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  1. #1
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Coupon Gamers Pushing Non-Existent Coupons
    So I just signed up for a merchant and wanted to learn more about the product. I find several sites near the top of the search results pushing a coupon for this product with a SHOW COUPON button which of course sets their cookie when clicked and takes you to the merchant site.

    But no coupon. Several coupon sites did this.

    This is just plain wrong if you ask me. The only way to compete on a level playing field is to also offer a fake coupon, which I won't do.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  2. #2
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    It is pretty unethical for affiliates to do this. If it's a mistake or a database problem, that's one thing. Your right though, it's very challenging to compete with these types of affiliates.

    Equivalent to posting "90% Off Coupon" on one of my pages. Most visitors would of course click the link in the hopes of getting such an insane discount.

  3. #3
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    I have seen this before also. Very wrong if you ask me. If it was for a SAS merchant, use the SAS trouble ticket system and maybe someone there will be able to take a look into it.

    -sfcom


  4. #4
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    I might add that this also extracts commissions that should not be paid when the consumer searches for "Merchant X Coupon" and the merchant's site does not rank, yet coupon sites show up in the SERPs because there is no coupon to find. Yet coupon sites direct the searcher via their affiliate link to the merchant site. So this is a bad deal for merchants as well.

    I am going to start reporting these as I find them with my merchants via the trouble ticket and by directly contacting merchants. They are not too difficult to find.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    IMO, coupon sites should list the details of each coupon being offered. If there are no current coupons for a particular merchant, the page should state so. I have no problems if the affiliate says something to the effect "There are no current coupons for this merchant. Click here to shop there anyway." But to entice a click by implying there are coupons when there aren't is wrong.
    -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.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    I've seen this kind of practice for years now.
    Hopefully internet users are getting a bit more savvy now, and maybe these sites are actually training people to stay away from them. (or else that cookie gets overwritten by the next fake coupon site on their wild goose chase).

  7. #7
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    The hope would be that eventually consumers realize the lack of value in these sites over the long haul. Relying on SERP's isn't the best way to run a website, and that's all the "imaginary" coupon sites do.

    Ask a good couponer, and they'll tell you they make money from repeat traffic, who know that they can find a deal when they get to a site, and not just a added step in their shopping experience.
    Kevin Webster
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  8. #8
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin
    Relying on SERP's isn't the best way to run a website
    My bank account says otherwise.

  9. #9
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Didn't say it was impossible...
    Kevin Webster
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  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager PingoPrepaidCallingCards's Avatar
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    good point, I agree Kevin,

    Build a site that has "stickyness" to get a user to want to come back for more legit deals Vs. playing these games to find the quick fake coupon buck
    Brian Hawkins AM @ [URL=http://www.pingo.com/affiliate.do]Pingo[/URL] Earn up to $35 CPA for a [URL=http://www.pingo.com/p/onedollar/onedollar.html]$1 trial offer[/URL]!
    [URL=http://www.twitter.com/TelecomAgents]@TelecomAgents[/URL] [URL=http://www.twitter.com/telephonecard]@TelephoneCard[/URL]

  11. #11
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin
    Didn't say it was impossible...
    I do agree with you though to the extent that in the coupon realm if you are relying on SERPS then you are in for a very long and frustrating ride.

    But as for websites in general...I'd have to say that SERPS are where my $ is. However I have lots of websites so that might have something to do with it.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador
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    Cheesehead, Did you try contacting the merchant?

  13. #13
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Lily
    Cheesehead, Did you try contacting the merchant?
    Yes, I did. Have not heard back yet though.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

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