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  1. #1
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    BuyCostumes is Going to Dump Me?
    So I got an email from BuyCostumes.com recently telling me they were going to terminate our relationship. Iím not upset at all but I find it kind of funny.

    The AM said sheís a one person show and doesnít have time for inactive affiliates. Many of us at ABW would say who cares?

    The funny part was the fact that she said sheís been researching all affiliates for inactivity over the last 3 years.
    Doesnít that take time and effort? I thought she didnít have time.

    I have no idea what merchants see but in CJ I canít go back past Late 2008. Thatís not 3 years.

    I checked some older reports that I saved earlier in 2008 and I did see activity with them. Iím not going to argue with them but I do think itís funny.

    I wonder if sheís a CJ employee. It seems as if their consulting team that manages programs on a merchantís behalf is very rigid and quick to dump inactive affiliates.

    I personally think merchants donít have to dump inactive affiliates. You can continue to send newsletters and have more personal relationships with affiliates who show an interest.

    Iím not sure the last time I actually received correspondence from BuyCostumes.com. So maybe the time being spent researching 3 years of history for every affiliate should be spend with actual marketing activities.

  2. #2
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    Is this a new AM? The one they've had I thought was always pretty good. But this old inactive affiliate stuff, I don't think they'll ever get it. You could just ask them, so how exactly are inactive affiliates taking up your time, the answer is, they don't.

  3. #3
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust View Post
    Is this a new AM? The one they've had I thought was always pretty good. But this old inactive affiliate stuff, I don't think they'll ever get it. You could just ask them, so how exactly are inactive affiliates taking up your time, the answer is, they don't.
    The AM's name is Kristen M. Grace.
    I just thought it was funny that she thought reviewing thousands of affiliates for the past 3 years was less work than keeping an inactive affilaite, who by the way has emailed her with opportunities for on site promotions in the past and who hasn't received a newsletter in a long time.

  4. #4
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    Ah, she posts here from time to time under kmacbc, maybe try PMing her about this thread.

  5. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bibby View Post
    The AM said sheís a one person show and doesnít have time for inactive affiliates.
    LOL - I'm a one person show and I don't have time for merchants who terminate inactive affiliates.
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  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager ParadigmWilliam's Avatar
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    I hate when merchants do this, I sometimes do this knowing I will be adding their links later on when a site I am working on is complete.

    I got cut after a month joining them because of this. Sometimes you just have to reply and talk to the AM. I know its a pain.
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  7. #7
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    LOL - I'm a one person show and I don't have time for merchants who terminate inactive affiliates.
    LOL.
    Actually MC, I was paraphrasing but here's her actual quote.
    "As you may or may not be aware, the BuyCostumes.com affiliate program is managed by one, dedicated affiliate manager. And in order to keep our program at a manageable level, I have recently reviewed all of our affiliate relationships.
    At this time, it is necessary for me to remove affiliates who have been unable to meet certain guidelines. In reviewing results over the last several years, we discovered that your account has converted either zero impressions, zero clicks or zero sales or has driven too few clicks to make me feel you are still interested in partnering. "

  8. #8
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    I'm sorry that you are having this difficulty.
    BuyCostumes is a good program; I like the AM.
    I've made sales with BuyCostumes. I met the AM in person at the Affiliate Summit last August in NYC and she had good ideas and was very open and friendly to me and to other people who came up to her booth.

    If the program means something to you and you would like to continue with it, send her an e-mail.
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  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7 View Post
    I'm sorry that you are having this difficulty.
    BuyCostumes is a good program; I like the AM.
    I've made sales with BuyCostumes. I met the AM in person at the Affiliate Summit last August in NYC and she had good ideas and was very open and friendly to me and to other people who came up to her booth.

    If the program means something to you and you would like to continue with it, send her an e-mail.
    I have to agree with Rhia7 that Kristen is great to work with so dropping her an email might help. I actually rate her as one of my best affiliate managers. But yes I hate these types of emails and they make no since to me as well.
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  10. #10
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Trust, ParadigmWilliam and Rhia7, I did take your advice and emailed Kristen. I also provided her with an opportunity on my site. We'll see if I'm allowed to remain in the program.

