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Find a Great Niche – Right Under Your Nose!

17 August 2009 10 Comments

Soooo... How many of you Internet Marketers out there who are affiliates with the Ebay Partner Network (EPN), have struggled finding "Niches"?   I know I have!  Of course there are the essential tools that you need to use when researching your niche, such as the Google adwords Keyword Tool, Wordtracker's FREE Keyword Suggestion Tool, market research at Terapeak and the countless other keyword tools that are out there! But sometimes it's hard to come up with a great niche... right?

What if your next money making niche idea was right under your nose?

If you are with EPN, then you may or may not know that you can download a Transaction Report from the Reports Section when you log in to your account to check your earnings etc etc...

Under the "Reports" tab, click on the link called "Transaction Download".  At the next screen you are presented with a filter that you can use to..

  • Download only events for which I will receive earnings
  • Download all events

The transaction report can be downloaded as a text (.txt) file or an excel (.xls) file which includes headers.

What does the transaction report show you?

  • Event Date - The date the event (transaction) occurred.
  • Posting Date - Date that the event (transaction) posts to the transaction download report. Events typically post the day following the event date.
  • Event Type - Name of the event (transaction).
    Ex: Bid, Bin, ACRU, Winning Bid (Revenue) etc.
  • Amount - Winning Bid (revenue): This is the amount of eBay Revenue associated with a Winning Bid.Number (count) of Sales (ex: ACRUs, 1st Bid / BIN, etc.).
    Half.com Total Sale Amount. Please note this column is not your earnings for a transaction. To calculate your earnings for individual events, please apply your tiers for the appropriate Program and Event Type. For information on the tier you are actively earning commissions, please see the Programs tab and click on the "Payment Structure" link associated with that Program. The active tier will be highlighted in yellow
  • Program Id - Unique Identifier for the Program where the event (transaction) occurred (ex: the eBay UK Program ID is 15). For more information, please visit the Programs tab or run a By Program Summary Report on the Reports tab.
  • Program Name - Name of the Program for where that event (transaction) that event (ex: eBay FR, Half.com, etc). For more information, please visit the Programs tab or run a By Program Summary Report on the Reports tab.
  • Campaign Id - Unique Identifier for the Campaign that drove the event (transaction). For more information, please visit the Campaigns tab or run a By Campaign Summary Report on the Reports tab.
  • Campaign Name - Name of the Campaign drove the event (transaction). For more information, please visit the Campaigns tab or run a By Campaign Summary Report on the Reports tab.
  • Tool Id - Unique Identifier for the Tool that drove the event (transaction). (ex: Link Generator is Tool Id 10001; eBay_Dynamic Listing_120x600 Banner is Tool Id 56006). For more information, please visit the Tools tab or run a By Tool / Creative Summary Report on the Reports tab.
  • Tool Name - Name of the Tool that drove the event (transaction). (ex: Link Generator; Editor Kit; eBay_Dynamic Listing_120x600 Banner). For more information, please visit the Tools tab or run a By Tool / Creative Summary Report on the Reports tab.
  • Custom Id - Custom ID is an affiliate defined 256 character flex field that you can leverage to better monitor your marketing efforts. A Custom ID can be appended while creating your links through our Link Generator, Creative Generator or Widgets. This value is associated with each transaction you drive and will be available in your transaction download reports.
  • Click Timestamp - The Date and Time of the Click that drove the event (Transaction).
  • FlexField1 - ebay : eBay Item Id
  • FlexField2 - ebay : Leaf Category ID
  • FlexField3 - ebay : Quantity of Items Sold
  • FlexField4 - ebay : Total Sale Amount
  • FlexField5 - Item Site ID: The site ID for the site where your transaction was purchased
  • FlexField6 - Meta Category ID: Top level category that is associated to your transaction
  • FlexField7 - Unique Transaction ID ( Revshare transactions only)

I always download the text (.txt) version and most of the time I use the "Download only events for which I will receive earnings" download type.

Use The EPN Report Tracker to Find a Great Niche!

Here's where it gets fun!

Head over to Tropical Web Works and once there, you can download the FREE EPN Report Tracker which is what you will use to view the "Transaction Report" you've downloaded from EPN.  After downloading the EPN Tracker script from Tropical Web Works, you simply upload it to your server and type in the location that you uploaded the file to run the script.  For instance if I had uploaded the epn.php file to the root of this blog, I would simple type in  jakecpunut.com/epn.php in the address bar of my browser to run the script.  Here's what it looks like when you run the script...


Simply run the epn.php script and browse and find the "Transaction Report" that you downloaded.  I always check the boxes to "show extra info" and "show thumbnail image".   Once you've done that just click Upload and you will see all the items that were purchased through your niche site(s) that YOU made money on!  Cool huh?

This is where you just may find that gold nugget!

It's always interesting to me to see what folks are buying through my niche sites.  Of course it's always nice to see that your visitors are purchasing items that are related to your niche.  For instance if your niche site is on Fish Aquariums, you would expect to see Fish Aquarium sells, and items associated with Fish Aquariums such as pumps, fish food, etc etc..

