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  1. #1
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    How To F*#! Your Affiliates: Black Friday to Cyber Monday Edition
    Sharing this blog post by Eric Nagel on behalf of Tricia Meyer the affiliate effected and one of our long term members. Based on the last comment this may have been a mistake but should have been addressed directly with the affiliate.

    Article here: How To F*#! Your Affiliates: Black Friday to Cyber Monday Edition


  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if I believe this was a mistake or not on behalf of Cellars Wine Club. This was actually the culmination of months of "steps" taken by Cellars that systematically hurt the affiliates.

    First, we noticed ourselves that half of their clubs were missing. No notice to the affiliates at all. So half of our reviews are now wrong and we didn't even know it. Second, we had our commission decreased and only knew about it from the ShareASale automatic notice email.

    Then this started happening ON Thanksgiving. Eric and I are in the program separately for our different sites and I emailed him that day asking if he also got a notice of the 0% commission from ShareASale without any explanation of what it meant. He was trying to contact Cellars on Thanksgiving Day to find out what it meant!

    Of course we were worried about Black Friday and what it would mean. So we were already starting to check our site for the coupon codes that they finally told us would be non-commissioned. We understood that (even though giving us no notice at all on such a busy shopping weekend was pretty crappy).

    Then all of a sudden Eric started seeing the 0% commissions and finally found out that the code was right there on the site. The blog post follows everything from there.

    In the end...they are saying that the code should not have been showing up on affiliate landing pages but only every other landing page. We will likely still be hurt by that because if someone decides to buy based on our review but then gets that coupon code from a coupon site or the Cellars site itself in any way, we will lose the commission.

    We got the last laugh later today when we found out that as a result of switching some of our recommendations to their competitor we got a $1200 sale from the competitor. That's the only leverage we have as affiliates--if the merchant doesn't value you, try to find a merchant who will.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan


  3. #3
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    another similar email tonight: I still don't understand it.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    And that is why they are on my Naughty List!

    Affiliate Marketing 2013 Naughty and Nice List
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

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  6. #5
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Ah, the Naughty List - ours is growing by leaps and bounds. January will be very busy replacing these schmucks...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...


  7. #6
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    I received these also, couldn't figure out what they meant. TY for all the info!

    However, when you now click to their site from an aff link, there's a popup to join their free club with a $15 voucher code to be applied to your first purchase when you sign up. It's sent to the email you provide. So if this voucher code is applied to a purchase, will the aff commission be negated? Does anyone know?
    Rene
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

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  9. #7
    Member esnagel's Avatar
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    Todd Farmer (partner with Tricia and I at Wine Club Group) had a call with Mark (Cellars). He said:

    1) Didn't want to setup a 15 minute call over a $117 sale. Not worth the time.
    2) Not spending another minute discussing the issue of "customers get special deals not available to new people" -- ex: "Ever heard of the company called "Nordstroms"? I'm a good long-term customer of theirs. They send me deals unavailable to the public, because I'm a good customer".
    3) I've made good on the accidental $0 commissions.
    4) ...and paraphrasing: "You guys are too small of a traffic and sales source for me to spend another moment considering this topic".

    Apparently he thinks this is all about 1 sale. And all of the previous moves were "accidental"

    I highly recommend affiliates stay away from this merchant.


  10. #8
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Just another merchant who wants free traffic. The only thing to do is dump them pronto.
    Rene
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

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  12. #9
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    Our last 3 sales with them were $0 commission. I've been changing out every recommendation I have to either California Wine Club, Wine of the Month Club, or Gold Medal.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

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  14. #10
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    4) ...and paraphrasing: "You guys are too small of a traffic and sales source for me to spend another moment considering this topic".
    Let us know if he come around and asks why you moved your traffic away once her realizes her lost revenue.

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  16. #11
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    All is false and I can prove it
    Eric,
    Was paid for every order they brought us, in full.
    My email thread with Eric.

