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  1. #1
    Newbie Rocketfuel's Avatar
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    Zappos! The Final Straw
    First zappos drop our comish from 15-12% (20% loss) and they say this has happened because of the new free overnight shipping they will be offering and sales will climb for affiliates.Then they drop free overnight shipping and their price protection policy and do not raise the comish back up.

    Then they plaster 6pm links on every page stating upto 75% off click here to which no affiliate makes a commission on and to which i presume neither does CJ (shouldnt this be against CJ's TOS?) and to top it all off it's only the 5th of this month and i just got a huge amount of returns so now my costs have far out weighed my sales.(will there be more retuns on the 10th to?)

    I have been an affililiate of Zappos for over 3 yrs and always done very well and i dont complain at returns because i expect a 30% return rate every month and i account for that.

    This is now the final straw for me with them as they are just screwing all affiliates over now by diverting legitimate zappos traffic to 6pm which currently is an expired advertiser in cj. I contacted zappos over the 6pm issue and this is the responce.

    Thank you for your questions. The 6pm links are an experiment and we are currently unsure if we are going to keep them on Zappos.com. At this time, you will not receive commission for sales that are generated through 6pm. In the next couple weeks, 6pm will be launching an affiliate program and I strongly suggest that you should apply to the program. We greatly appreciate you being an affiliate and hope that we can continue working together. Please let me know if you have any more questions.


    Unbelievable if you ask me, were are just experimenting on how many times we can screw affiliates before they start to leave us, well my traffic has now stopped to them as i feel this is just the final straw.

    What was once a very good affiliate program has taken a huge dive and now all they care about is how to screw affiliates.Very sad Zappos Good bye!

    Further more i will be following this up with CJ because surely them diverting traffic to 6pm (and expired CJ Advertiser) is against their terms of service, even tho they say 6pm will return in a few weeks.

    Loyalty means nothing to zappos any longer

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    I am sorry to hear this Rocket. Hopefully you promote a diverse set of merchants in a wider range of markets. It's always wise planning to diversify rather than concentrating on one or two. I wish you well and would certainly advise AM's to observe this as a reminder of the need for diversification.
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  3. #3
    Newbie Rocketfuel's Avatar
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    yes i do promote a diverse range Alan so Zappos wont bring be down to badly, it is just their lack of loyality and disregard of affiliates that makes me mad as affiliates are why zappos grew so big.

  4. #4
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    Angry I'm uncertain if I want them as a merchant
    I understand Zappos is a shoe merchant that will have significant returns. But, all of my sales have been reversed. It does seem odd.

  5. #5
    Full Member Amy_S's Avatar
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    Rocketfuel, I really don't blame you for being upset. What a shame!

    Alan, excellent points. Thanks for those words of wisdom. Duly noted!

    Online Coupon- are we talking a few reversed sales, or a few hundred? I think I'd be worried about a few hundred, but not so much about just a few... my 2 cents.

  6. #6
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Now that Zappos is out, which merchants should take their place on our footwear and accessory websites?

  7. #7
    Moderator Nabz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostdeviant
    Now that Zappos is out, which merchants should take their place on our footwear and accessory websites?
    Shoebuy?

  8. #8
    Internet Cowboy
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    Shoebuy does the same thing. They have their checkout plastered with affiliate links and links to their other web sites. VERY leaky.
    Look at Heels.com, Endless.com and Shoes.com, all on CJ. Those are the most affiliate-friendly shoe programs out there...I never dreamed I would say that, but Zappos has clearly decided that they do not want a real affiliate program any longer.
    Putting that huge banner to 6pm on their sale page when they KNOW that thousands of affiliates have a link to that page is just sick.

  9. #9
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  elalpo's Avatar
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    I've complained to Zappos and recieved a generic message (posted here on the board).

    Complained to CJ. Here is what I got from CJ:

    "Dear Elena,

    Unfortunately, Zappos is not in violation of their Advertiser Service Agreement; however, as a courtesy to their publishers, an email should have been sent out to inform you of this eventual venture/experiment. Please continue your correspondence with Zappos, addressing any and all concerns you may have. Hopefully a positive resolution can come from this issue.

    Furthermore, please be advised that your relationship with them is at will. Therefore, if you have any pressing concerns with their program, you have complete jurisdiction to expire them from your network of advertisers.

    We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. If we can assist you in any other way, please contact us again."

    I mean - wow.. Lol


  10. #10
    Newbie Rocketfuel's Avatar
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    Yeah elalpo i got the same thing back from CJ to and it is unbelievable how they say while we dont condone what zappos are doing, we wont do anything to stop them because they are not breaking any rules.

    What kind of top merchant buys a competitors site and plasters google adds all over it? are they that hard up for income?, i also noticed at the bottom by the google adds they have a Zappos banner, so please customers click our 6pm link on the bottom of the zappos site to save upto 75% and to wipe all affiliate tracking urls, then once arriving at our 6pm site please be sure to click our google adds and then our zappos banner to return you back to our site so we can make 100%.

    We thank you for stopping by and screwing our affiliates over, please come and do it all again soon!

    Never thought id see the day that a company like Zappos would act this way.

    Owell i guess all the other shoe merchants in CJ will bennifit and they pay alot nicer comish and normally have alot lower return rate!

  11. #11
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hamilton
    Hopefully you promote a diverse set of merchants in a wider range of markets. It's always wise planning to diversify rather than concentrating on one or two. I wish you well and would certainly advise AM's to observe this as a reminder of the need for diversification.
    Words of wisdom.

    Posts like this make me so happy I never thought selling shoes online was a good idea, even after seeing how much others affs were making selling shoes.

