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  1. #1
    Newbie Rocketfuel's Avatar
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    Autoanything Dirty Rip Off Tricks!
    A coupple of weeks ago i posted about dirty tricks from JC Whitney having add on every page you land on from their datafeed.

    Today i was looking over the Autoanything feed and i could not beleive my eyes when i saw what was in the descriptions in every product

    "Shop Online or Call 800-544-8778. "

    Thats complete and total BS and i cant beleive that a merchant would have the nerver to plaster their ph number all over their datafeed.

    Are all these merchants owned by the same company or do they all just practise dirty rip off affiliate commission tricks??

    I have added php to my site to overwrite the phone number but this is a heads up to all the rest of you guys that may not have noticed or seen it.

    If there was enough good autoparts merchants on other networks with good datafeeds autoanything would be droped in a heartbeat for dirty tricks like that.

    Unreal whats next? Please delete your cookies before you order on our site in the description??


  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Ebay or Amazon is the way to go for auto parts. At least you stand a reasonable chance of getting a commission.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocketfuel
    I have added php to my site to overwrite the phone number but this is a heads up to all the rest of you guys that may not have noticed or seen it.
    Thank you for the heads up, Rocketfuel. I was thinking about updating some of my auto parts pages with Auto Anything's popshops products lately. After reading your post, I went to popshops and pull out some sample products...
    you are right. Every products has "Shop Online or Call 800-544-8778" on the description. That's unbelievable!

    It is very hard to find an ethical auto parts merchant with decent organized data feed nowadays. Among all the auto parts merchants, Auto Anything has by far the most organized datafeed on popshops. If you look at the Auto Parts Warehouse's popshops datafeed, it is completely a joke. Tons of broken products images, hundreds of duplicate products, three networks have three different search results...

    Other than those "call 1800" signs all over their sites, almost all the auto parts merchants have "Enter Coupon Code" boxes at their checkout pages. If you are lucky enough to get the customer pass the call 1800 trick, convince them to click on "add to cart"... but wait a second, a coupon code? Maybe I should google the codes before placing the order...there bye bye your commission.

    I don't think it is worth of my time to promote any of these auto merchants' products.

  4. #4
    All Around Web Guy Cursal's Avatar
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    When will merchants learn that a Phone number is no good for affiliate marketing unless you have tracking installed for the call in orders.

    I cannot believe the (some) Program Mangers still have not woken up to this simple realization.

    I don't want my visitors calling you to order. I prefer the click through/cookie set and commission for bringing them to you ready to buy from my pre-sale setup, geez.

    JC Whitney is being pretty sleazy with that # in the DB. Get real.
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  5. #5
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cursal
    When will merchants learn that a Phone number is no good for affiliate marketing unless you have tracking installed for the call in orders.

    I cannot believe the (some) Program Mangers still have not woken up to this simple realization.
    You may be naive in thinking that they don't realize that phone orders aren't tracked. I believe some merchants just feel that any way that they can cheat their affiliates out of their commission is just more revenue to the bottom line. 800 numbers posted throughout an affiliate datafeed is an intentional attempt to avoid paying commissions.

    -rematt
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  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager zooma230's Avatar
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    Thank you for bringing this to my attention as I was previously unaware of this issue. It appears that the individual that manages our datafeeds erroneously neglected to remove the phone number copy from the datafeeds that are sent to affiliates. I sincerely apologize for the issues this has created. I do my best to ensure AutoAnything has an affiliate-friendly, parasite-free program and I value your feedback to improve the quality of our program.

    We are in the process of updating all of our affiliate datafeeds to remove the phone number. This process should be completed and a new datafeed pushed to the networks by this afternoon. I will follow up to confirm when the corrected datafeed is available. If you have any additional questions or feedback, please let me know.

    Rocketfuel: I have emailed you directly as well for bringing this issue to my attention.
    [B]Jeff DeBo[/B] | Sr. Marketing Manager - Affiliate
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  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Adarsh's Avatar
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    I figured this too and had to remove all the "Shop Online or Call 800." manually. Damn, wasted 30 minutes in removing all the phone numbers. I hope it is fixed for other affiliates.
    Regards.

