiliate payout. The other shoe could drop if eBay.com announces changes to the affiliate payout.  Also, the Final Value Fee amount is reduced by 15% if a seller meets certain standards.

Sellers can recoup some of their fees by promoting their own items through the affiliate program.

eBay.com’s payout is pretty attractive right now. “Sales Amount” is defined as the total fees (insertion, promotion, final value) the seller paid on an item.

ebay affiliate payout

So what does this look like broken down by item? In my Commission Junction account, this sale shows a Sale Amount of $42.22. $21.11 gets paid to me. This is a pretty sweet sale because most are much, much, much lower. ;-)


This sale is more typical and has a Sale Amount of 1.93 ($.97 is mine).


You can view the eBay items on which you earned affiliate payments.
1. Download the Commission Junction report from the transaction reports page in CJ.
2. The 2nd value in the Order ID field/column is the eBay item ID. Paste the eBay ID into eBay’s search field.

Which cash-back shopping site should you use? FatWallet vs BigCrumbs
Dec 12th, 2007 by estreet

FatWallet.com and BigCrumbs.com both pay you back a portion of their affiliate commission when you click through their links to make an online purchase. Most online retailers pay 1% to 10% affiliate commissions to websites that send buyers to them. FatWallet pioneered the model of paying part of their commission back to buyers.

How do the cash back amounts compare between BigCrumbs (CrumbSaver) and FatWallet? Here’s a few.

  1. SharperImage.com
    • BigCrumbs 4%
    • Fatwallet 8%
  2. BestBuy.com
    • BigCrumbs 1.5%
    • FatWallet Not Offered
  3. Dell.com
    • BigCrumbs 0.5%
    • FatWallet 3.0%
  4. BarnesandNoble.com
    • BigCrumbs 2.5%
    • FatWallet 4.2%
  5. Borders.com
    • BigCrumbs 3%
    • FatWallet 2%
  6. Target.com
    • BigCrumbs 1.5 – 5%
    • FatWallet 4.4 – 6%


  • Highest payout – Generally FatWallet is better compared to BC’s CrumbSaver
  • Number of Retailers Offered – BigCrumbs 205, FatWallet 519
  • Works with eBay – BigCrumbs
  • Cash for Referring others – Big Crumbs
  • Gives to Charity – FatWallet
  • Trustworthiness – Tie, both are excellent.
  • Payments – BigCrumbs uses PayPal, FatWallet pays with Checks

I recommend using FatWallet when buying from most retailers. Use BigCrumbs for buying from eBay or other sites not offered by FatWallet. This recommendation especially holds true if you are a BigCrumbs CrumbEarner since you get a lower percentage on your own purchases.

Sharper Image on FatWallet.com
Sharper Image on FatWallet.com

Sharper Image on BigCrumbs.com
Sharper Image on BigCrumbs.com

Footnote: I determined the number of retailers each site offered by copying the web page source code from each of their main “browse retailers” pages, looking at their HTML structure and finding the retailer instances.

BigCrumbs.com update
Nov 7th, 2007 by estreet

Last year, I wrote about joining the Big Crumbs rebate and referral program. Using BigCrumbs.com is a good way to get money back on any eBay purchase.

But how about their referral program? No so good for me, although people on their forum claim to have thousands of referrals. I’m always a skeptic on what people claim when they know no one can verify the numbers.

I have 16 total referrals: 14 in my 1st generation and 2 in the second generation. You can get payout on up to 5 generations of referrals.
BigCrumbs.com referals update

This was one of my biggest BigCrumbs payouts. If you can’t read it the amount in this image, it’s about the cost of a Diet Pepsi.
Big Crumbs account statement - payout

It hasn’t been a very productive tool for me but I have to say the Big Crumbs website and service works perfectly. They deserve a “Nice Job” pat on the back for the service!

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