With no warning came a nuclear attack from the ePN team: a wave of permanent mass bannings prompted with no notice, rhyme or reason. To add insult to injury, it was delivered with generic legalese through an e-mail template that eBay has used to ban black hatters, TOS violators, and now - those who have truly done nothing wrong: It didn't matter if you were young or old, experienced or new, earning 6-figures or 2...the bannings covered a wide radius of honest, hard working ePN users. It doesn't even matter if one out of 50 of your sites was the trigger for your banning - your entire account is banned. Some relied on ePN as their primary income. Some advertised their ePN sites on local television or by magazine. All had to cope with the loss - as a ban from ePN is permanent. Famous Last Words: "My site drives very targeted traffic to eBay, I often hear from my visitors how much they enjoy my site and use the eBay links on my site...I can't imagine how much better a site can be targeted than mine, offering more than just eBay ads but a LOT of other information related to the topic. My site ranks #1 for most eBay searches for this topic and it was all EARNED, not purchased...WHO can possibly stand up to whatever standards they require?" "I've been affiliating for eBay for over a year as well and never used any practices to drive traffic that could be construed and questionable." "I totally depend on ebay. I have been an affiliate for almost two years. This is my year to date earnings; clicks-189684 epc-7.50 income-14,220.95...I have e-mailed ebay to try and find out what exactly I did wrong. We should be given a warning to fix, correct or stop any unethical behavior that we are not aware of." "I've been an eBay affiliate for 3 years now, and my site is 11 years old." "...with ePN I had high hopes, dreams, aspirations of true success.... gone are those days." "How can eBay treat it's affiliates this way? I've invested countless hours developing and adding content to my sites for EPN to drop me." "...just got my email, ebay affiliate for several years, high quality niche sites, no junk, no spam, no black hat. Ebay listings are on my blog sites, one gets 20,000 visitors daily, many go to ebay and buy. Like some of you above, significant ebay income, mid to high 5 figures yearly." "We actually built our community around ebay. I can't tell you how much traffic we've driven to ebay...It just hurts me that I've worked so hard with Ebay...and to have formed such a great community now over this, and now my incentive to keep going is gone. Like I've been kicked in the teeth as a thank you for driving traffic that would not have otherwise been driven there." "I got the boot also. I just spent over $2000 and countless hours getting my EPN setup." "We have been with eBay for over 6 years, Total Motorcycle is a top website worldwide, the leading motorcycle website in North America and gets 1.5 million uniques per month for traffic with our 500,000 pages of content (with eBay being on 90% of those pages)" "I was a small guy. I made less that $1000 this year with EPN, so it is not just the big ones they want out.." "After 19 very good months as an ebay affilate, the EPN network has sent me my expiration Email...i am unaware of what I have done. I am a disabled Vietnam Vet confined to my home, and trying to eek out a living from the web, This seemed to be a wonderful way to do it...now it seems like all this will come to an end." "Ebay has hurt people here and still is not classy enough to respond. A good business practice might have involved a warning to improve your sites or performance. Even Google does that." "Last December I found something I really loved to do, eBay affiliate marketing. I devoted my entire life to it. I love it!! And I feel like I am pretty good at it. I even paid for a TV commercial in my area to promote one of my websites. I have about 30 well developed, content rich sites and I make a modest amount of money from them, it's a great supplemental income for my large family. I was planning on going full-time this month. But last night I got the "letter"." "What adds to the insult is not even a peep from epn. At least come on here and say we're looking into this on a case by case basis. I've never seem customer service run like this or an affiliate program. "This is just sick, a flawed system running wild, the Rude part about it for the rest of us left in the program is the not knowing why every one is getting booted and are we next! For the Conspiracy Theorists: Numerous explanations are being discussed as to why ePN has banned such a wide range of legitimate affiliates. Here are the current top theories: eBay is in trouble (financially): This is a current favorite amongst theorists. There's no doubt that things have been brewing at eBay: the recent change of upper management, the drastic measures being taken on eBay's long-lasting policies in regard to selling, and the overall head-scratching over the simple rule of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" - ePN being the biggest of them all. eBay is suffering in search engine rankings: Bad Google! eBay ain't what it used to be in SERPs. No longer does the auction megasite appear in top positions of page one for hundreds of product searches - try it out yourself! The theory: ePN has selectively banned affiliates of whom appear higher in SERPs than ebay.com itself... ePN...a two-bit organization?: Most have questioned the actual functioning of the ePN team itself. As a branch of one of the largest internet-based corporations of the world of whom undoubtedly has an inexhaustible budget, they seem to take a terribly long time to reply to affiliate questions, fix critical reporting errors, or show any kind of legitimate message board presence (sans the commonplace public relations & diplomatic quick fixes). The August 20th mass banning decision, pitched to upper management, took the cake, however. ePN is waning its affiliate program on purpose: It begins with the ties broken from affiliate marketing giant CJ.com, and continued with a partially finished, half "coming soon!" project known as www.ebaypartnernetwork.com. Is ePN purposely sabotaging its own affiliate program for an ultimately bigger business direction intended by the parent company, eBay? Is this a gradual elimination of the affiliate program as we know it? eBay taking measures to fudge quality ratings: eBay's quality ratings for its ePN program will be publicly released (to investors and everyone else) on September 9, 2008. What better way to boost the score, than trim the line of those who are causing their desired data to stray?