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  1. #1
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    From a REAL merchant:

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>While everyone is looking at parasites again and asking questions about double standards should we also maybe start asking then, Should merchants work with affiliates who promote merchants who work with Parasites...?

    After all why should a merchant strive to avoid parasites if affiliates are going to promote their parasitic competitors anyway.

    Of every ABW member I work with who says they are anti-parasite, I can count on one hand, the number who actually Don't have links to parasite infested merchants from one or more of their sites.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is a Merchant is 100% Parasite free!

    YOUR ANSWER?

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
    </font></p>

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I can honestly say I'm guilty having to run a 312 page Cybermall. Certain categories are imposible to not find parasite riddled merchants. I'll only showcase merchants who are parasite free. My EC site is just a test bed to hold merchants feet to the fire on conversion ratios. Since the CoC is moot on enforcement I'll start cleaning house this year.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    If I were to start all over from scratch again I wouldn't work with parasite friendly merchants.

    But with the model I have and having most of my traffic coming from bookmarks and direct type ins to my site I have to have what my loyal visitors are looking for.
    They want namebrand stores, stores they know.

    I have never done well with smaller unknown merchants. My number one merchant for the last few years has been Amazon. Everyone knows them.

    My visitors love Amazon, Overstock, Eddie Bauer, Nordstrom, Target, BestBuy etc..They love the department stores. I am between a rock and a hard place. It is not a matter of finding products to replace them from a parasite free merchant. I don't focus on products, I focus on stores.

    But in working with those stores, I do put pressure on, I do inform them of the issues and try to get them to clean up their programs.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> This is a Merchant is 100% Parasite free! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Can that be said of all the merchants that are promoted on this message board?

    ------------------------------
    "It be's dat way sumtimes." ~ Coco B. Ware

  5. #5
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    I started reading this board a short time ago (a week?) trying to understand why my programs, especially with a certain network aren't working.

    Now that I know about parasites, YOU BET! I desire to weed out each and every merchant that is infected, promotes, sleeps with or otherwise tries to cheat or doesn't care about not cheating.

    If that means having an empty shopping mall - so be it. Whats the point of advertising for someone when some leach gets the commission anyway?

    And if the leach turns out the be the network in the middle, I'll kiss them goodbye too.

    Web_Novice
    "Should I encounter a moment of clarity, I hope to have it recorded in these journals."

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager Allen Nance's Avatar
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    I have one main site that unfortunatly will still have merchants that are associated with parasites. But in my open letter to all merchants http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&...9&m=1986001225 I stated that all NEW sites created my me will be with parasite free merchants only.

    I have already created 1 site and it had an epc of $25.00 for the month of December. About 4 times my normal epc at CJ.

    I will be PARASITE FREE for every new site.

    Thank you merchants that are and I will be seeing you soon!

    Allen Nance

  7. #7
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    The issue for me;

    WHO is a parasite user?

    Unless we are notified - building sites, maintaining fresh datafeeds promoting sales, etc are top priority.

    ABW is the best source I’ve found to inform me of Who's Who and Who's Up to no good.

    I maintain numerous sites utilizing well over 3,000 merchants. If I find a merchant utilizing parasites I drop them and move on. I would prefer to have an empty spot as opposed to letting them steal from others or me.

    SandraR

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
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    That 100% Parasite free! merchant also supports parasites if they have a network program. The only way you don't support parasites in any way is to only use 100% parasite free merchants outside of any network. So in one way or another the majority of affiliates support parasites.

    I work in lounge pants

  9. #9
    Affiliate/AM Moonlighter dflsports's Avatar
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    This whole biz is some what parasitic, not just certain "cookie stealers". Many merchants have no clue about parasites and many affiliates who do know about ehm still use merchants who they know are affiliated with parasites. But the comments have been made that sometimes there is no other option, true. Log before I visited this site, I had no clue about parasites but sometimes I wonder if it is being blown up to be a much bigger issue at times. I know a few merchants I have spoke with say that some of the parasites account for a very small percentage of sales but they might just be blowing smoke up my butt.

    In my case I do pretty well with a few merchants that have known parasites onboard, its so hard to drop them because they produce and I have no clue how much, if any is being stolen by a parasitic competitor. I applaud those merchants who do not allow parasites. I have joined many of their programs and will try my hardest to promote them.

