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  1. #1
    Internet Cowboy
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    I just got a phone call from Buy.com asking me to include them on my web sites. During this conversation, we looked at the Buy.com web site and I was amazed to see that they have affiliate links on most every page of their web site.
    If anyone here does any level of business with them I would like to hear what you have to say, but I can't imagine sending them traffic so they can advertise their own affiliate links to my customers.


  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    A long, long, long time ago they were great. Now, I wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot poll. Not only do they have affiliate ads on every page, they have the worst customer service, so you will be getting screwed and your end users will be screwed. A classic lose lose situation.

  3. #3
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I get about 1 to 3 sales from them a month. Takes about 2 to 3 months to meet the total amount needed for a check which is 10 dollars and it takes another 2 to 3 months for linkshare to actually send it.

  4. #4
    Internet Cowboy
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    Question answered!
    No wonder they are begging publishers to work with them.
    Thank you gentlemen.


  5. #5
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    In my testing of various software downloads that often invoke affiliate links or otherwise interfere with affiliate programs, buy.com is generally targeted by most such programs. Maybe that's because they're a big merchant (so every spyware program wants to target them), or maybe because they have failed to diligently address this problem.

    -Ben, who still fondly remembers the "great" old days (I agree 100% Chez), and in fact oddly still carries a Buy.com Visa card (though it's long past time to dump it!)

  6. #6
    Internet Cowboy
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    I asked the girl who called about the parasites and named a few, she said that was all handled in a different department. I guess they have a sleezeware department.


  7. #7
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Just an FYI -

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>In a move that earns it more revenue while providing shoppers more comparison product information, Buy.com has formed an advertising partnership with Google to present its AdWords ads throughout Buy.com, Buy.com president and COO Neel Grover says.

    “By adding Google’s targeted ads to Buy.com, we are giving our customers additional, highly relevant resources with which to make an informed buying decision,” Grover says.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Full Article


    From their LS merchant page:
    ============================
    If you have any questions comments or concerns about the Buy.com's affiliate connection, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Melissa Salas
    Buy.com Affiliate Manager
    affiliates@buy.com
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  8. #8
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Yeppers ...one layer of BHO contextual Adware on top of outsourced e-mail spam lists, Adwards dilution and every incent piker to ever stuff a cookie is in on killing this one's conversion ratio. Imagine a Brick-n-Mortar senario where WalMart allows every fleamarket wank and all their competitors to setup sidewalk sales in from of their stores....

    Look for info on who Melissa actually works for and you'll see she & they get a cut on all the side action.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager affiliatemanager's Avatar
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    Hi scohaz,

    Thank you for addressing your concerns, and if this explanation doesn't help, please feel free to contact me. Buy.com has had paid advertisers on our website since we started in 1997. In early 2003, we had a site redesign and removed a lot of the ad inventory we had available for advertisers. In Q4 2003, we launched our "More Stores" tab to accomodate the overwhelming requests from advertisers to buy advertising on our site. These are not affiliates, rather paid advertisers who pay a flat monthly rate to advertise in various placements on Buy.com or emails.

    As far as adware, please let me know your concerns and I will address them for you.

    And EcomCity.com, I've worked for Buy.com for 4 years and I have never received a cut of the "side" action. If you would like to talk about any other concerns, please contact me. I am more than happy to address these issues with you.

    Best Regards,
    Melissa

    Melissa D. Salas | Affiliate Marketing Manager
    85 Enterprise Ste 100 |Aliso Viejo | Ca. | 92656
    P/F: 949-389-2431 E: affiliates@buy.com
    www.buy.com

  10. #10
    Full Member ahmar's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Affiliate Manager:
    And EcomCity.com, I've worked for Buy.com for 4 years and I have never received a cut of the "side" action. If you would like to talk about any other concerns, please contact me. I am more than happy to address these issues with you. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Ooppss Mike you could have gotten in trouble with this one:

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Look for info on who Melissa actually works for and you'll see she & they get a cut on all the side action. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    <DT>[size=1][color=navy]"The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return.[/color][/size]<DT>[size=1][color=navy]It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale." Arthur C. Clark[/color][/size]</DT>

  11. #11
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    There are so many leaks on the buy.com site it would sink as fast as one of the road signs here full of holes from shotgun blasts.


  12. #12
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    I gave up when they stopped updating the individual product links. I guess the dupers didn't need them.

