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  1. #1
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    I would like to request that each and every active merchant here make a call into, or somehow contact their Linkshare representitive or better yet Steven and present your case for direct deposit and consolidated payments.

    In addition, please email your other affiliate managers for other merchant programs that may not be active on ABW (but are still within the Linkshare network) and ask them to do the same.

    It would nice to see a "show of hands" on which merchant(s) support this action and what they are willing to do in regards to presenting the case accordingly.

    Merchants, wouldn't direct deposit be an asset for you in bringing in new affiliates and stopping the increasing flow of late payment issues, lost checks and the like? I mean you are already paying Linkshare to process payments, why not have them do it in a manner that is consistent with good customer service, timeliness and also cost efficiency....

    Isn't this a total value added proposition?

  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    don't some pay direct? wouldn't they want to hold on to the money as long as possible? it does take quite a while for some to finally reach the amount it takes to generate a check.

    needs a new rule -- would probably make them go indy.

  3. #3
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    It's a nice feature but it costs money and someone will have to flip the bill.

  4. #4
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    Heyder, where have you been? Direct deposit would SAVE linkshare money, definitely in the long term...and Linkshare, in theory, could evenually even pass this savings on the merchant.

    Do a little research, it is fairly commonly known that processing checks manually is much more expensive than using direct deposit methods.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Heyder:
    It's a nice feature but it costs money and someone will have to flip the bill. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

  5. #5
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    Herb, naturally we are not addressing those merchants who pay directly here as this pertains directly to Linkshare merchants who use the Linkshare payment processing feature (which is the majority of merchants!)

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Herb Ô¿Ô¬:
    don't some pay direct? wouldn't they want to hold on to the money as long as possible? it does take quite a while for some to finally reach the amount it takes to generate a check.

    needs a new rule -- would probably make them go indy. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

  6. #6
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Hi Survery Man

    Certainly LinkShare are aware of our thoughts on this and we would love to see Direct Deposit and Consolidated payments.

    While Consolidated payments is a more complicated thing to implement (due to it requiring changes in merchant contracts and operations) I believe that Direct Deposit would be a great start.

    Certainly we have spoken to our LS reps about these and we understand all sides of the discussion (LS, Aff and Merchant)

    Direct Deposit still has issues that have to be overcome, it works best when used in combination with consolidated payment, else doing multiple Direct Deposits each month is still a large job and there is cost associated with such payments I believe, especially on those going overseas.

    While an immediate jump to full consolidated payments is certainly not an easy thing, maybe one step would be Consolidated Direct Deposit based on Merchants that have paid within each week, therefore reducing the number of transactions required, but not requiring any change to the core business operations regarding how merchants are billed and pay.

    I.e.
    KegWorks
    DriveWerks

    All pay in week one. Where Threshold has been met these payments to an affiliate are consolidated and deposited.

    Forzieri
    GreatSkin
    Mondera

    Pay in week 2, Where Threshold has been met these payments to an affiliate are consolidated and deposited.

    And so on.

    Still allows merchants to pay under the present contract terms, maintain threshold requirements and for affiliates to get semi consolidated direct payments...

    Just mulling over ideas

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
    Join our affiliate programs :Vaper Empire, Iolo, Art of Tea, or See ALL our Programs here

  7. #7
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Oh how embarassing. For some reason my brain was registering direct deposit as consolidated payments.

  8. #8
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    Thanks Chris....ultimately direct deposit is much cheaper than manually cutting individual checks, stuffing them, mailing them and all the other pieces of the process...not to mention our cost (as affiliates) in manually processing and running them to the bank, and in some cases bank fees per check.

    While you are correct, consolidation may require additional costs this is ONLY initial costs and there would also be a reduction in costs of the long term.

    I agree, let's get direct deposit implementing right away and perhaps run a batch twice a month as performics does. There are so many ways of implementing direct deposit, any of which would work with minimal initial outlays.

  9. #9
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    We have been pounding the table about this topic for quite some time. For what it's worth, Steve mentioned that he planned to roll out this new feature at the LinkShare Symposium.

    That being said, Chris did a great job describing the difficulties surrounding the implementation of these projects. Imagine making those adjustments for millions of affiliates. Clearly, LinkShare wants to make sure that these features are 100% accurate because they are dealing with everyones hard earned commissions! Imagine the maelstrom if the DD or CP feature didn't work...

