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  1. #1
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    Why is Commission Not Part of Agreement
    Is there a reason why the merchant's terms affiliates agree to are not enforced? Is there a reason why merchants are not forced to notify affiliates of a change in commission?

    When affiliates join a merchant through a third party ( a network) we assume that there will be some oversight of the program.

    There have been numerous instances where merchants have changed the commission rates without notifying affiliates.
    In July 2007 http://forum.abestweb.com/showpost.p...03&postcount=1 The reply from SAS was that you would add in a notification. http://forum.abestweb.com/showpost.p...1&postcount=26

    In Dec 2008 http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...mission+change
    The reply from SAS again was " This does highlight the need to get a solid notification system in place to alert affiliates of upcoming commission changes, we're on it!" http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...mission+change

    There are other cases including recent ones http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=126985

    This should be a priority and not an over 2 year project. Some merchants are abusing the lack of supervision of this critical aspect of the affiliate-merchant agreement. As far as I can tell, every other network ensures that affiliates are notified. When we sign on to a program we do so assuming a certain minimum commission rate and we budget expenses related to promoting based on that figure.

    We should at least get a minimum 7 days notice of any change in commission. The official Terms of Service we agree to with SAS states that you will provide us with 7 days notice of the change in any terms of the agreement between you and us. You and the merchant have also agreed to a 7 day notice period. (I've read both agreements). Why is there not a 7 day minimum period for merchants to notify us of a change in commission?

    There must be an automatic notification as in some cases the commission change is substantial, especially with higher ticket items.

    I will say that most merchants do give notice of changes in commission but as we have seen there is abuse.

    (This was also emailed to Brian SAS)
    Melanie
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  2. #2
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    I just want to point out that this in not only a Shareasale issue, other networks do not notify either. Plus there are a large number of custom commission levels. If I want to give an affiliate a commission bump do we really want it to take 7 days to go into effect?

    I totally agree that there should be a system in place to notify affiliates of commission changes, but I would not at all tie it to the TOS or a 7 day wait unless the system allows for immediate increases and a possible 7 day wait for decreases.

    But then you still are locking out the ability to decrease the commission for affiliates that are violating TOS. At CJ I had to wait 7 days for a deactivation to take place, when affiliates were clearly in violation of merchant TOS after multiple warnings.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  3. #3
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    "I just want to point out that this in not only a Shareasale issue, other networks do not notify either."

    That's just not true. I get notifications from other networks. With CJ, not only do I get email notification, when I login there is link to click to see them.

    And this thread isn't about other networks, it's in the SAS forum, we're talking about SAS. And this is a problem at SAS as outlined in various threads. It's a problem that just popped up again. It's a problem they said they would address last year and they haven't yet. The other stuff you brought up is a topic for another thread. Right now, we're talking about SAS merchants being able to just switch up commissions on affiliates without them getting notified.

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    LinkShare also gives notice. The commission rate is part of the "program level", and depending on how it's done affiliates either have to accept or opt into the new program level or at the very least are notified that they've been put into a new program level.

    Sadly, it boils down to this... The affiliate agreement is between the affiliate and the merchant. The network is just a facilitator. Networks are seldom willing to step in and make a merchant do what is right.
    Michael Coley
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  5. #5
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    I got the seven days from the other current agreements, as I indicated. In addition, while there may be a waiting period to remove unethical affiliates, hundreds of ethical NY, NC, RI affiliates were given 12 hours notice before getting kicked out. As Trust said, this is a SAS issue regarding ethical affiliates and the merchants are the ones who are not abiding by the terms of the agreement.

    I would be interested in hearing some more opinions - affilites, merchants, OPMs and of course SAS. Is it unreasonable to be notified about commission changes? Don't ethical affiliates deserve the same rights as an affiliate who violates terms with another merchant?
    Melanie
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  6. #6
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    SAS has a notification system in place now whenever the program terms change now. It was not the case 2 years ago.

    However, one should expect to see some uneducated and small merchants in SAS showing off a bit of weird behavior from time to time. I'm a bit tuned out to this now

  7. #7
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    "SAS has a notification system in place now whenever the program terms change now."

    Not for commissions but other program changes. At least 12 months ago it was still like that. Which is why at the time, it seemed odd to people since that is one of the most important changes affiliates would want to know about.

  8. #8
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    Yes, we get automatic notice about program changes but not about commission changes. Commission rates are an important aspect of terms we agree to. Since the commission rate is not a physical part of terms we are not guaranteed notification.

    This is an ongoing issue. One of the affiliates affected recently indicated the lowered commission rate resulted in much smaller earnings because of the size of order.
    Melanie
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  9. #9
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    I know that it is disturbing ..

    When you work with hundreds of merchants and couple of merchants decide to LOWER (or ZERO out) commissions WITHOUT notification .. It is quite disturbing.

    I believe I raised this issue almost couple of years ago and thought it was resolved. Looks like this issue still exists based on many comments here.

    I believe that SAS must address this issue.

    Also, any lowered commissions should be accepted by the affiliate or should have to have at least 7 Day waiting period before they can go into effect.

  10. #10
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    Yes you posted about back in 2007. It's the first post I referenced
    Melanie
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  11. #11
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    I'd call knowing about an impending commission drop important and vital to know at least 7 days in advance.
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    Rexanne

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  12. #12
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexanne
    I'd call knowing about an impending commission drop important and vital to know at least 7 days in advance.
    Seems like so far, affiliates all agree that it is an important part of relationship; we should get automatic notification. If it's not automatic, there is no guarantee we will be notified.
    Melanie
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  13. #13
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Yes I agree that notification should and will be added.

    Remember that there are often dozens of commissions - and those can include (for the most part) increases, tiers, group commissions, bonus levels, etc...
    Thanks,

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

  14. #14
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    Brian, Thanks for quick response from you to fix this.

    Any changes to commissions should yield a notification. Anytime a pay is effected via tiers or bonuses or others, it will be good to get notified to the affiliate.

    A decrease in basic commission should be better done with a 7 day notice period to help the affiliate adjust PPC campaigns or drop out altogether from the relation

  15. #15
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    It will be great to see this implemented. Thanks for responding over the weekend.
    Melanie
    President - Affiliate Advocacy 2008 ShareaSale Performance Industry Advocate Award, 2009 Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award - Affiliate Advocate
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  16. #16
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale
    Yes I agree that notification should and will be added.

    Remember that there are often dozens of commissions - and those can include (for the most part) increases, tiers, group commissions, bonus levels, etc...
    Is there an anticipated date for implementing automatic notification of commission changes? Also, will it be a minimum of 7 days like required for other changes in agreement?
    Melanie
    President - Affiliate Advocacy 2008 ShareaSale Performance Industry Advocate Award, 2009 Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award - Affiliate Advocate
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  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mellie

    I would be interested in hearing some more opinions - affilites, merchants, OPMs and of course SAS. Is it unreasonable to be notified about commission changes? Don't ethical affiliates deserve the same rights as an affiliate who violates terms with another merchant?
    It is not unreasonable at all, I'd love to see SAS implement a notice system-preferably a 7 day advance notice.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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