  8. #8
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    that's a pretty low tactic alright!
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  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager zooma230's Avatar
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    Our data feeds in both CJ and GAN have been corrected and uploaded. The phone number has been removed from all links. Again, I apologize for this issue. Please contact me with any questions.
    [B]Jeff DeBo[/B] | Sr. Marketing Manager - Affiliate
    [URL=http://www.connectcommerce.com/secure/partner_app_alt.html?ccmid=K217424]ProFlowers[/URL] | [URL=http://www.connectcommerce.com/secure/partner_app_alt.html?ccmid=K302833]Personal Creations[/URL] | [URL=http://www.connectcommerce.com/secure/partner_app_alt.html?ccmid=K21765]RedEnvelope[/URL] | [URL=http://www.connectcommerce.com/secure/partner_app_alt.html?ccmid=K220460]Cherry Moon Farms[/URL] | [URL=http://www.connectcommerce.com/secure/partner_app_alt.html?ccmid=K220455]Shari's Berries[/URL]

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  10. #10
    All Around Web Guy Cursal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    You may be naive in thinking that they don't realize that phone orders aren't tracked. I believe some merchants just feel that any way that they can cheat their affiliates out of their commission is just more revenue to the bottom line. 800 numbers posted throughout an affiliate datafeed is an intentional attempt to avoid paying commissions.

    -rematt
    Perhaps they do know, but affiliates should be outraged by the lack of tracking. Merchants that do not know should hire better qualified Manager or send them to training Andy from ARC offer this still I think, managers that know better should be ashamed of themselves and outed.

    Having a low cost or free option from an affiliate network would be great.

    I will not promote any company that allows for phone orders that does not have tracking in place.....I urge affiliates to do the same.

    Why track cookies if they just are going to call when they get to the site.
    At the very least put that number in less accessible areas and call it support, not Real big at the top of the site that says CALL NOW TO ORDER!
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  11. #11
    Full Member snappy's Avatar
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    Thanks Zooma230 for your fast attention and removing the #'s. You rock.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager jclaydon's Avatar
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    I think the 800 number issue is often blown way out of proportion. Most retail sites will get at most 1% of their traffic calling in to their numbers, and most of these calls relate to shipping issues from previously ordered items or questions about returns etc.

    In AutoAnything's case this percentage might be a bit higher due to the complex nature of their products, but I can guarantee you are losing more sales due to cookie/pixel issues than you are to consumers calling in.

    Ideally it would be great if merchants want to display an 800 number that is unique to each individual affiliate or a promo code next to the 800 number that would be an identifier for the traffic source, but doing so ads a great deal of dev work to their site, plus training of call center staff etc that likely will not result in a positive ROI. If something really needs to be done I would suggest removing the 800 number from the header for all traffic coming from the affiliate channel, which is relatively easy to accomplish.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zooma230
    Our data feeds in both CJ and GAN have been corrected and uploaded. The phone number has been removed from all links. Again, I apologize for this issue. Please contact me with any questions.
    How about your data feeds on Popshops? I just checked, the 1800 number still showin gon every single products.

    Plus, almost all of the products undering lighting section landing pages are the same: "2008 Buick Lucerne" with the message "Currently, Headlight parts are not offered for your selected vehicle. Please choose another category. You may also change your vehicle for more results."

    Have you ever updated your datafeed on popshops?

  14. #14
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayfly
    How about your data feeds on Popshops? I just checked, the 1800 number still showin gon every single products.
    Mayfly, It will take a day or two for popshops to be updated. They don't run a live update as far as I know.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by knight01
    Mayfly, It will take a day or two for popshops to be updated. They don't run a live update as far as I know.
    Thanks, Knight.

    How about the lighting products landing pages? Did you see the same as I see? They all land on the same page: "2008 Buick Lucerne" with the message: "Currently, Headlight parts are not offered for your selected vehicle. Please choose another category. You may also change your vehicle for more results."

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager zooma230's Avatar
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    Mayfly: as knight01 stated, PopShops may not have updated their feed. I will contact them and post again when I receive a response. I am looking into the lighting category issue. Thank you for the continued feedback so I can improve our feed and program.
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  17. #17
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Thanks zooma230 for your quick response and attention to this matter.

