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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    Big Brands Who Are Rude
    (I'm going to say at the outset that I can't say who the merchant is. I HATE that, but I depend on them too much. It's probably the worst part of having a cash back site!!)

    We do a lot of business with a particular merchant, at least for us. We send them sales every single day, usually multiple a day. I asked them for an increase for the holiday season in exchange for increased exposure. They told me that they could increase me to 7%, and I checked out our competition and found that they are all already paying out 7% or more for the merchant. So I KNOW that the merchant can go higher. I explained that to him. He didn't care. So I agreed to the 7%. Now he's pushing me for what he gets in return. I showed him all of the places (including our front page) that he will get exposure. It's not good enough. I think he basically wants them to be our featured merchant on every email and sidebar for the entire holiday season for a 2% increase.

    This makes me so angry! Just because they have a big brand, they are like extortionists. And because I am not the biggest cash back site out there, I'm treated like I am stupid and insignificant.

    So I give up. I don't want the 2% increase. I don't even care if I send them any sales this holiday season. So many other merchants are ecstatic to get front page placement, video reviews, Facebook mentions, etc. I'm fed up with certain merchants thinking that they are so much better than everyone else!
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  2. #2
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Tricia,

    I've watched you (and Cindy) "work" merchants at various conventions. I'm always in awe of your smarts and professionalism.

    You have a bunch of these kinds of posts and I'm always at a loss - I always assume that things that happen to the rest of us don't happen to Sunshiners

    Bottom line is: It's part of the coupon/rebate business model. You HAVE to put up with certain merchants - even if deep down you want to bomb their headquarters.

    And if you compare your commish with the competitor that begins with "e", you'll drive yourself nuts!!!

    Stay focused.

    Remember you're their for your visitors

    Keep your visitors happy and they'll keep coming back - and hopefully in numbers that make that 2% bump meaningless.

    Best,
    Billy Kay

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I can relate. I've had plenty of merchants do similar things. I've seen one extreme case where at least one rebate site gives three times as much cash back as the base commission rate. The sad thing is that this is a merchant that would perfectly fit a site I have planned.

    I've given up getting frustrated about clueless merchants. Many of them will never change. I'll work on educating those who are interested in learning and who want to improve their program, but I'm not going to spend much time or get worked up over those who will probably never get it.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  4. #4
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Are they related to the "mouse"?

    Sometimes, it is not the brands but the AM that is clueless.

    Here is my 2 cents, if you meet them outside of their comfort zone of their office, corner them and talk to them. Behind their fancy title and company, they are still a person and, you might be able to get through to them.

    For xmas, it's a lost cause.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    I actually met this affiliate manager at a conference this year and thought that we developed a decent relationship. Except I noticed that he didn't bother to ask me if I wanted to set up a meeting with him and I saw him meeting with U*, M*, E* etc.

    The good relationship made this whole negotiation even worse--knowing that we had a really great chat about our kids, vacations, and how well his merchant fits my sites (including a niche specifically designed around a character from his merchant).

    I think the WORST part about all of it is knowing that if he is treating me this way and I send pretty good traffic, he is probably treating 99% of his affiliates this way--and getting away with it. It taints my view of the whole company.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  6. #6
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Then cut your losses and find a subsitute with a higher payout if possible.
    People like that will leave you out in the cold for a hot rock.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Wow, this strikes a chord... Been going through the same thing with a couple of brick and mortars over the last two weeks. I've been an affiliate for at least 6 years, this is the most aggressive I've seen AM's. Retail is feeling more cut-throat this year.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  8. #8
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    The worst part of this is that now, your "feelings" about this merchant are tainted and they have lost YOUR loyalty, trust and favor.

    I asked ONCE for a commission bump, from an OPM I know personally and because their competitor was paying more. I would have preferred to give the (very good volume of) business to the merchant where I personally knew the OPM but they denied me with a routine "the merchant isn't increasing commission at this time."

    Pissed me off so much, I stopped promoting that merchant and only reluctantly add their links when I have to because they are the only one with the products I need.