  10. #10
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    JT, I appreciate the fact that there are some initial issues to be accomplished. But honestly, direct deposit has very little and you are referring to primarily the difficulties of consolidation.

    Direct deposit would SAVE linkshare money in the long term, no doubt. It is all done electronically with very little intervention and far less bodies involved in the process so as far as this goes there is far less of a chance that it would be messed up than manual check processing.

    So far it seems I am hearing more reasons why they have not, as opposed to reason they should (have already!).

    JT & Chris, Linkshare has been "working" on this for 3 years now...how long does it take to implement direct deposit (consolidation aside)?

    A question for though...does linkshare direct deposit its employee paychecks?

  11. #11
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    Give me a break...call ADP and you can have DD set up in a week or two for however many you want and in a month max for conolidated payments.

    The reason Meeser is dragging his feet is that it's a whole lot easier to rip off affiliates the way he has it set up.

    If each merchant is responsible for their own check, then when things screw up you can blame the merchant and they can blame you and nothing ever gets solved.

    Another reason is that each merchant can have a
    different amount threshold.

    Having consolidated payments would mean the merchants have to actually pay affiliates even if they earn 1 penny, plus they can't do the famous $50 threshold thrick - have 1,000 affiliates who are owed $49 and zap them all for some trumped up 'fraud' charge before they get to the $50 mark and save $49,000.

    It's so much easier for little Stevie to keep it the way he has it.

    Merchants never really have to pay affiliates and they get traffic by the bushel basket to their sites for a flat fee every month - pretty good deal.

  12. #12
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    I agree, there are so many readily available services, such as ADP, that will do this without any issues whatsoever. It would be seemless to merchants as well.

    I honestly have no idea why Linkshare has been promising this for years without delivering one single result. That is what is so perplexing.

    While consolidated would be nice, I think it is safe to say that we need to first implement direct deposit.

    Yes, consolidated would bring in to picture many more issues such as the removal of minimum threshholds, but are the merchants that hard up for cash to let this be a real issue?

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador BareNecessities's Avatar
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    I'm all in favor of direct deposit. It's frustrating for me as a merchant to approve affiliate payments during the first few days of the month, and then see that affiliates didn't actually get issued payment from Bare Necessities until after the 20th. I'm not saying the delay is entirely due to LinkShare--it's due to the PROCESS of issuing Linkshare a check, mailing it to them, having them process it on their end, etc, etc.

    I don;t know that this can be a completely automated process. I know that each month I end up making several manual adjustments for affiliates who have special circumstances or have requested a higher payment threshold due to check cashing costs. And typically I try to manually approve payment for affiliates who are just below the threshold. So I'm not clear on how these types of adjustments would be impacted by direct deposit--but I am definitely in favor of figuring out how to make it work.
    Keira

    BareNecessities.com

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Survey Man:

    Do a little research, it is fairly commonly known that processing checks manually is much more expensive than using direct deposit methods.

    [end quote]

    Those saving are small compared to holding checks until the latest time possible- gaining the mail time, deposit process time and the fact that many do not bother to deposit the small ones- timely or at all.

    Non-consolidated payments mean they can charge merchants for sales, but merchants do not have to pay below threshold commissions almost indefinitely or at all.

    I can only imagine the thousands of dollars of commissions in below threshold payment status.

    What does it cost to process nothing? How many web sites cease to exist and never collected their commissions?

    My name may say 'new bee'- but we are a 38 year old corporation who has seen them come and go... big and small.

    Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

    Do you really believe if they thought they could save money they would not change the plan?

  15. #15
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    Jeff, in regards to your theory on Linkshare holding checks to sit on the money longer, it is yet unproven and the money made would be negligible at best. Can we just put this to rest once and for all?

    Here is a new law that takes affect 10/28 that is called "Check 21"

    http://www.consumersunion.org/finance/ckclear1002.htm

    Basically, checks will now clear much faster from those who have written them (linkshare) while funds do NOT have to be made available any sooner for those depositing them....Seems like a lose, lose proposition in many ways. This law, obviously, has a lot of potential affects on consumers which need not be addressed here, but it will cut down on any "float" time a company might have (or individual) when writing a check...as soon as it hits your bank or is deposited the funds are withdrawn from the bank issuing the check, even though the funds are NOT made available any sooner.

    In regards to your comment on the unpaid commissions that do not meet the threshhold, that is neither here nor there. Why? Because the merchant has not yet paid the money to Linkshare and so they are not holding this money and no checks have been issued. This is really an entirely separate issue that would be resolved by consolidated payments, which this thread is not primarily about....it is about the first step, getting direct deposit!

