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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Angry Venting as much as a consumer as an affiliate
    So I buy a lot of sporting goods equipment these days, what with Noah being 11 and playing football and baseball (and, therefore, me coaching baseball and football). Because I loathe malls and, in general, wandering stores, I do most all of this shopping online.

    Now, I would love to tell you that I do a lot of it through affiliate links to folks you might know and love. Not a chance.

    Why? Simple - price. Almost without fail, when I've looked for bats, balls, catcher's equipment, football pants, mouthguards, helmet shields, etc. I've found a few small sites - usually based on small brick & mortar stores - that drastically undercut other retailers prices.

    Just this past week ... There's a little store up in the NE that I just purchased Noah's new Omaha 30/16.5 bat from. It was a full $30 cheaper than anywhere else. I don't get it. Shouldn't the bigger names have the Wal-Mart advantage of buying in bulk, etc? I can see some guy on eBay undercutting them, sure I get that. But this is a full-blown brick & mortar operation. And I've gotten a fair amount of equipment from them and another store, always at a much lower price than a national brand.

    I love to buy from folks we use as affiliates or even when I find affiliate links after scouring Google or Y! or whatever. But, hey, I'm as cheap as the next guy. I want to save a buck or two. In this last example, I went to a well-known search engine - - and punched in a few key terms. I clicked through to a few sites and one person, in particular, had done a really nice job of creating a great landing page (and working some nifty SEO - it was a free listing waaaaay up high!). I clicked through and kept that window open while I searched around. I went back to the site I referenced above and saw the price difference. Click, other window closed.

    OK, end rant. Obviously, not much anyone can do about that.

  2. #2
    Full Member snappy's Avatar
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    Don't worry I think we all feel this way sometimes.

  3. #3
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Karl sometimes I do that and trip on some of my own sites and get mad

  4. #4
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Some times the best way to keep the Big Box stores honest is competition. If you know of local companies that have great pricing I would love to pitch them on running a program. Send em my way!

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Right, competition is healthy.
    I'm all for the 'little guys' being able to compete regardless if they have an affiliate program or not. Means there is hope for them. Otherwise in the future we could look forward to either being an affiliate for Walmart (@ maybe 1% commish) or nothing.

  6. #6
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    I buy coffee at least once a month ... gourmet coffee ... I am an affiliate of some of the better coffee merchants ... yet the best place for price and quality is a little store in Bisbee, Arizona ... no affiliate program ... shipping (priority mail) included in the price.

    If you reverse engineer the costs ... it's $6.00 to send 2lbs of coffee priority mail, and 2 lbs of FRESH ground killer coffee for $20.00 ... it comes to $13 a pound.

    It seems high, but when you check out the other players, even with commissions it's a bit cheaper and for sure the quality is nowhere near as good. You can buy Peets & Starbucks in the supermarket but you don't get ONE POUND bags they are 12 ounce.

    After taking stupid pills for all these years ... I think it's time to sell my own products.
    It is just not worth the TIME & EFFORT to deal with so many morons for some chump change commission anymore - especially if I have to buy the traffic.

    Leader told me to do this trick a few years ago but I figured it was easier to do AM ... It's not anymore ...

    Plus, if you do the math ... she was more than right. Sell a $19 product you can buy for $9 ... throw in FREE priority mail shipping and charge $25 ... get free shipping boxes at the post office ... make one sale a day and you pocket $300 in profit ... takes all of 10 minutes to put the thing in a box and print out a label. Sell 10 a day and you pocket $3,000. Make the price $29 and you pocket $4,500 if you sell 10 a day.

    For $4,500 in gross profit per month, I can afford to spend 2 hours a day doing the necessary stuff to ship the products ... Sell it on EBAY and you get 1 million potential customers per day to possibly buy your product.

    Posting ads on Craigslist is not hard and you can do about one a minute. You spend an hour a day positng 20 ads on Craigslist ... in 5 days you have 100 ads working.

    Of course the question is WHAT do people want to buy, right now and where do I get it
    wholesale or below? For that you need to do some homework ... but Amazon always tells you what is HOT in the selling area. And if you google the name of the thing, you can always find out where to get it wholesale.

    Oh well, it was a good ride while it lasted ... onward to more profitable adventures.

  7. #7
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    net4biz, take my advice and pick something that fits in those flat rate boxes. When I took the plunge I never imagined I'd eventually be shipping some product freight! Still less than truckload, but freight is freight.

    The right product could mean the difference between shipping out of your kitchen and shopping for warehouse space. Don't get me wrong, I'm totally happy with the leap I made, but some days I miss the kitchen.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  8. #8
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    Yup ... you gotta think thru all the little things ... you can't afford the 'oops' factor when people have paid you and want their stuff.

    DHL used to have a real good deal on shipping but they bit the dust here ...

    UPS has a 'SUPPLY CHAIN' division that handles all the logistics for you ... you have to talk to a REAL rep to see if it's worth it to you and to get him to give you some discount to sign on. If you do enough, consistent volume they will give you a good discount on shipping rates.

    Having a 'call center' to handle sales and call in orders and such might also be a good idea.
    Having a toll free number to call as well as a website to go to makes it easy to do offline
    classified ads for cheap and reach a ton of targetted players.

    What I find really amazing is how stupid most people really are who do internet marketing.

    You can get FREE subscriptions to Website Magazine, Web Wholesaler and Internet Retailer and a host of other trade magazines dealing in managing your supply chain, call centers, etc and the people who are trying to do online business NEVER sign up.

    There are trade magazines for just about everything ... and by definition they target a specific market ... so you can reach tens of thousand of targetted readers with a simple classified ad or a small display ad ... or a NEW PRODUCTS release which you can craft, send to the editor and if they publish it you get FREE advertising for that product.

    Most people dramatically underestimate the number of people who get these magazines.
    More often than not it is over 50,000 and could be as high as 500,000 or more. Plus, it is
    mostly business types doing the buying so they have at least a few bucks to spend.

    And if you realize that most businesses world wide, need spyware protection, webhosting,
    and such, it might be worth it to pick an industry and write up an article or two about how the businesses in that industry can solve the problem of spyware or webhosting or online advertising.

    If you are good at retail you can do okay ... but the REAL big money is in business to business providing information, tools and such. So that is where I am looking.

  9. #9
    Newbie Makai's Avatar
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    It's not all just price either...service, selection, shopping experience etc.. all factor in.

    Usually...I'd rather buy stuff online even if it costs a bit more than some local shops, just for the convenience and time savings. Although usually I find a better deal online.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
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    Karl, are the little guys laughing at the big boxes for their prices, or are the big boxes laughing at all the bats they are selling?

    I remember when I sold software directly some guy called me just to go on how he bought something for $50 less than I was selling it and I was a fool. I asked him where, because i had just sold out on my stock at my higher price...

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Chet:

    Spot on observation. If Big Box can sell the same bat for more money, more power to them. Savvy shoppers will always find the better deal, whether it's online or offline and as long as the savvy shopper is in the minority, the equation works.

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