    While there are plenty of affiliates and plenty of merchants for us to choose from, it would make sense to cultivate a GOOD relationship with people you know and have that *relationship* with outside of this box. Just makes sense because affs will work harder for a merchant or OPM they know and trust. A performing aff, all the more.

    Tricia, if the merchant is the one I'm thinking it is, you can find the same products on other merchant sites with much better pay outs. If you're promoting the "brand name" then you're kinda stuck. Hope it resolves. I do understand your frustration.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  9. #9
    Master of Design AlexBet's Avatar
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    Shouldn't this be the other way around? Shouldn't they beg you to put their ads on your homepage for a 2% increase!?! They got some nerve! :S
    Alex
    AlexBet.com - Professional Website Design, Website Development, Mobile App Development!


    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"
    Benjamin Franklin

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager
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    This makes me so angry! Just because they have a big brand, they are like extortionists. And because I am not the biggest cash back site out there, I'm treated like I am stupid and insignificant.
    This is something that will happen to you almost everywhere... just remember your first days at ABW

  11. #11
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexBet View Post
    Shouldn't this be the other way around? Shouldn't they beg you to put their ads on your homepage for a 2% increase!?! They got some nerve! :S
    Those were the good old days...
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  12. #12
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Its generally the director above the affiliate manager who is demanding more more more. Just reiterate what you have already offered and move on. What drives me nuts is offering a bigger media opportunity and having the director ask what the increase in sales will be.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    I completely moved on. I figured that if I spend too much time worrying about them, I won't have time to worry about all of the other merchants and affiliate managers who are actually trying to negotiate so that we both come out ahead. That initial "GRRRRRRR" feeling has given way to the "their loss!" feeling.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  14. #14
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Moved on in that you are ignoring the demands for more placements and leaving things as is? Or moving on by removing the merchant completely? I ask because if its the later then make sure you let us know if they come back later and ask where all the sales went.

  15. #15
    Master of Design AlexBet's Avatar
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    I totally agree with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Moved on in that you are ignoring the demands for more placements and leaving things as is? Or moving on by removing the merchant completely? I ask because if its the later then make sure you let us know if they come back later and ask where all the sales went.
    Alex
    AlexBet.com - Professional Website Design, Website Development, Mobile App Development!


    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"
    Benjamin Franklin

  16. #16
    Newbie Dani Bulatovic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by helpingmoms View Post
    I completely moved on. I figured that if I spend too much time worrying about them, I won't have time to worry about all of the other merchants and affiliate managers who are actually trying to negotiate so that we both come out ahead. That initial "GRRRRRRR" feeling has given way to the "their loss!" feeling.
    I think that this is the way to go. Affiliate program is suppose to be win-win combination.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    I have not yet been bold enough to pull the plug completely. But when they came back to me later asking about placements, I told them that I wasn't going to negotiate with them any more on it. They could take it or leave it. They left it. LOL So now I am steering my traffic in other directions whenever possible.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  18. #18
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    I totally get this.. I work with a number of large brands, and don't want to drop them from the site when something doesn't go my way (ie. cut off my nose to spite my face!). However it would be nice to be recognized as a steady converter...

    A friend of mine recommended a new strategy, which seems to have worked (so far!) - a kind of "three strikes" policy. I'm allowed to make 3 attempts to reconcile the situation... after that, I have to move on...

    It doesn't mean I drop the merchant, but it does mean another merchant gets some extra attention. Or I have more time to fine-tune the sites..

    This is a VERY stressful time for affiliates, one merchant isn't worth the hassle...

  19. #19
    Newbie Dani Bulatovic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teezone View Post
    I totally get this.. I work with a number of large brands, and don't want to drop them from the site when something doesn't go my way (ie. cut off my nose to spite my face!). However it would be nice to be recognized as a steady converter...
    what sort of merchant are you promoting?

  20. #20
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Even when we have big merchants that we have to work with because our visitors expect it, we can always promote friendly merchants more prominently, especially when they offer competitive advantages over the big guys.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

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