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I also recieve that newsletter and have also wondered what type of marketing is done to create those increadible numbers.
Like you I am also guessing that those top earners are other top level online merchant websites with huge traffic.
Those pages aren't there anymore, but it shows that you can combine a lack of scruples with a gibberish generating script and a one day Wordtracker subscription to make a few bucks.
Again, I don't know if the top producer did that or not. Just a possibility.
There are people that control incredible amounts of traffic and they can direct it to where they want. I remember when utrade.com (no longer online) was offering a certain amount of $$ per new registration. There was a webmaster that created a lot of auction domains and created a zero frameset page directed right to the sign-up page for utrade.
The surfer was given a choice, sign up and make me money or get the hell out of here. The ratio was something like 1:6 that registered. Multiply by a few thousand people/day and do the math.
He was the top affiliate with crazy amounts of money being made. I would not be surprised if he is making money with the e-bay program.
I kind of know how he got a lot of his traffic. He had a program that would pay webmasters $.03/search directed to some type of Yahoo knock-off. He would then filter it based on keyword and basically arbitrage it off to affiliate links.
Find/Buy "keyword" at ebay.
You are talking millions of text advertisements every day, and even with a low CTR, those numbers are quite easily possible.
#1 would be tough but top 5 is clearly reachable for the independent affiliate.
>Auto generated garbage can't produce those kinds of numbers<
Well thought out Auto generated pages CAN produce close to those types of numbers.
I am with Shak on the: Find/Buy "keyword" at ebay for the #1 spot.
Sign up 1000 folks a day and you're there! #1
(or a shatload of nickels: 2,920,000 bids :-) #1
Sidenote: November/December is traditionally the slowest time of the year for ebaY, according to "The Perfect Store" (story of ebaY book)
I would say ebaY's Buy It Now has had a significant impact on increasing their pre-Xmas signups/sales since that book was written. Feb is traditionally the best month for ebaY. (from book)
IIRC, eBay recently made a change in how they define a
"qualified" new registration that earns an affiliate $5.00.
IIRC, if a person you sent to eBay registered but used
buyitnow but did not place a bid within 30 days they did
not credit the affiliate with $5.00 for the new registration.
Affiliates complained and Ebay changed their definition to
include those who use buyitnow within 30 days of registration
as also qualifying the new registration as earning the
Maybe this helped boost the money made by the top affiliates?