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  1. #1
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    If you go Temporarily Offline...
    ...I DROP YOUR ASS!

    Starting today, August, 1st 2011.

    No more waiting you out, or inquiring as to why you're offline, I will just pull you from my site(s) and you'll never be back on them. It's well past time for affiliates to stop having to babysit merchants.

    Shawn Kerr (.com) | Disney World | SEC Football


  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Cool
    I built a site around one merchant who has gone offline a few times lately. I've added (kinda) similar merchants so if it keels over the site goes on! Maybe not exactly the same theme but outdoors is outdoors!

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Yep, this is getting real old. I just dropped a merchant who was offline for several days. I wrote them a few times about this happening in the past, but I just can't be bothered monitoring programs that frequently go offline.
    Rene
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  4. #4
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobilebadboy View Post
    ...I DROP YOUR ASS!

    Starting today, August, 1st 2011.

    No more waiting you out, or inquiring as to why you're offline, I will just pull you from my site(s) and you'll never be back on them. It's well past time for affiliates to stop having to babysit merchants.
    I agree with you. It's too time consuming to monitor merchants who continously go offline!

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  6. #5
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Oh dear, I just babysat again. It's hard to break the habit. :-)
    Rene
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  7. #6
    Newbie lewister's Avatar
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    I've had two merchants tell me recently that SAS hasn't been doing a good job of informing them lately about low funds and going offline. So I email them both the second I see it and they're usually back up immediately. (Except now. I suspect someone's gone on vacation. Bad, bad, bad.) It didn't use to be a problem for either of these guys until about May this year. Suddenly they are constantly going offline and it would be nice to know exactly what changed so I could make a better decision on keeping vs. dropping.

    I keep giving them second (and third and fourth) chances if only because I use individual product links and I desperately don't want to have to go through and change them all. Not quite to the tipping point where that's less of a headache than dealing with the offline bit.

  8. #7
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Lewister,

    We email at low balance and again at zero. We offer auto-deposit with 2 different cards in case one fails. When the account goes offline we once again initiate contact.

    If you let me know who the merchants are that are having trouble, I will contact them to find out why they aren't receiving our messages.
    Thanks,

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

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  10. #8
    Newbie lewister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale View Post
    We email at low balance and again at zero. We offer auto-deposit with 2 different cards in case one fails. When the account goes offline we once again initiate contact.
    Yes - I know. Which is why I always waited a few days before emailing them. And was then told - oh, thank you, I didn't know. They used to tell me but they haven't lately. Etc., etc., etc. Could have just been passing the buck but I can't tell on my end.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale View Post
    If you let me know who the merchants are that are having trouble, I will contact them to find out why they aren't receiving our messages.
    Distinctive Nurseries has been the big problem. Modern Bike told me the same thing, but they don't go offline nearly as much as DN.

    Thanks, Brian.

  11. #9
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    I agree I am SO SICK OF THIS! SAS is not doing enough. There IS NO Reason that SAS can't make it MANDATORY for merchants to go on Autodeposit.

  12. #10
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Janew,

    I know it is frustrating when a Merchant goes offline, but one thing I would suggest here is that you are actually in total control.

    You can make it mandatory for your Merchants to go on Auto-Deposit at anytime... use only those that are Auto-Deposit. When we speak to Merchants, and in our literature at signup we strongly suggest it and I usually tell Merchants that many won't join their program without it, which definitely holds true with the numbers (ad v. non-ad programs).

    I can't require it because there are some Merchants that simply can't or won't do it based on company policy... but you definitely can require it and if I were an Affiliate... I would.

    We've got some new things coming in the Setup Wizard for Merchants to stress the importance even further, which should help as well.
    Thanks,

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

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  14. #11
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    Brian,

    What does it mean when they're on auto-deposit and still go offline? Does that simply mean that all available funding methods don't have enough funds? Because I almost always choose A.D. merchants, and some still go offline for a day or two.

    And some of these aren't clueless ones either, some are with seasoned A.M's that know better.

    Shawn Kerr (.com) | Disney World | SEC Football


  15. #12
    ABW Ambassador
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    Maybe some sort of hybrid system for some long term merchants at SAS who've been on Auto Deposit, to keep them online and (SAS) cover those sales. You might say there is a little risk on that for SAS but the extra sales for the confidence the merchant will stay online, will probably more than cover that rare time it doesn't work out and SAS eats it.

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  17. #13
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobilebadboy View Post
    Brian,

    What does it mean when they're on auto-deposit and still go offline? Does that simply mean that all available funding methods don't have enough funds? Because I almost always choose A.D. merchants, and some still go offline for a day or two.

    And some of these aren't clueless ones either, some are with seasoned A.M's that know better.

    This may have been fixed but it has happened to us in the past. If your trigger is set at say $200 for AD, your balance is at $202, and you get an order with a $220 commission, you'd go into the negative and AD wouldn't actual do the deposit for some reason. You'd have to force a deposit to get back in the black.

