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  1. #1
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    Deals site and Amazon don't mix?
    I'm a newb so help me out please.
    Let me begin the question by adding a bit of a context. (sorry for the length. I tried.)

    I have a new web service that allows users to collect products of interest from the web (like Pinterest) and combines the products of interest with sales/deals/coupons from the same seller, although not necessarily for that exact item of interest. For example, John may like a pair of shoes from Zappos, so he scraps it. He would then be asked if he would like to receive notice of future sales/deals from Zappos. He gets the alerts if he agrees.

    I guess that would put my service under "coupons and deals site". However, I do want to make a distinction because my service creates contents. Users curate their interests and they add thoughts/comments on the product they like. Some short, some longer. And the service promotes viral, organic likes. At the end of the day, new customers will be brought to the merchants.

    After reading through the ABW thoroughly, it seems as though 'coupon and deals sites' are heavily scrutinized by merchants. Something of an evil necessity? (please correct me if I am wrong) Also, the way coupon sites hijack referrals creates discontent from other affiliates.

    So the long awaited question:
    What is the best way to position my service to Amazon (and other merchants) for me to gain their approval and access to their product/sales/deals datafeed? Seems like the moment I click "coupon and deals site" for my service category, Amazon would put my site on the blacklist. Or am I misreading something?

  2. #2
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    You need to read each and every merchant's terms. If you have any questions regarding their terms, contact the merchant and explain your marketing plan...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  4. #3
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    Thank you Convergence, I will pay detailed attention to each merchant's terms. But do you know if 'coupon and deals site' are generally screened at a higher level and given lower commission?

    If so, maybe I should try to see if I can position my service in some other category outside of 'coupons and deals'. Social? is that any better?

  5. #4
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    I have some merchants who do pay less to coupon affiliates, while others actively recruit them. As Convervence says, it varies by merchant. Nevertheless, being a coupon/deals site does not exclude you from participating in their programs. The vast majority definitely don't look at them as an evil necessity, but rather a vibrant part of the industry employing a specific strategy to generate sales.

    The reputation you build with your site will be paramount. There are some sites known for bragging about thousands of coupons of codes, but in truth almost all are expired - they just keep showing the old ones so they can brag about having so many. Merchants hate those sites because it makes consumers angry to not get credit when using an expired code. Others make up deals that don't exist, just to fake a way to work with a given merchant - also a very unpopular strategy.

    Always be honest and up-to-date with your offers. Add value to the consumer's search. The list could go on and on of best practices, and they've been discussed repeatedly here on ABW. But when you embrace those practices, merchants will happy to work with you.
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  6. #5
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I would recommend that you change to social over coupon/deal. More than half of the applications I get daily are coupon sites which offer no value to the merchant. They are declined but we check back monthly on declined applications to see if they have grown in traffic.

    You seemed focused on Amazon and perhaps that should be your end result rather than your start. There are plenty of programs with auto approvals so you can build site and business model until you would appeal to Amazon. Also, it is always worth writing a personal email asking for a second consideration. Make sure that your profile is as complete as possible but don't write a book.

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  8. #6
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    Thank you JCrook and Chuck for the excellent advice. Super helpful.

    Chuck, I do want to work with Amazon but I'm currently building my base with other excellent programs. Good to get your thoughts on the approach too. BTW, if I wanted to send a personal email for second consideration at a later point, where would I send it to? associates@amazon.com ?....

  9. #7
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Yes that is their general email address.

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