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  1. #1
    15 years and counting
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    We-Care.com
    Make giving an automatic part of your shopping experience. The We-Care.com plug-in makes donations automatic whenever you shop at participating merchants ó even if you donít click through We-Care.com.
    http: //www.we-care.com/Downloads

    "We-Care.com allows nonprofits, schools, and associations (Causes) to receive donations when their supporters shop online. In order for a portion of the purchase to be donated, the User must click through an appropriate page on the We-Care.com Site or through a We-Care.com Plug-In to be redirected to the merchant's site, where a qualifying purchase must be made."

    Any experience with them? Look like they are pretty new. Alexa still list them as Duck Tours of Tampa Bay
    Owned by Internet Marketing Group, LTD New York, NY

    An other one of these thieves with an impressive list of merchants:
    All the screwy merchants plus some on buy.at like swarovski or 1000bulbs, Register.com (Chuck, are you supporting the cause?)
    many, many more.

    It has to stop. What's the room left for normal affiliates to play?

  2. #2
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    One seedy business model follows another...

    Can merchants wake up to the fact that this is THEFT..??? I don't understand why a merchant would allow their own DIRECT sales to be impacted.

    It's like someone standing outside their store, earning commission every time one of their own customers walks through the door. Where is the added value..??

    We should get Ben Edelman involved in this..

    "Our plug-in, or browser extension, makes giving automatic whenever you shop online ó even if you forget to visit We-Care.com"

  3. #3
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    The merchants are abused by the networks. If we-care is in programs run by Chuck, it means the detection of these thieves is not an easy task.
    These BHOs, Tool Bars, Software applications should not be allowed by the networks. Period. They are going to be really sorry one day.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Bob Lawrence's Avatar
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    Zeus,
    Would you mind if I PM you a question?
    Where's the Great Life of Affiliate Marketing Hiding?

  5. #5
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    No problem.

  6. #6
    Affiliate Network Rep Kim Salvino's Avatar
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    Zeus,

    I'll be on this issue as soon as I return to the office. You can rest assured I will get to the bottom of this and post back as soon as I can.

    I didn't tolerate this type of behavior in my previous program and I won't tolerate it on the buy.at network.

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
    Kim Salvino, Client Services Director, Performance Horizon Group
    Reach me at kim.salvino(at)performancehorizon.com or on (443) 617-4036

  7. #7
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    I've just logged into buy.at to look for suitable merchants..

    This is the type of network I like to be associated with..

    Update: just applied to 3 new programs, plan to promote the heck out of them!
    Last edited by teezone; November 27th, 2008 at 05:22 PM.

  8. #8
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus
    They are going to be really sorry one day.
    I used to think this, but there's a few networks that can be trusted and they don't get the business they deserve... there are researchers who can be hired to completely fix this and merchants and networks aren't clamoring for thier services, nor are their numbers growing... there are other choices and tactics and measurements that can be easily made to root this all out to stop it... but somebody has to want to make that happen...

    I think we collectively allowed this to go on and it changed the apparent intrinsic value of what this channel offers forever... so that today we're viewed by many as a relatively low cost media buy, not marketing partners. So we get lowering commissions, shorter return days, unqualified or inactive AMs, and other short shrift delivered to us as a group.

    The proliferation of dual network and multiple CPA networks with a deduped pixel on the confirmation page is proof enough for me that the underlying nature isn't going to become what we had envisioned... the grab for more low cost media buys without regard to quality means the marketers among us are lumped in with the trash, and the result is less rewards whether you look at sales that are pilfered, your comms are lowered cuz the channel is labeled as junky, or other similar devaluation of the channel we work in.

    Yes, there are merchants that don't fit this mold, but they are small in number. Luckily, they can be found here, so I'm thankful for ABW for that.

    But I think it's essential for most ethical affiliates to view the situation with a realistic view of who they are, and how others view us and treat us. In terms of aggregate dollars (and what else matters), we aren't the rule and the low value scum the exception, it's the other way around.

