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  1. #1
    Member katlupe's Avatar
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    Question About Offline Temporarily Merchant Links
    I would like to ask for some advice here. When you have your affiliate links set up on your pages, if you find one of the merchants is "temporarily offline," what exactly do you do? Do you take all their links off? Or just let them sit there because you have so many of them on your pages?

    Thank you for your answers.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    If the merchants is not setup with AutoDeposit then I do not list them on my sites ever. If they are normily setup with AutoDeposit then I would send them an email telling them that their links are not working (and keep them on your site) if its not fixed in 24 hours pull them off your sites for good.

    That just my option though.
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

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  4. #3
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Exactly what Kevin said and if they don't respond in 24 hours then you shouldn't be working with them anyway.

  5. #4
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    I think this depends on the history with the merchant, other available merchants, and the individual situation.

    Is the merchant replaceable? Do you have code that allows you to easily switch? Has this merchant been unreliable?

    My ability to wait it out would strongly depend on the above answers.

    The instant any of my merchants go offline I try to contact them. I'd definitely recommend doing the same.

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  7. #5
    Affiliate Manager affilorama's Avatar
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    I will contact the merchant soon as I find out. I will also check my email for any notification from the merchant that they will be offline. While waiting for a response I will check for other products to replace theirs with. I will also look for any info from the merchant site or forums.

    If I do not hear from them within 24 hours, I take down their links and promote a new one.

    The thing here is, if your merchant is reliable, their links wouldn't just go offline without telling their affiliates beforehand.

    Have a good day!
    Michelle
    Affilorama Group Ltd
    Affiliate Marketing by Affilorama | Free SEO Software by Traffic Travis

  8. #6
    Member katlupe's Avatar
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    Thank you for all your replies. I appreciate it.

    I am signed up with these merchants through a site like ShareASale and many times, they say the merchant is offline temporarily. So I take those links off my site and replace them. Then a few days later, I go back to ShareASale and those merchants are back on. It's a lot of work to take them off and put them back on again. So I usually don't put them back on, unless they are a solar merchant, as they are what I need the most for my site.

  9. #7
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    As an alternative to removing the merchant's links THE FIRST TIME that they go offline, ShareASale allows you to designate an alternate URL for all NOT ACTIVE errors. While this is far from a perfect solution, it does prevent your users from seeing the "Not Active" page. ShareASale also appends the Merchant ID to the end of the URL, so with a little programming magic you could write a script that redirects the customer to a more specific page on your site or to a similar merchant located elsewhere. Here's a link to ShareASale's help page on the topic: How can I prevent my users from seeing the Not Active page?

    You may have noticed that I suggested this procedure the FIRST TIME that a merchant goes offline. If a merchant goes offline a second time in the same 12 month period I usually remove them permanently. My line of thinking is that they are either poorly funded or poorly managed; in either instance I would rather not waste any more time on them.

    As Kse suggested, a way to avoid either of these scenarios is to only work with merchants that utilize auto-deposit if possible. Auto-deposit merchants keep a credit card on file with ShareASale that is automatically used to fund their account whenever it reaches a pre-determined threshold which should prevent them from going offline.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

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  11. #8
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    You may want to read this thread. Believe it has a sample or two how to do redirects.

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

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  13. #9
    Member katlupe's Avatar
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    Thank you, I will go read up on it. At least I see that I am not the only one bothered by this situation.

  14. #10
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Ooooh yes, most definitely you're not the only one bothered by this. Probably all of us at some point at least has this happen. It is very frustrating. Different networks deal with the situation differently and some won't notify you when this happens.

    Like the others have said a lot does depend on the individual merchant and availability of the product you want to promote. I don't want to repeat what's been said and you should read those other threads. You definitely aren't alone tho if that makes you feel any better.

  15. #11
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Then there are networks that DON'T tell you when they are "temporarily offline"...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  16. #12
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Then there are networks that DON'T tell you when they are "temporarily offline"...
    Not sure if I agree with you on that one, but yes some merchants do not pay their bills and get kicked out of the other network and both the affiliate and network looses so I do understand your point.

    BUT this
    offline/online/offine/online/offline/online/offline/online/offine/online/offline/online/offline/online/offine/
    online/offline/online/offline/online/offine/online/offline/online/offline/online/offine/online/offline/online/ ...........

    (I think I made my point) that SAS allows it merchant to get away with does so much more dammage to our affiliate sites!!!
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

  17. #13
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kse View Post
    Not sure if I agree with you on that one, but yes some merchants do not pay their bills and get kicked out of the other network and both the affiliate and network looses so I do understand your point.

    BUT this
    offline/online/offine/online/offline/online/offline/online/offine/online/offline/online/offline/online/offine/
    online/offline/online/offline/online/offine/online/offline/online/offline/online/offine/online/offline/online/ ...........

    (I think I made my point) that SAS allows it merchant to get away with does so much more dammage to our affiliate sites!!!
    I prefer the way SAS does it - allows the affiliate to redirect the links. Other networks do not.

    For years PeppperJam allowed merchants to be months behind in paying affiliates. They only recently (past year) start notifying affiliates that merchants are "temporarily deactivated".

    Most networks continue to allow the affiliate links to work. I know, this has been a hot topic of debate before, but I prefer to do something with "temporarily offline" merchants rather than start pulling down links immediately...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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