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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    A few topics ago I tried to get some interest in my new program www.barberbros.com and explained that we plan to keep constant consumer and affiliate promotions running. A few of you said you would not work with us because Ebates is in our program.

    Upon asking for clarification I was told by some of you that their "parasite ware" will in effect steal other affiliate commissions and my own sales if customer has Ebates installed. Certainly this seems possible and unfair and so I was ready to boot them. Before I did this I checked with Linkshare to get their take on this and here is their response:

    "I have checked into this issue regarding Ebates and the situation with downloadable products. LinkShare has created an Anti-Predatory
    Advertising Addendum for all affiliates that have a downloadable
    product. The Addendum is available for you to read in the Merchant
    Resource Center under Policies and Procedures - we invite you to read it. In essence, the Addendum allows us to test the software and it states that the participants engage in non-predatory business practices. As affiliates with downloads are identified, LinkShare contacts them to begin the process of signing the Addendum and bringing the download software into compliance with it. If an affiliate that we have contacted does not sign the Addendum, then they can't participate in our Network. If they sign, but do not gain and maintain compliance (we investigate all allegations of non-compliance), then they can't participate in our Network.

    Ebates has signed this Addendum, we have recently tested their software and they are in compliance. Please feel free to state this to the affiliates who are lodging complaints with you. If they would like to send us examples of predatory behavior, then we would be happy to investigate."

    I hope this helps inform some of you on this issue and even empowers you to act against predatory affiliates who would harm your program. I also hope some of you join our program!

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    apcRocket:

    From what I understand, Ebates goes in and out of compliance about as often as you and I blink our eyes.

    A search here on ABW will pull up many posts about Ebates and their "compliance" with the networks. It seems a lot of the publishers who depend on software downloads for their commissions have technical problems, some of them more frequently than others. Usually, this means they break the Code of Conduct and/or TOS, which means they are receiving commissions from the hard work of other publishers. When they get caught, they rush to fix the problem...

    ...until the next time it happens and they get caught...

    ...and the next time...

    ...and so on...

    It's really pretty ridiculous. If you do a little research, you'll see how all of the publishers who depend on software apps operate. Then ask yourself: do I really want to be affiliated with this?

    Andy

    "If you were born to be shot, you'll never be hung." -Unknown

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Wise advice Andy for all the affiliate enabled merchants.

    Mike & Charlie ...

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

  4. #4
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    Apc - There is nothing like knowing whats going on until you run the software yourself. I suggest you download MMM and install it on your machine.

    After it's installed, go to the browser and type in your url. Shortly after getting to your site, you'll see that the "Mo Money Maker" has just turned an order from someone going to your site on their own accord into an order with ebates that you pay a commission on.

    The process of turning what would have been a non commisionable order holds true any time someone goes to your web site directly, form an email that you've sent out, from a ppc ad you're running with search engines and sometimes....... even from the result of clicking on one of your affiliates link.

    I personally don't think the concept of offering rebates itself is bad when someone goes to a website but a downloadable application such as MMM is entirely another thing.

    It seems like they have an "on" and "off" switch that randomly operates to divert commissions and at times it's even looked like they have their code set up so that it will "randomly" overwrite cookies so they can say "if they are caught" that they have a technical issue and they will work it out.

    As already mentioned, Ebates has been caught overwritting links time and time again. Go try it out and after you see what's going on for yourself, see if "just because linkshare tells you they are in compliance" if you feel any better.

  5. #5
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    APC,

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>12 Return Day policy - get credit for repeat sales for a 12 days after you send us a visitor. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You, of course, realize that every time eBates pops up they are nullifying that. The TopMoxie application creates, in essence, an indefinite cookie. Why not, also, offer unlimited cookies to every affiliate?

    Regarding compliance ... As Andy said ... yeah they'll [eBates] fix it again! Last two times there were "glitches" was Mothers Day and Christmas ... HMMMM, How did that happen?

