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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Shady Players and the Bad Economy and Q4
    I am really nervous with the way the economy is whether the shady players will step up their game/cheating during Q4. Are the networks/merchants going to look the other way because they want to asssure making more money during Q4 during these tough times? Will it be a make a sale any way you can type of season?

    I really don't see the networks protecting their non-favorite affiliates, I see them coddling their big money makers and letting them have a free for all this season.

  2. #2
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Are the networks/merchants going to look the other way because they want to asssure making more money during Q4 during these tough times?
    With the layoffs that are bound to happen there will be less manpower available for quality control even assuming the networks are trying to do whats best.

    Also the general world economic climate is one heck of a distraction from little things like seeing that the "less favored" get what's rightfully theirs. I'm not encouraged.


  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    But the networks won't have to lay anyone off if they make sure they are making money (by whatever means). And some networks have their own affiliate sites, such as CJ/ValueClick having Coupon Mountain (not Cabin).
    Last edited by loxly; October 28th, 2008 at 04:01 PM. Reason: changed name of coupon site by request

  4. #4
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    Underlying this is an assumption that Q4 "online" sales will be lower than Q3 "online" sales. I don't think that will be the case. Q4 may not be strong - Networks may end up cutting their profits to Q3 levels. None of this means, a) they have to cut employees b) they have to cut on the quality controls.

    However, they perhaps need to reset the expectations of wall street regarding their Q4 and future reduced performance (the market has already discounted this in the falling prices - so they got nothing much to lose in terms of their stock prices).

  5. #5
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    "I see them coddling their big money makers and letting them have a free for all this season."

    What do you mean specifically?

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Trust what i mean is that the big affiliates, those bringing in mega bucks to the networks, those known to have questionable practices, those questionable affiliates that networks give awards to, whether current or in the past unethical behavior will get a free pass to do whatever they want this season without consequences. I see the networks as not cracking down on bad behavior because they want to make money in this economy and will do/allow whatever it takes. They will probably punish a few smaller players so it looks like they are doing something, but in reality it is just a show/distraction so the big guys can do what they need to do to make money, no matter if ethical/shady or whatever.

  7. #7
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    True but that's business as usual. I mean over the years people have gone as far as actually posting up videos, or getting real specific like Ben posting step by step cookie stuffing with a full page of offenders and I don't remember any of them getting the boot.

  8. #8
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Shady Players and the Bad Economy and Q4?
    Quote Originally Posted by flamingoworld
    I am really nervous with the way the economy is whether the shady players will step up their game/cheating during Q4. Are the networks/merchants going to look the other way because they want to asssure making more money during Q4 during these tough times? Will it be a make a sale any way you can type of season?

    I really don't see the networks protecting their non-favorite affiliates, I see them coddling their big money makers and letting them have a free for all this season.
    Maybe during this Q4 all the good guys should play the "confused card" for once, and start testing every which way but loose, to make some extra money this season?

    Who knows, maybe some of the good guys would become super affiliates during this Q4 and latter win awards...

    What's the worse that can happen?

    I think that the worse that can happen, is the same thing that happens every year about this time of the year.

    Some will stay on the other side of the border if they see that they're making a killing, and may not even come back here again, because they would be affraid of the bashing they would get.

    Some may start playing on both side of the border, and may even come back here to stir the pot, take some bashing, and then say sorry, or give a cheap excuse of because of this, or because of that. And then, after a couple of months, the animal will go into hibernation until the next shopping season.



    But, ...

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador MeeMaw's Avatar
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    I think things will stay the same. Over the years they come and go, but there are always some of these types around.

  10. #10
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    Huh, I didn't realize Coupon Cabin was affiliated with CJ more than just being on their network.

  11. #11
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamingoworld
    But the networks won't have to lay anyone off if they make sure they are making money (by whatever means). And some networks have their own affiliate sites, such as CJ/ValueClick having Coupon Cabin.
    You might think that layoff relates to the money making center. Yeah, one would think that.
    Unfortunately, A LOT of companies report to Wall Street too and if the consumer confidence is against you, the bean counters at the company will slash jobs / depts to meet Wall Street's expectation and to tell the Street, we are doing something.

    I have seen it happen and I am ....

    You can personally bring in 2million and save the company 600k per year, but in this crazy environment, nothing make sense.