    Sounds ic, I know. But I've actually come to see realism, combined with a plan to grow and succeed in an environment that you properly recognize, as very optimistic. Hope is not a plan and is not enough by itself to sustain general feel good'ery. Assessing things as they are, and finding ethical ways to make the very best of it, and seeing that unfold, makes my spirit soar. But, at the same time, I no longer hold any hope that these complicit networks will have a price to pay later... it should have come by now, and I don't see any mechanisms in our ecosystem that will cause these hoped-for changes to emerge.

    C'est la vie.

  9. #9
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Change will not happen because too many are scared of standing up!

    Think about it, if more affs did something, merchants would have to force the networks to change, affs are now just forced into complaicency while the networks actively keep changing the playing field to their and parasites advantage.

    Parasites and newtorks didn't do nor allow this to happen - AFFILIATES did, untill they change, nothing will. Even with the secret that could topple the industry, it won't do anything without ACTION! That's not "la vie", that's complacency!
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Bob Lawrence's Avatar
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    I know I would definately like to see everyone stand united.
    Where's the Great Life of Affiliate Marketing Hiding?

  11. #11
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haiko de Poel, Jr.
    Change will not happen because too many are scared of standing up!

    FWIW...

    The way I see it, maybe too many are indeed scared of standing up and complain more open about all of the crap that's going on, because they might be afraid of getting sue by those parasites with big pockets, but also there many that are scared of saying anything, because they don't want to lose whatever commission they may still make from those infested merchants and networks.
    Think about it, if more affs did something, merchants would have to force the networks to change, affs are now just forced into complaicency while the networks actively keep changing the playing field to their and parasites advantage.
    There are too many affiliates that while they allready know what's going on, they are not going to do anything to help clean the the networks or the merchants that are infested, maybe not because they don't want to, but because they may still satisfied, with what they make there now, even if they lose some sales.
    Parasites and newtorks didn't do nor allow this to happen - AFFILIATES did, untill they change, nothing will. Even with the secret that could topple the industry, it won't do anything without ACTION! That's not "la vie", that's complacency!
    I agree!

    But, soo many affiliates have become so complacent with what they make by now, that they would not do anything that may jeopardize the whip, with which they are getting whipped.

    ---------------------------

    As have been posted on ABW before and as far as I remember, 04' ...

    Some affiliates have said, and continue to say that...

    ...They would rather make $4k, and lose $2k to parasites, than make nothing if they do something different...

    ...They have to work with X, because their visitors would like to see X listed on their site...

    ...Because in order to provide value to their visitors, they must have every X listed on their site...

    ...They only use X network, because the merchant they need for their niche, is only available there...

    ...They only use clean merchants from that X network...

    ...They won't drop X merchant, because regardless of whatever anyone else is saying, they're still making good money with that X merchant...

    ...They have to pay their bills, so they're not going to drop any X merchant...

    ...No one is going to tell them, how to run their business...

    Etc, etc, etc...

    ---------------------------

    So again:
    Parasites and newtorks didn't do nor allow this to happen - AFFILIATES did, untill they change, nothing will. Even with the secret that could topple the industry, it won't do anything without ACTION! That's not "la vie", that's complacency!
    Btw, I still say what I have said before:

    I do not and will not, settle for Ĺ of my earned commission from no merchant, if the other Ĺ of my money is going to any parasite, I rather make nothing.

    I have been running in idle for the last couple of years because I have tried to do my part, but at the sametime, I have seen my income getting smaller and smaller, while seeing other affiliates are still making a killing left and right, and without any care about the harm they may be causing this business, so...

    If this time nothing real is done, then, next year is going to be very different for sure............................

  12. #12
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haiko de Poel, Jr.
    Change will not happen because too many are scared of standing up!

    Think about it, if more affs did something, merchants would have to force the networks to change, affs are now just forced into complaicency while the networks actively keep changing the playing field to their and parasites advantage.

    Parasites and newtorks didn't do nor allow this to happen - AFFILIATES did, untill they change, nothing will. Even with the secret that could topple the industry, it won't do anything without ACTION! That's not "la vie", that's complacency!
    We couldn't agree more!

  13. #13
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    If they're in New York as stated, they shouldn't be in a bunch of those programs.......
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  14. #14
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haiko de Poel, Jr.
    Think about it, if more affs did something, merchants would have to force the networks to change, affs are now just forced into complaicency while the networks actively keep changing the playing field to their and parasites advantage.
    What and how is the question that I'd imagine that many have. What counts as doing something?