    Mark,

    Sorry, I'm booked the rest of today, and leave town tomorrow. I have a small window tomorrow, but Todd will give you a call

    Eric

    On Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 3:38 PM, Mark Ihrig <markihrig@sdisp.com> wrote:
    Eric,
    I don’t have time then, Eric why don’t you give me your number again and I will call you in 5



    From: Eric Nagel
    Sent: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 12:13 PM
    To: Mark Ihrig; Mark Sandeno

    Cc: Todd Farmer; Tricia Meyer
    Subject: Re: [SPAM] Re: ShareASale.com Commission Change Notification

    Can we all get on a call tomorrow at 1pm Eastern, 10am Pacific? Todd & Tricia are OK at that time. Mark & Mark, please let us know

    Thanks,
    Eric

    On Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 2:32 PM, Mark Ihrig <markihrig@sdisp.com> wrote:
    Eric,
    Yes it was, but again it only trigger it if a coupon I use that is intended for our customers.
    Feel free to call for further conversation on this matter.


    Cheers,
    Mark

    From: Eric Nagel
    Sent: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 9:41 AM
    To: Mark Ihrig
    Cc: Todd Farmer; Tricia Meyer; Jessyca Frederick
    Subject: [SPAM] Re: ShareASale.com Commission Change Notification

    Is this related?
    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/uneth...ml#post1169841

    Uploading something to the site wouldn't cause the ShareASale terms to change. This was done in the ShareASale interface


    I've asked before, but can you tell us what coupons are set as non-commissionable? Also, I sent you two emails suggesting a very fair compromise to the coupon problem - I'd appreciate a reply.



    On Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 12:10 PM, Mark Ihrig <markihrig@sdisp.com> wrote:
    Eric,
    I will go in and reverse your sale to the correct commission. Last night the Dev Team uploaded a new piece to the site and cause this issue.
    It will be resolved quickly.
    I will let you know when it is fixed.

    Cheers,
    Mark
    Last edited by Chuck Hamrick; December 20th, 2013 at 07:52 PM. Reason: REMOVED SIG

  17. #12
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    FALSE FALSE and FALSE
    There is not one commission that Eric Nagel was not paid for, and paid for Quickly.

    My phone call with Todd Farmer:
    1) Didn't want to setup a 15 minute call over a $117 sale. Not worth the time. FALSE, posted the email below.

    3) I've made good on the accidental $0 commissions.
    I have and yes they where accidental.

    4) ...and paraphrasing: "You guys are too small of a traffic and sales source for me to spend another moment considering this topic".
    FALSE

    Trish, last 3 where $0, but paid in hours

    We have been on the phone with SAS and they are trying to fix the problem, and while that has been happening, we have been pushing the commissions through manually.

    So I ask, why the slam on Cellars? Your getting your money on every transaction.

    Get your fact straight ERIC, TODD and TRICIA before you slam a company.

    All this started over a $117 transaction, that you got paid on.

    Happy Holidays.
    Mark

  18. #13
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    So I guess the removal email I just received was retaliation for posting our problems with the program? Kicking us out won't solve your problems. Other affiliates are feeling the same way but just are not in a position to speak up.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

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  20. #14
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    I just Dropped them!!
    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!!


  21. #15
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    Take your ball & leave, real mature Cellars...

    It's amazing to me how many merchants don't understand that affiliate marketing is all about trust and relationships. Not just between the merchant & the affiliate, but among other affiliates. Despite potentially being competitors, you are trusted affiliates that other affiliates take note of and trust the opinions of based on your honest, ethical track records. This kind of behavior won't go in their favor.
    Trisha Lyn Fawver

    @TrishaLyn | My Managed Merchants

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  23. #16
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    Tricia,

    I think you might have overlooked something here.
    Cellars is the employer, affiliates are the sales people employed by the employer. We decide who works for us and who doesn't, just like any other company.

    As sales people you have every right to get paid for your efforts, but to rant about not being paid and making it look like Cellars was trying to cheat people out of their commissions, was a complete lie.

    When in fact it has been the opposite, I posted the email thread to show this.

    Keeping the lines of communication open, reassuring the commission where being paid until the problem was fixed. I even had a brief email exchange with Brian Littleton about this, he was glad that things where being taken of.

    You see, I started my company in 1995 and have not survived this long by cheating people, or ignoring communication with customers, employees, and suppliers.

    So, the reason I removed you from our program is quite simple, you posted
    lies about my company, you where also making us out to be something we are not, and for that, I removed you. If you worked at any other company, and did this, you would have been fired as well.