  12. #12
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrishaLyn
    Huh, I didn't realize Coupon Cabin was affiliated with CJ more than just being on their network.
    And I'm betting that CJ and LinkShare give the affiliates that they own preferred access to coupons. I can't believe that they make their company owned affiliates fight through the web services like we do.


  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Ugh, meant coupon mountain, if mod can change it in my previous post

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    I agree with John. I can see the network-owned coupon sites getting better coupons than the rest of us so that consumers will use those links and not ours.

    I also fear that with less advertising/bonus money to go around, a lot of the merchants are going to concentrate their efforts only on the affiliates that they think that they have the best chance of making the most money with, leaving the smaller sites in the cold.

    On the flip side, a merchant really would do better from a profit standpoint to encourage the smaller sites to promote them because the smaller sites are likely in lower commission tiers than the larger sites. So the profit margin is actually much better for them if the consumers come through those sites than the big players.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

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  15. #15
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamingoworld
    Ugh, meant coupon mountain, if mod can change it in my previous post
    Ah OK, that clears up my confusion!

    I still think it's... hmm, less than savory for a network to own an affiliate... sounds like double dipping on the merchants to me.

  16. #16
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Merchants/Advertisers in a "down" economy will be looking for value more even than in any other condition.

    If you continue to concentrate on bringing value to your Merchant partners by introducing and delivering them customers that they don't reach on their own... no matter how large or small you are as an affiliate - you will always be appreciated.

    Those found on the edges of acceptability will have a higher likelyhood of being booted by merchants in a time of down economy.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  17. #17
    Outsourced Program Manager Stephanie Harris's Avatar
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    Many of our merchants have been looking for ways to increase the value they are getting from affiliates in this bad economy. I've actually been asked to pass on opportunities with the mega affiliates this holiday season because they can't guarantee ROI and they ask for so much up front. In fact that's all they are offering! Paid placements, slotting fees, promotional categories, increased rev share, etc. - these are what I've been seeing from the mega affiliates and networks lately (not even counting the holiday offers). And yet I've also seen a huge increase in the number of these opportunities come through my inbox compared to the same time last year. It seems the less demand we have for it, the more supply keeps coming.

    I think merchants have been examining the revenue much more closely in light of economic events, especially with the huge affiliates. And this is precisely because they do so much volume and there tends to be a hefty commission attached to that which has to be paid out. So any bad behavior will get booted in a down economy, so that the merchant isn't throwing good money after bad. A lot of this comes down to the merchant and who is managing the program, and the policing they do. But I would say in most ways the bad economy does no favors for the shady guys and the mega affiliates.

    And I 100% agree with Brian's comment:
    If you continue to concentrate on bringing value to your Merchant partners by introducing and delivering them customers that they don't reach on their own... no matter how large or small you are as an affiliate - you will always be appreciated.
    Most of the exclusives, bonuses, commission increases, etc. that I give are to the people who I know will use them well and will be able to deliver. And most often, these are not the biggest names in the industry. A lot of times you don't even see a real boost from the mega affiliates when you show them the love. You see the biggest improvement from the smaller affiliates who really run with those offers. And at the end of the day it doesn't really matter that the biggest guys have your best offers if the revenue doesn't tick up.
    Stephanie Harris
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  18. #18
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    Question for anyone out there....what types of things do you see doing well this Holiday season and Q4, given the economic woes....? Not trying to get political here, just asking what people think are hot products/services to market....

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale
    Merchants/Advertisers in a "down" economy will be looking for value more even than in any other condition.

    If you continue to concentrate on bringing value to your Merchant partners by introducing and delivering them customers that they don't reach on their own... no matter how large or small you are as an affiliate - you will always be appreciated.

    Those found on the edges of acceptability will have a higher likelyhood of being booted by merchants in a time of down economy.
    Right on the money Brian. Cooler heads and attention to the same basics that make all online businesses a value to the consumer, merchant, network and affiliates stay the same in up or down economies. The difference being in how you bring value. No need to push the panic button, just stay the course and bring value. The rest will take care of itself.
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  20. #20
    Affiliate Manager harrymond's Avatar
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    Well said Brain I second that
    Cheers,

    Harry.
    Mondera Affiliate Manager
    http://www.mondera.com/affiliate_support/
    Winner of the LinkShare 2004 Golden Link Awards "Affiliate's Choice Award"
    Winner of the 2002 Abestweb.com "Best Affiliate Program Award"

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