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  1. #1
    15 years and counting
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    Watch this merchant: Auntie Itch
    I signed up yesterday, was approved immediatly, put my links on a site with high traffic in the same vertical (skincare) than Auntie Itch.
    Google did the favor to rank me at the top during the night for the product name and some generic terms related to the product.
    Must be too good for the merchant, this morning I received an email:
    "Auntie Itch Affiliate Program Application DECLINED"
    No reason, no nothing. Just an empty email with this title.
    I read the merchant agreement before signing up so I know I'm not doing someting wrong.
    I had a look this morning at who is working with Auntie Itch. All the affiliates I saw in the SERPs have their relationship with Auntie Itch deactivated. So, they are sending their traffic nowhere.
    Here's their stats at SAS: 7 Day EPC $0.00 30 Day $0.00

    Who can tell me what this merchant is doing?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus
    I signed up yesterday, was approved immediatly, put my links on a site with high traffic in the same vertical (skincare) than Auntie Itch.
    Google did the favor to rank me at the top during the night for the product name and some generic terms related to the product.
    Must be too good for the merchant, this morning I received an email:
    "Auntie Itch Affiliate Program Application DECLINED"
    No reason, no nothing. Just an empty email with this title.
    I read the merchant agreement before signing up so I know I'm not doing someting wrong.
    I had a look this morning at who is working with Auntie Itch. All the affiliates I saw in the SERPs have their relationship with Auntie Itch deactivated. So, they are sending their traffic nowhere.
    Here's their stats at SAS: 7 Day EPC $0.00 30 Day $0.00

    Who can tell me what this merchant is doing?
    Thanks for the report, Zeus.

    Another boneheaded merchant/clueless affiliate manager, no doubt. *sigh*

    Gets wearisome, doesn't it??
    Generate more fake news.

  3. #3
    15 years and counting
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    I don't mind working with small merchants from time to time. I saw the $0 EPC before signing up but I had the right opportunity for Auntie Itch.
    Either they don't like my site (and all others ranking well), that's their choice. In that case it would be better for them to don't auto-approve affiliates.
    Or, they are closing doors or have problems. So, why don't they deactivate their affiliate program or stop accepting new affiliates.
    This kind of cluless merchants are not helping Shareasale. I'm exposing them to help other affiliates and because I still expect SAS to do something in the monitoring of these merchants. It can drive away affiliates. Shareasale works, I'm not a big player with them but I made around $500 in commission yesterday with their small merchants. So, I'll like SAS to attract bigger brands.

  4. #4
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    Zeus wrote (in part): > "I still expect SAS to do something in the monitoring of these merchants . . . ." <

    First, thanks for the alert on this and other "problem merchants."

    And like you, I am a huge fan of ShareASale, and of the potential that many of its smaller merchants have.

    But how could you possibly have this expectation (that ShareASale would "monitor" its merchants) after so many years of having many merchants remain active on SAS even after their sites become defunct -- and even after their domains are disabled?

    I certainly share your desire and hope and wish that ShareASale would take more steps to monitor its merchants; doing so would certainly make ShareASale more professional and more useful. But I don't think it's reasonable to "expect" it do so.

  5. #5
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    A perfect job for a summer intern - checking up on merchants. In some cases the merchant is defunct, but in others I am sure there is an opportunity for SAS to get a merchant rolling again
    CharPaula
    Staying focused on the bottomline

  6. #6
    15 years and counting
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    I gave up hope on some networks a long time ago. I saw a few good thing done by SAS before the toolbar debacle. Brian still read these threads even if he don't get involved anymore. I'm like you, I wish Shareasale would take more positive steps to monitor its merchants. Training, information, feedback... deactivation. Who knows?
    He has more to lose than us. It's not our network. We still have the choice to work with others.

  7. #7
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Zeus,

    The simple fact that a Merchant declined your application does not make them clueless - or as Writerguy pointed out... "boneheaded". There is the possibility that they simply didn't feel that your affiliate site was a fit for what they were doing.

    If you look at the program detail page for this Merchant you will see they activated their program on May 15th, or approximately 4 days ago. As it is just getting rolling I would expect them to have a low EPC until things get moving.

    Obviously, we would prefer that they enter a reason when Declining an Affiliate - but it is one of those things where if we please one side (the Affiliate), we annoy the other (Merchant) who has to type in a reason, etc...

    I'll accept that we can do a better job at monitoring the merchant base, but I also feel that all too often, the posts here are quick to judge and utilize language (clueless, boneheaded) that discourages Merchants from coming here and participating in the conversation. In my opinion, it simply doesn't help - and it keeps people away that we all should want here.
    Thanks,

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

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Brian:

    Thoughtful response.

    When merchants sign up, do you give them any best practices, including "standard decline messages"? I agree that it's really up to them how they do business.

    On your side, any plans in place to step up eliminating/disabling merchants that have been offline for X amount of months?

    And my 2 cents. I think SaS is the closest to "having it right."

    Thanks.

  9. #9
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Phillyburbs,

    We've tried several interations - but yes it is an area we are still trying to improve at.

