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  1. #1
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Abysmal - That's All I Can Say Without $%&#*%
    In my dozen-plus years as an affiliate, I've been screwed over and over by one merchant after another, by virtue of changes, moves, "upgrades" and the like that they do, with absolutely no consideration for the consequences such acts have on their affiliates.

    If affiliates had any thought that merchants, as a general principle, cared at all about affiliates, all you have to do is look to Popshops to dispel that myth.

    In the past few days, I saw two merchant feeds disappear totally from Popshops, with no warning or explanation. Cost Plus World Market, still active on CJ, where they moved not that long ago, no longer has a CJ Popshops' feed, but have added an Impact Radius feed (you can guess what that may mean), and the Lenox feed (also CJ, but only CJ) has also disappeared - no notice, warning, explanation.

    And then there is Target.

    Target had moved to eBay/PJ and eventually put up a PS feed. One day the feed would have 500,000 products and all was well, the next day it could have 1,500 products, and 99% of your links were dead. This went back and forth several times, until it stayed at around a thousand, just before their move to Impact Radius.

    Fairly soon after that move, they put up a IR feed on PS, and it eventually went up to just over 290,000 products. I've been busy changing out these products for the old, dead ones from eBay, and was in the middle of doing so on a few pages last night, when I had to go out for awhile. When I returned, guest what I found?

    The Target Popshops feed was GONE

    It's still gone today.

    All that work for nothing, and all those dead product links.

    $%&#*%
    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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  3. #2
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Somehow, and sadly, I'm not surprised.
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  4. #3
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    This morning, Target is still GONE
    Lenox is still GONE
    Cost Plus World Market is now totally GONE, even the Impact Radius feed is missing.

    And, I forgot to mention Bambeco - their feed went from several hundred products to exactly 10.
    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. #4
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    I've also seen several datafeeds go MIA. I write to support @ PS.com, with subject: Merchant Name (CJ, SAS, LS, etc.) datafeed gone. I copy & paste that line in the body + Can you please check? (Or images gone, links go to home page, etc.)

    I always receive a response and they do contact the merchant. However, the merchant doesn't always respond to them. I follow up with emails & even phone calls to the AM or OPM to resolve the issue. If the PS response included a reason, I make sure to mention that.

    It ain't easy any more. :-(
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  6. #5
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    When Target on PS disappeared, the feed had 295,000 products. It just came back up, with 987 products. Big f**kin whoop.

    POPSHOPS - if and when more products are returned to the feed, will the OLD links work or do they have to be changed out for new ones?

    ASK ME HOW IT FEELS redoing the same stuff over and over and over and over.
    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]

  7. #6
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    I'm misunderstanding your posts. Are you saying PopShops isn't importing feeds properly, deleting them or what?

    For me, when some feeds on hold were finally fixed and reimported, items that were marked "inactive in datafeed" came back up again if the feed info didn't change. Depending on the feed, I still had to relink some items. But maybe that's because the info in the feed changed.

    I have been in contact with several merchants over the past few months, all who admitted feed issues on their end. Some have resolved them, some haven't and in the case of one merchant, he was completely clueless about PopShops or that their feed had ever been there.
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  8. #7
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    My belief is that the problem is with Target not Popshops - they are manipulating their own feed.

    Yes, generally when a feed is on hold and then comes back, returning products previously added to shops will become active again, but this has not always been the case in the past with Target, which is why I posed that question.
    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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  10. #8
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    This year I started dropping/ignoring merchants who play musical chairs with networks, or who have feed instability issues like you have described. I have found that just moving forward with other things instead results in less stress, less time wasted, and steadier/more stable income stream. Try it sometime; it works like magic.
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  12. #9
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    I wrote PS about all IR feeds MIA yesterday, they confirmed and immediately sent to their tech team. IR feeds are there this morning.
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  13. #10
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Just another FYI: I found out that 2 feeds that went MIA were due to price mismatches. PopShops doesn't initiate this, they respond to affiliate complaints. So even if you don't use PopShops, it may be a good idea to do random checks on products/prices.

    This kills sales. Awhile ago I had a customer write me and complain about this on a product. It wasn't my fault, but the merchant's customer rep and AM blamed me for not updating the feed even thought it was incorrect in the current feed. I dropped that program.
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  14. #11
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoyUnltd View Post
    Just another FYI: I found out that 2 feeds that went MIA were due to price mismatches. PopShops doesn't initiate this, they respond to affiliate complaints. So even if you don't use PopShops, it may be a good idea to do random checks on products/prices.

    This kills sales. Awhile ago I had a customer write me and complain about this on a product. It wasn't my fault, but the merchant's customer rep and AM blamed me for not updating the feed even thought it was incorrect in the current feed. I dropped that program.
    I've seen wrong prices in the PS feed far too often than should be allowed to happen. IF they cannot keep up, then the system should let you manually change the price the way you can with the product name and description.

    I'm going to go check it again now, but last night, the Target feed said 264,000 products, but if you clicked on it, the display would say "No Products".
    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]

  15. #12
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    I think this would allow widespread abuse by bad affiliates trying to get a leg up on competition: they would lower prices.

    Small merchants may not have the manpower to keep up, larger merchants? I don't know what their excuse is.

    Re Target: It may take a day or two to completely propagate the feed. I looked at several IR feeds: some displayed items, many didn't. Write PS support, however, don't think there's anyone home on the weekends.
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  16. #13
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoyUnltd View Post
    I think this would allow widespread abuse by bad affiliates trying to get a leg up on competition: they would lower prices.
    I cannot see that working to their benefit - like you mentioned a couple of posts back, site visitors clicking through and seeing the real, higher prices would be extremely upset, and the complaints would be voluminous.
    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]

  17. #14
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Yep - Target's PS feed: 263,000 products, but if you try to display any, "No Products".
    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]

  18. #15
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound View Post
    I cannot see that working to their benefit - like you mentioned a couple of posts back, site visitors clicking through and seeing the real, higher prices would be extremely upset, and the complaints would be voluminous.
    If there's one thing I learned at ABW, never discount human stupidity in the name of greed.

    How would merchants police affs who post incorrect prices? Do you want customers screaming foul? I don't think merchants would either. Legal issues will abound.

    If a merchant has incorrect feed item pricing, we can inform the merchant's AM or OPM, the datafeed aggregator if applicable, or drop the merchant if their feed is too wackadoodle. I certainly don't want to track millions of item prices.
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  19. #16
    ABW Ambassador Bob Lawrence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoyUnltd View Post
    If a merchant has incorrect feed item pricing, we can inform the merchant's AM or OPM, the datafeed aggregator if applicable, or drop the merchant if their feed is too wackadoodle. I certainly don't want to track millions of item prices.
    Dropping them is about all you can do sometimes when the AM or Merchant doesn't answer emails from the affiliate or the network they are on.
    It's almost as bad when they have availability as yes, and you click thru and the item on their site is listed as obsolete....
    Where's the Great Life of Affiliate Marketing Hiding?

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  21. #17
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Lawrence View Post
    Dropping them is about all you can do sometimes when the AM or Merchant doesn't answer emails from the affiliate or the network they are on.
    It's almost as bad when they have availability as yes, and you click thru and the item on their site is listed as obsolete....
    Yup to all + item on site is out of stock and there's a note to tell the customer to call.
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

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