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  1. #1
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Check Your Buy.com Datafeed
    They have "sold out" (hmmmm) on several items listed as deals on the LS datafeed. When you click through, it suggests other sites that have the products, like eBay, newegg, etc.

    I'd say almost 50% of the links go to pages like that.

    I'm betting we do not get paid if someone goes to a "sold out" page on Buy.com then clicks on a newegg link and buys the product.

    Here is an example:
    Buy.com - Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR3 SDRAM Memory Module

    There are several more examples like that. I'm torn -- Do I just dump Buy.com or do I take the time and check each link? And what happens every time they sell out? Do I just send customers to their site so they can send them to another site and make the commission?

    I think I just answered my own question.

    No wonder they can up their commissions...
    Last edited by leeann; November 13th, 2010 at 03:29 AM.
    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.

  2. #2
    Full Member Lanny's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Very nice - I was contemplating promoting Buy.com
    Leeann: That is a very nice catch. Thank you! I have an idea for a new web site, in a new vertical for me. I was contemplating promoting Buy.com on it, until I read your post and I clicked on the link in your post, which worked exactly as you said it would.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    I've been having the same issues with Buy.com and Overstock.com. They are doing the same thing with price comparison widgets. I think Billy Kay recently did a blog post on this. The practice of profiting on affiliate traffic without compensating the affiliate is getting out of hand.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Another Buy.com example. They are currently showing a price of $538, but my datafeed entry from today shows $399. The price comparison widget is showing a Babies R Us price of $399, which I believe is a leak.

    Buy.com - PlayStation 3 System - Move Bundle with Sports Champions Game
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  5. #5
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    I don't believe these things to be "sold out" items -- it is them running feeds to affiliates with merchandise they'll profit from through the price comparison widget, like you said isellstuff. I can't imagine how they can justify this as being a fair way to deal with their affiliates. Thanks for mentioning OverStock. I guess I better check them out too. I removed all of Buy.com new links. Why bother with it, ya know?
    Last edited by leeann; November 14th, 2010 at 07:30 PM.
    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.

  6. #6
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanny View Post
    Leeann: That is a very nice catch. Thank you! I have an idea for a new web site, in a new vertical for me. I was contemplating promoting Buy.com on it, until I read your post and I clicked on the link in your post, which worked exactly as you said it would.
    Lanny,
    It's disappointing to see companies like Buy.com go this direction. I can't help but to believe at some point treating affiliates with such disregard will catch up with them. Of course, I could be wrong. Affiliates seem to be tolerating more of this behavior now. A year or so ago boards would light up over this type of behavior from a merchant. Affiliates have become increasingly complacent.
    Last edited by leeann; November 14th, 2010 at 07:38 PM.
    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.

  7. #7
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    That's pure evil. Maybe it explains why my buy.com sales has droped so much since May...

    Thanks for the heads up, Leeann.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager affiliatemanager's Avatar
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    Cool Buy.com Feeds - Deals vs Catalog
    Hi ABW'ers,

    Just saw this post and I wanted to address the community.

    Buy.com has just grown to 8 million products that are aggressively priced with free shipping offers.

    For the affiliate channel, a large % of the affiliate revenues come from our hand picked 24 hour deals that we send out daily M-F. Most of our affiliates have asked for our deals in a datafeed format so we publish an RSS feed of just these exclusive, limited time offers that typically sell out within hours or by the end of the day.

    So for deal affiliates, this feed is optimal for them since they check hot offers throughout the day. When we sell out of a hot product, rather than going to a blank page, we do tell our customers where they can find the product if they are still interested in buying it. Most deal affiliates will replace the sold out item with another hot Buy.com product...this is the best optimization of Buy.com's 24 hour sale items.

    For affiliates who update their site less frequently, this is not optimal, as you will run into the situations above. Our feeds update daily, not real time, so it would be best that you promote product discounts, offers and store promotions that last longer than 24 hours.

    We have our full catalog of products available for our affiliates to promote, as well as "easylinks" via LinkShare where by placing a bit on code on your site, the banners auto-populate with the content of your page. You can "set it and forget it" - it's a great tool, so email me if you would like more information on all the great tools we have.

    We have our EARLY MADNESS going on now, where the 4 hot sale items are posted daily
    doorbusters - Buy.com

    and we have our Find a Best Buy on Weekly Deals & Sale Items - Buy.com page that is always updated with our hottest product discounts.

    Also email me or post here if you have anymore questions!

    Melissa

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager affiliatemanager's Avatar
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    We are now with LinkShare!
    Quote Originally Posted by mayfly View Post
    That's pure evil. Maybe it explains why my buy.com sales has droped so much since May...

