Selling PPC ads for specific vendors on one's site

I have an acquaintance who is a collector. He would like to set up a web site devoted to his hobby and include on the site the ability for people to click on a link related to a specific collectible item and be taken to a specific vendor's site (or perhaps the visitor would be offered a very short list of sources for that specific item) to purchase that item. Is there a name for this vendor-specific online advertising?

What he needs to know is how to get this PPC system working. Is there a middleman, such as Google AdWords, that handles such vendor-specific PPC transactions? Would he have to contact each vendor individually and have them sign a contract -- or would the middleman-service do that?

Thanks!
don0donAsked:
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gwkgCommented:
If he wants to get paid by click then I doubt he will get many vendors to sign an agreement.  But if you go through Adwords it will be hard to laser focus the ads that show up.  Although you do have some control with Section Targetting https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=23168

If you don't mind only getting paid when the click results in something (purchase, registration) you can use Amazon & Ebay (they both sell just about everything)

https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/
https://www.ebaypartnernetwork.com/files/hub/en-US/index.html

Or you can sign up at an affiliate site and have access to all their affiliate programs.  

http://www.cj.com/
http://www.linkshare.com/
http://www.pepperjam.com/
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don0donAuthor Commented:
Thanks, gwkq. I hope you will bear with me while I ask a couple of questions to make sure I am interpreting your answers correctly.

Are you saying that, so far as you know, there is no existing middleman company/program (comparable to Google AdWords) that is set up to handle the kind of vendor-specific PPC advertising my client wants to offer?

If your answer is "No", and my client wanted to consider using eBay or Amazon, am I correct in assuming that all of the vendors he is proposing to advertise on his site have to be selling their goods through eBay or Amazon?

Let's say my client were ready to take on the task of negotiating contracts with each of the vendors himself.  Is there a server-side application that can process the PPC transactions -- and, if so, what is it?

Thanks for your time!

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don0donAuthor Commented:
Still waiting for other experts to jump in.

I hope someone can clarify the situation a bit more.

Thanks.
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gwkgCommented:
I think this is what you are looking for

http://www.openx.org/

The best news is that it's free :)
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don0donAuthor Commented:
gwkg,

Thanks for the information on OpenX. That answers the third of my three clarification questions.  Would you be willing to answer the first two?

"Are you saying that, so far as you know, there is no existing middleman company/program (comparable to Google AdWords) that is set up to handle the kind of vendor-specific PPC advertising my client wants to offer?

If your answer is "No", and my client wanted to consider using eBay or Amazon, am I correct in assuming that all of the vendors he is proposing to advertise on his site have to be selling their goods through eBay or Amazon?"

Thanks.
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gwkgCommented:
Open-X can handle vendor specific ppc.  You can host Open-X on your site and control all the advertising.

Yes, they would have to be selling on Amazon or Ebay to earn a commission through Amazon and Ebay.

Hope it helps!
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don0donAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your help.
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