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager zooma230's Avatar
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    I consulted with our datafeed manager and I was able to diagnose mayfly's issue regarding the vehicle error. During one of her visits to our site, she entered her vehicle as a 2008 Buick Lucerne. On subsequent return visits, she visited pages for products that are not available for her selected vehicle (2008 Buick Lucerne), so she received an error message with an option to change the vehicle. This is not an error in the datafeed.

    Please let me know if you have any additional questions.
    [B]Jeff DeBo[/B] | Sr. Marketing Manager - Affiliate
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by zooma230
    I consulted with our datafeed manager and I was able to diagnose mayfly's issue regarding the vehicle error. During one of her visits to our site, she entered her vehicle as a 2008 Buick Lucerne. On subsequent return visits, she visited pages for products that are not available for her selected vehicle (2008 Buick Lucerne), so she received an error message with an option to change the vehicle. This is not an error in the datafeed.

    Please let me know if you have any additional questions.
    That's not true, Jeff. I just responsed to your PM.

    Here is what I reply to your PM:

    "I understand that it is massive work to point every products to match its landing page. It is ok to point say all Acura headlights to one Acura page, all Honder headlights to one Honda page...

    The problem here is: A visitor click on Mercedes-Benz headlight, but it land on 2008 Buick Lucerne page. That's a bit awkward, don't you think?

    Same problem occur when I was checking some Distributor parts and Alternator parts. They will land on a completely different car makes page. If I'm the visitor, I will close the window and shop somewhere else.

    If you could plase at lease land all the same car make to its landing page. There is no need to match every SKUs, but same makes or possible the year made will definitely help to keep visitors stay and search on your site.

    Thanks,"



    ...
    Add: Nobody was searching for " 2008 Buick Lucerne", that page is set as a default landing page for all your lighting products. If you go to popshops and search for "headlights". Just pick any single products on the search result, and click on the link "langing page" on the product description, you will see what I was talking about. ALL THE PRODUCTS LANDS ON "2008 Buick Lucerne" PAGE!

  20. #20
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    Mayfly,
    I've never looked at autoanything.com product feed since I was declined back in March when I applied. But I just looked in popshops and they are listed under CJ and GAN, which are you using? I'll check what happens in popshops.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by knight01
    Mayfly,
    I've never looked at autoanything.com product feed since I was declined back in March when I applied. But I just looked in popshops and they are listed under CJ and GAN, which are you using? I'll check what happens in popshops.
    Thanks Knight. I'm using CJ feed.

    By the way, Jeff just replied via PM explaining that

    "Unfortunately, our replacement parts site does not have the functionality built in to accept a redirect the the Y/M/M data included. This issue affects any products on the replacement parts side; it does not impact accessories. This is a much larger issue than the datafeed and we are working to correct it."

    "Out IT team is working to resolve this issue so that Y/M/M data is included in replacement parts links. Because this is a site issue and not a datafeed issue, my only option at this time to resolve this issue to remove the feed until this issue is fixed. I apologize that I am unable to provide an ideal solution at this time."

    Hope Jeff don't mind I quoted above message.

  22. #22
    Affiliate Manager zooma230's Avatar
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    mayfly: No worries - you beat me to responding

    Also, I have verified in our raw datafeed, CJ datafeed and PopShops datafeed that lighting products do not default to a 2008 Buick Lucerne. There is no data in the URLs for replacement lighting products that trigger a specific vehicle. If you are still experiencing this issue, please clear your cookies, close your browser and test your link again.

    Thank you to everyone for your patience in dealing with this issue. Please contact me if you have any further questions.

    knight01: I reach out all all publishers via email (and CJ's internal messaging system) if I have questions about their application. Perhaps you did not receive this message or your response didn't make it to me. If you reconsider joining our program, please contact me so I can ensure your application gets approved immediately.
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  23. #23
    Newbie Rocketfuel's Avatar
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    I appreciate your swift action on this matter Jeff, appoligies if the title of this thred was a little harsh but alot of merchants lately have been harsh towards affiliates.Nice to see an affiliate manager who actually acts and resolves issues swiftly.

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Adarsh's Avatar
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    Whatever be the problems and I can see all of them are being addressed in a very pro manner. zooma230 (Jeff), the way you addressed everyone's problem shows that your are not only professional, but also a real gentleman

    Thanks for taking care of the datafeed errors.

    Regards.

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