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  1. #1
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Fake coupon links by affiliates - I've had enough.
    If a merchant doesn't offer coupons but your site still advertises that they do, be prepared to have your site screenshot appear in this thread. I've had enough of you overwriting my cookies.

    There is a right way to do things and a wrong way. This applies to some major players at ABW too, so if you want to spare yourself the embarassment, you have a week to clean up your act then I (and possibly others) will post. Also any inquiries via PM or email to me about who they are will be ignored at this point. A lot of people have their own adgendas and I just don't want to deal with that right now.

    I have a family. They need money too. Stop being so damn greedy.

    -sfcom

    PS: of course I know not all coupon sites do this. I don't have a problem with those that follow the rules.


  2. #2
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Are you going to screenshot affiliate sites here? I would think that would be a no no
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    One thing to keep in mind, there are times where a merchant who usually has a coupon doesn't have one.

  4. #4
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Oh please do tell what criteria you will be using to oust coupon pages here...

  5. #5
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    And how is this thread going to help feed your family?

  6. #6
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamingoworld
    One thing to keep in mind, there are times where a merchant who usually has a coupon doesn't have one.
    Yes, I said "If a merchant doesn't offer coupons but your site still advertises that they do..." This means I will be focusing mainly on merchants that have never offered coupons, not ones that just don't have a coupon for this month or last.

    This means if a site ranks for "merchant x coupons" and merchant x hasn't ever offered coupons, and there is a link on their page inferring that there are coupons for merchant x here....(link), then they are going on my list.

    Part of the responsibility of being a coupon affiliate is knowing if the merchant has ever offered coupons or hasn't done so within a reasonable time period. Like I said, not this month or last month...but I would say that if they have not had a coupon in a year then the coupon aff has fed off that for long enough if they have their page optimized for that.

    It is called playing fair and not lying to the customer.

    -sfcom


  7. #7
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    I'm not defending any practice deemed unethical, but in many cases I see stores listed in coupon sites that state "the store currently has no coupons"...

    I know for a fact that some of these merchants never have ANY affiliate coupons offered, but perhaps they do have coupons on their site. This is a gray area for me - I don't like it, but not sure someone is offering a fake coupon.

    I'm not a coupon site myself; I run a content site with a coupon section. My search rankings are decent, I don't follow the above practice myself.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Sometimes there are merchants that "never" offer coupons but do sometimes give exclusives for some affiliates.
    I really do think this is something merchants should deal with. If you see someone saying merchant x coupons and they never have any, the merchant should take care of it.
    Also I do know of some sites that are templates, all dynamic so the site would have to create an alternative page to put those merchants on. That is what we do.

  9. #9
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Sometimes certain affiliates get coupons that other affiliates aren't privy to.

    Sometimes affiliates label links clearly as NON-coupons but invite the person to shop at the site.

    Sometimes "coupon" affiliates post things that aren't necessarily coupons i.e- a sale on xx.

    I still fail to see the point of this thread or how it helps your income. Sites know what they are doing and I'm sure they've heard the argument before. Besides, if we want to know the sites all we have to do is search google.

    If the merchant has a problem with it then they can handle it. If you really have the time and are that upset about it then report each and every site to each and every merchant.

    But if it makes you feel better then just post whatever you have to post. No sense in waiting a week as if this threat will scare people. True, I don't have any sites that partake in that practice so maybe that's why I can be so casual about it.

    I hope this effort increases your profits though I doubt it. I'm not trying to be mean but I just think this is silly.

  10. #10
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProWebAddict
    Sometimes certain affiliates get coupons that other affiliates aren't privy to.
    You think I don't know that? I didn't just start affiliate marketing yesterday. I've been doing this on a part time basis for 5+ years now.

    Quote Originally Posted by ProWebAddict
    I still fail to see the point of this thread or how it helps your income...

    I hope this effort increases your profits though I doubt it. I'm not trying to be mean but I just think this is silly.
    Should you wish to talk to me about my income, please see the link in my sig and PM me your number. This thread is obviously not just about me, but what can happen to any non-coupon affiliate in this scenario.

    Cookies are getting overwritten this way. To pretend like no harm is being done is nonsense.

    -sfcom


  11. #11
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfcom
    You think I don't know that? I didn't just start affiliate marketing yesterday. I've been doing this on a part time basis for 5+ years now.
    How would you know which sites have coupon deals with merchants who don't usually give out coupons? Or are you taking the "shoot first, ask questions later" approach.

    That was the point of that comment, next time I'll be more specific.

    Let's say the answer is "because I asked the merchants" ok then if you took the time to do that, then why not just deal with it on a merchant by merchant basis IF you hope for a change.

