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  1. #1
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    Has anyone noticed that
    There are 2702 programs (merchants) represented by SAS and almost exactly 1/2 just over 1350 have a 7 day EPC of 0.00? Doesn't this mean that over 1/2 the SAS merchnats haven't had any commission at all in the past 7 days.

    Doesn't this seem like alot?
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

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  2. #2
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Forget 7 days. How many are there with $0.00 EPC for years? You've got three guesses on how that could happen, and only the first guess counts

    I've been trying to air this issue out here for several years now. Every time I bring it up it gets ignored or swept under the carpet by the back patting brigade.

    For all the talk of networks that accomodate "parasites", Shareasale seems to be just about the easiest place for the worst kind of parasite of all to operate without falling under scrutiny; merchants who remove tracking pixels while there is still a positive balance, so they will continue to get live traffic from affiliates without having to pay them.
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  3. #3
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    While I agree with David's point (that many zero-EPC merchants have disabled tracking, some accidentally and some intentionally), it's important to recognize that a zero-EPC is possible (even likely) for legitimate merchants who simply haven't yet had participation from successful publishers.

    I wrote about this in February 2007:
    My "perfect" example is a merchant who contacted me in September 2005 to advertise on one of my sites. After a series of exchanges, I recommended that he set up an affiliate program at ShareASale, and he did so in October 2005. I got distracted, and despite several polite reminders, I didn't add this merchant's links to my web site until September of 2006.

    The merchant had an EPC of $0.00, and it's entirely possible that there were no other affiliates who had generated any transactions during the program's first 11 months -- the merchant certainly wasn't recruiting.

    Within a few hours after I posted my first links, I saw my first sale transaction. In January, this merchant generated $1,500 in affiliate earnings for me, with an eCPM hovering right around $4. About $1,000 of that revenue comes from traffic at a web site with just 60,000 pageviews per month (the rest is from a Google AdWords campaign). Of course, that probably means I lost about $10,000 by not adding these affiliate links in October 2005.

    If I relied on the merchant's SAS history (a zero EPC, and probably zero transactions after 11 months), I'd certainly never have joined the program.

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showpost.p...3&postcount=33

  4. #4
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    I guess the question is is it like this on all the networks or just here, but 50% of the merchants having no sales in any 7 day period seems like a big problem.

    re: what david said, what does the compliancy test actually test, I thought it tests that sales are tracking. Are you saying there is a way to get around this?

    Brian, its your company aren't you concerned about this statistic or am I misinpreting it?
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

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  5. #5
    15 years and counting
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    Shareasale has many $0 epc and non active merchants. And what? How do they affect an affiliate? Do you pick merchants at random to promote on your websites? They are a problem for Shareasale not for other affiliates.
    To state dead merchants are parasites don't make sense. A parasite lives at your expenses, these merchants are just dead. I checked a few merchants still listed with $0 EPC, money in their account and no tracking pixels. They are not even online. Without a cart I can't see them stealing anything. No cart, no tracking pixel.
    Why don't you expose these "Parasites" ?
    Should a merchant eliminate all the affiliates not active or not producing? Same for a network.

  6. #6
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Whether the "compliance test" "tests" anything at all... what good is it if even that is not done on a regular basis. I've seen some dated back to 2006, and that's only random samples I've come across when I've gone looking for banners/advertisers to fill an open spot.
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  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    One thing I will say is that we have far fewer transactions just "not track" through SAS then LS and CJ. As a cash back site, we are constantly chasing down commissions that our members report that are owed to us. It's very rare that we have to track down a SAS commission. But we file disputes with LS and CJ merchants every single day of the week.

    A part of it is explained by volume, but even taking into account proportionate sales, it still seems like we have many more tracking issues on LS and CJ (we don't do much with GAN).
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

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  8. #8
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    I have come to understand, correct me if wrong, that SAS merchants have to pay ongoing fees just to remain in the network even though sales go to zero over extended time. This would give some financial incentive for keeping all the dead wood, and who knows they might crank off again at some point.

    The point is that some of the smaller merchants seem to be clueless as to how it all works and can have bad tracking a long time before you discover that it's not just a sales slump. They can be dishonest or clueless and when you have a lot of merchants it's hard to tell.