    Does refusing to work with certain merchants count?

    Does writing emails counts?

    What about the affiliates who feel that they aren't in the position to say or do anything due to not being one of the big swingers? What do you say to those people? What kind of "somethings" would you encourage them to do?

    What does "doing something" mean and what types of "somethings" are actually going to make a difference?

    Seriously.

  15. #15
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    Between We-care.com & OneCause, I have 14 merchants participating:

    7 are LS. The only contact I have IS via LinkShare, there is no way to communicate with the merchant directly.

    4 are GAN: 3 are filler merchants I don't promote. The 4th is a top performer, I will alert them to this issue.

    The remaining 3 are CJ - I've already attempted to deal with a major leak with one, and got nowhere. Second one has a same-session cookie, they are filler only. I believe the 3rd one has promise, I will attempt to contact them.

    I'm as proactive as I can be, given the situation. My best merchants aren't involved in this type of behaviour (that I know of!), but I am monitoring it closely, and doing what I can.

    (added: and yes, it hasn't escaped my notice that "my best merchants aren't involved in this"..)

    I believe the merchants ARE at fault as well - and the networks are doing a poor job (deliberately??) of informing them. These parasites falsely inflate the supposed affiliate sales they would have had even if there was no program in place. And thank you Haiko, for all your work here, it's been eye-opening for me.
    Last edited by teezone; November 28th, 2008 at 08:22 PM.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    I am afraid that if we are all waiting for all of us to do something then once again nothing will be done. Some of us are doing what we can do.
    I mostly have read through the OneCause thread as an observer because I do not work with LinkShare. For a long time before this I wondered why others do, but that's their business. The merchants on that list are not merchants I work with - except for Sandals.
    I wrote to Buy.at where I had signed on with Sandals to ask if they could pass their affiliates' concerns on to Sandals because I have no direct company contact. Sandals on Buy.at is clean I have been assured, (didn't think otherwise) but that does not prevent OneCause from taking over in the cart if a OneCause user clicks on my Buy.at links. As long as Sandals is on the OneCause list they are being hurt on other networks as well. When Sandals decides to announce that they are no longer working with OneCause then they will have my full attention and efforts. Not before.

    I imagine that if Sandals was not paying for noncommissionable sales that the commissionable ones could have a higher commission. We all pay for OneCause's and WeCare's and GoodCause's and all of the leeches' free ride. Until we each decide to look for replacements for those merchants who won't let go of their "super-terrific" 100% converting partners we will continue to pay for it. See how well they produce when there's no one left to steal from.

  17. #17
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    If y'all would stick with SAS and AvantLink merchants, or at least use their merchants as the majority on your sites, you'd see better conversions and support the networks that don't allow at the table.

    For those who think they *need* "big name merchants" to make a living I say to you: Learn how to sell and you won't need to fall back on their brand to sell for you.

    The ethical, value add affiliate sells merchants and their products. If you do your job, you won't have to rely on the big name to help you sell. It CAN be done, just maybe more work involved.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  18. #18
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    It's not so black or white, Rexanne. It took me some time to switch my business model starting after 2002. 6 years later, I can say I'm not working with any of the merchants listed on OneCause or we-care. I'm also back working with indies. Should I say, it's not my problem anymore. I don't think so, because the disease is spreading. If we don't stop it even the merchants on SAS or Avantlink will be affected. I'm seeing more and more merchants on double platforms. A clean one and a dirty one. Last time, I had a look at agoodcause.com merchants (New parasite from Denmark, attending the next summit), they had Bonsai Boy of NY listed. They are on two platforms, SAS and CJ. Sorry to say that Rexanne, but if you promote them on SAS, you're not protected, agoodcause will rob your sales with CJ. It's just an example, I can go on and on.
    Also, myself, I don't want to be associated with that organized thievery. I'm an affiliate and proud of it. These people are THIEVES. Even if I don't work with them they are in the same business space. I'm not going to these affiliate meetings anymore because I don't want to have to shake hands with crooks, and these meetings are their headquarters.
    I tried to contact some of these big names on LinkShare. They don't care anymore. Before I had some traction, I was one of their top ten affiliates and they were concerned. Now, the parasites are their top affiliates. Should I give up! No way. We have to find a way to eliminate these parasites.