    I love my gut instincts.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  12. #12
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocketfuel
    In the next couple weeks, 6pm will be launching an affiliate program and I strongly suggest that you should apply to the program.
    FYI, even if you join 6pm's program, you will not get the credit as the traffic is coming from Zappo, not your affiliate site...

  13. #13
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    I have been in contact with cj about this issue and they told me that I should talk to Zappos about this issue so it seems that cj allows it and then it's nothing we can do about it.
    Case closed.

  14. #14
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by it2shoes
    I have been in contact with cj about this issue and they told me that I should talk to Zappos about this issue so it seems that cj allows it and then it's nothing we can do about it.
    Case closed.
    -sigh-

    Sometimes, it seems as if CJ does not react until things get ugly. I have usually had good luck with contacting them. One thing I have noticed about bureaucracies in general is that they are slow to respond until they realize that not responding is taking up more time than responding.

    That is, sometimes it is okay to be a PITA.

    Get them on the phone, and keep going higher until you get the answer you want.

    If Zappos' site violates the agreement you sign with them - for example, if the agreement specifically states that you will be paid a specific % for ANY income your traffic generates, but you don't get income from an outgoing banner - then someone down the line will have to respond, by either correcting the problem, or updating their contract terms. So, don't hang up until you have gone high enough to get someone to admit the contract needs to be changed, or the banner needs to be removed.

    If this program is not critical to you, it is always possible to speak with your feet. However, if you are a one-merchant affiliate, it's in your interest to corner somebody on this.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador delsol's Avatar
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    Thank you Rocketfuel for sharing your experience. Good to know the different "tricks" these merchants can play on us...

    I'm not sure you can do much about this by wasting your time with these bureaucracies. The best is probably to move on to a different category.

    Shoes online are a bit flaky, Just like the "product". The other day, I purchased two pairs of shoes of the same size. One pair did fit the other not, had to return 1 pair (the expensive pair). I'm surprised no one figured out a way to say the brand size x is really more of a size (x-1), we recommend you try x+1 with this brand. I'm guessing 50% of returns are due to size issues...

  16. #16
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    Shoebuy does the same thing. They have their checkout plastered with affiliate links and links to their other web sites. VERY leaky.
    Look at Heels.com, Endless.com and Shoes.com, all on CJ. Those are the most affiliate-friendly shoe programs out there...
    That's good to know; thanks for the suggestions.

    One thing about Shoebuy is their AM is very nice, very articulate, and writes an intelligent e-mail message -- I am sorry to hear that you believe that Shoebuy is leaky.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  17. #17
    Full Member jtoskey's Avatar
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    OnlinesShoes.com are good people to work with. Piperlime also raised their rate from 10% to 15% a while back.

  18. #18
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    Damn, was just going thru the shoe merchants and checking their 3 month EPCs, check out Zappos.

    Mar 2007 - $45

    and then steady drop

    Oct 2007 - $15, now it's about $23.

    The graph really shows the drop.

  19. #19
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    Trust - Part of that is they dropped allowing publishers to bid on their trademark. They started enforcing it back in September if I remember correctly.

    No offense to him but ever since Neil Morris took over their program has gone in the tank.

    I'm sure its not all him but ughhhh sad to see big merchant slowly dwindle from your earnings.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador
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    That's like half a year after it started dropping tho in March. It actually started going up a little in September. Ah this is why, I remember them dropping the commish, happened in March, when the EPC started to tank: http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...ghlight=zappos

  21. #21
    Newbie Rolet's Avatar
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    You could always show Habitat Shoes....they a great line of accessories, shoes, and jeans....

    Their AM is really nice as well - and easy to contact and more than willing to give performance incentives and bonuses.....

  22. #22
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    Talking
    Quote Originally Posted by elalpo
    I've complained to Zappos and recieved a generic message (posted here on the board).

    Complained to CJ. Here is what I got from CJ:

    "Dear Elena,

    Unfortunately, Zappos is not in violation of their Advertiser Service Agreement; ......
    Unfortunately? Do they mean it was their Christmas wish? CJ, define "fortunately" then :LOL:

  23. #23
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    http://www.internetretailer.com/dailyNews.asp?id=25444
    "Zappos zaps free overnight shipping guarantee and drops price protection"

    ~~~~~~~~~~excerpt, my bolding~~~~~~~~~~
    Zappos has dropped two of its signature policies: free guaranteed overnight shipping and a promise to refund 110% of the difference between its price and that of a competing shoe retailer.

    “We decided to remove our price protection policy from Zappos because we didn`t feel it was consistent with our goal of making Zappos customer service-focused as opposed to price-focused,” CEO Tony Hsieh wrote on his blog this week. He says most customers who took advantage of the pricing guarantee would have saved more by purchasing more deeply discounted shoes on 6pm.com, the discount shoe site Zappos acquired last year from eBags.com.

    “Regarding our decision to stop advertising and promoting free overnight shipping on Zappos, it`s actually simply just that: a decision to stop advertising and promoting it, not a decision to actually stop doing it,” Hsieh wrote. “This means that the vast majority of our customers will still get their orders as quickly as they used to (usually overnight). The only difference is that we made the decision to not advertise or promise it, because we found that our customers were happier when they were surprised by the fast shipping.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Weird, seems like they're saying it would be cheaper at the one that people posted here doesn't track... in any case, to me, seemed like this report was yet another straw, for those whose backs aren't yet broken... but maybe this is old news (I'm not a Zappos aff).

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador
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    Was going thru the Summit videos, saw this one from Zappos. Search affiliates made them - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5r68olQ18g

  25. #25
    Member
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    That video says everything. Without their affiliates, Zappos had been nothing at all. So now when they are really big, they don't need us anymore (that's what they think).

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