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  1. #1
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    Buycostumes has a lot of invalid links. A LOT
    This has been so far my worst year with them. How is everyone else doing?

    Here's one of the invalid liks I'm talking about:

    Ooops

    This is happening all over the place

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Yes they sure do have a problem and my sales have drops big time as well even though I have lots traffic and visitors are browsing my site and clicking on the affiliate links but the sales are not coming. But I seeing this with other costume merchants as well this year. I really have no idea whats going on since everything looks ok on my end. With my current traffic levels I should be making hundreds in commissions a day but sales are less the 20% of what they should be.

    BuyCostumes have gone down hill alot the past year or so:

    - They are showing Ads all over their site
    - They are showing big banner Ads to their other sites
    - They no longer have a prize Catalog
    - They have reduced return days from 120 to 90
    - They void sales if Goupon is used
    - Plus their support is way down
    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!!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kse View Post
    Yes they sure do have a problem and my sales have drops big time as well even though I have lots traffic and visitors are browsing my site and clicking on the affiliate links but the sales are not coming. But I seeing this with other costume merchants as well this year. I really have no idea whats going on since everything looks ok on my end. With my current traffic levels I should be making hundreds in commissions a day but sales are less the 20% of what they should be.

    BuyCostumes have gone down hill alot the past year or so:

    - They are showing Ads all over their site
    - They are showing big banner Ads to their other sites
    - They no longer have a prize Catalog
    - They have reduced return days from 120 to 90
    - They void sales if Goupon is used
    - Plus their support is way down
    This is so sad, considering they were the best merchant on CJ (as far as I'm concerned). But this year I've emailed them twice, with no reply.

  4. #4
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Well, I guess I'm not alone. My sales are also way down from previous years.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by netsu View Post
    This is so sad, considering they were the best merchant on CJ (as far as I'm concerned). But this year I've emailed them twice, with no reply.
    They were good a few years back but they started cutting back last year. The fact that they cut their cookie length in September says alot about their lack of respect for affiliates. Plus their Ads on most pages.

    I also made an error in my post they went from a 120 cookie to a 30 day cookie not a 90 cookie, that one move will cut my commision by 20%!! I done with them and have already worked out a new deal with another merchant but will have to keep them on my site for this year.

    FYI, their only contact now is Priest, Kristen is no longer working with affiliates.
    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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  7. #6
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Sent to Priest. You should hear from him soon.
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
    Visit Greg Hoffman Consulting

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  9. #7
    Affiliate Manager
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    Hi guys,

    Thanks for showing us some of those error pages. Please send me any information you have (location, etc..) We're always trying to address broken link issues and if you ever find those please don't hesitate to email them to me at priest@buycostumes.com

    Thank you Greg for bringing this to my attention.

    There were a few other concerns brought up here that I would like to address.

    - They are showing Ads all over their site
    Response: I would be happy to discuss this offline and share some details but as we’ve dug into this, it’s almost been a non-factor for most affiliate purchases but again I can share more.

    - They are showing big banner Ads to their other sites
    Response: Same as above

    - They no longer have a prize Catalog
    We still have our Annual Contest and literally announced it in every email that we've sent affiliates via CJ but you are correct that we no longer have a prize catalog. We do a survey every year and what most (maybe not all) affiliates said they wanted was cash so this year we tried to build a cash heavy contest and one that would be fair to all. Please see details here: Halloween Sweepstakes

    - They have reduced return days from 120 to 90
    We actually reduced the cookie duration to 30 days but that was a business decision made after careful consideration. I can share specifics with you if you want to email me but the final thought process was this would literally have an extremely low impact on any one affiliate (again, I can share the #'s to support this) but it would help the company from an overall perspective. Most orders transact within 48hrs and the majority within 30days but again the small percentage that does not across the whole channel makes a big difference.

    - They void sales if Goupon is used
    Yes we do.

    - Plus their support is way down
    I respond to ALL emails and calls that I get from CJ, twitter, resource center, etc.. So if you've sent an email that has not been responded too then I apologize but I promise it was not from a lack of not trying, it may have gone in the junk or something along those lines but I've tried to be very transparent and accessible to every affiliate both big and small and through every vehicle possible but I realize that may not happen perfectly.

