Everything you want to know about Cross-Promotion Connections (CPCs). This guide will tell you how to make CPCs work for you, and is suitable for sellers of all experience levels. If you already know how to request and accept CPCs, you may wish to skip the first sections. Happy selling!
eBay has removed Cross-Promotion Connections, however I am leaving this guide in place because some people have asked to see it as a resource. Please do not continue to vote against this guide or I will be forced to remove it. (Note that my removal of the guide will still leave me as a top 1000 reviewer, so you are only hurting other people.)
Thanks for your consideration - Marc
Cross-Promotion Connections: Making Them Work For You
What Are Cross-Promotion Connections?
Cross-promotion connections let you and other sellers form a partnership to promote each others' items. Your partners' items appear in your listing as follows:
- When someone places the high bid on your item, your own cross-promoted items appear just under the bid information. Your partners' items appear just below this section (as circled in red below)
- When someone wins one of your items, your own cross-promoted items appear directly below the Pay Now button. Below your items appear a few options for the buyer (Leave Feedback, Contact Seller, etc.) and just below this section appear your partners' items (as circled in red below)
In return, your items appear in your partners' listings in the same way after a buyer bids on or wins their items. CPCs are free (no eBay fees!) and easy to set up and maintain. If used properly they are a hassle-free and moderately effective way to increase your sales.
The cross-promotion connection box appears in an item after a bid has been placed, or the item has been sold. The box contains up to five items randomly selected from the item seller's CPC partners. It appears below your normal cross-promotion box (the one that shows your other items). You may have a total of ten CPC partners for each selling account that you have.
Tip: CPCs can be cancelled by either partner at any time without notice. Cancellation takes place immediately.
Finding the Cross-Promotion Connections Page
- Go to My eBay, and find the Marketing Tools link; it is in the All Selling section of the left-hand side navigation bar. If you are using Selling Manager or Selling Manager Pro, the Marketing Tools link will be in the Selling Manager or Selling Manager Pro section.
- On the Marketing Tools page in the left-hand side navigation bar, select Connections under Item Promotion.
Tip: This link should take you directly to your Cross-Promotion Connections page (after signing in): Cross-Promotion Connections
Requesting Cross-Promotion Connections
- On the Cross-Promotion Connections page, click the Request New Connection button.
- Enter the User ID (or Store name) of the seller with whom you'd like to partner, and click Continue.
- On the next page you can preview (but not change) the message that will be sent to the seller. To send it, click Send Request. A message will be sent to the seller, and they will have 14 days to accept your request.
- The seller will be added to the "Pending Connections: Requests I've Sent" section of the Cross-Promotion Connections page.
Tip: As of the writing of this guide, the message sent to the other person when you request a CPC gives incorrect instructions on how to navigate to the CPC page. You may wish to give additional instructions in a separate email to your prospective partner, or perhaps send them to this guide!
Accepting Cross-Promotion Connections
- On the Cross-Promotion Connections page in the "Pending Connections: Requests I've Received" section, click the Accept button.
- On the next page, confirm the connection by clicking the "Accept Connection" button.
- The seller will be added to the "Active Connections" section of the Cross-Promotion Connections page. The connection takes effect immediately.
Tip: No notice is sent to your partner that you've accepted their connection. You may wish to inform them of the fact with a separate email.
Customising Cross-Promotion Connections
The types of items that appear in the CPC box are customisable by the owner of the listing.
Tip: You have no control at all over which of your items appear in your partners' listings. They have only limited control as detailed below. Unless you are their only CPC, it is unlikely that your partner will be able to accommodate any specific requests that you make.
Customising Settings For Your Listings
You can choose which types of items from CPC partners are cross-promoted in your listings. You may choose from the following options:
- Select items first from categories similar to your item's category (default);
- First promote items from one specific eBay category that you select; or
- Promote any random item.
You may also exclude certain items from being promoted. Your choices are:
- Allow any items;
- Exclude items from the category of your listed item; or
- Exclude items from one specific eBay category that you select.
