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  1. #1
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    Do you prefer Coupon Codes or Cheap Pricing
    I'm thinking of starting an affiliate program but just wanted to get some advice first. I believe my products are already priced fairly and are very competitive in my niche. At the same time I'm also interested in making sure that the traffic i get from affiliates will convert into a sale at a high percentage so we both make good money. Since I import all my products directly i can afford to sell items cheaper then my competition. I personal don't believe in destroying any given market so i just priced my items to be competitive in the market place.

    Is it better that i offer coupon codes to affiliates to ensure we get a sale or should i just lower my pricing to make sure that i am the cheapest.

    Example: If i sell a $100 dollar item. I could offer a 20% off code so when a customer clicks through from an affiliate with the coupon code they would feel like they are getting a deal at $80 dollars or should i just price the item at $80 dollars when all the competition is selling a comparative item at $100.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated so i can work out my pricing before creating an affiliate program.
    Last edited by gyoong; June 26th, 2008 at 04:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Coupons create a sense of urgency that a low price doesn't. Coupons can help consumers feel like they're getting an even better deal than others. Coupons can also be structured to produce specific results. For instance, to increase average order size have a coupon with a minimum higher than the average order size.
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  3. #3
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    The coupon sites will want you to offer a coupon.

    The rest of us will want you to offer the best pricing so we can promote your products

    I hate having to enter coupons as a shopper. I want the best price to start with

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    Coupons
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
    to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there
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  5. #5
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    Coupons. Shoppers love entering coupons, saves them money And you can still push products. Even from a consumer behavior standpoint, coupons win out.

  6. #6
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    What about Sales instead of Coupons. Limited time price drops but no codes needed.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  7. #7
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Re-read my response, Debbie. Even if the end result is the same, most people perceive a sale price as less valuable. Plus you lose the benefit of being able to effect specific results based on how you structure a coupon.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  8. #8
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    I think a merchant needs a combination of both good prices and coupons. A lot of people don't like dealing with coupons and want to buy and go (count me among the lazy).

    Others will do everything in their power to save as much as possible and coupons do the job. As others have said, you can also use coupons to increase order size, highlight specific products/product categories, and other good uses.

    It also comes down to how you're being featured. A price comparison site, which normally won't list coupons, will need to have low prices to compete. A coupon site obviously needs and/or wants the best possible discount available.

    Bob

  9. #9
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    Wow you guys reply fast!!! I love this site.

    Yeah we're in a sticky situation as we also wholesale the products. Don't get me wrong our retail prices are very competitive with all the other bamboo products in the market but i cannot drop the price too low on my website otherwise all my sales reps/retail shops would get mad. The only way i could make it work where everyone wins is a coupon code. In a way having an affiliate program is just like paying out commissions to sales reps. I can afford to offer a very nice affiliate program except the customer base is very different. Internet users generally don't like to pay retail pricing which means the affiliates wouldn't be getting the conversion rates they require unless i drop my pricing which means my sales reps and retail stores would get mad. Its a vicious circle of hate that i'm still trying to sort out...=)

    Thanks for all your advice so far.

  10. #10
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    Thanks Michael.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  11. #11
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    What Michael said:

    "Even if the end result is the same, most people perceive a sale price as less valuable."

    That's marketing. There are consumer behavior studies on this kind of thing.

  12. #12
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    gyoong, (i) it is not as important for you to be the one that offers the lowest prices on the net as it is for you to be competitive and well-converting, and (ii) what Michael said

    Do both. Do not raise your prices to offer a gazillion of coupons (we've all seen such merchants, and the technique does not work!). Set your prices at such a mark that you are competitive and attractive, and do offer coupons.

    G.

  13. #13
    Full Member Amy_S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julian
    The coupon sites will want you to offer a coupon.

    The rest of us will want you to offer the best pricing so we can promote your products

    I hate having to enter coupons as a shopper. I want the best price to start with
    Agreed.

    I buy a huge amount of stuff online. I HATE hassling with coupons. I don't bother with coupon sites or googling for coupons, after too much wasted time chasing after coupons that didn't really exist / coupons that expired in 1999 / coupons that had some strings attached but I had to wade through a bunch of fine print to figure it out. No offense meant to those here who have coupon sites, because I am sure that all of yours are amazing and nothing like the ones that gave me my first bad impressions of coupon sites.

    As an affiliate, I usually look to promote the best overall deal I can find on any given product, but if the deal comes attached to a coupon that expires in a few days I won't usually bother with it. It's a given that the coupon sites will beat me in that area every time.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by amysolovay
    Agreed.

    I buy a huge amount of stuff online. I HATE hassling with coupons. I don't bother with coupon sites or googling for coupons, after too much wasted time chasing after coupons that didn't really exist / coupons that expired in 1999 / coupons that had some strings attached but I had to wade through a bunch of fine print to figure it out.

    As an affiliate, I usually look to promote the best overall deal I can find on any given product, but if the deal comes attached to a coupon that expires in a few days I won't usually bother with it. It's a given that the coupon sites will beat me in that area every time.
    I agree with this as both a shopper and an affiliate. I stopped looking for coupons after a few useless tries for the same reasons stated.

