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  1. #1
    Full Member Jim Guinn's Avatar
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    Can you leave boxes blank?
    I am creating a data feed for my affiliates. Under the headings, if a product does not have a certain attribute, can the box be left blank?

    I tried using XXXXXX from the sample data feed that someone let me use, but when I save it and re-open it, the XXXXXX comes back as $1100.00.

    I am working in Excel and saving the feed as tab delimited.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Jim
    [URL=http://www.moonshadowsfarm.com]MoonShadows Farm Country Store[/URL]
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  2. #2
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Under the headings, if a product does not have a certain attribute, can the box be left blank?
    Sure it happens all the time, but of course there are ones that wouldn't make sense empty like "product name".


  3. #3
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    I actually use a couple of blank fields from every merchant's datafeed (for my own unique fields), so you may want to leave some there on purpose.

    Just my two cents worth!

  4. #4
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    much better to leave it balnk than to have useless data in there

  5. #5
    Full Member Jim Guinn's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help, guys.

    Jim
    [URL=http://www.moonshadowsfarm.com]MoonShadows Farm Country Store[/URL]
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  6. #6
    http and a telephoto
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    The datafeed info template at Shareasale shows what fields can be left blank and which need to have a value. Of course for optional values then you can leave them blank for products that the field doesn't apply too.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  7. #7
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Make sure your product price isn't left blank.
    "bigimage" and Thumbnail shouldn't be left blank either.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Guinn
    I am creating a data feed for my affiliates. Under the headings, if a product does not have a certain attribute, can the box be left blank?

    I tried using XXXXXX from the sample data feed that someone let me use, but when I save it and re-open it, the XXXXXX comes back as $1100.00.

    I am working in Excel and saving the feed as tab delimited.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Jim

  8. #8
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    Categories are just the start... use several optional fields, don't be afraid to use them to create sub, sub-sub, sub-sub-sub categories. I'd rather have a feed overly categorized than everything lumped into one category called 'food' or some generic name like that.
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  9. #9
    Full Member Jim Guinn's Avatar
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    Ah, you all have been so helpful, and I really appreciate it!

    Soooooooooooooooo...I will ask another question...

    In the product description, not so much the short desription as the long description, it is acceptable/preferable to have html markup....in other words...paragraph breaks and regular breaks...or just put in the plain text?

    I have seen both. Which do affiliates prefer/need/find best?

    Jim
    [URL=http://www.moonshadowsfarm.com]MoonShadows Farm Country Store[/URL]
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  10. #10
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    IMHO --- I wish the flashingblinkylights feed maker would see this comment.
    no, you should not include HTML in your feed. That will just mess up our product displays and/or make your product listings look inconsistent when displayed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Guinn
    Ah, you all have been so helpful, and I really appreciate it!

    Soooooooooooooooo...I will ask another question...

    In the product description, not so much the short desription as the long description, it is acceptable/preferable to have html markup....in other words...paragraph breaks and regular breaks...or just put in the plain text?

    I have seen both. Which do affiliates prefer/need/find best?

    Jim

  11. #11
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    What lostdeviant said! It wouldn't be the worst mistake in the world, but I like it better without html.


  12. #12
    Full Member Jim Guinn's Avatar
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    Thanks again, guys! I can go back to working on my data feed now.

    Jim
    [URL=http://www.moonshadowsfarm.com]MoonShadows Farm Country Store[/URL]
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  13. #13
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostdeviant
    no, you should not include HTML in your feed. That will just mess up our product displays and/or make your product listings look inconsistent when displayed.
    br and p in the description fields messes up display? In a long description that needs paragraph breaks how do you break them up then? As an affiliate using datafeeds I don't mind those 2 types of html, it is other formatting and tags that cause problems.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  14. #14
    Full Member Jim Guinn's Avatar
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    br and p were all I was planning to use....
    [URL=http://www.moonshadowsfarm.com]MoonShadows Farm Country Store[/URL]
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  15. #15
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    It all starts out innocently with a paragraph break or line break and then we start seeing spans, and other stuff that messes up the display (or make them inconsistent or tacky). Long descriptions shouldn't be a book. Almost anything longer than one 6 sentence paragraph, would be shortened by most affiliates when displayed.

    I've found that most of those really really long long descriptions have basically the same description for similar products with only a few words changed, so there is rarely a benefit to showing all 20 sentences.

    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    br and p in the description fields messes up display? In a long description that needs paragraph breaks how do you break them up then? As an affiliate using datafeeds I don't mind those 2 types of html, it is other formatting and tags that cause problems.

  16. #16
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostdeviant
    It all starts out innocently with a paragraph break or line break and then we start seeing spans, and other stuff that messes up the display (or make them inconsistent or tacky). Long descriptions shouldn't be a book. Almost anything longer than one 6 sentence paragraph, would be shortened by most affiliates when displayed.

    I've found that most of those really really long long descriptions have basically the same description for similar products with only a few words changed, so there is rarely a benefit to showing all 20 sentences.
    I think that spans are evil, and I think we just need to clarify what is acceptable and what is really going to break things.

    Descriptions from my art sites are going to have descriptions of varying legnths depending on what is needed to sell the image, and I am encouraging artists to include longer descriptions for a great many reasons.

    This discussion actually points out why datafeeds aren't standardized. Different product types and niches need different displays, and different affiliates all use datafeeds differently and see different things as being critical or detrimental. Some things are always going to need to be managed by the affiliate.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

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