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
    </font></p>

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager
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    Oh I totally agree the truth is somewhere in between what Linkshare says happens and what you all say happens. I am just trying to flush it all out so I can get a grip on doing what is best for all our partners but not hurting my bottom line doing it either. I have had their software on in the past, it was annoying so I uninstalled it for that reason. As far as them stealing future sales from me its just like any other loyalty customer who always goes through their charity site for example before coming to me.

    I am curious to see what others say and then I'll toss it back at Linkshare.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
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    As you can see from the posts on here, you will get little support from the affiliates as long as you remain ignorant of the true role that Ebates plays in the affiliate world.
    I suggest that you educate yourself by searching through the posts on this forum to find out exactly what it is that Ebates are doing.
    Once you have done that, then you may want to re-evaluate whether or not you associate with Ebates.
    If you do decide to remain with Ebates, then you will not get as many people signing up for your program than you would if you stopped your association with Ebates.
    Just because Linkshare or CJ or Befree or Performics or whomever inform you that Ebates are in compliance, it doesn't mean that they are fully in compliance or even partly in compliance

    www.cjshoppingnetwork.com

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by apcRocket:
    I am just trying to flush it all out so I can get a grip on doing what is best for all our partners but not hurting my bottom line doing it either.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    So if Ebates are going to bring the money in, you will keep them? No matter what the cost to other affiliates? As long as the money keeps coming in?
    I have nothing against you or your program. This is just in the hope that you can truly understand what is going on. Is money more important than ethics?

    www.cjshoppingnetwork.com

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    cj:
    setting ethics aside for a moment, what is more important, short-term gains (likely with eBates) or long-term growth (more likely with strong affiliate relationsihps that can only be fostered with eBates in the picture)?


    Karl Smith
    phillyBurbs - Your Internet Starts Here

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager
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    No I mean I want to do the fair thing for all my affiliate partners because in the long run many good partnerships is more profitable than one predatory one. However I am not going to hastily flush Ebates without doing due diligence to ensure I understand the situation and that is not based upon opinion and misunderstanding.

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager
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    So out of curiosity, who here has a bigger program than Ebates?

  12. #12
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by apcRocket:
    So out of curiosity, who here has a bigger program than Ebates?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Nobody. However, if being bigger than Ebates was only possible through their own methods, then I would gladly remain smaller, always

    www.cjshoppingnetwork.com

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>loyalty customer who always goes through their charity site for example before coming to me.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't think anyone has a problem if in fact they go to e bates site and clicks through to your site from there. Then in turn they are the same as us and set a legitimate cookie.
    It is when they pop up, divert type in traffic, e mail links etc etc where they have diverted our own link to theirs is where the problem is.

    ...............
    WW

    Make a difference! Support your local Cancer Care providers.

  14. #14
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    This is really a bigger issue than with just coupon sites. Seems like this thread would be better placed in another forum.

    Michael

  15. #15
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    Haiko pointed this out earlier, but I'm not sure you got it.

    You say you give your affiliates a 12 day cookie.

    Say an affiliate sends someone to your site on June 1, and they look around, like you, and bookmark you...but they don't buy.

    Then they go directly to your site later that day or anytime within the 12 days, because they are interested in purchasing something.

    The way you have set up your program, it would seem that you want to give your affiliate partners credit for that person.

    Here is the BIG problem. If that person has downloaded Ebates horrible little product, then it will pop-up when the visitor hits your site.

    Ebates will probably get credit for the sale, and the original affiliate that introduced the visitor to you, will get stiffed.

    Any merchant that supports that type of behavior, should just be honest and give a 0 zero day cookie, because you really are not looking out for all your affiliate partners.

    Ebates is a good site. The Ebates MMM download is a horrible little product that will take credit for sales that it had absolutely NOTHING to do with.

    Your affiliate partners, and your own site will all be donating commission to Ebates if you continue the relationship.

    I find it hard to see how that makes any sense.

  16. #16
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    apcRocket, question for you.

    Do you have a financial interest in this company? (BarberBros, besides getting paid to manage their affiliate program)

    Or

    Do you have a financial interest in generating as many sales as possible through the affiliate channel?

    ----
    -JM
    Banana Free in 2003. (and 2004, 2005, 2006, ...)

