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February 28th, 2014, 11:50 AM #1The Founding of RetailMeNot
Posted this in the wrong place earlier...
This thread is a really interesting look at the founding days of Retailmenot. 'bclark' is Bevin Clark one of the co-founders. Some of things he mentions are amusing in light of the continuing coupon controversy and the fact that retailmenot is a public company (they don't even mention the founders on their wikipedia page):
TLDL: Here are some of the most amusing points:
we all thought Bevin would get in trouble for posting unauthorized coupons
 Bevin knew the unauthorized postings would get retailers upset
 He was trying to create affiliate feeds one at a time and didn't how to get a coupon affiliate feed
 we were telling him to find a way to remove onetime coupons
 other affiliates were already upset that he was posting their exclusive coupons
someone even said: "If you want a long term business plan you can't have a free for all and piss off other affiliates." [boy were we wrong about that!]
 also: "Any good affiliate gets to know their merchants. You don't just post stuff and not know how they work."
 there's another thread Bevin's on where he can't get into victoria secret's program so he resolves to send their traffic to competitors
 MY EDITORIAL COMMENT: you can see from the beginning there was little concern from retailmenot about driving quality affiliate traffic to merchants, but hey he's rich now unlike poor ethical Andy also mentioned in the thread (actually don't know how well Andy is doing these days, but I really hope he's doing great
click here for the original thread: retailmenot history
February 28th, 2014, 12:06 PM #2
February 28th, 2014, 01:31 PM #3
Overall, this is another warning to retailers who have coupon sites in their program - dig deep into the data and cut out the parasites. Retailmenot had no concern from the beginning for the retailers or for the retailer's customers.
Also thought the candor of Retailmenot's founder was interesting especially in regards to what little concern he had for the more 'ethical' affiliates and the retailers. It's also interesting what a professional PR team is able to do to clean up a company's image - thought I'd give them more work as they try to suppress this info again ;-)
This company is crazy successful - also you may have noticed that now coupons.com and ebates.com are also doing IPOs to capialize on the investor interest, but from the beginning the company did things like steal coupons and make toolbars etc, that many affiliates for ethical reasons refrained from doing. Frankly, I find they successes today highly irritating given their past behavior.
February 28th, 2014, 08:28 PM #4
This isn't news, been discussed ad nauseam - not saying there aren't merchants who aren't aware of how they were and still are.
The many merchants who have gone to bed with them are not likely to change their minds but keep turning a blind eye. Money is money to them. Competitors to these merchants will follow suit. 1,000 affiliates can threaten to drop those merchants and it wouldn't make these merchants even blink - that's how much RMN makes them.
Just was curious as to why you brought this back to the forefront - guess it was time.
Have a great weekend...
March 1st, 2014, 10:41 AM #5Renée
Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz
April 6th, 2014, 02:04 AM #6
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