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  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 2nd, 2009
    Posts
    2
    Products to sell, looking at affiliates, some Q's
    Hey all,

    First of all, I hope this is the right category I am posting in

    So I am looking at maybe starting some sort of affiliate scheme for certain products on my site and I would like to get some feedback if anyone thinks its a good or bad idea, I am completely new to this.....

    First off, my product range is quite not your usual run of the mill items, lets take one product, the wireless RS232 adapter/modem kit (http://www.omniinstruments.net/produ.../sub.id89.html ), not exactly an every day household item but it is surprising the demand for such a product in the industrial/research/educational markets.

    So my first question is with products such as these, would it be worth my time going down trying to go this affiliate route?

    If it is, I was looking to try and deal with the affiliates direct rather than go through something like CJ or SAS. For one, I don't even think these companies would deal with me due to the niche products that I sell. Is that a good or bad idea?

    As for tracking the products and sales for each affiliate, I was planning on creating a separate product on our shopping cart which is unique to the affiliate and can only be accessed from the affiliates referral link, this would then allow me to keep track of exactly what the affiliate has sold.

    Taking the above product as an example, I would discount it to say $185 (list is $195 on the site) for the affiliate as a promotion or incentive to the buyer and the affiliate would then get $35 per sale.

    So guys, I need advice, do you think something like this would be even attractive to a potential affiliate? The idea came to me after a buddy wrote a small article using the above item on his CNC blog, he netted a couple of customers who buy around 200 units a year, so I worked out a similar deal with him. Even if they call, I know from there company name that he was the initial referrer and keep track of the sales. He has done well, we both have, but I have no idea if such a scheme would be of interested to other affiliates?

  2. #2
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Posts
    1,537
    It's hard to say if an affiliate program would work or not work for you ... you can try it and see. $35 per sale is good for a $185 item in the B2B space. However, you would probably make more money doing exactly what you are doing. The competition would just be canabalizing your existing traffic.

    It sounds like you are in effect 'drop shipping' product for your friend. You might want to hit up other merchants in your space to buy units to stock at the $45 off you offer and see how that goes.

    Personally, if it were me, I would not even think of setting up an affiliate program. I'd sell the product on EBAY ... and thru other normal merchant channels. 55 million people a month check in on EBAY ... having your product there is money in the bank if the demand is real. You can also sell it on Amazon for less than you would have to pay affiliates.

  3. #3
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 2nd, 2009
    Posts
    2
    Thanks for the quick reply net4biz, your input is appreciated!

    I did try dropping the price, but that had zero effect on sales, its all down to the site and the very limited organic visitors I get compared to the competition. I then started a Google adwords campaign which did increase sales greatly, and I may just go back to that. Also eBay and Amazon, I never thought about using both of these resources, going to give that a go!

    However, if anyone is interested I am still willing to give the affiliate route a try, nothing ventured, nothing gained

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
    Join Date
    February 3rd, 2008
    Posts
    3,955
    Hey scottiedog, welcome to ABW. Don't know if you have a Scottish Terrier, but we've had two over the years. Great feisty little dogs. They both lived to sixteen.

    As for whether or not to start an affiliate program. The reasoning would be to increase targeted traffic to your site. That's what affiliate marketing is all about. The beauty of it is that you don't have to pay for that traffic unless a sale results. You insinuate that your traffic is pretty meager. That's not unusual in your product line because there's so much competition. You could go the independent program route (no network) but there's a whole layer of complexity necessary to do that. If you do, you should consider hiring an affiliate manager (AM) or and outsourced program manager (OPM). Joining a network relieves you of a lot of that extra complexity, but there are expenses associated with that also.

    Also, if PPC was working for you, you should expand on that...



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