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Build A Niche Store (bans) Faq

Discussion in 'Commission Junction' started by decodethis, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. #1
    BANS (BUILD A NICHE STORE) FAQ

    OK, I've seen way too many people ask the same questions about BANS. I've put this FAQ together detailing some of the common questions and answers about this software package. I'd appreciate rep if you find it useful. :)

    What is BANS?

    BANS stands for Build A Niche Store, an eBay affiliate web site generator. Using BANS you can create a web site that will display eBay listings from particular categories that you select. When a visitor clicks on one of the displayed listings they are taken to eBay. If that user buys an item within 7 days of clicking on that link you get credit for the sale.

    Where can I buy BANS?

    http://www.buildanichestore.com is the web site. You'll see a lot of people push their affiliate links at you as BANS is sold through Clickbank. I'll spare you. :)

    What do BANS sites look like?

    Try a couple of mine: http://www.shelbycars.org (simply css styling), http://www.turboguides.com (more modified)

    What else do I need to get going?

    You need a free account on Commission Junction (http://www.cj.com) and you need to apply and be accepted for eBay's affiliate program. I'd do this BEFORE I bought BANS just to make sure. You'll also need a reliable web host, a domain or subdomain, and an idea for niche you want to sell. :)

    How do I make money?

    You make a percentage of the profit that eBay makes on each sale from listing and final sale fees. This amount varies from item to item. I've seen payouts from $0.16 up to $200 for each sale. Higher value items generate higher profits. You can also earn $25 for each new eBay user that signs up through your site (they need to at least bid on something within 7 days of signing up)!

    So selling cars can make me thousands?

    eBay Motors uses a flat fee instead of the typical percentage based fee for other items. You'll make around $40 per car sold, depending on listing upgrades. Other items, like expensive watches and antique furniture can cost as much (or more!) as some cars, and use the regular eBay listing and final value fee schedule (hint, hint).

    What is a PID and where do I find it?

    Your PID is a number that gets created when you add a web site to CJ's system; they uniquely identify a site for sales tracking purposes. PIDs are necessary to get the proper credit for each sale. You MUST set your PID if you want to make any money.

    To get a PID log into CJ.com and click Account, then Web Site Settings, and then Add a New Web Site. Fill in the info for the site you want to use. When you're done you can select that site from the dropdown. You'll find the PID listed in the information for that site.

    What is a SID?

    The SID is a string of characters you create to help you track your sales. Use anything you want to identify the source of the sale. BANS uses the keyword assigned to the page where people clicked to get the listing. SIDs are optional.

    How much money can I make with BANS?

    That's a loaded question. As with any web site it depends on the quantity and quality of traffic your site receives. It also depends on how many sites you're willing to set up.

    What's the license limit on setting up BANS sites?

    No, there is no limit to the number of BANS sites you can set up with your purchased copy of the software. I personally have about 2-dozen, and I know of people with at least 40.

    How much does BANS cost?

    $97 as of version 2.0

    How long does it take to set up a BANS site?

    With a little practice and preparation it's easy to set up a site in an evening. The installation process is quite simple: set up a MySQL database, copy up the BANS files to your host, visit your site's home page and follow along with the installation instructions. Select your template and eBay categories and you have a basic site running!

    What are good hosts to use with BANS?

    I personally use a dedicated server for my sites nowadays, but I'd easily recommend Hostgator as a good host. People have had issues with Godaddy as a host, and Dreamhost (another of my hosts) requires you to use PHP4 with BANS (but it works).

    OK, I have BANS up and running, thanks dude! But it looks pretty bland

    BANS ships with several generic templates in version 2.0 (version 3 will supposedly ship with more templates). They're all pretty blah, but they're easily modifiable by altering the CSS file that's included. You can do that right within the admin interface. I have a site called Designer Niches (http://www.designerniches.com) that I offer a free template to get you started if you don't like the basic ones. An example site using the free template is http://www.conventionalgeek.com.

    How do I promote my BANS site?

    People use different methods to promote and get their sites indexed. I use a custom sitemap and backlinks to help with the indexing process. Social bookmarking sites are also a good method. I also try and find directories on the topic I'm promoting and get links from those sources. Writing custom articles and adding them to your site also helps drive traffic. Use any method you'd normally use to promote a web site. DO NOT use Craig's List as it's a known way to get yourself in trouble with eBay.

    What about PPC Campaigns?

    Many people do use PPC (Pay per click) campaigns such as Adwords to drive traffic. I personally haven't done it yet, but I know people do use it to generate sales. As with any PPC campaign you need to monitor it to determine how successful it really is.
    SEMrush
    What's BANS "footprint"?

    BANS has several "identifiers" that help people track down sites created with the software. It's rumored that Google uses these footprints to delist (I doubt this) or at least apply a penalty to BANS sites. Footprints such as the ebay "rover" links and the "Powered By" link at the bottom are known ways to find a BANS site quickly. I personally have modified my BANS installation files to eliminate most of the footprints.

    How long will it take before I make some money?

    Like any web site it all depends on the traffic that your site generates. I've set some sites up that made sales on their first day. Other sites I've set up have taken a month because the traffic was mainly "lookers" and not "buyers".

    What's the biggest limitation of BANS?

    I'd say that the limited SEO features puts the BANS sites at a disadvantage over hand-crafted eBay affiliate sites. You can alter the Keywords, Description, and Title tags of a page, but the first H1 tag is always the same for the entire site. This can be overcome with a little custom modification.

    Where do I find help?

    The BANS forum is one of the most active software support sites I've seen in awhile. When you purchase the software you're given access to the forum which is full of tips, suggestions, and general support from both members and the developers.

    Should I buy BANS?

