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  1. #1
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Arbitrary Commission Edits - True Swords/True Site Corp
    I was going to post this in Unethical Merchants, but it's only one case and I think it's more a matter of True Swords having totally missed the clue train.

    Take a look at the pre-edit and post edit amounts on this sale:

    Sale Amount
    Pre Edit: 486.97
    Post Edit: 460.97

    Commission
    Pre Edit: $73.05
    Post Edit: $4.61

    Okay, the sale amount was adjusted a bit, but why was the commission adjusted so dramatically? It went from 15% to 1% with no explanation given. So I asked.

    The explanation:

    We were unable to fill one of the products on the order and we
    had higher that normal costs on the products that we could fill. For
    example, the customer ordered a sword for $444.99 which we had a cost
    of $444.95 on. Before making the adjustment we had an approximate
    net loss of $76 on the order. After the adjustment, we have an
    approximate net profit of $4.00 on the order. We did adjust the
    order in a manor which split the net profit between you and us.
    While I feel for the merchant in taking a loss on the sale, I do not agree that they should be allowed to pass that loss along to the affiliate. This wasn't a return, it was simply a low margin sale. As I tried to explain to True Swords, their supplier still got paid, as did the warehouse staff and the shipping company, why should the affiliate be any different?

    The 15% they offer should take their average margin and cost of goods into consideration. If they can't afford 15% on every order they ship, they shouldn't offer it...
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  2. #2
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    Yep, they basically just violated their terms. It says - Sale Commission: 15.00 %

    You should get back your original commission, if not, they should be removed from the network.

  3. #3
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    Yep, they basically just violated their terms. It says - Sale Commission: 15.00 %

    You should get back your original commission, if not, they should be removed from the network.
    That's pretty much how I saw it, so I asked for 15% of the adjusted sale amount. They refused and suggested I talk to Shareasale if I had any other questions. I said I might as I thought it may be a violation of the SAS merchant terms of service. They removed us from their program...
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  4. #4
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Danmer
    PrivateMDLabs
    True Swords

    This is a very disturbing trend.

    True Swords may be the worst of the bunch, if they terminate affiliates for daring to question the merchant's improper actions.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eathan
    That's pretty much how I saw it, so I asked for 15% of the adjusted sale amount. They refused and suggested I talk to Shareasale if I had any other questions. I said I might as I thought it may be a violation of the SAS merchant terms of service. They removed us from their program...
    Geez, Brian needs to give them the boot.

  6. #6
    15 years and counting
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    Some merchants don't understand the rules. A commission in not negociable on a case by case. Are they calling you if they make a bigger profit than usual?
    You're not the one setting the price or the commission level.
    The good part with Sharesale is the transparency. You can see the merchant manipulating the data and act.

  7. #7
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    This is crazy! The merchant signs up with SAS to help increase their sales. They have an affiliate who is (obviously) driving sales for them. Because the numbers from ONE sale don't add up in their favor they manipulate them.

    What about future sales? Possibly the next sale sent by Eathan could be 4 times as big filled with products they make a 50% profit on. This instead looks like they are willing to self-destruct their affiliate program due to a very microscopic point of view. There was a lack of pre-sale profit margin analysis. Unless you are a mega-retailer where you can afford loss leaders, it is best to stay away from scenarios like this. You know what the scary part is? When affiliates understand business principles better than merchants.

    -sfcom


  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    This is rediculous. Remind the merchant about their own terms. If they can't pay 15% on all sales then they need to adjust their terms. The terms are their Agreement and they just violated it.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

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  9. #9
    Full Member Code Monkey's Avatar
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    SAS better drop this merchant if they don't fix this issue.

    This will be a very good test for SAS.

  10. #10
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    True Swords contacted me this morning after some reconsideration of the issue and has corrected the commission and offered to reinstate our participation in the program. I'm not entirely happy with how it all went down, but in the end they chose to do the right thing, and I will likely accept their offer. There's obviously still a learning curve there, but they took a step in the right direction, and I appreciate that.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  11. #11
    15 years and counting
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    At least, they are learning fast.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    That's great they made it right. Our stupid mistakes are the ones we never learn from. Glad to hear they learned a lesson and hope this benefits everyone.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

    Join us! - MiNeeds.com | DiscountCandleShop/CheeseSupply | Feng Shui Plaza

  13. #13
    http and a telephoto
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    I have had similar discussions with clients. They don't actually try and pull what the merchant here did, but they asked about being able to offer different commissions on different types of products. Unfortunately it is technically difficult to do, but if a merchant needs to it is available. Obviously this merchant didn't realize some things about commissions and that it is a contract and not just a "we'll split the profit with ya, variable based on our margin".
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffiliateHound
    Danmer
    PrivateMDLabs
    True Swords
    Don't forget about PalmerCash who manually adjusted their commission to something like .1% without notice.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eathan
    True Swords contacted me this morning after some reconsideration of the issue and has corrected the commission and offered to reinstate our participation in the program. I'm not entirely happy with how it all went down, but in the end they chose to do the right thing, and I will likely accept their offer. There's obviously still a learning curve there, but they took a step in the right direction, and I appreciate that.
    Wouldn't you suspect that their abrupt change was likely due to intervention by ShareASale? I can't imagine that they would do this on their own.

    I hope Brian will implement the safeguards in his system that would prevent these manual commission changes from occurring without an immediate notification to the affiliate with the reason for doing so.

  16. #16
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman
    Wouldn't you suspect that their abrupt change was likely due to intervention by ShareASale? I can't imagine that they would do this on their own.
    I also sent them a link to this thread last night, but whether that was the impetus for the change of heart or intervention by SAS, I do believe it was a sincere change. We all make mistakes, and I think they've learned from this one.

    I hope Brian will implement the safeguards in his system that would prevent these manual commission changes from occurring without an immediate notification to the affiliate with the reason for doing so.
    I agree 100%. I also think the SAS merchant terms could be updated to include "edits" in the section about reversals. I was happy to discover the "edit trail" link though. I hadn't seen that before, but it's a very cool feature. It'd be nice to see manual commissions and bonuses in there as well.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

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