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  1. #1
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    Suggestions about Affiliate Terms and Conditions
    Hi,

    I have some questions about what to include in an affiliate T&C. I know these questions may contain legal issues probably best discussed with an attorney but before I do that, I'd appreciate knowing any issues or ideas you have about the following:

    Are there problems with allowing non US affiliates, so long as PayPal will pay in the affiliate's country?

    Are there problems with affiliates buying products from a site where they are affiliates? So long as the purchases are not for resale?

    Does allowing affiliates to issue press releases about becoming your site affiliate likely to cause problems?

    If you have an affiliate program, is there anything you wished you had added to the T&C when you first wrote it?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    So much here depends on how you define "problems".

    Non-US affiliates can be wonderful, but unless you have a system in place to manage them, you'll need to be comfortable with sometimes having things not go your way. Also, social norms can be different, so something which may not be considered acceptable in the US may be perfectly fine somewhere else, meaning the affiliates may not think they are violating the terms & conditions.

    Some merchants permit affiliates to buy from their program. Do consider that you will be paying them a commission on their purchase, plus a network override, so if you have that kind of margin, the decision is yours.

    I wouldn't let an affiliate issue a press release about a merchant unless I could approve it first. Even then, my preference would be that the release come from the merchant, not the affiliate.

    Study the T&C's of several other merchants. You'll find items which each has encountered and responded to. I found that very helpful when I was doing the same thing.

    Hope that helps.
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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    US Programs | Canada Programs | UK Programs | Ireland Programs | Mainland Europe Programs

  3. #3
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Are there problems with affiliates buying products from a site where they are affiliates? So long as the purchases are not for resale?
    Should be figured in your gross margins and I encourage affiliates to buy through their links.

    Does allowing affiliates to issue press releases about becoming your site affiliate likely to cause problems?
    In ten years I have yet to have an affiliate issue a press release on becoming an affiliate for a program I manage.

    If you restrict PPC define that same for restricting coupons. hard to go back after yo have opened the flood gates. If you allow then define properly. I work with both but restrict to those who have a good reputation.

  4. #4
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    Great information! Looks like I came to the right place for answers.

  5. #5
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    I like to let all the legalese terms be taken care of between the network and the affiliate. My terms of service specify do's and don'ts of the program. I spell out paid search, coupons, banners, etc. The things affiliates really need to know that will affect them.
    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

  6. #6
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    As a longtime affiliate, I have a very strong opinion about merchants "permitting" their affiliates to purchase products through their own links:

    First and foremost, I find it a personal affront when this is not allowed. A sale is a sale, and if it is not profitable to have an affiliate program, where the object is to obtain as many sales as possible through affiliate links, then don't have a program. But to make your affiliates second class citizens, prohibited from buying from you, is just plain wrong and a very bad business decision.

    Next, when I see this prohibition, my first thought is that the merchant has something to hide, that if an experienced affiliate has problems with a bad processing system or purchases what turns out to be an inferior product, then they will stop promoting the merchant. Does your processing system make it too hard for a customer to complete a sale? Are your products not what they are cracked up to be?

    Finally, how else can we test your tracking than by making a purchase? I have done many test purchases over the years, many, many that were NOT Tracked and for which commissions were NOT paid. I have also had that happen when I made the purchase because I just wanted to buy the product. How a merchant reacts to this and how they remedy the situation is a vital cog in marketing from the affiliate's perspective. I have been lied to on numerous occasions by merchants trying to cover up their intentional acts done specifically to avoid paying well-earned commissions, and I immediately drop such merchants. Without making my own purchase I would never have known what is really going on.

    Bottom line - ALL merchants should not just allow but ENCOURAGE their affiliates to buy from them through their own affiliate links. To do the opposite is to miss opportunities and to promote distrust.
    Last edited by Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound; December 29th, 2014 at 01:36 PM. Reason: typo
    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. #7
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    If I could thank that post more than once I would.
    Excellent message for all merchants to read Phil!
    ================================================================
    Been away, now I'm back. Not as much, but I'm back & starting from scratch. Where I was, was fantastic. Where I am now, less so. Things have changed, become harder. So have I. Game ON!!!
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  8. #8
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    This is exactly what I was looking for. I have a boilerplate affiliate T&C and there were things I couldn't see a need for that I dismissed them outright. I tend to expect the best from folks.

    I felt I should ask about some of the clauses. Rules are usually made for a reason but not necessarily a good reason. I'm want to follow Chuck's suggestion to get it right to start with. These are great suggestions.

    I am trying both a network and building a self managed program. I like the idea of a self managing - I feel like I could be closer to my affiliates and I could pay them more. But I'm struggling to generate traffic so I hope the network can give my marketing efforts a quick boost.

    I'm glad to find people who know their stuff.

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  10. #9
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    Hi Phil, I like your point of view on this. I'd add one thing though. While we do allow (and encourage) affiliates to buy through their links we do have language in our terms that restrict affiliates from purchasing through their links for the purposes of reselling on sites like eBay or other auction sites (essentially as competitors) - this was necessitated by some enterprising folks doing their best to stack up coupons and commissions, then selling products that we're restricted from selling on eBay and causing issues.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

  11. #10
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    But I'm struggling to generate traffic so I hope the network can give my marketing efforts a quick boost.
    If the traffic you do manage to generate is producing sales, you can count on network affiliates to boost sales. If your traffic does not convert, fix that first. Find out why they don't, and address those issues. Your sales funnel should be optimized before you can expect an affiliate channel to help much because affiliates will quickly tire of sending you buyers that bounce.

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