    As an affiliate I am very tired of coupons still in the merchant's databases yet they don't work ( I guess they forgot them???), or poor expiration dates in general. Few merchants can keep up with their data feeds, let alone special promotions. Most of my merchants data is a mess and it can be tough for them to keep up with that alone.

    And yes it does stink promoting products where I wouldn't see any commission anyhow because it ends up with a coupon site which uses "free shipping" as the coupon - even though everyone gets free shipping, no code needed. I finally gave up on coupon loaded merchants. It was too wonky.

    I would prefer merchants to focus on current product data being available, offer good prices in the first place. My opinion only.

  15. #15
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    Two Sites
    Why not make two sites? One site would have the prices jacked up 25% so that you can offer a 20% coupon. The other would have low prices and a firm policy against coupons.

    There is already a precendent for this with companies that have a merchant site and a merchantOutlet site. You could have a merchant and merchantCoupon site.

    Problems happen when merchants try to play both sides of the fence. They issue an occasional coupon to affect the market.

    This tactic fails because the internet has a memory. Experimenting with coupons creates an expectation for coupons.

    There is a very big market for merchant that take an affirmative stance for fair everyday low prices and against gimmicks.

    IMHO, a merchant should either make a definitive statement that they are a coupon site or they are a low price site. If you want to try both ideas, make two sites. That way you can avoid the mixed message.

    (BTW, I've tried making this point in previous threads. Moderators split the thread to make me look like a jerk.)

  16. #16
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    Pick up a marketing book, seriously. Or actually research coupons and then you'll know they're not gimmicks.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw...sumer+behavior

    Some good books they use in school.

    And the thread you were talking about, that you would avoid them like the plague and coupon sites are like STDs, brilliant.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    Pick up a marketing book, seriously. Or actually research coupons and then you'll know they're not gimmicks.
    It doesn't mean that we have to like them. Or even use them, or care about them.

  18. #18
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    No kidding. But to not understand them, why consumers like them, how they're useful etc. is not to understand some basic marketing. Calling it a gimmick just tells me you don't understand that. People should learn about consumer behavior. And usually the people who have complained about them over the years are the same ones working with merchants who have them, too lazy to put them up and then later complain about the sites that do. Not all, but most.

  19. #19
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    You can understand about online marketing and just not give a flying monkey about coupon codes and coupon sites

  20. #20
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    Do you understand what no kidding means? I just addressed all that in my last post.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    Do you understand what no kidding means? I just addressed all that in my last post.
    You edited your last post. There is no need to be so defensive

  22. #22
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    I use instant coupon savings built into the price on products (and noted by product) rather than coupon codes hat must be entered. Among other things it virtually eliminates coupon theft or infringement issues and it is more convenient for shoppers. But I also understand the benefits that can apply to legitimate coupons. 6 of one, half dozen of the other...
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Definitely coupons agree with Michael and Trust and anybody else I missed since am reading this in a hurry.

    Speaking as someone who's used coupons all her life.....there's just somethin about using that coupon that makes a person feel giddy all over. Seriously ...it makes us feel like we've done somethin really good Others who don't like em may not use em....but we do, so we think we've done a good thing and saved money doin it so it makes us feel good when we can actually see that we ourselves have done it

  24. #24
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    For our site coupon codes work great - our visitors look for them every month.

  25. #25
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    Trust, I worked with a string of companies that all read the books you hold dear. They all had viable products. they all lost credibility with their market and went bankrupt.

    There is a large number of books in the history of mankind that have demonstrably false information. There are others that have true but self destructive philosophies.

    Count the number of "get rich in affiliate marketing" ebooks floating about. If the information in these books were true, then everyone in the US would be a multimillionaire at the moment.

    PS: Trust, would you like some books that tell you how MLMs will make you and everyone in your downline independently wealthy? Would you like some books dated in 2006 telling you that you can't lose in real estate speculation? If I can get to the local book exchange before they send the books to the recycler, I can get you several titles for a penny a piece.

    There are quite a few books that tell you coupons aren't gimmicks and that merchants that Walmart will never succeed.

    END NOTE: in the thread you were talking about, the merchant was asking the coupon or no coupon question. My response was that a very good tactic is to take a strong anti-coupon stance. In a second post in the thread, I demonstrated a strong anti-gimmick stance. A moderator took the post of a sample anti-coupon stance and put it in a new thread titled "I hate coupons" or other such foolery.

    Yes, a strong anti-coupon stance actually is a gimmick, but it is one that resonates well.

    As Doctor Strangelove pointed out about doomsday devices, having an anti coupon stance doesn't work if you don't tell anyone about it.

    BTW In the hey day of JC Penney (The Golden Rule), they had a strong anti-gimmick stance and it was the central point of their advertisement. If you are going the anti-gimmick route, then you need to make it a center piece of your business model and it has to be firmly stated.
    Last edited by yintercept; June 27th, 2008 at 02:58 AM. Reason: added end note

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