  11. #11
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    What a knucklehead. The "work" she is doing by spending all that time culling inactive affiliates is not going to shave one single penny from their operating costs, or add one single penny to their bottom line. SHE is the dead weight on the payroll scale. She should be concentrating time and effort on encouraging inactive affiliates to find a place to promote BC, and on gleaning maximum returns from the efforts of currently active affiliates.

    I nominate this manager for induction into the "Non-Performance Hall of Shame".
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  12. #12
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    she had good ideas
    But she implements bad ones. And the time and effort that she herself acknowledges that she put into this implementation constitutes a quantifiable cash loss for her employer.
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  13. #13
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    What a knucklehead. The "work" she is doing by spending all that time culling inactive affiliates is not going to shave one single penny from their operating costs, or add one single penny to their bottom line. SHE is the dead weight on the payroll scale. She should be concentrating time and effort on encouraging inactive affiliates to find a place to promote BC, and on gleaning maximum returns from the efforts of currently active affiliates.

    I nominate this manager for induction into the "Non-Performance Hall of Shame".
    I nominate this post for post of the year. I'm still picking myself off the ground.

  14. #14
    Banned Snowfinch's Avatar
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    I thought whenever anyone complained about a merchant dumping them or not "co-operating" with the affiliate the response is almost always...

    "Dump them and move on." I know I have been told that over and over in here.

    However, unlike a recent thread on here where an AM had sent out an email and the information was... how shall I say it... not very clear and posted things that made the issue even more unclear, Kristen Grace has not responded to this thread.

    Though your experience may be different than my own, Kristen Grace is one of the two best affiliate managers I have ever had direct dealing with. In my personal opinion, BuyCostumes and Football Fanatics have the two most dedicated and helpful AMs of any merchant I have had direct dealing with and that would be dozens of merchants.

    I receive newletters and reminders of upcoming events/holidays on a regular bases. BuyCostumes offers its affiliates more tools to help them produce sales than most any other merchant out there.

    So, as I and so many others in here have been told when we complain, find another merchant and move on. There are dozens of costume merchants out there.

    GAN, CJ, LS, SAS and others have costumes merchants.

    Hope that helps.

  15. #15
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowfinch View Post
    However, unlike a recent thread on here where an AM had sent out an email and the information was... how shall I say it... not very clear and posted things that made the issue even more unclear, Kristen Grace has not responded to this thread.
    She might have a privacy related reason for not responding to this thread.
    I think Davidh's criticism is somewhat harsh.

    I believe this is a good AM who will listen to an affiliate.
    If the account is important to you, bibby, then make a [private] effort with the AM to stick with the program.
    It's one thing to state a problem with an AM/program, it's another thing to blow the facts out of proportion.
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  16. #16
    Banned Snowfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7 View Post
    She might have a privacy related reason for not responding to this thread.
    I think Davidh's criticism is somewhat harsh.

    I believe this is a good AM who will listen to an affiliate.
    If the account is important to you, bibby, then make a [private] effort with the AM to stick with the program.
    That what I was saying. Before ripping her reputation and job performance, wait for her to response or take it private.

    Kristen Grace is an awesome AM and very dedicated. BuyCostumes is a great program to be affiliated with.

  17. #17
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    very dedicated
    Look at it from an employer's perspective.... what do you do with an employee who spends time on the clock doing something that can not possibly result in any productive or profitable outcome.
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  18. #18
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Wow, davidh, your posts would suggest that she is the only manager who has sent a warning to inactive affiliates that they might be dropped due to inactivity.

