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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    If an affiliate builds websites for other affiliates ...
    I have an affiliate who builds websites for other affiliates, yet he is the one to recieve the commission. I had one of his "customers" say that she recieves a check from him every now and then for a few dollars as her commission, yet she pays for the domain hosting, and other monthly fees.
    I looked on LS and he's got like 1,000 site under his LS ID.
    Has anyone heard of this before?
    And here's my other question:
    If I approve a site he's submitted, does that give him the right to add my banners to all of his other sites, some of which I find inappropriate for my brands?

  2. #2
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    that dude has one nice scam going on lol I feel bad for the suckers that use his service.

  3. #3
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guinness618
    Has anyone heard of this before?
    Seen it, it's really a shame.

    Quote Originally Posted by guinness618
    If I approve a site he's submitted, does that give him the right to add my banners to all of his other sites, some of which I find inappropriate for my brands?
    Yes.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador IOWNIE's Avatar
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    That guy is a genious! And she is an idiot.

  5. #5
    15 years and counting
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    Your first question is who owns the site.
    It's pretty easy to check the whois. Maybe the guy who build the sites don't transfer the ownership to the poor guy or gal using his services.

    Well, for your second question, if you accept him in your program he can use your banners on all (his) sites. If you find some of them inappropriate for your brand, don't accept him.

    Some affiliates are always pushing the limit of affiliate marketing too far. If people accept it, it's not a scam. You can also give your money to charity. But, is the guy telling them the whole story? Is it right to take advantage of people who don't know better? I don't think so.

  6. #6
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IOWNIE
    That guy is a genious! And she is an idiot.
    Just because he can scam others to make money off of them does not mean he is a genius. Is a Nigerian scam artist a genius also? There is a difference between right and wrong and in his case he is definitely wrong. I don't know how he sleeps well at night to tell you the truth. Unfortunately, the networks will hang on to him because most of them are all about money first and morals second.

    -sfcom


  7. #7
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Admin Note: Changed title from "Who owns the site?"

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador John Kruger's Avatar
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    I actually build sites for other affiliates, host a few, and am an affiliate as well.

    I would never take my customers information or sites and use it to my advantage in such a way. I think the practice you describe is horrible and does not build any long term sustainable value.
    Respectfully,

    John

    ----------------------------------------------
    work = Initiate Demand
    passion = Global Ground Work

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Unless the guy building the sites is stuffing cookies it's a little hard to hide affiliate links. So apparently his clients are aware of them. Perhaps he is building sites free with the agreement that he's allowed to include aff links and the client gets a kickback. That sounds like good business but sorta puts the developer in the drivers seat and presents a lot of opportunity for fraud! We have always included a linked "developed by" logo on our client sites and have never had a complaint, but I suppose that's a different situation.



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  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    Looks like he's making his own 2 tier program. LOL. If he has 1,000 sites listed in his account, my guess is they're cookie cutter. I'm not sure how effective that would be.

    I think to avoid abuses like this merchants should (and many already do) have clauses in the affiliate agreement/TOS that the website must be owned by the affiliate applying to the program.
    -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.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    Let's just say the woman I spoke with was completely unaware of how things as an affiliate were supposed to work. This is basically one of those scams you see on late night TV about being an affiliate marketer is as easy as "sending an email!"
    I've been looking at the affiliate ids on some of the sites he has listed, and they all come back to him. The Whois info says the sites are owned by the company who built the site, yet the client who hired them to build the site pays them monthly! I feel really bad for this very nice, but naive lady. She also got taken by a dropship scheme company for $3500.00.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guinness618
    Let's just say the woman I spoke with was completely unaware of how things as an affiliate were supposed to work. This is basically one of those scams you see on late night TV about being an affiliate marketer is as easy as "sending an email!"
    I've been looking at the affiliate ids on some of the sites he has listed, and they all come back to him. The Whois info says the sites are owned by the company who built the site, yet the client who hired them to build the site pays them monthly! I feel really bad for this very nice, but naive lady. She also got taken by a dropship scheme company for $3500.00.
    Perhaps she failed to read the 'fine print'. Not sure I see a scam here...



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  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    If the client doesn't know anything about aff marketing, she obviously isn't an aff. The site must have a purpose other than aff marketing. Now, if her site is intended to be an aff site that's supposed to provide commissions for her, that's a whole different story...



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  14. #14
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    I think that you would be well within your rights to contact the affiliate and ask for an explanation. It sounds to me as someone else has suggested, that the affiliate has started their own two tier program apparently without the knowledge of at least some of the actual site owners involved.

    You may also want to contact additional site owners to get their understanding of the arrangement. I doubt very seriously that the other site owners involved are any more enlightened than the lady that you've communicated with.

    Once you have a fairly clear picture of what's transpired you may want to post a question in the new Affiliate Legal Lounge or send a PM to internetattorney for some ideas on how to proceed if indeed you feel that this activity is fraudulent in any way.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    I think that you would be well within your rights to contact the affiliate and ask for an explanation.
    You may also want to contact additional site owners to get their understanding of the arrangement.
    Good advice! You really should ask the ones involved to enlighten you as to what's really going on. If you do, I'd sure like to see the outcome posted...



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  16. #16
    Full Member Code Monkey's Avatar
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    Being naive does not mean you've been defrauded.

