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  1. #1
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    PopShops API (Data Pack) - Features? Functionality?
    I can't find answers to the following questions on the PopShops web site (http://www.popshops.com/faq/affiliate-xml-api)

    (1) What search functionality is available? (Specifically: AND, OR, and NOT functionality? phrase matching? wildcards?)

    (2) What limits apply? (e.g. number of merchants included in a 'catalog'; number of 'catalogs' available? number of results per query; number of queries per minute/hour/day/etc). Can I specify the sort order for results (important if I get only a specific subset of results)?

    (3) What datafeed fields are supported for queries? Which are not? Could a search query be something like "retrieve product data where the words 'Nike' and 'Infiltrator' appear in the title, brand, or manufacturer fields"?

    (4) It appears that merchant selection ('catalog') would NOT be dynamic, but would need to be based on a pre-selected list, which must be edited using an online interface (not the API). How many different 'catalogs' (merchant lists) could I maintain and reference in my search queries? Could I submit single-merchant searches without pre-defining a single-merchant 'catalog' to query against?

    (5) Why can't I see the documentation? Why isn't basic information about this service available on your web site?

  2. #2
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    I received a reply to the emailed version of these questions.

    First, I was told that "There is a fair usage for the $59 plan of 5k calls - prices for more traffic can be obtained by emailing corporate..." (By my math, this works out to a cost of 1.2 cents per API call, which is comparable to charges from some other SaaS/API services [unrelated to affiliate marketing]. Assuming 1 API call per pageview, this would be a base expense of $1.18 eCPM, but the number of API calls could probably be reduced by implementing some appropriate "caching" of result sets.)

    Second, I was told that "We do have a way that one can select merchants by making a call to the API."

    Perhaps the other questions can be answered by viewing the documentation, once PopShops makes it available (as Jessie has promised in another discussion thread).

    However, I also received a separate reply indicating that both PopShops and I would be best served if I simply stopped using the service and stop complaining. I'll follow that advice, and abandon all my datafeed efforts (for now) since I cannot find a solution that meets my needs.
    Last edited by markwelch; August 30th, 2009 at 11:11 PM.

  3. #3
    Full Member JessieJ's Avatar
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    Hi all who may read this post. Just wanted to address a couple things.

    First, we really need better documentation - Mark brought up a list of questions that I intend to address as well as getting the API docs outside the firewall. So, those will be addressed and my thanks for the questions.

    I hadn't heard from you, Mark, for a while until we received a support ticket that responded to the autoresponder using the the "f***" word. The other email you refer to you was sent to you as a personal response from an email you sent me but I didn't say "stop complaining" - I said that after you and I had had a call a couple years ago we had mutually agreed that you should go pursue the personal project you had told me about.

    Specifically, I said, "I think we agreed on the phone a while back that our "relationship" wasn't working and parted ways on a good note. Now that an interaction began again, flaming, cursing and that kind of thing has begun again. Let's just save ourselves some mutual grief and not go there again."

    Just wanted to get that on the record - Mark you were cordial when I talked to you on the phone a couple years ago, but on email - not so much.
    Jessie Jones
    Create your custom affiliate store with PopShops.
    General support: support [at] popshops.com | Merchant requests: merchants [at] popshops.com
    (Include your popshops login, your shop name, and the URL or merchant you have an issue with.)

  4. #4
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    It almost seems silly, but just to clarify, this is exactly what I wrote, that Jessie is referring to:
    What the f--- is this about?

    I wrote a specific question; your automated reply says, "we didn't read what you wrote, go back to our f---ed up online support, and if you can't find what you're looking for, then reply and ask the same question again.

    Thanks for putting me in a bad mood. It seems clear that PopShops has become an "orphan."

    This is EXACTLY what I wrote -- I did not use the actual curse word, but I wrote "f---" and "f---ed up" with the hyphens as shown above. Clearly, my intent was to convey that I was extremely upset about the very unprofessional, disrespectful way that PopShops responded to support emails. And I did intend to grab their attention and be confrontational in our private email exchange. But as I wrote in my other emails to PopShops, I still hoped that there might be some way I could continue to work with the company.

    I now understand that PopShops did not want me to reconsider my earlier conclusion that their service can't meet my needs (even with recent changes), and they don't want my business (or my complaints). I suspect that if I were in their shoes (which I absolutely don't want to be), I'd make the same exact business decision.

    I don't apologize for "flaming" in my private email to PopShops; I was justifiably upset, and I think I showed restraint in not actually using the "f*** word." I'm not sure it really makes any difference.