    I've received similar e-mails from other affiliate programs. It's not a problem specific only to her affiliate program.
    Affiliate merchants on CJ are notorious for sending out such e-mail. Linkshare merchants do it too.
    It's probably pretty easy for a merchant's AM to figure out which affiliates are sending the traffic/sales and which are not. I don't think she spent an inordinate amount of time to decided who would get the inactivity e-mail that is written in "canned language."
    The individual attention will come when Bibby e-mails back the he/she would really like to continue with the program and Bibby plans on marketing BuyCostumes on such and such a site/or a section of a site. I've convinced other merchants. Just be personable and polite.

    I don't like getting e-mails that threaten to drop me due to inactivity, but it happens.

    Calling for an induction into the "Non-Performance Hall of Shame" is blowing the present facts out of proportion.

    BuyCostumes is a program that performs; she must be doing something right.
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  19. #19
    Banned Snowfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    Look at it from an employer's perspective.... what do you do with an employee who spends time on the clock doing something that can not possibly result in any productive or profitable outcome.
    Excellent question. An even better question is...

    Look at it from a merchants's perspective.... what do you do with an affiliate who spends time doing something that can not possibly result in any productive or profitable outcome?

    Everytime an AM answers an e-mail for an unproductive or unprofitable affiliate, it cost the merchant money. The merchant pays the AM and the AM spends time e-mailing, answering question, etc... from an unproductive or unprofitable affiliate.

    What do you do? It's their company. They wanna terminate ya. So be it. That is what I and other get told. So, move on.

    And yes, Kristen Grace is VERY DEDICATED. A lot of affiliates have a lot of respect for her and BuyCostumes. I am proudly one of those affiliates.

  20. #20
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    I stated the facts and reproduced her email and never insulted her, although I found it funny that she was dumping me due to lack of time/resources but had an abundance of time to do research on thousands of affiliates.

    She didn't threaten to dump me if I didn't increase sales, she never gave me that option. She said I would be dumped.

    I did send her an email and a PM.

    Most emails I receive on this issue are threats but do give me the chance of responding and stating if I want to stay, just to email them.

    This email was accusing me from the beginning.

    I don't see why I can't post at ABW, since we can all learn from these discussions, even Kristen.

  21. #21
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    One more thing. I will report if Kristen replies to my email.

    I will give her every opportunity to prove she's the great AM that you say she is.
    I really hope she lives up to that billing.

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    bibby, sorry that this has happened to you.

    We have this all happen to all of us so you are not alone.

    If you indeed have plans to promote, then it was a good idea to pm her to ask for reconsideration. I have done it plenty of time, no biggie. If you don't have plans, just forget about it.

    To me I don't see a correlation with her having time/resources and her going through the affiliates to see the ones she needs to trim down. Perhaps that is a crucial part of her business and EPC numbers she needs to keep up. As an affiliate, I am also pressed for time and resources, but that doesn't mean I am not going to go through my merchants to weed out the non converting ones and replace them. So don't take it personally and the "delete" button works both ways.

    I have also worked with Kristen and I would also put her as one of the more responsive AMs out there.

  23. #23
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that this was posted late in the afternoon. I'm sure she's been emailed about this thread by now, but who knows if that was before or after she left for the day. Unlike us affiliates, many affiliate managers work typical business hours.

    Give her until the morning before you get too critical.

    It is dumbfounding, though, to see how often this issue comes up.
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  24. #24
    Outsourced Program Manager Nathan Weinberg's Avatar
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    I have a program that competes with BuyCostumes, and even I'll admit that their affiliate program does an excellent job that most programs wish they could measure up to. I'm sure she'll respond to you, she probably just hasn't had the time.

  25. #25
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Thumbs up
    First off, let me give Kristen Kudos for taking the time this morning to reply to my email. She was really considerate and offered to work with me to help me become successful in the program.

    I really think I should have replied to her original email initially before posting at ABW. My policy is usually to send two emails before reacting to a merchantís email.
    I didnít follow my own policy this time. Thatís my bad.

    I do apologize for that. I was just becoming so distraught at recent merchant emails and policies that I think have been unfair. Then Kristenís email came and boy, I got mad.

    Thatís not Kristenís fault and I really do hope we can work together and start over.

    It does show me that I should take a step back before reacting.

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