    This program once had a lot of potential, but it never materialized like it did with other discount retailers.

  13. #13
    Internet Cowboy
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> In early 2003, we had a site redesign and removed a lot of the ad inventory we had available for advertisers. In Q4 2003, we launched our "More Stores" tab to accomodate the overwhelming requests from advertisers to buy advertising on our site. These are not affiliates, rather paid advertisers who pay a flat monthly rate to advertise in various placements on Buy.com or emails. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Melissa,
    Respectfully, it doesn't matter WHY you do this. What matters is that you DO THIS. How can you honestly expect affiliates to send you their traffic when you have ads on the product pages that point to other web sites, sites that will not pay the affiliate who originally sent the customer to you jack sh*t?
    You have the right merchandise and you have the right price. But what you don't have is the right methods of retention.
    I could be the most popular guy in this forum by putting a link to everyone else's web site on mine, but that would only divert money from my pocket to theirs.
    By you selling ad space on your web site, you are saying, and very loudly, that the revenue you get from ad sales is more important than your affiliates.
    In a nutshell, you either have an affiliate-friendly site...or you don't. Based on what I see and what is said about you in here....you don't, so I will pass on the offer the nice young lady made me on the telephone and stick with programs who aren't quite as .....greedy, for the lack of a kinder, gentler word.
    If you are willing to pay affiliates a flat fee to put your links on their site, let me know and I will be the first one in line. You can't have it both ways though.
    Thank you just the same though.
    Have a nice day,

    ScoHaz


  14. #14
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Affiliate Manager:
    As far as adware, please let me know your concerns and I will address them for you. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Melissa,

    I think there are two different concerns with Buy.com vis-a-vis software downloads:

    1) Buy.com advertising appearing on certain "adware"/spyware networks, generally targeting competitors' sites. Whether you call the networks adware or spyware, their installation tactics are aggressive -- installations through security holes, bundling not disclosed until midway through software installation process, lengthy licenses (often with terms I consider unconscionable), drive-by downloads (such that installation takes place if users click Yes once, without ever even seeing a license agreement).

    2) Software downloads, e.g. TopMoxie versions, that cause TopMoxie partners to overwrite cookies set by other affiliates, preventing those other affiliates from earning the commissions they are due under Buy.com's program rules.

    I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on these two issues.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador qball0213's Avatar
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    The only way I see affiliates pushing buy.com is if they had a seperate site that didn't have all of the ads. One site for affiliates to send traffic too, or someway to remove the ads when they come from an affiliate link, as long as those ads are there, no traffic from me.

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager affiliatemanager's Avatar
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    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for your post. We appreciate our affiliates and their business therefore we pay affiliates on shipped sales and follow Linkshare's last cookie wins scenario within the allowed 14 day return window. As you know, Linkshare has a strong policy when it comes to adware/spyware and have the "Anti-Predatory Advertising Addendum" which commits affiliates to comply with terms that prohibit the company from blocking, altering, substituting, redirecting, etc. any click-throughs that originate from a LinkShare NetworkTM affiliate site.


    Here is the link to read the addendum:

    http://www.linkshare.com/rc/addendum.pdf


    Please call me if you would like to discuss further!


    All the best,

    Melissa

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager affiliatemanager's Avatar
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    Hi Qball,

    Thanks for your post as well. Since this concern from affiliates is new for me, I would welcome your feedback as to why you feel you wouldn't want to send traffic to Buy.com given our advertisements?

    Our affiliate program launched in 2000 and we do appreciate our affiliates and the business our program generates through this channel. As great as our ad revenue is, it is insignificant to the tens of thousands of orders and the millions of dollars we do a day and has had no impact to our affiliate program. Affiliates promote product specific promotions, coupons, general promotions to a specific landing page. Our conversions are higher than most premier merchant programs so you shouldn't be too concerned that your customer may visit Buy.com for your advertised Buy.com offer and then later leave without buying for an advertisement we have on our website. Since we've launched the advertising on our site, our affiliate sales have continued to increase, not decrease . Due to the numbers pointing us in a positive direction for our affiliates, not negative, I hope you can see that the data is supporting that this is not hurting you or your other affiliate peers.

    Hopefully I addressed your concerns; feel free to call me directly if you have anymore questions!

    Best Regards,
    Melissa
    949-389-2431
    affiliates@buy.com

  18. #18
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    That is good to know. We are protected from parasites by Linkshare, and the ads don't lose us sales as proven by the increase in affiliate sales.