This setting may be changed on the Cross-Promotion Connections Preferences page:
- From any Marketing Tools page in the left-hand side navigation bar, select Settings under Item Promotion.
- Near the bottom of the page, you will find Cross-Promotion Connections: Settings and Cross-Promotion Connections: Item Preferences.
- Select the desired options and click the Save Settings button.
Tip: The above settings will apply to all of your CPCs. There is no way to customise these settings for each CPC partner. However, you may customise settings for each of your listings individually (see below).
Customising Settings For a Specific Listing
You may change the selection options for a specific listing:
- Make sure you are signed in as the seller for that listing, and visit the listing page.
- Click the "Change your cross-promoted items" link near the top of the page (just above the Revise your item link).
- Scroll to near the bottom of the page to the Cross-promotion connections - When someone bids on or wins the following item section to preview your cross-promotions for connected sellers. Click the "Change criteria for this item" link if you want to modify your settings for this item only.
- You will be given the two sets of choices as detailed above.
What eBay Doesn't Tell You
How Often Your Item Will Appear (Basic)
If your CPC partner has you as their only CPC, then your listings will fill all five slots when CPCs appear in your partner's listings. However, if your partner does have CPCs with other eBay sellers then two numbers determine how often your items will appear in your partner's listings:
- the number of items that you have listed - if you have more items listed, there is a better chance that one of them will fill one of the five slots available; and
- the number of items that any other sellers with whom your partner has CPCs - the more items that other sellers have listed, the worse chance that one of your items will fill a slot.
How Often Your Item Will Appear (Advanced)
The exact formula used to determine frequency of appearing CPCs is unknown. However, a large number of tests reveals that the formula is close to:
the number of items that you have listed, divided by the number of items that your partner's other CPC participants have listed plus your item total.
It does not matter whether the items listed are store or core listings. Thus, if:
- you have 100 items listed;
- your partner has 2 other CPC partners; and
- they each have 200 items listed,
then you have a 100/(200+200+100) = 1/5 chance of having one of your items appear in any given slot when CPCs are shown. So, on average, one of your items will appear amongst the 5 available slots when CPCs appear.
Who Should You Choose?
Your item can only appear when one of your partners' items is bid on or won. Therefore you should prefer partners that sell a lot of items and/or receive many bids on their items. Note that this does not necessarily require a high number of items to be listed. It is the total number of bids and sales that is important.
It is important to remember that when you use CPCs, you are potentially sending a customer away from your listings. This is the price that you pay for the return favour of your CPC partners' customers being sent to your listings.
CPCs can work no matter the relation between seller's items. However, you should be aware of potential tie-ins as well as conflicts. Try to determine at what level both partners' items can be categorised. Does the partner:
- sell the same sort of items as you? - this could be beneficial if you're selling pre-loved children's clothing, but disastrous if you're selling the same brand and models of computer.
- sell items that someone might want to buy at the same time as yours? - this is a strong relationship. For example: you sell shoes and your partner sells handbags, or you sell lamps and your partner sells throw pillows.
- sell items that someone might want to buy after buying yours? - if one sells computers and the other sells software, this may be a one-way relationship. Be sure to examine the possibilities critically.
- sell items completely different to yours? - depending on the potential tie-in, this can be a strong relationship. For example, if both items can be gifts - say, books and candles - then this can work.
There's no point in finding the perfect partner only to find that their partners have so many items listed that yours never show up! Unfortunately, it's not easy to check this by yourself. The only way that I know of is:
- Buy something from your partner.
- Go to the finished listing.
- Continually refresh the listing and keep statistics on how often one of your items shows up.
- To get accurate statistics, you'll need to do dozens of refreshes. However, you should get a good idea of whether your items are showing up after a few refreshes.
I hope that you've found this guide useful. If you have, I would appreciate your vote below. Otherwise, please let me know if you find any errors or have any questions or comments on the guide. I'm only too happy to correct discrepancies or help with problems. Thank you for your time!
Thank you to my Cross-Promotion Connection partners - past and present - and to those whose posts on the eBay Discussion Boards have helped inspire and shape this guide.
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