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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager felipe.cortelezzi's Avatar
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    Affiliates purchasing my products to obtain more commissions
    Hello, hope you're fine.

    I'm an Affiliate Program Manager and lately I'm having the following problem with some of my affiliates:

    They buy any of my products through their affiliate ID to obtain more commissions.

    There's no problem if they do this once to test our products, but it is ok if they make this mentioned action periodically?

    Can somebody please give me an advice?


    Thank you,
    Sincerely,
    Felipe Cortelezzi
    Affiliate Manager

  2. #2
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    If you do not allow self-referral orders, just prohibit it in your program's T's and C's.

    I honestly see no big problem with it. You're getting a sale; and you're willing to share a % of your revenue with affiliates on every sale anyway.

    BTW, when you say they do it to "obtain more commissions", do you mean that the more sales they send to you -- the higher you will set their commissions level?

    G.

  3. #3
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    They may be making some additional commissions. But, aren't you also making additional sales and, therefore, additional profit? As an affiliate I view purchasing via my own links as a form of "employee" discount.

    I had one merchant who didn't allow self-purchases - so we shopped elsewhere, until I found a similar merchant to promote - who does allow self-referred purchases.

    However, you own the business and it's totally your call.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  4. #4
    Super Cool Affiliate Manager IanBookMan's Avatar
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    my suggestion - and i have the same situation - is to welcome it and encourage it.

    unless you have a program that pays out more than you make and they are cancelling before it becomes profitable, then in that case set something up in your T&C's explaining that.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager felipe.cortelezzi's Avatar
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    Hello Beachy / Geno, many thanks for your reply.

    Viewing this "problem" from the prospective you then isn't so bad. I will definitively consider your advices.

    What you think about this... another problem I'm reporting lately:

    My program offers an additional % to all the affiliates for every "webmaster" (affiliates) they refer. The thing is that some of them are referring themselves and getting the extra commissions mentioned + the commissions they're already obtaining.

    I think I will have to retouch the Terms.

    Thanks again!

    --
    Felipe Cortelezzi
    Affiliate Manager

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager
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    I also don't see a problem with affiliates making purchases and getting commission on them. As a matter of fact, with the program I manage, we allow purchases, plus we even offer a special "wholesale" store for the affiliates.

    Whether it is a commission or discount, the affiliate can benefit. Affiliates drive a significant portion of our sales and it is not overly costly to include it as a benefit of the program.

  7. #7
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    You might want to check this thread in order to get some thoughts also:

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=102275

    -sfcom


  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager buyjewelry's Avatar
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    Thanks sfcom - I was about to link to that post.

    I had a similar question - and decided (based on the thoughts provided here) that it is an okay practice.

    It seems like the situation you are describing is that the same person is signing up with 2 accounts under a 2-tier program and getting an extra bonus due to your 2-tier schedule. Am I correct?

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager felipe.cortelezzi's Avatar
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    Exactly buyjewelry, that's the situation I'm having with some of my affiliates.

    After all the replies received here today, I will be able to analyze and determine what to do in a near future.

    I will keep you posted!

    Thanks!

    --
    Felipe Cortelezzi
    Affiliate Manager

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    IMO, you should definitely NOT allow self-referrals in the 2-tier program. For the webmasters that have done that, perhaps you should offer to bump their commissions up to that rate IF they can meet a pre-determined sales number, but not before. One of the main purposes of the 2 tiers is to recruit other affiliates and expand your affiliate base.

    I think affiliate purchases through their affiliate links are fine as long as it is still profitable for you, but that's your call.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
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  11. #11
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by felipe.cortelezzi

    My program offers an additional % to all the affiliates for every "webmaster" (affiliates) they refer. The thing is that some of them are referring themselves and getting the extra commissions mentioned + the commissions they're already obtaining.
    That practice is generally prohibited in the Terms of Service of programs offering a 2 tier program. A webmaster is prohibited from referring themselves. So yes, be sure you address that in your Terms.
    Deborah Carney
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  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager buyjewelry's Avatar
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    It seems like the situation you are describing is that the same person is signing up with 2 accounts under a 2-tier program and getting an extra bonus due to your 2-tier schedule. Am I correct?
    Quote Originally Posted by felipe.cortelezzi
    Exactly buyjewelry, that's the situation I'm having with some of my affiliates.
    This situation is something you have to determine with your company and it's business model.

    You can also check with your affiliate network if their TOC allows for one person to register multiple accounts.

    Agreed meadowmufn - I can see how this can be construed as 'working the system'

  13. #13
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Back to the first issue raised - affiliates purchasing the merchants' products:

    The "test purchase" aspect of this is a different matter - testing the links, testing tracking, testing the merchant's cart system and ease of use, testing shipping procedures, and maybe testing customer service. That should be an inherent right in the merchant-affiliate relationship.

    However, making a purchase of a product you want for your own use (and woud try to find somewhere else if you did not have a merchant that offered it) gives the affiliate the ability to judge the product itself. If it's garbage, maybe you will no longer promote it. If it's a good product and works well for its intended purpose, maybe you'll promote it more, maybe even build a new site around it.

    I cannot understand the mentality around a merchant not allowing an affiliate to buy their products, unless they only sell garbage and once the affiliate sees the product they will be ashamed to offer it on their sites.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador erninator's Avatar
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    As an affiliate I first shop my own site for:

    Items I want for my own use.
    Test purchases.
    For friends and family who don't own a computer.

    Sure I appreciate the commission, often offsets the shipping cost. But, best part is that I can do a better job of promoting the merchant.
    ~Ernie

  15. #15
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    I encourage it
    I have no issues with my affiliates buy through their affiliates links. A sale is a sale is a sale.

    I only have a one tier system though.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    I cannot understand the mentality around a merchant not allowing an affiliate to buy their products, unless
    Right, you'd think a merchant should make at least something off every affiliate referred purchase. Otherwise, what kind of business model is that?

    Plus I might buy something, like it, tell others, etc.

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager buyjewelry's Avatar
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    simcat - yup, and word of mouth advertising is priceless. But the OP's concern is this:

    He has a 2-tier bonus program - and the affiliate he is referring to signed up for his program, than referred himself to that same program (presumably under another account/username). Now he is earning sales commission plus the 2-tier bonus. Of course the sale must still be profitable (otherwise why have the 2-tier setup), but it's not in the 'spirit' of the reason he setup the 2-tier bonus.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador
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    Self-referrals on a two-tier (double-dipping) are completely different from buying merchandise for personal use.

    I shop at one of my merchants regularly and always go through my own links - and the AM knows it, in fact he checked the order out the time or two a purchase didn't track for some reason.

    What's happened is that I know all their stock inside and out, backwards and forwards, old and new, from shopping there regularly and can make personal recommendations (or can suggest NOT buying some items) 100% sincerely because I'm a regular customer.

    I've made personal purchases at 4 of my own merchants in the past couple of weeks, and (with one exception because of low return days) would give them all priority over others on appropriate pages with traffic.

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