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  1. #1
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    8 Program Closings in 5 days
    In the past 5 days, I have seen email notifications of 8 different merchants shutting down their affiliate program. Even though this is a lot, I bet the worst is yet to come.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Hmmm... I haven't seen any but then again I don't belong to too many of 'm.

    My new philosophy is to focus only a few key merchants per site instead of too many. Learn their products inside and out and know what they have. For a different website I'll focus on a few others. We'll see it's just a philosophy.

  3. #3
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Lightbulb
    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourButts
    In the past 5 days, I have seen email notifications of 8 different merchants shutting down their affiliate program. Even though this is a lot, I bet the worst is yet to come.
    I'd be interested in knowing if it was due to (1) the economy, (2) results in a particular network, or (3) fear of being eventually audited by some state looking for sales tax liability.

  4. #4
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    My 2 cents:

    (1) the economy

    Companies are falling like flies from some of the big dogs like Circuit City, LNT, to corner store mom and pop companies.

    Although AM seldom takes the limelight in online marketing, it is one of the lowest cost per acquisition program if it is run properly.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    It is interesting to think that it would be the economy.

    I would think programs would be trying to strengthen their affiliate programs during this time.

    For a few reasons...

    1) Right or wrong, when more people lose their jobs, more people turn to affiliate marketing. What I mean by "right or wrong" is that so often, these people don't last very long and are looking to get rich quick. The market is perfect to recruit a lot of affiliates, some of whom WILL turn out to be lifelong affiliates.

    2) Stores cost money. Affiliate programs don't. OK, well they do (if you are on a network paying them a flat fee), but otherwise, they cost nothing other than what is paid to the affiliate as a % (plus a little to the AM(s)). Stores cost a LOT more.

    3) More people are turning to online shopping. For deals, or lack of transportation, or because they have the time to shop around. Of course, regardless of the economy, this trend is going to continue year over year.

    It would seem to me that an affiliate program would be among the last things to shut down due to a bad economy. Besides, is it really THAT bad or is it just the media making us all panic? I say it's the latter.
    Matt McWilliams
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  6. #6
    http and a telephoto
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    They aren't just closing their AM programs, some of them are totally closing their websites down. So I think it is the economy. If they are on the larger, expensive networks I can see why some also need to close their affiliate programs to cut costs. Also being able to cut prices by eliminating the affiliate commission (while I don't think that is smart) may be the only way some can stay competitive in pricing in their niche.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  7. #7
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    They aren't just closing their AM programs, some of them are totally closing their websites down.
    Ending programs, closing sites, dropping commissions, and bankruptcy filings are signs of the times. Taking merchants off is getting so routine it's not bothering me any more.

    Ordered a dishwasher at Lowe's today and every where we went stores where eager to cut price. We negotiated the the price down nearly a $100 by price matching and store discount combined. Retail is super competitive now.

  8. #8
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMcWilliams
    It is interesting to think that it would be the economy.

    I would think programs would be trying to strengthen their affiliate programs during this time.
    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    They aren't just closing their AM programs, some of them are totally closing their websites down. So I think it is the economy. If they are on the larger, expensive networks I can see why some also need to close their affiliate programs to cut costs. Also being able to cut prices by eliminating the affiliate commission (while I don't think that is smart) may be the only way some can stay competitive in pricing in their niche.
    Per Matt, a strong, well-run affiliate program would seem to be a great way to withstand the economic crunch - pay out for actual sales, not for rent, salaries, insurance, etc. ragardless of whether or not anyone's buying.

    As Loxly said - are these merchants just closing their affiliate programs or are they going bye-bye period? The fear of SALES TAXES especially for small merchants in small states who do not want to deal with NY, CA, and who knows who else, may be ending their programs out of fear of dealing with all this, and some merchants just do not want to pay a share of their gross to affiliates.

    But- if a real issue is the cost of belonging to a network, with this and the recent SAS/toolbar issues, alienating a previously hardcore loyal following, perhaps now is the time for a new network, sans toolbars that will, just maybe, have NO upfront costs to interested, delicately balanced merchants, who would gladly pay out percentages to the network and to affiliates, only for actual sales.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, theres no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  9. #9
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    I believe it is stores closing down completely rather than closing down their affiliate programs alone. We had to take this decision ourselves more than a year ago when the bottom fell out of our market. Both the demand and margins slumped badly at the same time.

    If you are in the electronics sector, there is probably much worse to come. Despite lower demand, flash memory prices have jumped more than 50% recently. This is because the manufacturers have cut down on production and retailers have sold out their existing stock.

  10. #10
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    The money for nothing, chicks for free game is over. People will have to learn to deal with it.

    Even EBAY is wacking sign-up payouts based on 'quality' traffic as opposed to
    quanity traffic. Quality? Duh!

    If no one has any money, how can any traffic be considered 'quality'? But people still need to eat, stay warm and they will not give up their 'habits' - good or bad - without a fight with themselves.

    Still, money is changing hands online ... you just have to find what people want right now and are willing to pay for. As for traffic for both offline and online - Craigslist rocks.

    And here is a tip for everyone - buy a two or three line classified ad in your local newspaper, trade magazines and such ... bold your URL in the ad. The costs are amazingly low for the exposure you get. Since people have to copy the URL and type it in, any one who does that should be a real interested prospect for what you are offering.

    On CJ, one of the highest EPC is for a printing place that prints postcards and flyers.
    Print some up ... and pass them out locally. Make what used to be called 'AD SHEETS'
    and sell 'Expanded Classifieds' which is basically a listing similar to a Google Search Listing. Find out what it costs to insert them in your local weekly newspaper - charge
    enough so the advertisers pay the cost and your ad is FREE.

    Make a deal with local merchants or the local school or your church - give them a free ad if they will pass them out to their customers.

    When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Zig Ziglar always made the
    "If you want something, help other people get what they want."

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