    But at the same time, there are many affiliates that are not cookie stealers that, in my opionion, are not any better. Using keyword terms for products not even sold by the merchant they are listing on their site, this is sure to please the internet shopper. Or those affiliates who have not even taken the time to build a site that is just a little pleasing to the eye. "Lets just throw up as much crap as we can and hope for sales" seems to be the thinking. Now I know my sites are the prettiest but I take the time to make them pretty darn good. You must notice this when you search the web for your own personal Net shopping or trying to see who has a better ranking than you. No wait I forgot my sites are just a test bed to expose the truth about this and that, ummm, I bet a clean design that has a little "life" will out sell a site that looks like it was done by my 4 year old son.

    There is so much to clean up but the reality is that it's a very steep hill to climb and I'm afraid by the time we really make progress the "affiliate spam act" will be passed by congress and many of us honest affiliates will get shafted and lumped in with the "bad guys"

    We have so many issues, to coupon or not to coupon, datafeeds, the good, the bad, the ugly, parasites, spam, any more to add? Stepping off now.

  10. #10
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TrustNo1®:
    That 100% Parasite free! merchant also supports parasites if they have a network program. The only way you don't support parasites in any way is to only use 100% parasite free merchants outside of any network. So in one way or another the majority of affiliates support parasites.

    I work in lounge pants <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Totally agree.

    Aslo, if we start looking for 100% parasite free merchants and networks then we might as well close shop because it is impossible to not be affiliated in one way or another with one who works with parasites.

    Hopefully with this board and through persistance and affiliates dropping certain merchants, eventually at least 60% of the merchants listed on our sites and on the networks will be parasite free.

    The problem is if you want your website, wether its a network or just your own and are looking to sell your business one day, then you probably are not going to care too much who you join or who the networks sign up, since you are probably going to receive 58 Million dollars one day, inst that what happens eventually in the dot.com world.

    My slogan says: "A market for everything", Yeah, except "drive-by crooks".

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador
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    Mike, i know you don't depend on your affiliate income for your survival and i know you mentioned before about ecomcity being a test bed. I have an idea, and i mean this seriously. How about using ecomcity to test out indys outside of networks. Right now you're using the same merchants everybody else does. I have a nice list of indys, some i'm trying and others i will be trying out. How about turning ecomcity into an indy test bed and let us know which ones convert. It could show that you can be successful using 100% parasite free merchants and give affiliates options. Just let me know and i can supply you some indy choices for whatever category you're looking for. I'm always looking for a good para free converting indy.

    I work in lounge pants

  12. #12
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    I don't even know which merchants have parasites as I never got around to including the parasite forums in my daily routine :P

    Just starting out though I've joined many merchants that are listed on ABW

  13. #13
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    The question is valid and I'm as guilty as anyone on sites I started with but with newer sites, we only promote anti parasite merchants most of who are represented here and we'll continue to have this policy going forward. For the older sites, there is a steady weeding and will continue to be.

    We've been quick to pull merchants such as eddie bauer who recently changed terms and Coldwater Creek as well due to them not dropping sahs, the same can be said for Siera trading post because of their parasitic associations and tiger direct for their lousy policies. I've also provided a small amount of promotion to fogdog due to them dropping ebates but have held back in mass from promoting them on any scale due to their many other parasitic association with the rest of their programs and I did a "major" pull of components from gocollect due to their associations. I also pulled Overstock due to their complete BS they fed to so many of us for so long.

    With those merchant names in mind Haiko, I'd also suggest you clean up your own house before you start asking us why ours isn't clean. I don't make this statement to tick you or anyone else off but to offer perspective into the very thing you ask.

    We've all be newbees and made mistakes and many of us "continue busisness relationships" even when it's unfavorable to do so and thats not just affiliates doing this.

    I can spend two months reorging a site or I can completely rebuild a new one in days to months using datafeeds depending on complexity and what I want to accomplish. Frankly, my time is worth much more building new sites and I don't believe any of my partners have problems with the results of them recently.

    For my partners that continue to stand fast on this issue, look forward to more coverage coming. For the rest of the merchants that don't, you wont be getting us as a partner.

    One more thing while I'm on my soapbox. BackCountryStore has been a steadfast supporter of being anti-parasite, has implemented phone tracking, offers an excellent commission and action occurances and has supported this board for a long time yet, you yourself took the time to "On Jan 7th" make a nomination for "best post of 2004" for a competitor with no board here. Frankly, I find that less than desirable (not that it really matters).

    To my partner Brian - You rock and even though the other merchant has similar offerings and is supporting an anti parasite stance they will not go on my sites in competition with you..... but don't mess up . LOL

    I can only hope we all make good decisions going forward and I'll do my best to do the right things for us and our valued partners.