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> It is when they pop up, divert type in traffic, e mail links etc etc where they have diverted our own link to theirs is where the problem is.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It seems that this prhase don't stick on Merchants and Networks thick harded skulls!

    any website is found through the net by users that search for some particular products or what ever and found my site and click on one of my merchant and bought something!

    Do you think any one else should or have the right to get the commission beside me????? Duuuuuuuuh!
    Come on it's a freaking simple english,

    But I guess that's that kind of business this people would like to be known in the future!

    because future do change! and as long as there is people that let the world know the currupt is going on they will be cleaned up someday!

    Yah I know it's a wishfull thinking, but you never know!

    My two cents!

    Love Life to the fullest. we only get ONE chance! :-) !

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I am thinking of booting them today from our program. They are #2 in sales though, damn.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That is what it comes down to isn't it? The numbers 'speak' for themselves. I found that quote in another thread http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&...723#1776064723

    Who is your number 1? WhenU?

    www.cjshoppingnetwork.com

  19. #19
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    They are probably #2 because they are currently getting credit for sales that you will still get from your other affiliates when you drop them. And the side benefit is that if they are popping up when people visit your site directly, you will be saving the commission on those sales.
    My guess is that your existing sales will increase, your non-ebates affiliates commissions will increase, and everyone but ebates will be pretty happy...yourself included.
    Try it for 3 months, and see what happens.

  20. #20
    Affiliate Manager
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    OK no need to be rude, the fact that I am opening this up for discussion here means that I admit I am ignorant of this, wish to educate myself and care about your input. Being rude just means that I'll stop coming here and asking.

    We are a new program and I am in charge of the whole thing, actually I am the entire project from marketing to technical to creative until sales allows us to add staff. Thats the web side only, our "sugar daddy" is a 30,000 sq. foot retail gift shop that does 10 million a year from one spot.

    While we operate with ethics and have many great partners nowm, it is after all not a charity, we are here to make money. And that's why we are a good partner for affiliates, I don't expect you to send us sales for nothing, you need to get paid as well. Yes long term health depends on numerous good partnerships and not putting all out chips one one bad one right off the bat. However, if none of you can see the business sense in trying to separate fact from opinion before making business decisions then you won't likey be around in the future anyway.

  21. #21
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    We're just trying to make sure you understand how their product works.

    Do you understand that your 12 day cookie is worthless while you partner with ebates?

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by apcRocket:
    However, if none of you can see the business sense in trying to separate fact from opinion before making business decisions then you won't likey be around in the future anyway.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Something tells me that I'm not the only one that will be dropping your program as soon as LinkShare is back up and running.

    I don't come to ABW to be insulted. That's fact *and* my opinion.

    Michael

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador
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    Dear apcRocket,

    You seem not to realize that affiliates make business decisions also. It is in any affiliate's long-term interest not to financially support any busines that utilizes ebates in any manner. Any "clean" money they may gather not stealing commissions, can be used to redesign their link-stealing business.

    It has nothing to do with ethics, just long-term cash flow. You folks won't be getting any links on my site.

  24. #24
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by apcRocket:
    OK no need to be rude,<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    However, if none of you can see the business sense in trying to separate fact from opinion before making business decisions then you won't likey be around in the future anyway.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Do as I say, not as I do.

    Emdub, you're not the only one.

    ----
    -JM
    Banana Free in 2003. (and 2004, 2005, 2006, ...)

  25. #25
    Affiliate Manager
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    (some of) you are something else. I in good faith try to open a topic to clarify an issue and get stuff like this:

    Do you think any one else should or have the right to get the commission beside me????? Duuuuuuuuh!
    Come on it's a freaking simple english,

    then some of you further villify my as another big bad selfish merchent and yet when I defend my stance as trying to divide fact from opinion and take a logical approach you get offended? Is this forum a place for merchents to get abused, is that why you all come here? We have over 700 affiliates who don't mind Ebates and yet I am considering dumping them based upon about 5 comments from you people and the best you can do is be insulting and then cry when I defend my stance? Come on.

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