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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    We are ready to start an affiliate program, selling pet supplies. We have our own shopping cart software to accommodate the program, which will be online in about a week.
    The company will offer over 40,000 products, the largest such offering in this channel.

    Would it make any difference to an affiliate if we were under this program or simply our own.
    The main difference we see is a high cost on our part of signing up with this company.
    Thereafter paying them a commission in addition to the commission to the affiliate.
    Since we sell at deep discount we could only offer a commission of 10%.
    If we have to pay a company such as this we would only be able to offer the affiliate 7%.

    What are your thoughts, do we need them or not?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    If you want to avoid high setup cost, try ShareASale. They also charge 20% commission. So you will able to offer at least 8% to the affiliates.

    Oh yes, provide us data feed at least for a couple of thousands of top selling products.

  3. #3
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    Be wary of Linkshare's contract. It prevents you from working with other programs.

  4. #4
    Member
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    I am quite comfortable with in-house programs, and would prefer 10% to 8%

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    I prefer dealing with inhouse affiliate programs that offer personalized service and very active affiliate program managers. I'm currently considering a site dedicated to pets, so please keep us all posted.

  6. #6
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    I would usually NOT work with in-house programs. They're less reliable and harder to keep track of.

    You might also want to try CJ.com instead of Linkshare. They have much more affiliates and are cheaper I think.

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    I called Linkshare 312.346.1212 x 240 at 9 AM someone named Vivian was to call me back.
    4 PM I called again to give her the benefit of the doubt she didn't get the message, she said she would call right back.......

  8. #8
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    Make sure that whatever program you choose has the ability do the user by user tracking, called by Linkshare - Signature, and called something different by others.

  9. #9
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    Honestly out of all the networks to deal with I found linkshare the best and they are willing to work with you on anything. Ya the network costs are higher but they do not nickel and dime like CJ.

    John Solamito
    Affiliate Program Manager
    www.datecam.com
    www.datedollars.com - Affiliate program for Datecam
    johns@datecam.com
    C 206-920-5646

  10. #10
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    If you go in-house you may want to look at software like that found at http://www.myaffiliateprogram.com/

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I called Linkshare 312.346.1212 x 240 at 9 AM someone named Vivian was to call me back.
    4 PM I called again to give her the benefit of the doubt she didn't get the message, she said she would call right back....... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Still no call back, I suppose this is an indication of which company has zero support. This is before they sign you up, imagine how they are afterwards.

    So I will conclude linkshare has no benefit.


    We are leaning towards doing our own in house program or maybe shareasale.

  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Side benefit from using Linkshare is you don't have to pay any commissions or network fees till you declare bankrupsy if you play the game correctly.

    1391 ImprovementsCatalog.com (HSN Improvements, LLC) Awaiting Payment Awaiting Payment Awaiting Payment Awaiting Payment Awaiting Payment Awaiting Payment

    Not one penny to LS or affiliates for 6 months worth of traffic...

    Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador LinkShare Moderator's Avatar
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    Hi Pet Dealer,

    I have provided this feedback to Vivian. Please let me know if you have not yet be able to connect with her.

    Sarah

  14. #14
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Honestly out of all the networks to deal with I found linkshare the best and they are willing to work with you on anything. Ya the network costs are higher but they do not nickel and dime like CJ.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I firmly disagree - just ones opinion. Go inhouse Pet Dealer. LS will promise you the world until they have you - then you're held hostage with fees for this, fees for that and you also can't work with anyone else!

    It's supposed to be your relationship with the affiliates and they don't let you take that relationship to the next level which to me is establishing a one-one deal -

    Be very wary of the contract, I've spoken to one of the merchants (not naming names) who has been in LS for quite some time and he is dying to get out!

  15. #15
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    I agree, set up your own inhouse. The best affiliates use this forum anyway and will find you. If you really think that you need something else, you can always join later.

    Mike

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    We have spoken to Haiko and will be setting up a forum for the affiliate program, and make a formal announcement when the time comes.

    The purpose of this post is to gather your thoughts on several issues.

    Are you using any affiliate programs selling pet supplies?

    If so which ones are successful?

    what are the conversion ratios?

    What cookie durations (besides forever) would be fair?

    What attributes would you like to see included in the program?