    Thanks for the heads up, Leeann.
    Hi Mayfly,

    Have you made the switch from Commission Junction to LinkShare? Let's work together to get your sales back up! We are now with LinkShare!

    Buy.com USA Program
    https://cli.linksynergy.com/cli/publ....php?mid=36342

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager affiliatemanager's Avatar
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    Red face
    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff View Post
    Another Buy.com example. They are currently showing a price of $538, but my datafeed entry from today shows $399. The price comparison widget is showing a Babies R Us price of $399, which I believe is a leak.

    Buy.com - PlayStation 3 System - Move Bundle with Sports Champions Game

    Hi isellstuff,

    I clicked on your example and I don't see a "price comparison widget", we do have this sold via our marketplace and we have multiple sellers, including babiesrus.. who is a partner of Buy.com's. You get commissions on all our marketplace products sold by our partners! Prices with change in the datafeed as marketplace sellers post products. If we have multiple sellers, the seller with the lowest bottom price will win the "Buy Button"... but we will still show all sellers.

    Hope this helps!
    Melissa

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    I think Buy.com should hide their price comparison widget when a user lands from an affiliate link. This is especially true when the price comparison widget has a lower price than what is displayed for Buy.com or Buy.com Marketplace.

    An alternative would be to compensate the affiliate for clicks/sales resulting from the price comparison widget.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by affiliatemanager View Post
    Hi isellstuff,

    I clicked on your example and I don't see a "price comparison widget", we do have this sold via our marketplace and we have multiple sellers, including babiesrus..
    The widget is dynamic. Try this page:
    Buy.com - Call of Duty: Black Ops (Prestige Edition)
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    I don't think we are getting compensated for eBay sales...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by isellstuff; November 15th, 2010 at 02:34 PM.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by affiliatemanager View Post
    Hi Mayfly,
    Have you made the switch from Commission Junction to LinkShare?
    Yes, I did.

  15. #15
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Hi Melissa,
    The datafeed that was uploading was current. There were so many products that were "sold out" that it became a waste of time to continue working on it.

    Do you really think it is fair to fill a datafeed with sold out products that go to Buy.com's price comparisons? We get zero compensation - not even a referral?

    Tell me how this is the right way to treat affiliates? And yes, this was the LS feed - which is great, but not so great if there is no compensation for the work.

    Also, is there a page that shows when these products were current and in stock? I guess I could check the internet archives site...

    Thanks,
    Last edited by leeann; November 15th, 2010 at 04:39 PM.
    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.

  16. #16
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Bottomline - This is what it makes me feel is happening -- regardless of if I am right or not.

    I feel like the part of the millions of products that you mention are products you list that were never in stock, but Buy.com incorporates products from other merchants which they make a commission from.

    Then a datafeed w/ a portion of those products go out to the affiliates.

    Affiliates are excited because they found a good source that pays decent commissions. They rush to get the datafeed up.

    Can affiliates check each link? Of course not -- but they post them anyway, trusting Buy.com. The links go to a price comparison page -- Buy.com makes the commission -- affiliates make zilch.

    Sorry, but that is how this feels when you see so many "sold out" pages. Why not go to a similar product page? Or better yet, pay the site that referred the customer.
    Last edited by leeann; November 15th, 2010 at 04:51 PM.
    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.

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager affiliatemanager's Avatar
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    Thumbs up
    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff View Post
    I think Buy.com should hide their price comparison widget when a user lands from an affiliate link. This is especially true when the price comparison widget has a lower price than what is displayed for Buy.com or Buy.com Marketplace.

    An alternative would be to compensate the affiliate for clicks/sales resulting from the price comparison widget.
    Hi isellstuff,

    Buy.com has spent a lot R&D in learning our customers buying behaviors. The purpose is to display our competitor's prices to show we are the LOWEST price out there. Shoppers, no matter where they start from, typically shop three retailers before making a buying decision. We've captured this knowledge. It also keeps us on our toes to be the lowest price! We have the highest conversion on the product pages we have posted our competitors pricing on and have done this for years. I see where you may think customers are clicking and taking away from your sales....but why would we want our customers to shop somewhere else? We don't. We are building consumer confidence that we are the lowest price. They can even click to see for themselves, and the conversions on Buy.com prove they stay.

    If you would like, I can have LinkShare send you a report that shows Buy.com has the highest conversion rate in on our market above our competitors by 30%! This recent report was just published in September 2010.

    Buy.com wants to be the destination and is the destination for the best deal.

    Thanks!
    Melissa

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager affiliatemanager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeann View Post
    Bottomline - This is what it makes me feel is happening -- regardless of if I am right or not.

