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  1. #1
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    I thought I would just vent here some of this topic. It seems that our merchant account provider seems to think that our offering of a 1 tier affiliate program through SAS (mind you affiliate sales make up less then 15% of total sales) defines our entire business as a MLM program. And they don’t allow MLM programs. When I tried to explain what an affiliate program was to a rep of the company they wouldn’t hear it. They just keep saying NO, its MLM. At this point we don’t know quite what to do, I find there claims absurd. Has anyone else ever dealt with a situation like this?

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Must be some MLM recruiting going on from the links as SAS is a very reputable network.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  3. #3
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    i think it is just stpuid people the work for the company. i havnt seen anything to think that an MLM activity is going on at SAS.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    MLM, no.

    It could be described as an agency relationship, similar to what people do when they sell cellular telephone services in a retail environment.

    In any event, it shows their general ignorance about different sales channels.

    Fred

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Akiva's Avatar
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    John,

    Point them to Amazon's Associate program and tell them you're doing the same thing as Amazon.
    Akiva Bergstrom | akiva@affsolutions.com | 718-871-8286

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  6. #6
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Having more than one tier is unusual these days, although I seem to remember that CJ pushed it some years back. A few other legitimate merchants and networks do operate on more than one tier though.

    Basically, having a second tier is like saying to an affiliate "go out and recruit other affiliates" for me. In that respect, if you co-opt the right affiliates then you give the programme an enormous boost.. however, a two-tier system like this is still about selling real products, so this is real marketing. However, there comes a point where the tiers and downline become more important than the product, and this is when you get into MLM territory.

    One extra tier doesn't make it MLM. But it's easy to see how people can get confused, and I guess this is one reason why it's getting to be less popular.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  7. #7
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    What Akiva said!

    MLM is MLM

    AM is a sales channel where people actually sell stuff.

  8. #8
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    Hey John,

    I just gonna change gears on ya for just a second. By merchant account you mean your credit card processor? If so go out and find another one. There are a dime a dozen. If not then sorry for misunderstanding the post.

    Get yourself ready for people not understanding this industry. I get the blank, deer in the headline looks all the time when trying to explain what I do.

    Good luck,

    Spider Man

    BTW can you PM me I have some questions about your program.

  9. #9
    http and a telephoto
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    Tell them that the first "M" in MLM stands for "Multi" and one level is not "multi" it is simply ONE. MLM doesn't limit the number of levels and you can't make money if you don't recruit.

    I like 2 tier aff programs for a number of reasons, not that I actually make money on the extra tier, but I can still make money WITHOUT having tiers. Maybe that will make sense to them.
    Deborah Carney
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  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    John, everyone above has made excellent references for you to consider. I for one would be immediately searching for a new merchant account handler if they cannot truly see the difference in "affiliate marketers/partners" and "MLM" .. there is a vast difference in definition and structuring as loxly pointed out.
    Ray Thomas
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    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=190

  11. #11
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    Throughtout history there has never been anything so rare as a banker with a brain.

    Get a new CC processor.

  12. #12
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Point out these key differences:

    1. There is no cost in joining. (no inventory, startup kit, etc.) Unlike your typical MLM scam.

    2. The ONLY thing that generates income for you, the first tier affiliate, and other affiliates are sales of actual products. One can recruit 10,000 subaffiliates yet if none sell, nobody makes a penny.

    3. It is very clear to the new affiliate how money is made: Sales Many scams will not tell you how you make the MILLIONS until they have your cash.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  13. #13
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    Thank you all for your help. You have reaffirmed my belief. It is a really stupid issue, and if it was that simple to just switch, we would. But it seem they are holding this over us, as some form of violation of their terms, and well it is pretty hard to find another processor when one is holding a charge like that over you. I guess the next step is can the lawyers. Oh, well I find it pretty stupid the way they are handling it. But we do have a backup plan in case something happens. Thanks, again!

    John.

  14. #14
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    there are legit CC processors with their own affiliate programs. not a problem for them.

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