    ** Have you asked for change? **

  14. #14
    Affiliate/AM Moonlighter dflsports's Avatar
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    FYI for Ecomcity, your sites down right now, 1:08 eastern time

  15. #15
    Newbie Affiliate Ian's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TrustNo1®:
    I have a nice list of indys, some i'm trying and others i will be trying out. How about turning ecomcity into an indy test<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    I hope our indie program is on the "will be trying out" list! What do you need?

    Ian Lee, M.Sc.

    Internet Marketing Strategist / Affiliate Manager
    EYI, Inc.
    ilee_NO_SPAM@eyi.us
    http://www.eyiproducts.com/affiliate.html
    604-596-9766

    Personal Site: ADS-Links.com

  16. #16
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    Either I type very slow or put to much thought in my posts or..... can't keep nova from distracting me .

    After catching up on some reading I want to add that "if the COC does it's job and parasites do not overwrite affiliate links", (just like ebates isn't going too - caugh caugh), it really shouldn't matter if we partner with parasitic merchants or not.

    At one point (and it really hasn't been that long ago) the book wasn't written on if the coc would protect us or not. I held off making decisions on pulling merchants and lobbied for merchants to help us fight the networks and get them to honor the COC and protect affiliates interests.

    Even with many great anti parasite merchants here, I don't think they've all done this job very well IMO. Hopefully, this can change and we continue to make small steps but the "in compliance crap trap" will never be totally recognized as an accurate assessment of the situation from most merchants because it was said by an affiliate.

    We need merchants who see past the spin to make a bigger impact on other merchants. They like us have a program to run and limited time as well. The saga continues.

    ** Have you asked for change? **

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador
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    Ian, already have been trying out your program and very happy with it, i recommend it. I had a couple of sales with your program last month. Trying to send you some more this month, i know weight loss stuff is selling good right now. Converting 10/1 and looks like i'm making over $26 for every sale

  18. #18
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    EC's server must have burped for a few minutes. Over the weekend the hosting company blew a hard drive on server 5 and EC was out for 2 days. Still don't have Frontpage access till tomorrow to pull down Christmas displays and yank some links.

    I thank you Trustno1 for volunteering some indies as I'm definitely seeking some converters flying under the BHO radar. Seems no matter what category you display and entice clicks from they all seem to have a swarm of BHO's ready to pop on the destination merchants pages. Even TD, who was the only merchant I knew of having restraining orders on BHO's, went south on us due to internal greed.

    Wanks like 180Solutions Gator & WhenU pop whereever they see keywords or thousands of target domains. Niche' market Indies like Trust pointed out often don't trigger BHO's. I make sure I just don't even mention the term coupon, freebee or reward on my merchants sites. www.suspenders.com doesn't show BHO activity but I'm sure the new www.sloopsjeans.com site will show some apparel parasite friendly merchant popups. The problem the BHO's will have is enticing shoppers to other jean sites as this is the only manufacturer in the world for designer jeans for suspender wearers.

    Yes Haiko we need to push ABW hosted merchants and entice more to come here and learn double dipping and reliance on BHO Dupers will be a dead end move when the consumers have had it with popup advertisers of any color.

    I will do a major overhaul and weeding at Ecomcity this year as my posting stats here is a big yawn. I only made 2 merchants toe the mark last year in head to head competition...Overstock and TigerDirect. As trustno1 pointed out.... one lame indy Christmas site, not playing games, outsold them both. The only avenue for a general Cybermall is to make backdoor speciality niche' merchant pages optimized for SE's and send shoppers directly to the real bargains.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  19. #19
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> After all why should a merchant strive to avoid parasites if affiliates are going to promote their parasitic competitors anyway. ~Unknown parasite-free merchant<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Better placement and more promotion. Also because if your product line isn't one we would have bothered with otherwise, your being parasite free may change our minds. Plus, I tend to only promote one merchant per category, so if you get on my sites chances are that I'm NOT promoting your competition, whether they have parasites or not!


    But personally I wouldn't base a decision on who to deal with solely on an issue like parasiteware. As I've said in the past, a lot of factors contribute to whether a program is good or not. Being parasite-free is a plus, but it isn't the end-all.


    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> since you are probably going to receive 58 Million dollars one day,~jrami <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Drool--no, waitta minnit, no drools--there's 10 trillion affiliate sites out there! With so much supply, I doubt anybody's going to pay $58 million for a standard aff. site...

