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  1. #1
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    Hi folks, Wayne here (owner of DriveWerks.com). Chris (WSO) has done a marvelous job of running and growing our affiliate program over the past year.

    However, I have not been very happy with LinkShare. First off, LinkShare's vast network was supposed to provide us with many affiliate leads due to the reach of their vast network. I haven't really seen this happen. Secondly, LinkShare is vastly expensive. Although we're not paying book rates at LS, the monthly costs for maintaining the account with them are multiples larger than any affiliate commissions paid out. When we first started the affiliate program, we were planning for the LinkShare monthly fees to be "lost in the numbers." Unfortunately, the affiliate program has not grown large enough to make the LinkShare monthly fees look smaller.

    So, now I'm thinking of switching the program to a network like Share-A-Sale, which apparently has earned a good reputation in recent months. My thinking is this: I would much, much rather give the extra $$$ I'm paying to LinkShare, back to the affiliates in higher commissions. It increases my business, and helps you affiliates too. The downside is the pain in switching. We've integrated the system, and developed tools that work with the LinkShare network. It would be relatively easy to change everything over, but time-consuming.

    Any thoughts on this? I really want to push to make this affiliate program a huge success, but right now, it's very hampered by this dead-weight anchor, LinkShare. And, on top of that, I sent an email to my account rep last week, stating that I wanted to revisit the terms of my contract (it expires at the end of this month). So far, LinkShare hasn't bothered to call or email me back. Certainly makes me feel special.

    Please tell me what you think...

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    -Wayne

  2. #2
    Action Jackson - King of the World
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    I will be very pissed if you move Wayne. I just spent the last two nights uploading all the DW parts feeds which as you know can take awhile. This would be a very large pain to have to redo all over again. DW has done well for me at Linkshare although I do wish they have real time reporting heh

  3. #3
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jackson992:
    I will be very pissed if you move Wayne. I just spent the last two nights uploading all the DW parts feeds which as you know can take awhile. This would be a very large pain to have to redo all over again. DW has done well for me at Linkshare although I do wish they have real time reporting heh <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I understand the pain that this would cause, and indeed would share the savings from the switch with our affiliates, in the form of bonuses or something like double commissions.

    -Wayne

  4. #4
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    Yeah!!!!

    I would be VERY happy if you moved to SAS!!!!!
    Ebudae


  5. #5
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    SAS has consolidated payments which would make it more worthwhile for affiliates like me. Paying a large proportion of a small cheque to the bank just to clear it is just not worth the effort for small affiliates like me.

  6. #6
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Don't like LinkShare because I have about a total of $100 outstanding commissions that I will probably never receive because the individual merchants are all under their min payout. I am very hesitant about joining any new programs at LinkShare unless I know that I will be promoting that individual merchant big time.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  7. #7
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The secret with Linkshare is to always have an outstanding balance of 1500.00 owed to you. Then checks trickle in all the time due to payment deviations. You should have been around with 200+ LS merchants most with $50-100 minimums and quarterly payouts...
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  8. #8
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    I appreciate your sharing that with us. Gives us a little more insight on what a merchant has to go through.

  9. #9
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Well, I am small potatoes, too but I will say as long as you are with LS there isn't much chance I will ever use you. I hardly have time to do all I want with SAS merchants and I have a couple of merchants through CJ. But, with no consolidated payments, I have 0 incentive to even give LS merchants a shot. Why should I? At other places I get paid for each and every sale I make for every merchant and on time. Why would I even mess around with LS? It isn't like I don't already have more merchants that I can ever use at SAS and if really in need at CJ.

    I just looked at your site for the first time. Yep, I have a spot for you in my general store. Probably won't ever put you up, though. Now, if you had your data feed with the others at SAS, I would have grabbed it and you would have been up long ago. I always check SAS data feeds for merchants first.

    You'd probably do OK on my site. Took a few months but my hardware merchant has finally dug in and started to sell on a pretty steady basis so I think you would be a go, too.

    If you go to SAS, I'm interested.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  10. #10
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I'll pass on the opportunity to slam my least favorite network, but since Linkshare IS who they are, and have never even hinted at making any changes, my opinion is:

    Yes, there will be some initial pain but "No Pain No Gain"

    If you're not getting you're money's worth or you're not happy - move on - don't stay in a dysfunctional relationship

    If you can raise commissions, current affs would give more effort and other affs may join - and in theory - the move would be a win/win for everyone involved

    Bottom line - even though it's not necessarily fair - is that if I have three shoe merchants that sell the same stuff and 2 pay 5% and 1 pays 8% - the third one gets a little more effort on my part. Just human nature.

    Aren't you already paying Chris and the guys for all the aff recruiting etc? You're paying Linkshare for the ability to track sales, which ALL networks can do, provide reports which all networks can do, and to write checks for your affiliates, which they can't seem to figure out how to do anyway! (That's not a SLAM - it's a fact!)

