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  1. #1
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    September 8th, 2005
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    Offended by a Merchant Email
    I got this e-mail from one of my merchants and I AM OFFENDED!

    A message from one of your merchants: MERCHANTNAME

    Hi,
    Can you show me how you're promoting our sites? We're just screening to make sure that you're not violating our terms since you don't have any link referrals.

    Regards,
    MERCHANTNAME

    I have earned virtually pennies from this merchant. I would assume if I WAS violating their TOS I would be making quite a bit of cash or why would I bother.

    What does everyone else think of this?

  2. #2
    Moderator PDXreader's Avatar
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    I think you are bored.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Why would you be offended?

  4. #4
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    November 6th, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by janew
    I got this e-mail from one of my merchants and I AM OFFENDED!

    A message from one of your merchants: MERCHANTNAME

    Hi,
    Can you show me how you're promoting our sites? We're just screening to make sure that you're not violating our terms since you don't have any link referrals.

    Regards,
    MERCHANTNAME

    I have earned virtually pennies from this merchant. I would assume if I WAS violating their TOS I would be making quite a bit of cash or why would I bother.

    What does everyone else think of this?
    I'm not sure why you're offended. I'm sure thousands of other affiliates received the same email.

  5. #5
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I understand you being offended and why. However, the issue is with the merchant and them not having control over their program nor their terms. Emails like this are a warning sign IMO.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  6. #6
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    I agree that this email is a cause for concern, but not necessarily offense. Certainly, the merchant could have worded the letter more diplomatically, but any experienced affiliate should recognize that merchants must take affirmative steps to identify and eliminate "rogue" affiliate activity.

    Assume that the merchant sent this email to 20 affiliates, one of whom is a parasite who is stealing commissions from other affiliates. The parasite is the most likely to respond with a plausible explanation -- and this merchant seems quite likely to accept such a response at face value, meaning that the merchant has simply identified an issue but is clueless how to actually investigate effectively.

  7. #7
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    After reading Janew's post again, I do have the same question as eh does. Why would an inactive affiliate pose a fraud concern? You'd think it would be the other way around, where an affilaite was sending tons of traffic with no conversions or tons of bogus conversions.

  8. #8
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    This may not have been the best way to handle it, or the best email to send out... but it is important to remember that Affiliate Managers are faced with a great deal of issues regarding affiliates misrepresenting what they are "doing". Here on this board there are a lot of threads focused on "Merchant Misrepresentation" .... (merchants doing things wrong), etc... But the reality is that while it isn't discussed as much here, there is a sizeable volume of "Affiliate Misrepresentation" (affiliates doing things wrong) as well.

    For the most part, I think Affiliate Managers in these situations are just trying to make sure things are on the "up and up" ... it isn't always easy to do so.

    My recommendation would be to be open with the Affiliate Manager, and transparent about your goals and general marketing methods to the best extent possible while protecting any specific methodology you are using. Reassure them that you have read and understand the agreement - and specifically point to the areas that they restrict letting them know that you aren't engaging in any of those practices.

    The most common are DTM PPC (trademark or otherwise), Coupon promotion, and Adware. Point out that you understand these, that you aren't using them, etc... and I think it can go a long way towards creating a more positive relationship between the two of you.
    Thanks,

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

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