    Affiliates gossiping about the practices of other affiliates isn't necessarily going to get them to stop. Ask RetailMeNot about that. Not that the discussions shouldn't be held, but sometimes we have to do more than get angry and gossip about it if we want a solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by sfcom

    Cookies are getting overwritten this way. To pretend like no harm is being done is nonsense.

    -sfcom
    I didn't say no harm was being done, I asked how this thread was going to help as opposed to contacting the merchants directly.

    Sorry if you don't like my stance but I like to be fair to all sides and not just jump on the "shoot em down" bandwagon because sometimes innocent people get caught in the crossfires.
    Last edited by ProWebAddict; July 23rd, 2008 at 07:21 PM.

  12. #12
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I had an exclusive coupon that a merchant expired on me without notice, so for the past two days, I've been unknowingly "lying" to my visitors (code no longer worked, but I didn't know). That credibility aspect that I face with my visitors is the worst thing about this particular event, which was really a matter of simple miscommunication between affiliate and merchant. Communications back on track now, site edit underway and several other things already altered to fix things.

    Just do please make sure that this isn't some case like that, where the aff doesn't even know he's lying - and from your description, that doesn't sound like what you've witnessed at all, I'm more making a side point here I think, that sometimes guilt, isn't. But it also usually a very easy matter to see the difference.

  13. #13
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Since your the new self-proclaimed coupon site cleanup crew, maybe you should create/provide/maintain a list of merchants that don't use or provide coupons in any way, shape, or form. A list like that may be helpful to some affiliates.

  14. #14
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourButts
    Since your the new self-proclaimed coupon site cleanup crew, maybe you should create/provide/maintain a list of merchants that don't use or provide coupons in any way, shape, or form. A list like that may be helpful to some affiliates.
    I didn't say that I am the one and only. Just one of the few to actually do anything about it. I have a handle on the ones that might have the most impact on me and that's all I need to have. Make your own list of the ones that might affect you. Makes sense to me.

    I have my ways of verifying info with AMs/OPMs like anyone else here does. Just contact them and ask if they have had affiliate coupons recently or for that matter, ever.

    Look everyone, how about losing the attitudes toward me? This isn't high school where you are made to feel bad about reporting some wrongdoing. We get paid to do this, professionally. If you are following the rules then you have nothing to worry about. Of course if you are just here to defend tactics then I am not interested in hearing it. It is wrong. Everyone knows that. I am not looking to make enemies here, but if that's what it takes then so be it. Sometimes being right does not equate to being popular.

    I am done posting here for a while. There could be some joy for others in this back and forth banter, but I have stated my intentions and they are not going to be changed. I'll be back in the thread in one week to give my update.

    -sfcom


  15. #15
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    So in other words this thread has no point but to vent your anger, there's no possible way you could accuse someone who is not doing anything wrong, and anyone who brings up legit questions faces possibly being your enemy because you don't want to think about it.

    Ok, that's all I wanted to know.

    No one is trying to change your mind about anything I just asked how does it help. Well someone please tell me because I really want to know. Heck, I even said skip the week and post now if you think it will make a difference.

    I look forward to seeing the good that's done when you come back. The sites will be posted and the results will be....?????

    Prowebaddict- out.
    Last edited by ProWebAddict; July 23rd, 2008 at 08:27 PM.

  16. #16
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourButts
    create/provide/maintain a list of merchants that don't use or provide coupons in any way, shape, or form. A list like that may be helpful to some affiliates.
    That's a GREAT suggestion!

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=108199
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    I have seen quite a few lately where it seems coded into the sites linking "click here to use coupon" even when there isn't one.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador
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    "If a merchant doesn't offer coupons but your site still advertises that they do, be prepared to have your site screenshot appear in this thread. I've had enough of you overwriting my cookies."

    "I have seen quite a few lately where it seems coded into the sites linking "click here to use coupon" even when there isn't one."

    So is the issue more forced clicks/cookie stuffing? since that's the only way it would overwrite your cookie. Because if a site has Merchant X coupons and someone goes to that page and there are none, they usually keep going looking for some. If it's a cookie stuffing situation or click here for coupons setting a cookie when there are none, that's more a forced click/cookie stuffing issue.

    But if it's more you have a problem with coupon sites having Merchant X coupons when the merchant has never had any, I want to see how good you are at knowing that. Some reasons already posted above on how you could get that wrong. List 10 merchants you've been seeing on coupon sites, that have never had coupons, so people who do coupons on a daily basis can go thru it, see how accurate it is.

  19. #19
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like sfcom is having a temper-tantrum because he's not good enough to play with the big boys. Next he will be laying on the floor - kicking the floor - crying - and sucking his thumb.