    Best of luck with your ventures,
    Mark

  24. #17
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    Well I appreciate you spelling it out publicly. We were "fired" as affiliates because we had the audacity to publicly state how we were being treated by a merchant.

    I've kept my mouth shut about a LOT of things. I've tried to keep things above board. Trust me. I've heard all kinds of things about what has gone on behind the scenes because a lot of people talk to me. I saw your post looking for an affiliate manager on Craigslist. I've seen your "gray" hat SEO this year in putting Google authorship on product pages (which is not allowed). I've heard you wanted coupon sites in your program because you thought they would bring you tons of traffic but now you rail against the coupon sites because they are cutting into your margins.

    I don't take any of this personally. It's all business. But I consider it my obligation as a member of the affiliate marketing community to participate in these kind of conversations with other affiliates so that they know that they are not alone and that there are alternatives to being treated like this.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan


  25. #18
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wineguys View Post

    I think you might have overlooked something here.
    Cellars is the employer, affiliates are the sales people employed by the employer. We decide who works for us and who doesn't, just like any other company.
    NO Mark - affiliates are NOT your employees - quit crapping on them as if they were. You have no clue...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...


  26. #19
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wineguys View Post
    Tricia,

    I think you might have overlooked something here.
    Cellars is the employer, affiliates are the sales people employed by the employer. We decide who works for us and who doesn't, just like any other company.

    As sales people you have every right to get paid for your efforts, but to rant about not being paid and making it look like Cellars was trying to cheat people out of their commissions, was a complete lie.

    When in fact it has been the opposite, I posted the email thread to show this.

    Keeping the lines of communication open, reassuring the commission where being paid until the problem was fixed. I even had a brief email exchange with Brian Littleton about this, he was glad that things where being taken of.

    You see, I started my company in 1995 and have not survived this long by cheating people, or ignoring communication with customers, employees, and suppliers.

    So, the reason I removed you from our program is quite simple, you posted
    lies about my company, you where also making us out to be something we are not, and for that, I removed you. If you worked at any other company, and did this, you would have been fired as well.

    Best of luck with your ventures,
    Mark
    You are so, so, wrong. Affiliates are not your employees.

    Apparently, you are another clueless affiliate manager.

    You need the read this thread, and just maybe, you might learn something:

    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/midni...ew-113689.html

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
    ABW Forum Rules - Advertise At ABW


  27. #20
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    You know one of the things I like about SAS? "Add to basket" - simply create a basket called "Never Promote" and add them to it...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...


  28. #21
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Wineguys,

    I'm an employee? Please direct me to the link to sign up for health insurance. Since you have so many employees, I believe Obama says you have to provide benefits. Oh, and let's not forget about unemployment benefits. Tricia may need that information since you fired her...

    Best,

    Leeann (so happy to be a Cellars employee.. I just love company benefits...)
    Last edited by leeann; December 19th, 2013 at 09:13 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.


  29. #22
    ABW Ambassador Bob Lawrence's Avatar
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    I wonder where my retirement benefits are at.
    I'm retired...
    Where's the Great Life of Affiliate Marketing Hiding?


  30. #23
    Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by wineguys View Post
    affiliates are the sales people employed by the employer.
    Was he being serious?

    No wonder they have people jumping ship.


  31. #24
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by helpingmoms View Post
    I don't take any of this personally. It's all business. But I consider it my obligation as a member of the affiliate marketing community to participate in these kind of conversations with other affiliates so that they know that they are not alone and that there are alternatives to being treated like this.
    TY Tricia & Eric! It's very hard being an aff these days and I appreciate y'all for doing this. And Chuck, for starting this thread!
    Rene
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz


  32. #25
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wineguys View Post
    I think you might have overlooked something here.
    Cellars is the employer, affiliates are the sales people employed by the employer. We decide who works for us and who doesn't, just like any other company.
    Here's one more reason affiliates have to not work with you....

    You'd think that by this time you would understand what affiliate marketing is all about, but unfortunately you fall into the category of "clueless merchant" and believe me, you guys are a dime a dozen.

    For your information,we are independent business people that have choices, wait until you see how many of us "choose" to promote the hell out of your nearest competitor.

    Merry Christmas

    -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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