    But for selling in general, I'd think that some selectivity with merchants would *enhance* the selling price over just signing up with everything that moves. But not selecivity according to parasite status, sorry. I think investors would be more impressed if the site could show success (read: Good financial results) with every merchant on its roster, and therefore the site should be more concerned with avoiding duds of all stripes. Although there is a "social justice" mutual fund (forgot the name, sorry) that would probably buy shares in a parasite-free company...

    (Note: For the record I must say that I haven't touched a lot of merchants that I read about people pulling links to [which is why you don't see me saying "I've ripped links from xxxxx" too often]. But the reasons for not promoting them are different--usually the commission stinks or they're in a category that's already got literally 1,000,000 well SEOd competitors in it.)

    It's the most wonderful time of the year!~Old Christmas Song

  20. #20
    Newbie Affiliate Ian's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    Ian, already have been trying out your program and very happy with it, i recommend it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Doh, old age is knocking on my door!
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I had a couple of sales with your program last month.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Hey nice! In fact, I just completed paper work for this round's check cutting (Nov commissions). I am going to dig through the earning's list for last month and figure out who you are! Here is to earning bigger checks Trust!

    Ian Lee, M.Sc.

    Internet Marketing Strategist / Affiliate Manager
    EYI, Inc.
    ilee_NO_SPAM@eyi.us
    http://www.eyiproducts.com/affiliate.html
    604-596-9766

    Personal Site: ADS-Links.com

  21. #21
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Interesting thread.

    So, similar to what has been said by several responses here....would you then be happy if a merchant, or a network, said that all new affiliate relationships would be with non-parasitic affiliates, but all past relationships would remain intact because they can't find a viable replacement in that space?

    Thanks,

    -Brian Littleton
    -Owner/Operator Shareasale.com
    brian@shareasale.com

  22. #22
    Affiliate Manager Blair.com's Avatar
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    Nicely put, Brian.

    Chris Park
    Affiliate/Partnership Manager
    Blair.com
    cjpark@blair.com
    (814)726-6074

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    First, I love the word faceteous, it has all the vowels!

    Second, I hate hypocrites. If you're an affiliate trumpeting the "cause", then we shouldn't find those "other" merchants on your sites.

    Last, Business is business, and if a relationship is making money (talking strictly promoting parasitic merchants here), then why discontinue? But please, not hypocrisy.

    Brian makes a great point too. What if merchants just said "We're leaving those relationships in place, but everything from here on out gonna be above board" Well, more hypocrisy, isn't it?

    Fred

    You might just be a Redneck if - Birds are attracted to your beard...

    [This message was edited by buy_online on January 07, 2004 at 01:58 PM.]

    [This message was edited by buy_online on January 07, 2004 at 01:59 PM.]

  24. #24
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It's all about money. I will promote whichever combination of merchants will provide the maximum long-term return.

    Does that include merchants that allow parasites? Of course. If I eliminated those merchants, I would be eliminating probably 75% or more of my income. Very few merchants are totally parasite free.

    What would I do if one of my parasite-free merchants insisted that I remove all of my parasite-friendly merchants? I would compare my earnings from the one merchant against my earnings from all the ones he's asking me to remove.

    All other things being equal, a merchant that doesn't allow parasites will outperform a merchant that does allow parasites. Because of that, they will have a better chance of getting listed on my site and will get better placement on my site. I will strongly encourage all of my merchants not to work with parasites, but that's a decision they need to make.

    I would prefer to only work with merchants who don't work with parasites, have high commissions, have high return days, provide coupons, don't divert any sales, provide perfect datafeeds, have perfect customer service, who pay monthly within a few days of the end of the month, etc. But this is the real world. I'll work with merchants who allow parasites, pay low commissions, have no return days, don't have coupons, divert some sales, and are slow payers if they perform well. (They probably won't if they're doing all that.) There are few perfect merchants.

    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    I'm not really qualified to make a meaningful contribution here, because I ain't making any money yet! - so, whatever decisions I make or opinions I state, I'm not in the position of having to give up anything that is putting food on the table.

    It makes absolute sense that merchants who ditch parasites (and probably take a drop in sales as a consequence, at least in the short term - and isn't everything measured in the short term these days?) expect affiliates to play ball and promote them before merchants who are in bed with parasites...

    Likewise, it makes absolute sense that affiliates with families to feed are not going to drop merchants that perform for them.
    They don't have the luxury of thinking 'what is right and what is best for the long term'.

    I can also imagine that ethical A.M.s who may have trouble persuading their C.E.O. to give up parasites would like to be able to show them that good affiliates are dropping their less-ethical competitors.

    The important thing: keep the dialogue open, so new people who are building their business can make better informed decisions.

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