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  1. #1
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Staples Commission Drop for June/July
    Just got an email from Staples saying that they're "experiencing short term budgeting constraints across all marketing programs for June and July" and will be lowering "some commissions" to $0 so that they can stay within budget.
    Michael Coley
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  2. #2
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    One of the crazier emails I've read -

    "Staples is experiencing short term budgeting constraints across all marketing programs for June and July. As a result, the affiliate channel will be affected and commissions will be reduced for the majority of our publishers over this short timeframe.

    Publishers will not be expired as Staples wants to maintain the affiliations. However, some commissions will be reduced to $0 until August to ensure the program stays within its extremely limited budget.

    Please understand that this budget cut is not reflective of the performance of the Staples affiliate program or Staplesí affiliates. The program has been hugely successful thanks to our affiliates and we intend to put the program on track towards the end of the summer."

    That doesn't make any sense on so many levels, don't even know where to start.

  3. #3
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    "Staples is experiencing short term budgeting constraints across all marketing programs for June and July. As a result, the affiliate channel will be affected and commissions will be reduced for the majority of our publishers over this short timeframe.

    Publishers will not be expired as Staples wants to maintain the affiliations. However, some commissions will be reduced to $0 until August to ensure the program stays within its extremely limited budget.

    Please understand that this budget cut is not reflective of the performance of the Staples affiliate program or Staplesí affiliates. The program has been hugely successful thanks to our affiliates and we intend to put the program on track towards the end of the summer."
    Dear Merchant,

    I am experiencing short term budget problems do to the high cost of gas and housing.

    As a result, promotions of your program will be reduced to 0 so that I can feed my family. In the meantime, all of your links will be replaced with Office Depot. I will not be expiring our relationship as I don't have the time to login and do so.

    Please understand that this cut is not reflective of the quality of your products, yet it is reflective of a silly policy.

    Regards,

    Ex-Affiliate

  4. #4
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProWebAddict
    Dear Merchant,
    As a result, promotions of your program will be reduced to 0 so that I can feed my family. In the meantime, all of your links will be replaced with Office Depot.
    It would be ironic if a similar email comes out from Office Depot.

  5. #5
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    It would be COLLUSION if a similar email came out from Office Depot

    But that's one crazy email, to be sure.

    Are they at least telling you what products?
    Kevin Webster
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  6. #6
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    That was it to this point. They say the majority of publishers, but who. Some commissions set to $0 but which ones. CJ should deactivate them.

  7. #7
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    Do they think that we are idiots? I just sent them a little note explaining how crowded their niche is and that I don't need $0 commissions. I also added that they could apologize any time for underestimating me.

    I truly resented the phrase "majority of of our affiliates" will be affected. I can only guess who keeps getting paid. I intend to watch who continues to promote them, this should get very interesting.

    I have a giant flow chart on my office wall of niches and competitors within each niche. Color coded who's on what site, which programs I need to join. Whose using Golden Can, whose signed up with Popshops. etc. Commissions and return days. It's my emergency preparedness plan. It allows me to act swiftly with confidence. Unfortunately it's been really important lately. (For a while I just thought I was going a bit crazy.)

  8. #8
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    That's really impressive Lily.
    Kevin Webster
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  9. #9
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin
    That's really impressive Lily.
    And scarry at the same time.

  10. #10
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    Thanks Kevin,
    Yes Seymour, might be a little scarry.

    Do you guys think that they thought by announcing this late Friday afternoon that they would escape without a trouncing?
    Last edited by Aunt Lily; May 30th, 2008 at 07:14 PM. Reason: Respond to Seymour

  11. #11
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    One of the more idiotic merchant emails I've ever recieved! What are we, CHARITY doners?! WTF!


    Quote Originally Posted by ProWebAddict
    Dear Merchant,

    I am experiencing short term budget problems do to the high cost of gas and housing.

    As a result, promotions of your program will be reduced to 0 so that I can feed my family. In the meantime, all of your links will be replaced with Office Depot. I will not be expiring our relationship as I don't have the time to login and do so.

    Please understand that this cut is not reflective of the quality of your products, yet it is reflective of a silly policy.

    Regards,

    Ex-Affiliate
    perfect!
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  12. #12
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Don't they already pay a lowly 2% commission anyway?

    And aren't affiliates only paid for performance - meaning they generated income they normally wouldn't see?

    They state they have a budget. And they state the aff program is very successful.

    Doesn't that mean that if their budget is say $5000 a month for the affiliates, and the affiliates manage to send 500 million in sales, even tho they made millions, they can't go over budget so affiliates will need to work for free???

    Silly is not stong enough a word.

  13. #13
    Full Member Amy_S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Lily
    Do they think that we are idiots? I just sent them a little note explaining how crowded their niche is and that I don't need $0 commissions. I also added that they could apologize any time for underestimating me.

    I truly resented the phrase "majority of of our affiliates" will be affected. I can only guess who keeps getting paid. I intend to watch who continues to promote them, this should get very interesting.