    It hasn't happened to us in a long time so maybe it's been fixed but that's one possibility. We did raise our AD threshold so maybe that's the fix.

    Bob

  18. #14
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Drumm View Post
    This may have been fixed but it has happened to us in the past. If your trigger is set at say $200 for AD, your balance is at $202, and you get an order with a $220 commission, you'd go into the negative and AD wouldn't actual do the deposit for some reason. You'd have to force a deposit to get back in the black.

    Bob
    I've seen that also
    Bob Pets Warehouse
    Worlds Largest Pet Supply DataBase
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  20. #15
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    What happens is slightly different from that - but the scenario is usually...

    Trigger at $200
    Auto-Deposit amount of $200
    Balance of $201 ... and then a commission of $500

    (these numbers are all for example)

    The Auto-deposit kicks in but because the balance goes below negative $200, the amount of the Auto-deposit doesn't cover the negative balance.

    The Auto-deposit only goes once, in other words. If it is still negative following an AD, the account would need manual attention.

    Keep in mind that in this scenario, the AM would still receive an email of the sale notification, balance below $0 notification, etc...

    We usually recommend to Merchants to keep a much more significant amount in the account for commissions, depending on volume of sales - to cover for emergency situations such as the card being declined, etc... Going along with $50 deposits with a $50 min for example is not nearly as preventative as going along with $1,000 deposits and a $1,000 min floor.

    It all depends on volume and personal preferences of the Merchant - but the options are there to assure that it never happens.
    Thanks,

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

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  22. #16
    Affiliate Manager
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    Thanks for the reminder Brian. That's exactly what happened and remember now that the bigger floor fixed the problem for us.

    Maybe there's a way to educate merchants about the issue...especially the smaller one's who may not want to have a $1K floor and $1k deposit.

    Bob

  23. #17
    ABW Ambassador
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    Brain, I know this has been brought up numerous times, and you've suggested using RSS or API notification before, but I will ask one more time:

    Could you/SAS please send out an auto email notification when a merchant is "Temporarily Offline" or "Offline"?

    For those of us who prefer to use good old email communications, it will be highly appreciated!

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  25. #18
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    CJ has a $500 dollar floor that appears to work for them, I don't think they shut the program on the spot but give a day or two to replenish.

    For instance if this occurred after biz on a Friday a merchant could be down till Monday when they see the email, is that an equitable result?

    A better mouse trap needs to put in place.

    Moreover, it can be based on how long the merchant is in the network as a contributing factor.
    Bob Pets Warehouse
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  26. #19
    Full Member justnet's Avatar
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    If a merchant is on auto deposit AND they manage it they will not go off line.
    period...
    It's not Brian's responsibility nor is it mine, it's the merchants.
    PS
    Merchants do not want their links redirecting to my "off line page " it's not pretty.
    [url="http://www.successpart2.com/"]...I like to help newbie merchants[/url]

  27. #20
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Bob,

    You are more than welcome to use a $500 floor, or $1000 floor - whatever you think is best for your business.

    We have Merchants that set floors at considerably higher amounts than that - for the sake of safety and to mitigate the types of risk that you suggest (Friday to Monday).
    Thanks,

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

  28. #21
    Affiliate Manager
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    I don't think it's ShareASale's issue to fix with email notification, the ability to set their own floor, etc.

    I do think merchants need to be made aware that AD doesn't work if their AD doesn't cover the negative. We had to discover it the hard way and I'm sure many others have or are confused why AD isn't working correctly.

    Bob

  29. #22
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Brian, another thing I've seen that could be improved upon is that the auto-deposit triggers after the "offline" status change and email notification to affiliates, rather than the instant the account meets the trigger threshold, so you get something like this:

    Trigger at $200
    Auto-Deposit amount of $250
    Balance of $201 ... and then a commission of $225
    Balance of -$24
    Change in status to Offline
    Emails to merchant and affiliates
    Login and select "force auto-deposit"
    Balance of $226
    Auto-deposit finally triggers
    Balance of $476

    If the auto-deposit trigger fired the instant the transaction came in, a lot of the "offline" headaches for auto-deposit merchants could be avoided.

    Also, why doesn't it fire again if the auto-deposit doesn't push an account into the positive? It would seem like a balance check after every single transaction (debit or deposit) would fix that issue too.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

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  31. #23
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    [QUOTE=Brian - ShareASale;

    I can't require it because there are some Merchants that simply can't or won't do it based on company policy...[/QUOTE]

    Brian "YES YOU CAN" Tell them THANKS BUT NO THANKS. Come back when your company policy changes or go to another network!

  32. #24
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Some good information in this thread that was started earlier this year. Worth reading...

    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/share...ne-141596.html
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  33. #25
    ABW Ambassador joyaz's Avatar
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    @Brian - What do you do when a merchant changes their commission to ZERO? I have one womens' apparel merchant in this scenario right now and I'm not sure whether to remove all their products or what! (I did email them via the SAS interface this AM).

    "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

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