    Just my opinions...

    You've got a great program, great support - wish you the best no matter what you do.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador
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    The only reason I don't/won't promote Drivewerks is that the program is administered through Linkshare.

    Parasitic affiliate issues, non-consolidated or slow payments, etc. are not the issue for me. It's just that it's a Pain in the butt to use the Linkshare interface for retrieving links. "But we've got a datafeed!" Yes, "But I've got hand-hewn sites that blow the 10,000 near-duplicate datafeed-driven sites to kingdom-come."

  12. #12
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Also, at SAS he could use that incredible make a page tool for those who don't use data feeds. What a miracle that thing is.

    If you haven't seen it, Wayne, you really must.

    Affiliates can whop out a specialty page in about two seconds flat with it.

    SAS offers SO MUCH more, including integrity.

    Why do questions about using LS always end up with how much better SAS is?

    It must be me.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador qball0213's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jackson992:
    I will be very pissed if you move Wayne. I just spent the last two nights uploading all the DW parts feeds which as you know can take awhile. This would be a very large pain to have to redo all over again. DW has done well for me at Linkshare although I do wish they have real time reporting heh <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    If the only thing that changed was the url and the image, why would it be a pain to change? I say go with SAS.

  14. #14
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    A lot of us make major changes in the data feeds before using them. It is not so easy. However, if a search and replace for portions of the URLs could do it, that would be nice.

    I am not that familiar with LS links.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador kaizen's Avatar
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    I am in the process of putting up an auto site using drivewerks. I would be ecstatic if you switched to SAS or CJ (yeah, I know many hate CJ, but I don't). IF you move, do you have a time frame in mind? And what about an indie program?
    We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves.
    ~Lynn Hall

  16. #16
    Affiliate Miester my2cents's Avatar
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    I say go for it!...

    Yes it will cause those of use who have DW sites to update our sites... but that is ok...

    YOu have done a wonderful job providing the tools we need...

    THANK YOU!

    I vote for SAS...
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    that's my2cents, 'cuz I'm a legend in my own mind....

  17. #17
    Internet Cowboy
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    Please make up your mind soon.
    I am ready to go up with your datafeed, but will now wait for your decision.


  18. #18
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    OK, I really want you to move to SAS. I don't have much more than roof racks in my auto area which looks dumb. I need a good anchor merchant for that area. I could put you up pretty fast if you did a good, well categorized feed at SAS.

    It will take two or three months if I can go by the woodworking merchant but in time I will send you buyers.

    I will just never get around to you at LS.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador
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    I have not added one linkshare merchant, nor have any of my partners this year. Nor will we ever at this point.

    I think linkshare has made it clear how it feels about the small to mid-sized affiliates, and it isn't nice.

  20. #20
    Affiliate Miester my2cents's Avatar
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    I know there are costs with waht ever you do...

    Would it be possible to go with SAS and Linkshare for a time...

    Maybe you could say...

    "SAS is our new home.... WE will be leaving Linkshare 1-1-05"

    this would give us all plenty of time to make the move... PLus you most likely will get some new affiliates in the process..



    From my prepective... your categoriy is a difficult one... because it's not sexy or glamorous...

    However the affiliates who do market your program can expect a consisitant flow of visitors and sales over time..

    My personal problem is i am still converting over to DW for that other falied program...
    so it would be nice if we had some sort of answer soon...

    I for one hate to be twistin in the wind...

    Joe
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    that's my2cents, 'cuz I'm a legend in my own mind....

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    I would welcome a move to Shareasale.

    I don't much like the Linkshare culture, and I admire Shareasale's stance on parasites.

    Plus the bonus of consolidated payments at SAS.

    Much better all round I would say.

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    I like separate checks from each merchant. Makes it easy to see exactly where the money comes from. I have found most pay even if you don't reach the minumum and if they don't it's really not enough money to worry about anyway. I can see where this would be a pain for people overseas, but it doesn't cost me anything to deposit a check.

  23. #23
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    On the Sep report, 48 Linkshare merchants owe me money - only 4 of which have to send me a check - the difference being in the hundreds of dollars! (it's over $500.00)

    Some are big.

    The Star Naming merchant has a minimum payout of $100 and all I ever see is:

    $97.80
    Payment Deferred - See Merchant's Payment Terms

    So I'm a BIG fan of consolidated payments.

  24. #24
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    If you switch to SAS, will you still offer the same private datafeed? I suppose you'll need only to change the product URLs.

    Thank you.

  25. #25
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    Wayne, we'd definitely like to talk to you hear at KowaBunga as well. I think a quality site like yours would do well within our network and I think you would definitely enjoy our Direct Linking.

    I'd be happy to take some time and talk possibilities with you and identify your specific needs.

    Wade Tonkin
    Software/Services Consultant
    KowaBunga! Technologies
    www.myap.com
    wade@kowabunga.com

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