    I went through mine the other night and found 10 or so that where long over due to have a Commissionable affiliate sale. The got weeded out but how long had they been there?

    If it does cost to stay in SAS why would a merchant stay in the system for a extended period if they where not getting something out of it like some free traffic. What other explanation is there?

    Comparing SAS with other networks doesn't help solve the issue. Sure they are one of the best, but I really believe that they want to get even better.


  9. #9
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    There are no monthly maintenance fees on Shareasale; just the initial setup fee and percentage of sales revenue. Unless that changed recently.

    Why would so many merchants pay a monthly fee for YEARS for something that is not generating a single cent for them? If there IS a monthly fee, then there is all the more reason to suspect foul play on the part of merchants whose EPC's stagnate at $0.00 year after year.
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  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Zeus.

    If a merchant has $0 EPC that is fine. Perhaps their website is hideous, they don't have affiliates promoting them, or their product does not appeal, etc. That is up to the affiliate to promote or not. Just change merchants if they don't perform.

    But if their site is dead 404, redirect to a MFA site, if they conduct fraudulent behavior, don't pay affiliates, fake reversals, etc. they need to be terminated. There are merchants on SAS that are still in their system but they no longer are part of that network. Just delete them.

    I would like to know what the compliance test consist of. Anyone know?

  11. #11
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh
    There are no monthly maintenance fees on Shareasale; just the initial setup fee and percentage of sales revenue. Unless that changed recently.
    There's a monthly minimum on the percentage of sales, so while not technically a monthly fee, $0 EPC merchants are still paying monthly. New merchants get the minimum waived for a few months.
    Eathan Mertz

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  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    $0 EPC merchants are still paying monthly.
    lol! It makes sense then that some poorly run programs that are actually closed are still listed as active. SAS lets them just keep paying.
    One merchant notified me last December that they were shutting down their affiliate program but they were still live to accept and auto approve new affiliates as late as last week when I sent a note to Carolyn. Makes me wonder how many closed programs I'm promoting.

  13. #13
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Ouch!!!
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  14. #14
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    As a funny side. A SAS affiliate is still biding on "kongcable" in Google. They have the top 2 positions and KongCable has disappeared from SAS a few weeks ago. Their last sale to an affiliate was July 2008 to me.


  15. #15
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    Monthly minimums for merchants
    FYI, the monthly minimum for Merchants is $25 so Merchants not generating any sales are still paying $25 to Shareasale.

  16. #16
    http and a telephoto
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    Also there are LOTS of smaller merchants on Shareasale that don't make weekly affiliate sales. That doesn't mean they have removed tracking, it means that for whatever reason they aren't converting. There are a lot of reasons for 7 day 0 epcs, and even longer that don't mean the site is a "crook". And a HIGH epc doesn't actually mean the site *is* converting either. Affiliates don't see "volume", you see a statistic that is actually pretty easy to manipulate if a program wants to.
    Deborah Carney
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Powell
    > "As a funny side. A SAS affiliate is still biding on "kongcable" in Google. They have the top 2 positions and KongCable has disappeared from SAS a few weeks ago. Their last sale to an affiliate was July 2008 to me." <
    That's nothing new. Back in February 2007, while I was managing the QuoteProducts affiliate program, I found one of our publishers bidding on "QuoteProducts" through AdWords. After the publisher ignored several communications, I reset their commission rate to zero. (http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=86284)

    In June, the client accepted my recommendation that they shut down the QuoteProducts business, and we closed the affiliate program effective July 1, 2007. (http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=78039)

    On September 11, 2007, I commented that the same affiliate's paid AdWords ad still came up in response to the keyword "QuoteProducts" -- ten weeks after the affiliate program had closed, and more than six months after the publisher's commission rate was reset to zero. (http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=94556)

  18. #18
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    On September 11, 2007, I commented that the same affiliate's paid AdWords ad still came up in response to the keyword "QuoteProducts" -- ten weeks after the affiliate program had closed, and more than six months after the publisher's commission rate was reset to zero.
    They are probably cheating on such a massive scale that they can't keep up with what they are bidding on. To bad there aren't resources to discover them and boot them from the network. They would probably be right back under another name.


  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    What does "Last Compliance Test Completed: N/A" but the merchant has a high EPC & shows recent commissionable sales mean?
    Renée
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