  19. #19
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    The parasites wouldn't have anyone to feed from is we didn't support the merchants or networks who support them by allowing them into their programs.

    That's why we pay attention to SAS exclusive merchant status. It's a badge of honor, IMO, to be a SAS exclusive merchant. Any merchant who doesn't "get it" is being robbed blind, just like affiliates.

    It's just ridiculous that this issue has continued to plague our industry. We, as affiliates, can do only so much. If merchants don't want to see the reality, we don't have to promote them and they'll eventually see their sales from the "big guys" dry up because the parasites they consider "big guys" won't have any other affiliates to feed from and won't be big guys for long.

    Short of legislature that makes this thievery ILLEGAL, we've only got our own free will to refuse to work with the merchants who are riddled with bugs.

    I also know that many affiliates continue to promote the infested programs because they're making a few sales here and there with them. These are mostly the "big name brands" that take very little effort to convert. Some affiliates feel that they can't let go these big brand merchants because that's what their visitors want. I say their visitors will buy what they promote. A consumer can easily type in a big brand name and get to their site if they want them badly enough. That would be the sweet spot: all that type in traffic stolen by parasites. Affiliates don't even have to be in the mix for parasites to steal from merchants.

    IMO, this is not an affiliate issue so much as it's a merchant and network issue. If we support those networks and merchants who are diligent about keeping bottom feeders out of their programs, we will see better results for our efforts and each sale we make is one less meal for a parasite.

    Without a governing body to put a stop to this crap, it's just gonna keep spreading because of those who allow it and those who choose to reap nasty karma because they are greedy and just care about making money. There have always been entities like this in the world and there probably always will be. That's what laws are made for - we need our own laws and codes of conduct. Without them, we're screaming little ants in a world of giant anteaters.

    We can shut down our affiliate businesses and find different ways to monetize our sites or play in the shark infested waters - but without a strong entity to slap these criminals upside the head and put them out of business, we're not gonna be able to do much as individual little ants. Just the reality as I see it.

    The best we can do individually is protect our own interests as much as we can by swimming in waters we know are safe or safer than the water where you can clearly see fins circling.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Exclamation Affiliate Voice; the time is NOW...
    Those of us who have been outspoken about the One Cause debacle are quite honestly too few and spread too thin to be any kind of motivating force in convincing networks and merchants to respond to the evils of the One Cause system. I don't believe the networks are interested in decommissioning One Cause, so we can probably scream about it until we lose our voices. Aside from affiliates, the merchants are the ones undoubtedly losing the most. So they're the ones that need convincing. We won't accomplish that by dropping their products or using any kind of boycott tactics.

    I believe it's time for Affiliate Voice to organize into a viable force. We need to develop and put into place systematic processes for professionally analyzing, documenting, and communicating the hazards of affiliates such as One Cause through direct channels to effected merchants. Numbers and the consequences of unscrupulous affiliates on the bottom line are the sort of information that merchants will pay attention to. We need to bypass unresponsive affiliate/program managers and talk directly to those in higher positions of responsibility.

    We need to move quickly and center the development of AV around the immediacy of attacking the scourge at hand. Out of this, AV will evolve. We won't accomplish it by bickering about the definition of ethics, policing, white/gray/black hat, and all the rest that has impeded the creation of the AV and other organizations. There has been little disagreement over the disdain for One Cause's methods, so this is a very good time to kick AV into motion and accomplish something worthwhile at the same time.

    I believe that those affiliates who are hesitant in taking firm action for fear of jeopardizing their business and network/merchant relationships will be more willing to partake in action through an organization.

    So let's build a database of contacts for those merchants in the One Cause merchant list. Let's document the findings of Haiko's tests in understandable and concise form that's targeted toward company execs who know nothing of affiliate marketing. Let's create charts and graphs with realistic numbers that illustrate capital losses to bad players. Let's send letters/emails and make calls. Let's become an authoritative source of real information about the perils of allowing unscrupulous affiliates into merchant programs.

    I'm ready and willing to do my part, how about you?



