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  1. #1
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    Having been soley using Tradedoubler and CJ from the UK, I cam over to the US starting with Linkshare and joined this forum.

    I seem to be getting the impression that there is a lot more to complain about with the way Linkshare operate - or are there just more complainants here?

    Are people generally dissatisfied with LS?

    Ben.

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Here's my take...

    Linkshare has some really incredible merchants. They also have some merchants that just don't perform very well. You'll find that at virtually any network. The trick is figuring out which merchants work for you.

    Linkshare is one of the oldest players in the market, and their technology is very mature and rich in features. On the other hand, they're much slower to adapt to the changing affiliate market (IMHO). It's been years since Linkshare has really done anything truly innovative.

    Some examples where other networks outperform Linkshare:

    1) Other networks turn payments around faster. Linkshare currently seems to think that it's acceptable for them to sit on affiliate payments for two weeks. Merchants aren't able to review the details until about the 8th, so even if they review it real quick and turn around a check in a day or two, affiliates won't receive their checks until near the end of the month.
    2) Many other networks offer direct deposit and/or consolidated payments. Linkshare doesn't, although they say it's a "priority".
    3) CJ releases network-wide statistics about their merchants, letting affiliates know how the merchants perform for other affiliates. No other network has done this. Major Kudos to CJ for this.
    4) When there are problems, other networks are usually quicker to get notices up and to fix the problems. (These probably typically just affect reporting.)
    5) BeFree has recently offered an innovative "Offer Management" system where merchants can enter all the details for their promotions. Affiliates can easily view all promotions and fine new ones. This is a HUGE time-saver. Other networks have their own solutions, but nothing works anywhere near as well.

    With all that said, am I generally dissatisfied with Linkshare? No.

    While I think they can improve in a number of areas, they do a generally acceptable job and they have some REALLY tremendous merchants that provide huge earnings potential.

    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com

  3. #3
    Full Member AAnnAArchy's Avatar
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    I have very few complaints about the merchants I've used at LinkShare. Occasionally there's a late payment here or there, but my problem is with the network, not the merchants. So, don't dismiss merchants just because they're with LinkShare.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Michael:

    Well said.

    FWIW, we haven't had any luck with any Linkshare merchants. That's not intended as a knock on Linkshare, per se.

    I just think it's tougher to test a bunch of Linkshare merchants and find out what works. With CJ or Affiliate Fuel or Shareasale, we can do a test run on a number of offers/merchants. Some work, some don't. But if some generate even a single sale, we can get paid and move on to other merchants/offers. With LS, you can have several sales, not hit the minimum and be stuck wondering if you should dedicate more time and resources to reaching that threshold or just take it as a loss. As a nit to pick, I also find it cumbersome (not difficult, just cumbersome) to generate individual product links with LS.

    Karl Smith >>> phillyBurbs - Your Internet Starts Here
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  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    Personally, I've been pleased with Linkshare. As others have mentioned, there are areas that could use improvement, but that is the case with all the networks.

    I especially like being able to see each individual item sold in a single report.

  6. #6
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    I've been very pleasantly suprised with the results from Linkshare. I'd read horror stories of some merchants not paying in the past, so have only slowly started to use Linkshare but am satisfied enough to go full-power with Linkshare in the future. In fact I'm much more satisfied with Linkshare than CJ at the moment - my CJ epc has been dire for January and my Linkshare epc is about 3 times as much as my CJ epc, so planning on concentrating more on LS (and Shareasale which I've only got a few links up for but intend to increase significantly due to Shareasale's strong anti-parasite stance) in the future.

    Battling through theifware, keep=no, out of stock items, deactivated merchants and the jungle of great merchants and bad apples to try to make a cent.

  7. #7
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Yeah, non-paying merchants is definitely a thing of the past. The networks really deserve a lot of credit in that area. They all make the merchant payment history pretty visible to affiliates.

    Despite the griping about slow-paying merchants, things have improved considerably for most merchants in the past few years. (There's still plenty of room for improvement, though!) I would guess that on average I receive about half of my checks within about 30 days of the end of the month now. Also, virtually all merchants are monthly now. Four years ago, it was pretty standard to see quarterly payments about 60 days after the end of the quarter.

    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com

  8. #8
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    That's funny how things are changing. I agree with Michael "non-paying merchants is definitely a thing of the past" but we have to remember it was a long fight and Linkshare is still listing:
    Merchant Payment History and Payment Report as NEW
    As far as I remember these welcome improvements are more than one year old and should not be qualified as new. New, should be ACH direct payments.

    It's not the big that eat the small... it's the fast that eat the slow. Jennings & Haughton

  9. #9
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MichaelColey:

    3) CJ releases network-wide statistics about their merchants, letting affiliates know how the merchants perform for other affiliates. No other network has done this. Major Kudos to CJ for this.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No biggie, but that's not true. Affiliate Fuel's Tune Up section lists the top performing promotions by eCPC, displaying the network average conversion rate of a landing page for affiliates to see prior to running the campaign. The only ones not listed either did not qualify as a "Top Performer" or were promoted incorrectly, which may have caused a skewed statistic. We remove them so that nobody promotes them based on inaccurate information.

    Joe Flores
    "Profitman"
    Affiliate Manager
    www.AffiliateFuel.com
    jflores@affiliatefuel.com
    Help Fight Parasite Ware - We Do!

  10. #10
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    From a totally biased stand point, we have no issues at all, we'd love to see consolidated payments on LinkShare down the line, but other than that highly recommend them and the merchant members.

    Support is great and repoeting tools are cool

    Cheers

    Chris


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  11. #11
    Action Jackson - King of the World
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    I do wish we could see when things are ordered

    Jack Mitchell
    http://kattskozykorner.com
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  12. #12
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Profitman:
    Affiliate Fuel's Tune Up section lists the top performing promotions by eCPC<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Great! Thanks! I've never seen AffiliateFuel.com. I'll have to check it out.

    I probably should have said "none of the top-3 networks".

    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com

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