  19. #19
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Wow. I don't think they need affiliates at all, given their obvious business model.

    but, not being an actual affiliate I have no experience to discuss.

  20. #20
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    Melissa,

    The fact that LinkShare has written some rules offers minimal protection to rule-following affiliates. Fact is, lots of affiliates break the rules every day. LinkShare profits when affiliates break the rules by setting cookies in prohibited ways -- like by cookie-stuffing. So it comes as no great surprise that LinkShare hasn't diligently enforced the rules. As a practical matter, merchants who want protection from rule-breaking affiliates have to take matters into their own hands -- investigate wrongdoers and remove them from the program -- not just imagine or hope that LinkShare will take care of things.

    See e.g. my research on 180solutions breaking affiliate networks' rules (finding targeting of buy.com among so many others) and my more recent cookie-stuffing reporting (finding scores of merchants targeted by this prohibited practice; not reporting buy.com specifically, though I did see buy.com targeted, and I just didn't take the time to make a page and video reporting this fact).

    So: If you want to have a "clean" program, you need to get to work. You're pretty far from it at present.

    Meanwhile, buy.com's decision to advertise on "adware" -- notwithstanding aggressive installation tactics used by such programs -- means buy.com is paying money to support the very kinds of programs that subsequently interfere with buy.com's own affiliate program. Not a business decision I would ordinarily recommend!

  21. #21
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    I'll make this simple ...

    Buy.com has an affiliate agreement that when boils to the ridiculous says ... send me traffic and they buy you get commish, Right?

    Right!

    Ok so why risk an affiliatelawsuit.com?

    Why? To test them? Geez!

    Stop, ask legal @ and see ... then think!
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  22. #22
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Looking over my LS history reports for Buy.com something must really have frosted my butt with this program in it's early stages. Early on in 2000-2001 I must have showcased them with a million impressions and close to 20,000 click throughs. Knowing myself I can only think of a few things that would reverse my decision to promote them heavily in 2002.

    1. Complete drop off of conversion ratio or a rediculous commission rate change.
    2. I, and other might have gotten stiffed due to .com bomb implosions effecting most all major Linkshare merchants.
    3. Buy.com raised prices to where they were no longer competitive.
    4. Buy.com stance on parasites negated their commitment to domain bound affiliates.

    They remain a filler merchant as I can't remember the last time I even accessed their create links section. Now they push Adwords on all pages, sell Ad space to competitors, reward parasites and ignor cookie stuffers, and run a parallel "social engineering" MLM affiliate loyality program through YUB.com. They have ceased focusing on being a merchant and now migrate to being a LS Super Affiliate. Jeeze did I have them pegged back in 2001 ...or What???
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager affiliatemanager's Avatar
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    Dear ecomcity,

    An announcement was sent to our affiliates regarding Yub.com and advertising placements on our site. Because our affiliate network has always been one of our strongest and most valued assets, beginning Monday, February 28th, any affiliate-referred visitors to Buy.com will not see our "More Stores" tab or any advertising for Yub.com. We value our affiliates and their feedback so please feel free to call me with any questions. I also want to mention that Buy.com takes a firm stance against parasitic software solutions and do not partner with such companies.


    Best Regards,
    Melissa Salas
    Buy.com Marketing Manager
    949-389-2431
    affiliates@buy.com

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador
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    "We value our affiliates and their feedback"

    Remove all the leaks from the site. If i send a visitor to Buy.com, there should be no Yub or no links to other merchants. I see you're doing something about Yub but still have links to many merchants.

    "Buy.com takes a firm stance against parasitic software solutions and do not partner with such companies."

    Well. You have a lot of Top Moxie in your program, ebates, schoolpop, igive etc. Cashbackbuddy which i posted about recently and BLFH has posted some stuff about them.

  25. #25
    Affiliate Manager affiliatemanager's Avatar
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    Hi Trustno1,

    Our "more stores" tab is where most of our merchant advertising is housed which we are suppressing from affiliate referred visitors. We are building the code now to be able to suppress any search results powered by Google as well as any other ads that link off our site.

    As far as the affiliates you mentioned above with Top Moxie's, they are LinkShare approved affiliates and have signed their "anti predatory" addendum. LinkShare stays on top of these sites to make sure they remain in compliance with their agreement.

    Melissa

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