    Maybe he needs to go and stand in the corner and take a time-out.

    We have all had cookies over-written at times but we don't cry about it like a little baby and make threats.

    Maybe someone visits my site looking for an item - and finds it there - but still goes to another affiliate site looking for a better price and decides to buy it there instead of from me. My cookie was over-written - should I come here and cry about it and make threats??

    I get e-mails from merchants all the time offering to make a special coupon just for me for my sites. If they didn't do the same for you sfcom - does that mean that the merchant doesn't have coupons???????????

    You need to grow up and start minding you own business instead of trying to tell other people what to do. How and what they do with there sites to make money is - NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
    Last edited by BurgerBoy; July 23rd, 2008 at 10:12 PM.

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  20. #20
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBoy
    Sounds to me like sfcom is having a temper-tantrum because he's not good enough to play with the big boys. Next he will be laying on the floor - kicking the floor - crying - and sucking his thumb.

    Maybe he needs to go and stand in the corner and take a time-out.

    We have all had cookies over-written at times but we don't cry about it like a little baby and make threats.

    Maybe someone visits my site looking for an item - and finds it there - but still goes to another affiliate site looking for a better price and decides to buy it there instead of from me. My cookie was over-written - should I come here and cry about it and make threats??

    I get e-mails from merchants all the time offering to make a special coupon just for me for my sites. If they didn't do the same for you sfcom - does that mean that the merchant doesn't have coupons???????????

    You need to grow up and start minding you own business instead of trying to tell other people what to do. How and what they do with there sites to make money is - NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
    I just saw this now. Someone else pointed it out to me a few days back but I tried to stay away from the thread. BB, you should know better. I am not crying. Far from it. But, if I see others using an unfair advantage then I will call that as breaking the rules, which is MY BUSINESS. Don't tell me what is my business and what is not, you *******.

    Also, I will point out to you that I probably am one of the "big boys", no not through the site you have probably located me at...and not the one that links from there either...etc. Thanks for your interest though. Most affiliate marketers barely ever get past their first sale. I have seen checks total in excess of $4000/month. Not too bad for a part-time venture. You can take your baby, crying, etc. sh~t and shove it.

    Attack me? The only reason to attack me in this thread is if you are using the methods I mentioned or if you have a friend who does. It seems to me here that the answers are becoming a lot more clear at time goes by. Everyone's got a motive. That's for sure.

    -sfcom


  21. #21
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    When I look at this objectively, why isn't your issue with merchants for paying "unfair" commissions?

    You really also haven't clearly defined what this unfair practice is... do you have first-hand knowledge of the relationship between the affiliate & merchant? I happen to know one of my competitors gets a "pass" to place promotional info on their site that I don't have access to.

    I would caution you to be more certain of your position, that's all... you've made rather sweeping statements
    you have a week to clean up your act then I (and possibly others) will post
    I agree with Trust
    List 10 merchants you've been seeing on coupon sites, that have never had coupons, so people who do coupons on a daily basis can go thru it, see how accurate it is
    My best merchant has a (1 week) free shipping code ONCE every 7-9 months, yet they stay on these coupon sites.. sure I'm peeved about it (I spend every day promoting their products) that doesn't make it an unethical practice.

    And not everyone who may disagree with you is guilty of anything....

  22. #22
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    The manner in which the issue has been raised and addressed to this point is more the problem than the issue of whether someone is doing anything inappropriate. It is really unfortunate to see a thread digress to this kind of communication versus calm discussion.

    A word of sound advice that I have always found helpful. If I am agitated by something, rather than responding through reactive emotion and anger, I give it a rest for a day or two, maybe more, think through how I can best address the issue and then proceed. It works for me and for anyone else who recognizes the wisdom of communicating through reason as opposed to anger and threats. I hope it helps others who may take the advice to heart also.

    :-)
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  23. #23
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    How is outing the sites going to make any difference? This is something to take up with the merchant. Having screenshots of sites is just going to make you look like a fool, unless you can provide 100% proof in addition to the screenshot. Highly unlikely that you can do that.

    Find something better to do with your time! You are not the affiliate clean up crew.

    Lots of affiliates are doing things the wrong way, but threatening to add screenshots in this thread is just pointless.

  24. #24
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julian
    Find something better to do with your time! You are not the affiliate clean up crew. Lots of affiliates are doing things the wrong way, but threatening to add screenshots in this thread is just pointless.
    O.K., perfect opportunity to practice my advice above!! LOL
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  25. #25
    Newbie HazelB's Avatar
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    I took down all of my fake coupons because of this thread. I am truly sorry and hope that someday the wounds will heal and I will be forgiven.

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