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  1. #1
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    Keep getting denied by merchants
    Hi,

    I created a new site and starting applying to get accepted into specific affiliate programs offered by Commission Junction, LinkShare and Double-Click Performics.
    I have been declined by a lot of good merchants such as Staples, Office Depot, Timberland, Kohl, etc... and I don't know the reason why I am getting declined.
    My site looks professional enough, nice layout, no broken links, etc...

    What is the reason in your opinion for getting declined by these merchants? Is it because my website is new? Is there any way to find out?

  2. #2
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    Here are some of the merchants who declined my application. How long do I have to wait before re-applying???
    Office Depot
    Aeropostale
    American Eagle Outfitters
    Dockers Shoes
    Eddie Bauer
    Kiehl's
    Kohl's
    Lancome
    Lenox.com
    The Shade Store
    Timberland
    Urban Outfitters
    Vonage
    Philips
    ZipZoomfly.com
    Famous Footwear
    CitiFinancial
    Staples
    Alienware
    HSBC
    Quicken Loans
    HP Home & Home Office Store
    etc...

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    How is your network earnings and EPC? I'm sure a lot of these merchants base their approval on how well you're doing with other merchants. If you're brand new and have no track record you'll have to convince them you can send valuable customers their way.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    It might be because you are new, or because you have a coupon site. Some merchants have (or are developing) a bias against couponers.

    I have a 5 bar 'cj' site and still get denied often.

    Thing is, you think you need those merchants, but you really don't (at least to start). People looking for a coupon have really short attention spans and are'nt going to forbid their browser from visiting your site just because you didn't have the perfect coupon 2 months ago.

    Concentrate on the merchants you get traffic for, and the ones that are actually paying you. Everything else is just 'eye candy' for your site. I have tons of merchants and get 80-90% of $ from about 5% if them.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    You could email the affiliate managers for those programs and see if they can help you find out the reason why you were declined. They may be able to tell you anything that you could do so that your site is accepted.

  6. #6
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    As I've mentioned before.... Forget about them. They are deny-happy merchants and they probably don't care.

    Merchants who are deny-happy are not the best to work with anyway.

    You can reduce your chances of being denied with the following:
    1. Your main or first listed website is good and attractive.
    2. Your main or first listed website is related to the merchant you are applying with. (Most AMs are lazy and they don't go beyond looking at the first listing most of the time)
    3. You list a website that is related to the merchant in some way.
    4. You contact the merchant's Affiliate program manager via E-mail and you explain how you'd promote them.

    If you meet all the above and they still don't bother, then don't bother with them. There are plenty of other merchants out there (their competetitors) and you'll be promoting their products instead.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by simcat
    It might be because you are new, or because you have a coupon site. Some merchants have (or are developing) a bias against couponers.
    Yes, I have a coupon site. My competitors are all affiliate of the merchants that I have been declined for. So, it is an unfair advantage they are giving to the competition.
    I don't want to list their products if I am not getting paid for promoting them. Is that fair enough?? Or should I go ahead and list them anyway in order to compete with the other coupons/discount websites?

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brotherZ
    Yes, I have a coupon site. My competitors are all affiliate of the merchants that I have been declined for. So, it is an unfair advantage they are giving to the competition.
    I don't want to list their products if I am not getting paid for promoting them. Is that fair enough?? Or should I go ahead and list them anyway in order to compete with the other coupons/discount websites?
    I suggest picking a niche and just cover it better than any other coupon site. There are just too many established players that cover all the niches to compete head to head. Your best bet is to pick a very specific niche and only focus on those particular coupons. Then you can diversify as you establish a consumer base.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    I suggest picking a niche and just cover it better than any other coupon site. - Scott
    Yeah, that can't be much of a challenge to a new affiliate marketer!! LOL Of course Snib makes walking on water look easy - so perspective is relative..
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by brotherZ
    So, it is an unfair advantage they are giving to the competition.
    That should get the job done..................


    Analyse your competitors....What are they doing that you aren't??
    What are you doing that they aren't? How long has your competitor been competeing? Do they have a head start on you?
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
    Carolina China

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    lol what Alan said.

    If your site's new, then that could possibly be the reason. Not much you can do about that except to apply to the all the ones that you want to, place the ones that accept you onto your site and try to concentrate on them. After you've established your site for a while then reapply to those other merchants. Quite possible before you do that, they might even approach you.

    Very hard in the beginning when you don't have many merchants They won't accept you unless you have other merchants but you can't get other merchants without getting accepted. Definitely not fair, but the way it is sometimes. Don't worry....may seem to take a while, but in time you'll get accepted by the ones you want. And.....if you don't.... what lostdeviant is true.

    Even when you do get accepted to some of the biggies that you want to be accepted to......unless you meet their high expectations sometimes, they'll terminate you anyway. You'll learn that there are lots of merchants out there, so try not to feel too bad if you get rejected by somebody. Honest, it's not the end of the world. If you're thin skinned like me, lol it will seem that way, but it's not. Try to find merchants that appreciate you and concentrate on them.

    I didn't know to do it when I started, but the whole "niche" idea that Snib said and you've probably heard from lots of others is a good way to do it... pssssst less competition that way

    Good luck

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    How is your network earnings and EPC?
    Since my site is new and I get very little trafic, my network earnings are terrible. I made a few sales but that's about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    I suggest picking a niche and just cover it better than any other coupon site.
    It's a bit too late for that. I have already designed and coded the site from the ground up. I will try to give it a shot with what I have and see.
    If all goes well with this site, I may open another site that is more targeted to a specific niche.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brotherZ
    It's a bit too late for that. I have already designed and coded the site from the ground up. I will try to give it a shot with what I have and see.
    If all goes well with this site, I may open another site that is more targeted to a specific niche.
    I wouldn't imagine your subject matter is hard coded into your site. For example if you only focused on deals on popular women's shoes you could do quite well.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager JusticeforGirls's Avatar
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    As a merchant who some would call "deny-happy," try not to take it personal. We AMs are often looking for someone who we feel has a good grasp on his or her business model and that model is a good fit for us. I happen to like couponers, but I know that some don't. And I agree with what some of the other ppl have said: try to cover a niche better than anyone else and you really don't need EVERY merchant to be successful! Good luck!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    I wouldn't imagine your subject matter is hard coded into your site. For example if you only focused on deals on popular women's shoes you could do quite well.
    It is hard coded in the domain name and business model

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodwind&Brasswind
    As a merchant who some would call "deny-happy," try not to take it personal. We AMs are often looking for someone who we feel has a good grasp on his or her business model
    Everyone has to start from somewhere. It is a bit unfair to penalize newcomers before they had a chance to prove themselves.

  17. #17
    Member $Cleopatra$'s Avatar
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    Just keep up what you are doing with the merchants that you are approved for and when you make them a success, chances are you should have no problem with re-applying and being approved with many that denied you earlier.

    Also, take a look through your site and make sure that there are no pages that are still under construction or appear to be under construction. I made this mistake before, but once I took care of the issue, I reapplied and had no problem.

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