    We've gone through changes as a company in every facet but I have been in this channel for years and my focus has always been our experience with our affiliates. I realize that as we continue to see changes in the channel some may not be happy but it’s ultimately meant for the long term good as the program grows and matures we need to continue to look at different ways to be successful on both side (affiliate/merchant) but I will ALWAYS be upfront with this info and help wherever I can. I hope that with time some of the changes we makes are not always seen from both ends.

    Please reach out anytime.

    Regards,

    Priest Willis
    Affiliate Manager
    BUYSEASONS, Inc.
    BuyCostumes.com | Celebrate Express
    (262) 901-2000 x1113 Office
    (262) 901-2315 Fax
    priest@buycostumes.com
    priest@celebrateexpress.com

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  11. #8
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwillissr View Post
    - They are showing Ads all over their site
    Response: I would be happy to discuss this offline and share some details but as we’ve dug into this, it’s almost been a non-factor for most affiliate purchases but again I can share more.

    - They are showing big banner Ads to their other sites
    Response: Same as above
    All I can say that if its a non-factor, I guessing you are saying that no one is clicking on them then remove them. If that not what you saying then can you explain here what you mean by non-factor


    We actually reduced the cookie duration to 30 days but that was a business decision made after careful consideration. I can share specifics with you if you want to email me but the final thought process was this would literally have an extremely low impact on any one affiliate (again, I can share the #'s to support this) but it would help the company from an overall perspective. Most orders transact within 48hrs and the majority within 30days but again the small percentage that does not across the whole channel makes a big difference.
    I know for a fact that I will lose alot from this change, I always keep track of sales from older clicks. Again if its a small percentage then why are you doing it?? It is driving affiliate away from you program. So if its no big deal go back to the 120 day cookie since it such a small percentage.
    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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  13. #9
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    I've been with buycostumes.com for several years and done pretty well every Halloween. I've met Priest and spoken to him at Affiliate Summits.

    However, his post is an absolute load of crap and if had the time, I would start removing their links now. I'm real busy with something else right now and then I will be out of town for a week. As soon as I get back, they will we history from my sites.

    "the long term good" for the merchant and SCREW THEIR AFFILIATES!!!!!

    Note: I have exactly 25% of the buycostumes.com sales this year as I had on this date last year. I wonder why?
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

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  15. #10
    Affiliate Manager
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    I don't mind talking about your sites offline. You can email
    Me or call. We can set something up when you back.

  16. #11
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    We still have to test and see what does
    Work

  17. #12
    Affiliate Manager
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    For one affiliate it's small but collectively it helps our business. I don't have a problem
    With setting up a call and talking about it.

  18. #13
    ABW Ambassador kaizen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwillissr View Post
    For one affiliate it's small but collectively it helps our business.
    Well, just so long as you are reducing each affiliate's income a little bit, I suppose that's all right.

    Did you read what you wrote and pause to consider how that comes across?

    We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves.
    ~Lynn Hall

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  20. #14
    Affiliate Manager
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    Yes I did Kaizen but I'm only stating the obvious, right? There are a small amount of sales that would be affected by this change and maybe some more than others depending on the volume.

    I mean what's really strange is some (or one person) has pointed out the fact that we don't have a prize catalog but it was missed somehow that we have $20K in cash prizes that people will earn or we had a 2 week window where everyone who earned a 10% commission could opt in for 12%...just because (we sent an email to all via CJ). We've had ads in place now for over a year! I would love to address the multiple reasons why some sites could be down....Peguin, Panda, Halloween being on a weekday which has it's affect and the industry just taking a slight turn, etc.. but believe that all these are factors that add up. Throw up your email address with CID and PID and I can do a YoY analysis if you'd like.

    This industry will change and this channel will have changes and as you know it's a fine balance between doing what we can to keep the affiliates happy (i.e. giving a 12% increase and even have a $20k contest) and still looking at the business from a top down perspective.

    I'm not here to debate with anyone, I was simply throwing out some lines to say, I'm here and we can talk. If you see me at the summits, I'm there to talk to you. If you have to pull out the program and change your approach to your business because of some of these changes I understand but I would hope we could talk and not deal with this in a forum because each one of your businesses are different.

    At the end of the day I get you have to do what's best for your business because that's what we're talking about, right?
    Last edited by pwillissr; September 20th, 2012 at 11:55 PM.