    I run into trouble because I want to give people the benefit of the doubt that they can run their business the way they see fit ... and also that each business has the potential to do something great if given time and space to do so.

    I think at times I lean too far in that direction in allowing Merchants too much time, but the last thing we want to do is eliminate a Merchant or Affiliate that has potential.

    Regarding the best practices and "standard declines" - we do have an abundance of best practices available as well as knowledgebase topics, a welcome kit, and a few other things to help new Merchants. As you may know, it is difficult to get messages across often as the natural tendency is to just jump in and try things out.
    Thanks,

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

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Uh, sorry. My apologies for the "boneheaded" remark.

    Excuse my rudeness.
    Generate more fake news.

  11. #11
    15 years and counting
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    I've no problem if a merchant don't accept me or deactivate me because they don't like my sites. I can handle that. If it was only me, I would have kept that matter private.
    I'm starting to wonder what the merchant is doing when a dozen sites or more are deactivated at the same time. All of them ranking well in the SERP!!! And the merchant has only been active 4 days!!! If you don't think something is wrong, well, tell these affiliates how they are wasting their traffic and let them say what they think.

    During all these years reading ABW I don't remember a merchant being on the grill and not doing something wrong. If they don't come here to participate it's because they have something to hide or they can't take the heat. Many merchants have learned a great deal from heated conversations and some have been able to improve their programs.

  12. #12
    Newbie newbie8100's Avatar
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    thanks for the info Brian, good to know as a newbie
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale
    Phillyburbs,

    We've tried several interations - but yes it is an area we are still trying to improve at.

    I run into trouble because I want to give people the benefit of the doubt that they can run their business the way they see fit ... and also that each business has the potential to do something great if given time and space to do so.

    I think at times I lean too far in that direction in allowing Merchants too much time, but the last thing we want to do is eliminate a Merchant or Affiliate that has potential.

    Regarding the best practices and "standard declines" - we do have an abundance of best practices available as well as knowledgebase topics, a welcome kit, and a few other things to help new Merchants. As you may know, it is difficult to get messages across often as the natural tendency is to just jump in and try things out.


    This was really a helpful post.thanks for shedding some light.

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager
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    As a merchant, I don't have SAS on auto-approve. If I turn down an affiliate, I ALWAYS send a reason why. I am glad I have done that because a couple have responded and I went back and changed it.

    BTW the reason they were declined was because my product is a US only product and it looked like most of their traffic was nonUS.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale
    As you may know, it is difficult to get messages across often as the natural tendency is to just jump in and try things out.
    Understood. Thanks for the continued solid efforts!

  15. #15
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    There are obviously some very good merchants on the network while others are ones you want to stay right away from as I'm also experiencing lately myself. At least Brian can come here and still post about what they are trying to do which is a lot more than what we see at networks like CJ where the best you get there is an arrogant know it all on the phone who already decided they won't listen to you, and to post on the forum, they can't even send a rep.
    Hosting Discounts from Professional Rates Hosts - Deals and Coupons on Domain Names from GoDadday, Namecheap, Domain.com and more top registers.

  16. #16
    Zeus,
    Being a new merchant I don't know how to contact you, I wanted to discuss which merchants you are signing up with and if I would fit your criteria.

    Thanks,
    Brian

  17. #17
    15 years and counting
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    Hi Brian, I just sent you an email through the form on your website.

  18. #18
    Zeus, looks like we made our first connection today!

    Thanks so much for taking the initiative to post something compeling. Look forward to many more connections!

  19. #19
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    I saw the first sales coming, thanks, Brian.
    Brian - ShareASale
    Zeus,
    The simple fact that a Merchant declined your application does not make them clueless - or as Writerguy pointed out... "boneheaded". There is the possibility that they simply didn't feel that your affiliate site was a fit for what they were doing.

    If you look at the program detail page for this Merchant you will see they activated their program on May 15th, or approximately 4 days ago. As it is just getting rolling I would expect them to have a low EPC until things get moving.
    Two weeks later, their EPC went from $0 to N/A New. Great job.

    I saw their Agreement was modified to include:
    "Please Note: Membership applications are reviewed by our staff for acceptance, and you will typically receive an email from us to confirm your application by email. Our Membership Review Team will review your site for the following things in order to accept you into our network: * Currently not accepting coupon or discount website * Website Language (we only accept sites in English) * Prospective ability of your site to drive traffic to our Merchants * Any illegal, porn, hate, etc... on your site, or on sites that you link to Decisions made by ShareASale about membership applications are final, but you are free to re-apply if you wish in the future, should your application not be accepted."

    That's perfect, at least the agreement is not misleading potential affiliates anymore.
    You would think that a merchant listing coupons in the Shareasale coupon database would accept coupon sites, DealID Auntie Itch - 22215 - 18227 !!! Isn't it strange? A little bit misleading... What is this clueless merchant expecting? Do they want content sites to list Auntie Itch coupon to change them in coupon sites (to deactivate them later...)
    Why do they provide a coupon if they don't want an affiliate to use this coupon?
    Is a site listing coupons a coupon site? Or do they have an other definition?
    Some of your affiliates (deactivated by them) are still listing Auntie Itch and driving potential customers to your notactive.html page.

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