    The short answer is yes, the $100 investment will probably pay off within the first month with a well constructed site. So far BANS is the easiest way (note not the most efficient way) of creating eBay affiliate sites geared around a specific category (or categories for version 2.0+).

    I hope that helps people getting started. I'm chronosafe on the forums, see you there!
     
    decodethis, Dec 30, 2007 IP
    tkman, greatness008, Union and 11 others like this.
    SEMrush
  2. renomart

    renomart Member

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    #2
    Good work!
     
    renomart, Dec 30, 2007 IP
    GTech likes this.
  3. Union

    Union Peon

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    #3
    Wow! This is terrific. Kinda wish I had something like this when I was just starting out..

    rep added for sure!
     
    Union, Dec 30, 2007 IP
  4. greatness008

    greatness008 Well-Known Member

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    #4
    Green added thx.
     
    greatness008, Dec 30, 2007 IP
  5. decodethis

    decodethis Well-Known Member

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    #5
    Thanks for the kind words. :) I remember how hard it was when I started. I actually put BANS aside for 3 months because I had trouble with it at first, so I understand people's pain.
     
    decodethis, Dec 31, 2007 IP
  6. Liquifire

    Liquifire Peon

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    #6
    Nice template, thanks.
     
    Liquifire, Dec 31, 2007 IP
  7. cylai

    cylai Peon

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    #7
    good tips!

    You may also want to add this: you must become an eBay affiliate before buying BANS !
     
    cylai, Dec 31, 2007 IP
  8. decodethis

    decodethis Well-Known Member

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    #8
    Thanks :) Actually that's part of "What else do I need to get going?" already in the FAQ...
     
    decodethis, Jan 1, 2008 IP
  9. MeetHere

    MeetHere Prominent Member

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    #9
    I was always confused..

    Thanks for clearning my doubt, good post :)
     
    MeetHere, Jan 1, 2008 IP
  10. hovesh07

    hovesh07 Well-Known Member

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    #10
    Regarding masking those "rover" links...
    It seems that all my ebay links are the same from from beginning until the "&loc=" part.
    Does that mean that I can pass the rest to a PHP script that'll fire up the actual ebay link with all the affiliate goodies thrown in?
     
    hovesh07, Jan 2, 2008 IP
  11. decodethis

    decodethis Well-Known Member

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    #11
    I don't think that's very safe... if eBay changes something all your links will be broken until you notice it.

    What I do is take the whole rover link and BASE64 encode it and pass it as a parameter to another php file. That file then decodes the BASE64 encoded string and then uses it to do a redirect. That way the actual ebay link never appears on my page. I do something similar with the ebay gallery image.

    The end result is no references at all to eBay on my site, all links display as internal. :)
     
    decodethis, Jan 2, 2008 IP
  12. danfirst

    danfirst Active Member

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    #12
    Question.
    I got rejected automatically when I try to join the eBay affiliate program in CJ.
    I've emailed the eBay affiliate team as suggested, but they never responded even after 3 days. What should I do?
     
    danfirst, Jan 2, 2008 IP
  13. adigital

    adigital Peon

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    #13
    I also got automatically rejected so I applied from the UK eBay and finally got accepted.
    So if I get buyers are from the US do I get paid?
    Is the PID number different when you get accepted by ebay.com and ebay.co.uk?
     
    adigital, Jan 2, 2008 IP
  14. decodethis

    decodethis Well-Known Member

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    #14
    The holiday season may be a bad time to attempt to contact ebay's affiliate team. Try again in a few days, and mention a web site that is content rich as the target for your affiliate sales; they're trying for a level of quality. Just don't go and submit an MFA or Porn site, use common sense.

    Your sales are valid whether it comes from the US or the UK. Your PID is site specific, not specific to the nationality of the affiliate. The problem here is that eBay is going to assume ebay.co.uk listings to be displayed on your site because of the nationality of your signup. Trying to sell ebay.com items may put you out of TOS. Anyone tried this?
     
    decodethis, Jan 2, 2008 IP
  15. christian231

    christian231 Well-Known Member

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    #15
    So the person who clicks through the ebay link on my site will have to win the auction for me to get paid, correct? I guess you have to rely on that persons ebay sniping skills for you to make commissions...kind of scary. I'm going to check it out though...looks interesting.
     
    christian231, Jan 2, 2008 IP
  16. decodethis

    decodethis Well-Known Member

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    #16
    Yes, your visitor who clicks through has to win the auction for you to get credit for the sale. If a visitor signs up for eBay (a Lead) all they need to do is BID, they don't necessarily need to win. Leads pay $25 each and are a viable alternative to just sales.
     
    decodethis, Jan 2, 2008 IP
  17. WineGuy

    WineGuy Peon

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    #17
    Really good FAQ, APPPPLLLLLLAAAAAUUUUUSSSSSSSE!!!!!!!!!

    Cheers!
     
    WineGuy, Jan 2, 2008 IP
  18. Union

    Union Peon

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    #18
    Also, you will receive a commission on ALL the winning auctions and BINs your visitors happen to procure within a full-week of clicking through your BANS site. This may not sound like a big deal, but there are some extremely high-volume eBayers out there, and those BIN commissions can rack up fast if one happens to stumble through your site.
     
    Union, Jan 3, 2008 IP
  19. priyaranjan2000

    priyaranjan2000 Banned

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    #19
    priyaranjan2000, Jan 4, 2008 IP
  20. decodethis

    decodethis Well-Known Member

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    #20
    Yes you can host a BANS site as a subdomain or as a subfolder to another site. You simply need seperate MySQL databases for each site.

    You could do:

    ford.hostsite.info
    chevy.hostsite.info
    toyata.hostsite.info etc.

    Each would be a separate BANS installation. The actual way you set up the subdomain depends on your host.
     
    decodethis, Jan 4, 2008 IP