    X

  21. #21
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Byerly

    I believe it's time for Affiliate Voice to organize into a viable force. We need to develop and put into place systematic processes for professionally analyzing, documenting, and communicating the hazards of affiliates such as One Cause through direct channels to effected merchants. Numbers and the consequences of unscrupulous affiliates on the bottom line are the sort of information that merchants will pay attention to. We need to bypass unresponsive affiliate/program managers and talk directly to those in higher positions of responsibility.

    We need to move quickly and center the development of AV around the immediacy of attacking the scourge at hand. Out of this, AV will evolve. We won't accomplish it by bickering about the definition of ethics, policing, white/gray/black hat, and all the rest that has impeded the creation of the AV and other organizations. There has been little disagreement over the disdain for One Cause's methods, so this is a very good time to kick AV into motion and accomplish something worthwhile at the same time.

    I believe that those affiliates who are hesitant in taking firm action for fear of jeopardizing their business and network/merchant relationships will be more willing to partake in action through an organization.

    So let's build a database of contacts for those merchants in the One Cause merchant list. Let's document the findings of Haiko's tests in understandable and concise form that's targeted toward company execs who know nothing of affiliate marketing. Let's create charts and graphs with realistic numbers that illustrate capital losses to bad players. Let's send letters/emails and make calls. Let's become an authoritative source of real information about the perils of allowing unscrupulous affiliates into merchant programs.

    I'm ready and willing to do my part, how about you?
    All the same thoughts I'm having, Ed.

    The bottom line is: Who's gonna stand up and organize this effort? It's a huge job. Sure, as individuals we can do our part and I'll stand beside you and fight. But this fantasy of an "organization" needs to become reality before it can do any good or have a real "voice." Frankly, I'm sick of talking about it and screaming for the need. In this battle, we need a leader or a group of leaders who can get it together. Hand me a weapon and I'll walk into battle with my brothers and sisters - just don't ask me to lead the army. I would have no idea how to do it.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    I haven't spoken with Haiko about AV for some time now. I think it's time to continue the conversation with urgency...



    X

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador Bob Lawrence's Avatar
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    I will second that motion. Ed.
    I might be a small ant in a big world of Giant Anteaters.
    But I know Adam Ant @ the FCC in Detroit.
    Where's the Great Life of Affiliate Marketing Hiding?

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    The fact that these no-value 'affiliates' are pushed onto uneducated merchants because of their "results" shows that the problem is driven by networks that are complicit in the theft from their own partners, both affiliates and merchants. If the whole premise of having an affiliate program is to expand your business by introducing more new customers to your products and promoting the benefits of your products over the competitors' products then it is clear that a last minute cookie jump is not of any benefit to the merchant at all.

    I don't see any affiliate closing down an established campaign with a merchant that partners with these leeches right in the busiest time of the year, it reduces their chances of ROI from little to none; but if somehow it were to happen that all affiliates dropped merchant x or y or z or x, y and z at this time of year and left them with only their scumbag affiliate partners it would certainly make a dent. A noticeable dent might wake up a few.

    To be realistic you might find more of us willing to drop off the list after another disappointing season. Affiliates like to think that doing lots of hard work has it's rewards, and it is supposed to but as long as we allow/assist the dirty players it is a rigged race. How much are we losing? Why should we agree to lose any?

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexanne
    All the same thoughts I'm having, Ed.

    The bottom line is: Who's gonna stand up and organize this effort? It's a huge job. Sure, as individuals we can do our part and I'll stand beside you and fight. But this fantasy of an "organization" needs to become reality before it can do any good or have a real "voice." Frankly, I'm sick of talking about it and screaming for the need. In this battle, we need a leader or a group of leaders who can get it together. Hand me a weapon and I'll walk into battle with my brothers and sisters - just don't ask me to lead the army. I would have no idea how to do it.
    Same thoughts here too. I am very new to this AM stuff and also learning and reading about all this. Had to even look up what afsrc=1 was ....but I can't believe that all this is allowed in this industry. It makes me wonder if developing my sites are even worth it. Luckily I have stopped promoting most of LS merchants but who says there is not going to be (or already is) another similar thief on the horizon. This needs to stop.

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