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  1. #1
    Full Member jtoskey's Avatar
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    Unhappy New Borders e-commerce site leaks
    Borders offers a rewards program for its members, like many other merchants including Barnes & Noble.com. But Borders offers a "Perks" program that offers its members discounts by shopping at other web sites including:

    Dell
    Hotwire
    Bluefly
    TurboTax
    1-800-Flowers
    Liz Claiborne

    and on and on. They don't consider this in conflict with their affiliates. Thought some of you might disagree.

  2. #2
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Guess you are saying, "it's a leak"

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    I think you're missing the even larger leak at hand - The fact that this affiliate program is just for gift cards, and the entire program of "find book at local store" is a leak. I really wouldn't worry about leaks from their perks program when all that you can actually buy on the site is gift cards, which aren't even promoted effectively.

    I find it ironic that you have an issue with their perks program, when in fact your business model is built around the same exact perks program setup. If I refer someone to Marriott/American Express/Priority Club (IHG) through my affiliate link, and then that person sees the chance to get extra miles and purchases something from Dell, well, that would be considered a leak by your own definition. DBG is an extremely valuable affiliate to have in a program, and I doubt that almost any sales referred to a program by your company would have actually been referred by another affiliate.

    I'm going toward the "not a leak" conclusion with perks programs.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    I don't see them as leaks... necessarily. I really have to question how effective they are, for one thing. I'm a Borders member because I buy a lot of books - I've never once shopped through their "partners". I was also involved with Melaleuca for a time (don't get me started) and I never shopped through their "partners" either. I never even considered it. Of course, my own experience is not indicative of the success of these programs in general, but it does make me wonder.
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting

  5. #5
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    I think it is a YMMV. I know i have shopped through one of their partner's page as they are able to come up with some pretty good and exclusive bargains.

    Here are the facts though:
    1) companies will provide this as a feature/benefit to members.
    2) companies will look to maximize their ROI from that once they get smart. Either charging other merchants or through a rev share / CPA on every order.

  6. #6
    Full Member jtoskey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua
    I think you're missing the even larger leak at hand - The fact that this affiliate program is just for gift cards, and the entire program of "find book at local store" is a leak. I really wouldn't worry about leaks from their perks program when all that you can actually buy on the site is gift cards, which aren't even promoted effectively.

    I find it ironic that you have an issue with their perks program, when in fact your business model is built around the same exact perks program setup. If I refer someone to Marriott/American Express/Priority Club (IHG) through my affiliate link, and then that person sees the chance to get extra miles and purchases something from Dell, well, that would be considered a leak by your own definition. DBG is an extremely valuable affiliate to have in a program, and I doubt that almost any sales referred to a program by your company would have actually been referred by another affiliate.

    I'm going toward the "not a leak" conclusion with perks programs.
    Agreed on the first point - we're not promoting them until the full e-commerce functionality is complete.

    And point taken on your comparison to our business. I guess because we run standalone web sites that are under different domains (and run by different companies) from our client sites I don't think its quite the same issue. But again, point well taken.

    I consider what Borders is doing to be in the same category as Buy.com's merchant cross-promotion, or Coldwater Creek's failed mall concept from a couple of years ago. I guess I'm just interested in what others think about this.

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