  21. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffiliateHound View Post

    "the long term good" for the merchant and SCREW THEIR AFFILIATES!!!!!

    Note: I have exactly 25% of the buycostumes.com sales this year as I had on this date last year. I wonder why?
    I've mentioned this before but having the contest, 12% commission increase as a bonus, I think shows we want to work with our affiliates.

    Again, there is a multitude of reasons that your sales can be down and I would be happy to look at it. Send me your email. I would say that if it's nothing that we can work together on then I would totally understand you having to pull down your links.

  22. #16
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Priest I have worked with both you and Kristen over the years and I know that you personally are not the problem here. You work for the company and are told what to do by management (who I am guessing are clueless about affiliates) so do not take this personally.

    I have no plans on taking this offline, we are not talking about problems with our sites in this thread, we are taking about the way BuyCostumes .com are not treating their affiliates, and the BuyCostumes affiliate program has gone down hill.

    Plus I want to say that the Prize Catalogue is not an issue with me, I just pointed it out as one of the many things that has been changed to hurt the affiliate. Yes you did raise your base affiliate’s commission by 2% but not all affiliates are at your base level.

    The issue for me is that for the volume of traffic I sending you my sales are way down and other have stated the same. What two things that we know has changed are the Ads on your site and the reduced cookie length (Plus the dead links pointed out in this thread). All of this will affect affiliate sales.

    So the question I have to ask since several member have stated that for the volume of traffic sent to Buycostumes their sale are much lower then expected:

    So: Are you sales down for the volume of traffic sent to your site?? Or have BuyCostumes just managed to stop affiliate from getting credit for some of the sales that they would normally get?

    I have already worked out a new deal with another merchant who is happy to take BuyCostumes place on my sites and I suggest other affiliates do the same. The more we allow merchants to take advantage of their affiliates the more they will do it.
    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!!


  23. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwillissr View Post
    - They are showing Ads all over their site
    Response: I would be happy to discuss this offline and share some details but as we’ve dug into this, it’s almost been a non-factor for most affiliate purchases but again I can share more.

    - They are showing big banner Ads to their other sites
    Response: Same as above
    Why discuss offline? I'm sure every affiliates would like to hear what's your reasons to have Adsense ads and your other sites ads on the site affiliates send the traffic to. Do they get a share of those ads earring?

    It's called LEAKING.


  24. #18
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Priest, if the company chooses to run ads on the site there is a way to tweak that for affiliates. You can add a source referrer at the network level that identifies the inbound URL as an affiliate link. Then your webmaster can tune the server to not show ads, 800 numbers, live chat, etc.


  25. #19
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    For one affiliate it's small but collectively it helps our business, yeah especially if you have a big umbrella with lots of brands under it. BirthdayExpress, CostumeExpress, CelebrateExpress have the same policies, shortened cookies and ADS. For sure it does help your business.

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  27. #20
    ABW Ambassador CathyM's Avatar
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    Regarding the original post from netsu and invalid links. I believe this was caused a few months ago (don't know specific date) when buycostumes stopped re-directing links that were in the old format. The old urls were based on product number and when they switched to a descriptive url, the old urls were re-directed to the new url. That is no longer working. I had to re-build all of my old style links.

  28. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CathyM View Post
    Regarding the original post from netsu and invalid links. I believe this was caused a few months ago (don't know specific date) when buycostumes stopped re-directing links that were in the old format. The old urls were based on product number and when they switched to a descriptive url, the old urls were re-directed to the new url. That is no longer working. I had to re-build all of my old style links.
    Yes, same thing happened to me, and I had to re-build the site from scratch. But the thing that surprised and worried me was to find those broken links on *their* site, this late in the game.

    ETA: Just to clarify. I didn't get that broken link I posted by clicking on any link on my site. I was looking around the buycostumes site and when I clicked on some costumes, I'd get the broken link, from their site

  29. #22
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Is anyone else getting Server Error in '/' Application. Run Time Error on your buycostume links? Thanks!
    The Answer to the New York Tax Law - Repeal, REPEAL, REPEAL -

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  30. #23
    ABW Ambassador CathyM's Avatar
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    packy - working fine for me right now
    netsu - thanks for clarifying

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