    I'll also repeat that I absolutely believe that PopShops provides a service which is far superior to any other datafeed service, and I believe that they are in the best position to potentially offer the type of service I want. They're also entitled to run their business as they choose; if that means using an auto-responder for all support emails and telling troublesome customers to go away, that's their decision to make. I'm equally entitled to believe that the way they're running their business is pretty f---ed up.
    Last edited by markwelch; August 30th, 2009 at 11:43 PM.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    Most support ticket systems I've worked with have automated responses. Here's an example of PopShops' response.

    "Sorry that you are having an issue. Because are unable to respond to every support email that is sent, a troubleshooting guide below has been compiled. Please read carefully and RESPOND TO THIS email if your issue is not addressed."

    Popshops is not unique in this type of model, where if your concern is not covered by the FAQ, you must reply to the email. In each case where I've had a problem, I have replied to their automated email and they have gotten back to me, all without using or implying curse words. You may not have used the actual curse words, but even implying them shows a little lack of professionalism and I can understand the PopShops staff being a little put off by it. Honestly, I was a bit put off by it.

    I can understand your frustration, Mark, but I think your cause is best served if you have a little patience and work with PopShops, if you truly are interested in the service as your solution, rather than burning bridges.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Caseyfern's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Neither Rome nor PopShops Were Built in a Day
    Receiving an automated response confirms that my query is received and assigned a ticket. I welcome those responses, and have never been left hanging in the breeze - and I send dozens per month, so there's been ample opportunity for the system to fail.

    I've been working with PopShops since prior to their release from beta and I have never been treated with anything but the utmost respect.

    This tiny team of five (six if you count the phone cobra) has reshaped the face of affiliate publishing in a very brief time-frame. They have achieved what much larger corporations have tried to do, and failed, without devolving into committee mode. I have nothing but admiration for what PopShops has accomplished.

    I have no idea how they do the exceptional job they're doing without daily deliveries of midnight oil. They've responded (in person, beyond autoresponders) to my emails at all odd hours - at 11PM in response to a panicky email I sent when my shops looked "weird" (yes, my words), at 3:45AM in the case of a shop blackout, in evening hours when non-PopShops people are eating dinner, on weekends when "normal" people would be taking their kids to the beach - and always with unflagging dedication and unfailing consideration.

    Sure, their documentation may need some help. Absolutely, they could use a Wordpress guru to step in and produce a better plugin and a guide to go with it. You bet, Data Pack is raw, designed for people who are far more fearless than I when it comes to cooking with PHP code.

    But what the PopShops team is doing is a process, and I for one am honored to be a witness to the evolution of this process and a recipient of the results of their dedication to the slow race toward perfection.

  7. #7
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    > "Receiving an automated response confirms that my query is received and assigned a ticket. I welcome those responses, and have never been left hanging in the breeze." <

    I have no problem with an automated response that says the query was received and that I'll get a personal reply later. But that's not what the PopShops support auto-reply says: it says that nobody is going to read my support email unless I re-check the FAQs and then send a second message in reply to the auto-reply. As mentioned above, some folks find that acceptable; I don't.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Caseyfern's Avatar
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    No, I don't mind taking steps that will lighten their workload whenever possible. If that means responding to an autoresponder will help them, then that's what I'll do.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    That's not a lot different from those support ticket systems where they take you to a FAQ page after you submit the form and if your question is not answered there, they ask you to click a button to continue. It takes all of 10 seconds to hit reply to the Popshops email, type "My issue is not covered in the FAQ" and hit send. I'm sure plenty of emails get resolved by the autoresponse email because many people did not bother to look at the FAQ in the first place before they emailed. It weeds out the easy, common questions and leaves the pressing and difficult questions for them to answer personally and thus lighten their workload a little.

    You know how frustrated you got trying to work with datafeeds, Mark? They do that ALL DAY LONG... and they still manage to answer support tickets. It's such a small thing to get worked up over in the grand scheme of things.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  10. #10
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    I never get reply for my support ticket
    I have been planning to use the data API services from popShops.com, however, I never received any reply from PopShops.com for support ticket. I am really concerning about their service...

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dzshopping
    I have been planning to use the data API services from popShops.com, however, I never received any reply from PopShops.com for support ticket. I am really concerning about their service...
    Did you reply to the autoresponse email? Try sending an email directly to support -AT- popshops.com.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  12. #12
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    Yes, I replied the autoresponse e-mail on 8/20, however, as of today, I didn't hear anything back from PopShops.com.

  13. #13
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    Hey dzshopping,

    I'm not sure what ticket you are referring to. Can you reply again to the support email you received? That will bump the ticket up and enable me to find it. I couldn't find anything when searching on 'dzshopping'.

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