    All we know is, this affiliate is providing a service and being paid to do so. Noone here has the right to decide what percentage of the affiliate commissions should go to the lady, and how much to the developer. It is between the two of them ONLY.

    The merchant in this situation should only be interested in how/where their links are being displayed. The business arrangement between the lady and developer is irrelevant to the merchant.

  17. #17
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Code Monkey
    The merchant in this situation should only be interested in how/where their links are being displayed. The business arrangement between the lady and developer is irrelevant to the merchant.
    LINKSHARE AFFILIATE MEMBERSHIP AGREEMENT

    4.5 Distribution of Qualifying Links. If You currently distribute, or plan to distribute, qualifying links on, to or through Sites other than those owned or operated by You and registered with LinkShare, You may do so (or continue to do so) until September 30, 2005 (or such later date as LinkShare may designate). After such date, You will be required to obtain LinkShare's approval to continue to do so. Such approval may be conditioned upon Your agreement to additional terms and conditions and additional disclosures in respect of Your distribution and/or use of such qualifying links.
    Not if it violates network TOS.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  18. #18
    Full Member Code Monkey's Avatar
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    Yes, the merchants and the networks can say/do ANYTHING in their TOS. That is their right.

    But, in my opinion, a merchant and the network should ONLY be interested in where/how their links are being distributed. They should have ZERO interest in the business arrangements their affiliates have with 3rd partys, such as their developers, web hosts, cleaning ladys, etc..

  19. #19
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Code Monkey
    But, in my opinion, a merchant and the network should ONLY be interested in where/how their links are being distributed. They should have ZERO interest in the business arrangements their affiliates have with 3rd partys, such as their developers, web hosts, cleaning ladys, etc..
    I agree to an extent. I'd have to ask the question though; If you suspected that someone was possibly being defrauded, would you/could you turn a blind eye to it?

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  20. #20
    Full Member Code Monkey's Avatar
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    If I suspect serious fraud, of course I would investigate. But fraud is something completely different than what is taking place here. Fraud is intentional misrepresentation. Nothing we have been told here indicated that the developer has misrepresented anything.

    Lets face it, exactly how much fraud can be taking place with a lady that knows NOTHING about affiliate marketing? People that know nothing, deserve to earn nothing. So, if the developer is keeping 99% of the profit, this lady is still being paid too much. Without the developer, she'd be earning 0%.

    Noone is keeping this lady from educating herself and making a bundle with affiliate marketing. Right now, she is being paid exactly what she is worth.

    Example: You normally pay $20 to have your lawn cut. I come over and offer to do it for free. You agree and are very happy. I, in turn, take your lawn clippings to a business that will pay me $50 for them. Have I defrauded you in any way? Nope..

  21. #21
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Code Monkey
    Lets face it, exactly how much fraud can be taking place with a lady that knows NOTHING about affiliate marketing? People that know nothing, deserve to earn nothing. So, if the developer is keeping 99% of the profit, this lady is still being paid too much. Without the developer, she'd be earning 0%.

    Noone is keeping this lady from educating herself and making a bundle with affiliate marketing. Right now, she is being paid exactly what she is worth.
    Wow, I never really thought of it that way. So if I understand you correctly ignorance equates to fair game?

    I was under the understanding that most frauds take place without the victim knowing that they were being defrauded. If they were aware, than it probably wouldn't be considered fraud.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  22. #22
    Full Member Code Monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    Wow, I never really thought of it that way. So if I understand you correctly ignorance equates to fair game?

    I was under the understanding that most frauds take place without the victim knowing that they were being defrauded. If they were aware, than it probably wouldn't be considered fraud.

    -rematt
    Rematt, are you entitled to part of the money that is earned when your credit card company sells your name/address to 3rd partys for marketing purposes?

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    A lot of people know nothing about how to fix cars. Does that make it ok for a mechanic to take advantage of those people and overcharge them just because they're naive. A case could be made that the developer is "overcharging" the naive affiliate by taking way too big a cut.

    Guinness, without divulging any numbers, do you know if there's a big difference between what the developer is getting and what the affiliate says she's getting?
    -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.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  24. #24
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Code Monkey
    Rematt, are you entitled to part of the money that is earned when your credit card company sells your name/address to 3rd partys for marketing purposes?
    If they're also hanging a sandwich sign on me, damn straight I am.

    SHE owns the web site. If I were to place links on one of your sites without your permission, would that be OK with you. Now think carefully before you answer, because you can imagine what my next post will ask for.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  25. #25
    Full Member Code Monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    If they're also hanging a sandwich sign on me, damn straight I am.

    SHE owns the web site. If I were to place links on one of your sites without your permission, would that be OK with you. Now think carefully before you answer, because you can imagine what my next post will ask for.

    -rematt
    Lets go back to the grass cutting example. Most people charge $20 to cut your grass. But I'll do it for free b/c I know how to sell your grass for $50. Everyone's happy. There is no fraud. Should I somehow be forced to split the $30 'profit' I made on your grass? Nope..

    This lady wanted a website. Most people told her it would be $500. But this particular developer offered to do it for $100. She agreed. When he was done, she was thrilled with how it turned out. She was extra thrilled that it only cost her $100 compared to $500. Does it matter AT ALL if this developer is making $50/month off affiliate links placed on her site? If you think it does matter, then what about the $10,000 he earns 6 months from now when he used her website as a reference for his work and gets a big contract to do more websites for someone else. Is this lady entitled to that money too?

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