    Our initial plan is to setup a data feed
    Cookie duration is still being considered
    We will offer 43,000 items, more than anyone else in this channel.
    (More than Petsmart, Petco, Dr. Foster & Smith, Petfooddirect, Ferret store …….)
    The commission would be 10%
    The program will be managed in house, we see no benefit with CJ, linkshare etc.
    There will be a logon to see the number of links, sales etc. Payments would be monthly via check or PayPal.
    Our web servers are dedicated and managed by our own IT staff.

    A few items of interest relating to the pet industry.
    60% of the US population owns a pet or aquarium.
    The pet industry is a 26 billion market
    The company was started in 1974

    Your constructive comments would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Henry

    PetsWarehouse.com

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    Sarah, <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    I have provided this feedback to Vivian. Please let me know if you have not yet be able to connect with her.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Thanks for the effort, she is not very responsible or professional-she never called!
    she obviously don't care.

  18. #18
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    Pet Dealer,

    I have pet supplies on my site, they suck so far, poor conversions and full of parasites.

    I would like to see a minimum cookie duration of 120 days. I would like to know which individual products I am doing well with as well which ones the program is doing well with.

    LanceR

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    That's not exactly answering the question.
    Which pet sites?
    What were the conversion rates.
    Which ones had parasite problems?

  20. #20
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    Sarah,
    You have a tough position, you try and help light a fire under Vivian to return a call from the 20th.
    Now the 26th she finally gets to call us.

    Too late, if thats the response before you sign up what is it afterwards?

    LinkShare isn't in the running.

    We'll go in house at this point.

    Thanks for you help.

  21. #21
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    How come the vast majority of your products don't have pictures?

    Mike

  22. #22
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Fact. In 4 years of having a dedicated pet section, populated by most of the main affiliate enabled merchants, I have received just one affiliate check. That was from Pets.com before they turned off their shopping cart interface and went belly up several months later.

    I'd relish any pet products distributor who'd actually build a site that is able to convert targeted traffic. Those in it now are 100% infested with parastic BHO traffic hijackers. Pure play advertisers seeking mass marketing approaches with no focus on paying ABW type affiliates a monthly commission check.

    The auto parts related merchants had the same problem til JC Whitney took the bull by the horns and learned from experienced AM's like Andy from Tiger Direct the value in "value added" affiliates sending targeted shoppers to great converting landing pages.

    Don't even start an affiliate program till your site's design steadily converts 1/100 visitors from the SE's.

    Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    Mike,
    Your correct we have pic's for about 45% of the database. We are always adding, but many the manufacturers don't cooperate in supplying them. There are also thousands of small replacement parts listed that do not require a pic, those customers know what they need to fix a broken filter or motor replacement. Don’t get us wrong, we would love to have a picture of all the products.

    Henry
    Pet Dealer AM
    Look for our Private Forum at ABW soon!

  24. #24
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    “In 4 years of having a dedicated pet section”

    Can you PM what your site is or reply herein?

    ”I'd relish any pet products distributor who'd actually build a site that is able to convert targeted traffic. Those in it now are 100% infested with parastic BHO traffic hijackers. Pure play advertisers seeking mass marketing approaches with no focus on paying ABW type affiliates a monthly commission check”.

    We can only speak for our current site and can say that our own conversion rate is very good, perhaps it is because if its made for your aquarium or pet we most likely have it, in fact the employees of two local Petco stores shop here because we are lower in price even with their employee discount, and we have the items they need..

    ”The auto parts related merchants had the same problem til JC Whitney took the bull by the horns and learned from experienced AM's like Andy from Tiger Direct the value in "value added" affiliates sending targeted shoppers to great converting landing pages.”

    We are new to the affiliate sales application and would welcome any ideas our affiliate partners may have. Your success is our success, we want to make it happen.

    ”Don't even start an affiliate program till your site's design steadily converts 1/100 visitors from the SE's.”

    It’s far better than that.

    Also be mindful that the shopping cart you are looking at today will be history in about a week. We are running new cart software in parallel now. Along with the new affiliate software. We will be launching the new cart and the affiliate program simultaneously, along with our own ABW forum.

    Henry
    Pet Dealer AM
    Look for our Private Forum at ABW soon!

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