    I feel like the part of the millions of products that you mention are products you list that were never in stock, but Buy.com incorporates products from other merchants which they make a commission from.

    Then a datafeed w/ a portion of those products go out to the affiliates.

    Affiliates are excited because they found a good source that pays decent commissions. They rush to get the datafeed up.

    Can affiliates check each link? Of course not -- but they post them anyway, trusting Buy.com. The links go to a price comparison page -- Buy.com makes the commission -- affiliates make zilch.

    Sorry, but that is how this feels when you see so many "sold out" pages. Why not go to a similar product page? Or better yet, pay the site that referred the customer.
    Hi Leann,

    I hear ya, and I appreciate your comments and feedback. Buy.com has A LOT of tools out there for affiliates to use. Like I mentioned before, the RSS feed you are speaking of are for Deal sites that update daily. We have one of the largest affiliate programs and my ambition is to have tools for affiliates on all sorts of levels to promote Buy.com easier to earn more money.

    We do have landing pages with all the deals on them, updated in real time... we have text links and banners that link to those pages.

    We also have this page: What's Shakin - Buy.com

    This page is GREAT. In realtime, you can see whats hot on Buy.com and what's in stock...then grab your affiliate link right there! It's broken out by category store.

    For you, I suggest our direct datafeed. The products in the feed are ranked based on 7 days worth of sales and are per STORE. So, if you just want our jewelry products, open up that feed and view the first 20 rows... those would be our top 20 products for that store. The feed is updated daily and these products are priced so aggressively that we would sell out in a day. Perhaps the Baby and Toys feed, or Clothing and Shoes. It gives you the choice.

    As I mentioned before, we have probably over 20 different tools you can use to promote Buy.com, without using our 24hour sale RSS feed that are featuring products that sell out quickly in a day.

    Please email me or call me and I'd be happy to walk you through!

    Thanks again,
    Melissa at Buy.com (melissa@buy.com)

  19. #19
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Thank you for your ideas Melissa, but it still doesn't address the sell out pages. Maybe a better understanding of what happens with those pages would help.

    When a visitor goes from my site to Buy.com and encounters a page that shows the product is sold out, then decides to buy it elsewhere and clicks on one of the merchants/links within the price-comparison widget, does Buy.com make a commission on the sale?

    If so, don't you think a referral commission should be given to the affiliate that sent the traffic through the links you provide in your datafeed?

    If not, could you explain why?

    Thanks again,
    Last edited by leeann; November 15th, 2010 at 07:30 PM.
    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.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by affiliatemanager View Post
    Buy.com has spent a lot R&D in learning our customers buying behaviors. The purpose is to display our competitor's prices to show we are the LOWEST price out there.
    I understand the concept, but what I'm telling you is lately, your price comparison widget is showing everyone that you don't have the best price on popular products..... Maybe you have a bug... You should have some one investigate why, for instance, the COD Prestige link I dropped above is showing better pricing on eBay and Glyde.com.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  21. #21
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by affiliatemanager View Post
    Buy.com has spent a lot R&D in learning our customers buying behaviors. The purpose is to display our competitor's prices to show we are the LOWEST price out there.
    But then if Buy.com happens not to be the lowest priced, you still make something instead of nothing if the shopper clicks on a merchant w/ a lower price in the price comparison -- but again -- what do affiliates earn for sending you the traffic?
    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.

  22. #22
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeann View Post
    But then if Buy.com happens not to be the lowest priced, you still make something instead of nothing if the shopper clicks on a merchant w/ a lower price in the price comparison -- but again -- what do affiliates earn for sending you the traffic?
    I guess since there is no answer, I can assume the answer is ... nothing. Affiliates paying for sites, spending their time directing traffic to Buy.com, putting up their banners, promoting their products before promoting other merchants, and when it is all said and done, will make ............zero........... under these circumstances. Nice.

    Happy Holidays, Buy.com.

    And on a side note Melissa - I don't believe we've ever discussed my sites, so how would you know what they are and what the best way for me to add Buy.com links to my sites would be? Just curious...

    Thank you,
    Last edited by leeann; November 16th, 2010 at 07:17 PM. Reason: Forgot to say thank you...
    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.

  23. #23
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    I guess this is a case of... Don't answer, and soon the post will go away....

    Could you (Melissa) at least email me privately and explain to me how you know what websites I own? It's not in my signature and it isn't something I discuss on this forum.

    Thank you
    Last edited by leeann; November 17th, 2010 at 04:17 PM.
    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.

  24. #24
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Ignoring questions seems to be a new trend on the forum.
    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.

  25. #25
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    (moved)
    Last edited by leeann; November 19th, 2010 at 02:21 AM.
    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.

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