    I have a giant flow chart on my office wall of niches and competitors within each niche. Color coded who's on what site, which programs I need to join. Whose using Golden Can, whose signed up with Popshops. etc. Commissions and return days. It's my emergency preparedness plan. It allows me to act swiftly with confidence. Unfortunately it's been really important lately. (For a while I just thought I was going a bit crazy.)
    You amaze me! What a fantastic idea. I have been driving myself crazy trying to keep my info organized in notebooks.

  14. #14
    Full Member Amy_S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    Don't they already pay a lowly 2% commission anyway?

    And aren't affiliates only paid for performance - meaning they generated income they normally wouldn't see?

    They state they have a budget. And they state the aff program is very successful.

    Doesn't that mean that if their budget is say $5000 a month for the affiliates, and the affiliates manage to send 500 million in sales, even tho they made millions, they can't go over budget so affiliates will need to work for free???

    Silly is not stong enough a word.
    All excellent questions and good points.

  15. #15
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Might be time to short the stock if they cant perform
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  16. #16
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    And nothing says "Back to School" like a nice fat commission drop! WTF? I think they have been sniffing too much of that glue in the warehouse.

    -sfcom

    [EDIT] I just re-read it and it is a cut for June and July. oops. I thought July and August. Still bad though.
    Last edited by sfcom; May 30th, 2008 at 11:05 PM.


  17. #17
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    Got the same email. Oh well. If that's their business decision, so be it. They're obviously aware of the consequences, nobody is going to promote them for free. They've made their bed, now lie in it.

    It seems like lately we've all been getting knocked upside the head with the concept of diversification. If your business model depends solely on a select few merchants, all I can say is, good luck... This is just another reminder of that concept.

  18. #18
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    at least they are being up front about it.

    A lot of big companies are seeing budget short falls. Hence why I am flying coach to berlin instead of business class.

    HP Microsoft AMD intel all are cutting back, some companies are even telling their employees to book travel by train if its cheaper and just leave a day earlier.

  19. #19
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    at least they are being up front about it.
    An honest thief is better than a dishonest one?

    How is someone going to accept sales they otherwise would not have had and then say "thanks, but we aren't paying you for it"?

    I'm sure there are other ways to cut back, but I bet it's easier to accept free sales off the work of others and not pay for it; than it is to cut back on some of those fat cat salaries or other areas.

    After all we are just affiliates right? This is just a hobby, we just put up links, so it doesn't really matter. We graciously accept anything we can get. -end sarcasm-

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProWebAddict
    An honest thief is better than a dishonest one?
    I know it sucks, but calling them thieves is maybe a step too far. It's a business decision on their part. If they don't want to pay people for affiliate sales, that's their business, and I accept their decision even though I think it's a bad one.

    Nobody is entitled to a commission. It's not your commission that they're stealing from you. It's a business agreement that can be amended, and fortunately for us, Staples is in a competitive market and that just gives us more justification to promote the Office Depots and OfficeMax's of the world.

  21. #21
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dustin999
    I know it sucks, but calling them thieves is maybe a step too far.
    I wasn't calling them a thief..I should have been more clear and said "that's like saying an honest thief is better than a dishonest one".

    Nobody is entitled to a commission. It's not your commission that they're stealing from you.
    Hmmm taken "as is" that's a pretty loaded statement.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dustin999
    Nobody is entitled to a commission. It's not your commission that they're stealing from you.
    Quote Originally Posted by ProWebAddict
    Hmmm taken "as is" that's a pretty loaded statement.
    So if Staples or any other merchant was giving you everything you need, but you decide to promote another merchant because they pay better commissions, or because you get better conversions, does that mean you're stealing Staples' sales?

    I think we all need time to cool off from this, it's definitely a hard pill to swallow in light of some of the events we're following in NY, and some of the other changes that appear to be happening in the affiliate marketing arena. But seriously, this is just a business relationship, and like any business relationship, it can be terminated at any time. It's just a business, and I try to take the emotion out of it and diversify to protect myself.

  23. #23
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dustin999
    Nobody is entitled to a commission. It's not your commission that they're stealing from you. It's a business agreement that can be amended, and fortunately for us, Staples is in a competitive market and that just gives us more justification to promote the Office Depots and OfficeMax's of the world.
    I'm sorry, I've obviously misunderstood something. I thought AM was an abbreviation for affiliate marketing, not altruistic marketing. My agreements with the merchants that I work with read something like this: "You promote our products and when they sell we will pay you a commission (legalese removed for clarity)". Yep, I just checked, they all say something to that affect.

    Now apparently what Staples is saying instead is: "We're a multi-million dollar corporation and we're making millions of dollars in profits most years. We have decided though that in those years that we don't do our jobs too well that you should chip in and help us fill the gap with the lousy 2% commission that we're paying you, it's not like you're gonna actually miss it or anything."

    So if enough of the merchants we work with take this approach we could quite possibly end up owing them money for promoting their products.

    -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

  24. #24
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    I thought AM was an abbreviation for affiliate marketing, not altruistic marketing.
    Exactly. It's insane and completely mind boggling that a corporation the size of Staples would even imagine something like this.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  25. #25
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Would Staples cut their employee or executive salaries one or two months a year to "help out?" You better believe they wouldn't. This would be a lawsuit in the making if it happened.

    True, they can "terminate" affiliates for whatever reason they deem necessary. But then they wouldn't have FREE business on our backs.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


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