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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Buyers Contacting Affiliates Directly. What to do?
    So I run a Price Comparison website. Frequently people arrive at my site via search engines and don't even know what they are looking at, so they call or e-mail me. I have a standard response/form letter I send back to them, along the lines of...

    "Thanks for contacting XXX.com. XXX.com is a product search engine with price comparison, we do not sell products. When you click the buy button, you leave XXX.com and are taken to a merchants website were you may purchase the product."

    So.... About once or twice a month I get a bulk business purchase inquiry. These inquiries could result in huge commissions, but they rarely, if ever pan out. Take last night for instance... Someone contacted me about what would be a huge order with a commission in the range of 16-20k dollars. I just replied with my standard response e-mail...

    I work two jobs and don't have time to chase these type of leads, get on the phone, do the wheeling dealing necessary. Plus, I figure they most likely never will go through, due to the huge buying cycle and approval process.

    Does anyone else have this type of problem? How do you deal with it? Do you ever land big commissions from picking up the phone and working out 1 time commission deal with businesses?
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  2. #2
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I think you need to learn how to spot a scammer. 99.9999999999999% of all those bulk purchase inquieries are scammers. Why do you think they never pan out lol.

  3. #3
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    yeah just flag them as spam..

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
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    Someone wishing to spend enough money for you to be getting that much in commission wouldn't be buying from an affiliate website. They would be buying direct

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    I would think they are all scammers too, but... I do have quite a few legitimate bulk orders in a month. I think there is a point where you don't put things on your corporate credit card and need to use a purchase order instead? So here's an sanitized example... Tell me what you think...

    > Hello,
    >
    > I would like to order 90 XXX but need a price quote before doing so. The
    > XXX I'm looking for is YYY. I need the
    > freight cost for shipping it to ZZZ as well.
    >
    > Can you give me this information?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > HHH
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjshoppingnetwork
    Someone wishing to spend enough money for you to be getting that much in commission wouldn't be buying from an affiliate website. They would be buying direct
    Oh, no doubt... For the 16-20k dollar commission, all of the questions were installation related. How it works, how many they would need, what accessories they should order, could it do x, y, and z, etc.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjshoppingnetwork
    Someone wishing to spend enough money for you to be getting that much in commission wouldn't be buying from an affiliate website. They would be buying direct
    CJ makes a very pertinent / real point here ISell. Large / bulk buyers almost exclusively go direct to the supplier in order to cut cost, so no need to fear that you are losing "big" deals by not being there.
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador thecool's Avatar
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    Isellstuff,

    Face it. You have been spammed. I don't do bulk orders on my sites, but I get at least half a dozen of these spam emails daily. At least one for each of my domains. Sometimes multiple emails to same domain which have been made to looking like they are from different companies. This is pure unadulterated spam which is sent to thousands of us each day. The spammer hopes that one or more of us will take the bait.

    Gene
    TCS

  9. #9
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff
    I would think they are all scammers too, but... I do have quite a few legitimate bulk orders in a month. I think there is a point where you don't put things on your corporate credit card and need to use a purchase order instead? So here's an sanitized example... Tell me what you think...

    > Hello,
    >
    > I would like to order 90 XXX but need a price quote before doing so. The
    > XXX I'm looking for is YYY. I need the
    > freight cost for shipping it to ZZZ as well.
    >
    > Can you give me this information?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > HHH
    Looks like spam to me. Sample scenario...The order is placed and you get a (probably international check, which takes a while to clear/collect) for the full amount including the freight (or some "other" overage). Then you will be contacted and asked to pay the freight (so to speak) to another source or to refund it because they pre-paid it, or to refund their overage. They quickly cash your "small" check - their "large" check is returned - you lose...
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  10. #10
    Super Cool Affiliate Manager IanBookMan's Avatar
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    a lot do go direct but a few do not.
    note that some buyers might just be putting in a few terms into a search and clicking on what comes up - which can very well be an affiliate site.
    This buyer also might not really know what they are doing or just not know what to look for.
    I would guess the chances are that this buyer is contacting multiple companies for a quote and one will most likely end up being the direct supplier.

    However, I would still forward the email or message to the merchant.
    At the very least you should get a "thanks"
    If it's something that's common, maybe a deal can be worked with the merchant on bulk orders.
    But then you have to wonder if the merchant would go for it...

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    The "I want to buy 90 xxx" gave a shipping address to a government building in the US and had a .gov e-mail address. I guess they could do a swap on the merchant when placing the order?

    Ok, so I will continue to send form e-mails and ignore.

    Thanks All,
    Jim
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  12. #12
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    I don't necessarily agree with most of the responses here. While most of these "bulk purchase" inquiries are scams, I have had some legitimate ones over the years. I've sort of learned a little of how to tell them apart. For the legit one, what I've done is contact the merchant and work out the best discount price possible, and on a few occassions, I've completed off line sales, where the customer sends me a check payable to the merchant, which I forward to them, and sometimes they've sent me a check back for my commissions and sometimes they've manually entered a commissin into one of the networks.

    Once, with one merchant, they gave me a private link so the customer could go to ta private page on one of my sites, and click through to a discount price.

    One series of off-line bulk sales started great, but ended poorly. I received an email request from the purchasing agent for a school district, and I worked out a sale for a bulk purchase of several expensive items. It went through as I described above, check payable to merchant, forward check to merchant they deliver goods, and pay my commission. The customer placed similar orders 1 and then 2 years later. The following year, I get an email from a new purchasing agent, wanting to know where there products are. I explained the whole history of how we handled these transactions, and told her I had not heard from them in over a year. Turns out, they bypassed me and bought directly from the merchant. They got stuck with not getting their products when they needed them, because I was not in middle, guiding the purchase. The new purchasing agent didn''t give a rats ass for me, and I never heard from her again. I contacted the merchant, and the affiliate manager with whom I throught I had built up a good relationship over the years, and inquired about a commission for the new sale. I never heard from him again either.

    Bottom line is, some of these deals can work out, but you really need to keep the customer and the merchant as far apart as possible. And, I would never even begin to get involved in any deal like this unless the customer is in the USA.
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  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    I get them all the time, people wanting to know if they can purchase large quantities of our products at a discount so that they can feature them on their own sites as drop ship items. Kind of defeats the purpose of us being an online retailer...

  14. #14
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff
    The "I want to buy 90 xxx" gave a shipping address to a government building in the US and had a .gov e-mail address. I guess they could do a swap on the merchant when placing the order?

    Ok, so I will continue to send form e-mails and ignore.

    Thanks All,
    Jim
    LOL You are the person scammers target.

    Goverment agencies in the US can only buy from certain "businesses" and they wouldn't use an email to make a purchase, they would do it over the phone.

    Also large orders have to be bid on, they can't just go to 1 person and say hey I need a quote, they would never do that in fact the goverment of the United state of America has a catalog they mail out and what not telling various companies they do business with what they are looking to buy and these companies submit bids, for providing things like toilet paper and chewing gum.

    Chances are once you began the order process they will change the shipping address toa different one, the .gov email address is just spoofed and when you reply it goes to the real email address.

    I get 7 of these a day from UK goverments, US goverment agencies. you are being suckered.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guinness618
    I get them all the time, people wanting to know if they can purchase large quantities of our products at a discount so that they can feature them on their own sites as drop ship items. Kind of defeats the purpose of us being an online retailer...
    I only get about two of these e-mails a month. That's two inquiries out of about 100k unique visitors. For the two examples I listed, one stated they were purchasing for a local government agency, and one claimed to be purchasing for a manufacturing facility.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

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