BUT, what if that person that found your site, shopping for Fish Aquariums, was also a fisherman that collected antique fishing reels?  What if someone shopped at YOUR niche site for fish food, and ended up purchasing a very expensive Antique Fishing Reel?  Not only would you get commission from that purchase, you just may have stumbled on a gold mine!  Now with a little research, you could check out "Antique Fishing Reels" and possible have a great niche that's a nice money maker!

I ALWAYS pay close attention to what folks are buying through my niche sites!  Hey, THEY are the ones shopping and THEY know what they are looking for!  You never know what someone may purchase through one of your niche sites that may just open a HUGE door and give you even more money making opportunities!

Have You Ever Found a Great Niche Using The "Transaction Report"? (of course you don't have to share your niche)

What Other Methods do YOU Use to Get Niche Ideas?

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  • Marketing Business Review said:

    Hi Jake,

    It seems I am also your first commenter in this post, same as you at my site. Did I won something for that? Like a MinoHD perhaps, lol.

    Basically this is like finding a niche inside your already niche store, interesting, I have not think it about it. You may ending getting lots of sub-niches and profiting from all of them, cool.

    I will start to make this considerations.

    Marketing Business Review´s last blog ..How To Find A Profitable Niche Market To Make Money Online My ComLuv Profile


  • Benjamin Cip said:

    I want to buy many niche, and create some more bans site. I haven’t received answer from EPN yet. Sounds like it takes more time than I expected. I have some more money to invest. I might buy Vbulletin, for a store that father many visit and $$$ I almost finished the logo on my BANS site, just give it a look…
    Benjamin Cip´s last blog ..What Is The Best Place To Display Your Ads? My ComLuv Profile


  • water tanks said:

    As a a newbie I was looking for some info. I stumble upon this post. Its very interesting and useful. I bookmarked this page. your this article contain with very amazing info. thanks for sharing it.


  • coffee tables said:

    hi jake, can you point me out where exactly is a niche? please, thanks.


  • Jake (author) said:

    @ Luis – Hey I have a Flip Mino HD laying around that I don’t use… hmmm, maybe I could give it away! :)

    Yup, it’s VERY interesting to see what folks buy through my niche sites… to me it’s almost like an insiders view because NO ONE else can see it but me! It’s not some report that’s out there, or google trends etc etc.. it’s the real deal!

    @ Benjamin – I know you already have the N1Way guide so just stick to it and you’ll do very well! Even with the changes EPN tossed on everybody yesterday.. it can be some very good $$ in the bank! I’ve never heard of Vbulletin but may look it up!

    @ water tanks – Welcome to the blog! Hope you enjoy the site and can use some of the info here!! Come on back anytime!

    @ coffee tables – not sure if you’re asking me what a niche is, or to point you to a good niche? I’m assuming the 2nd one because your site “coffee tables” is a niche!

    wood coffee table
    glass coffee table
    coffee table book
    lift top coffee table
    modern coffee tables
    storage coffee tables

    those could all be great niches! That’s where your research comes in.. using the tools mentioned above… terapeak etc etc


  • coffee tables said:

    thanks for the direct explanation jake. Been looking for this all this time.


  • Jake (author) said:

    @ coffee tables – no problem at all.. if i can be of any help, just say the word and I’ll do what i can!!


  • Learn French said:

    Hi Jake,

    Ben mentioned on http://benjamincip.com/phpbay-pro-review/ that If you want more information about how to get approved by the EPN, I highly recommend you to visit http://jakecpunut.com/ blog.

    Do you have some advice?

    Learn French´s last blog ..Speak in a Week French: See, Hear, Say & Learn (French Edition) My ComLuv Profile


    Jake Reply:

    Hello Learn French and welcome to “My Life as I See It”!

    Make sure you read THESE links and be sure to understand the rules.. I realize it’s alot of reading but well worth doing the right thing and getting accepted!

    1. eBay Partner Network Agreement
    2. ePN Code of Conduct
    3. eBay Partner Network Privacy Policy

    Build your website or blog and focus on CONTENT! Picture yourself searching the internet for reviews or guides.. would YOU want to come up on a website that has:

    Products for sale and nothing else
    Reviews and guides of the product you are looking for

    As I said over at Ben’s blog… I’ve seen with my own eyes a few websites that were built using either BANS or WP + phpBay Pro and with good content and by following the rules, those sights were accepted with no problems.

    BE SURE to let your visitors know they are going to Ebay when it does come to shopping/ads etc etc.. Never try and trick a visitor into thinking it’s your products etc etc.

    Make sure you use a real name and email when signing up!

    BE PATIENT and build up your site AND your traffic! Good things comes to those that wait :)

    Then N1Way Guide is a GREAT tool that will help you as well!

    that’s just a few tips off the top of my head.. I hope it helps!


  • Mr. Meltdown said:

    Yea Jake! That was just tooooooooooooo cool man!! Now lets see you shoot a Turkey out of that thing! LOL HA HA!


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