    I don't think there is a person alive that would dispute the fact there is a clear money savings, when you compare cutting and processing checks manually (in bulk) to utilizing direct deposit on those same payments. The other issues you are brining up involve consolidated payments and issues beyond the scope of this topic (not that they do not need to be addressed at some point).

    Companies have been implementing direct deposit for paychecks for years due to the high cost savings and will do almost anything to reduce the manual check cutting process by doing direct deposit or even coming up with debit cards for employees which is an act of desparation proving how much companies can save going electronic. It is a fact not to be disputed, that may have some initial infastructural layout but will always pay off down the line!

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager
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    Linkshare,
    I know this project has been on the slate for awhile and I’m glad to hear that some project plans are being formulated. Just wanted to let you know that I support Survey Man’s proposal for Direct Deposits and Consolidated Payments.

    Survey Man,
    Thanks for inviting me to chime in here. I’ve been on the phone with LS about this and they are certainly aware that this is something that both affiliates would love to see, and merchants would love to offer to their affiliates. They tell me that plans to move forward with this are being looked at seriously now. Good idea to get a topic going so that they can see that there are many others that would like to see this functionality in place. As far as moving forward with this idea goes, I agree that it would be helpful to have supporters make a simple post here to let LS know that they are in favor of this. As far as posts like this go,

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Give me a break...call ADP and you can have DD set up in a week or two for however many you want and in a month max for conolidated payments.

    The reason Meeser is dragging his feet is that it's a whole lot easier to rip off affiliates the way he has it set up. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    what kind of positive and constructive criticism is that? First of all, it may take us (as a merchant) up to or more than 2 weeks to set up our own internal accounting system to be able to schedule advanced DD wire transfers into LS’s account so that they can pay affiliates via DD – it would be near impossible for any company to try to get even a few merchants to set this up, while at the same time creating and managing their own DD system (whether outsourced or in-house) in under a couple of months time. And regarding the second statement made, I do not believe that Linkshare’s goal is to rip off affiliates. If I was Steven Messer and I read that, I’d feel more dissuaded to not help out than persuaded to put some effort into the project. From my own program management experience, and as many of you can attest, I continually try to make program improvements and listen to what you have to say, and I can tell you that constructive criticism with a positive note is the reason that many of these improvements have been made. At any rate, my point is that hearing some positive voices from the merchants and affiliates might help Linkshare’s Product Development team realize that this project needed to be pushed into a high-priority slot. So let’s hear from everyone that would like to see this done, and thank you Linkshare for taking the feedback seriously!

    Best,
    Andy
    Andy Newlin
    Online Marketing Manager
    [url="http://www.sierratradingpost.com/"]www.SierraTradingPost.com[/url] - [url="http://www.sierratradingpostaffiliates.com/"]www.SierraTradingPostAffiliates.com[/url]
    anewlin@sierratradingpost.com
    307.775.8349

  17. #17
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    [Off topic banter Removed]

  18. #18
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    Thanks Andy, where are all the other merchants? I know we have more than four!

  19. #19
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Lack of consolidated payments is the major reason I never even bother go to LS to find merchants. I can find indy programs that have no LS expenses and can pay me more. LS has nothing to offer. Just a list of merchants with high overhead who may be infested.

    And, the links are highly identifiable to search engines and ad blockers. This may have serious future ramifications if you depend on them for income.
    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!

  20. #20
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Amazing the merchants haven't learned the success secret of Walmart that made them the largest company and retailer in the world. They have NO SUPPLIER BILLS to pay. No friggin paper invoices beyond office/store operational expense bills to process. This has been true since 1985 and has propelled them to crush all other retail merchants for 20 years. WalMart always pays vendors within 20 seconds of receiving the electronic shipping notices.

    Sierra Trading Post nor any WalMart supplier can even send them a paper invoice. Uncle Sam adopted the same approach on purchases under 500,000 since I clued them in when doing a few quickie Gov't web sites under Clintons mandate.

    Now I can understand the advertising mindset of the networks and their majority of merchant posing middlemen not seeing the importance of prompt payment. Direct deposits and consolidated payments require a merchant side priority. They don't have one when it comes to paying affiliates who are looked upon as an advertising expense. The only carrot the networks have for pushing these 2 is to recruit more active newbee affiliates. They'd rather spend the time and money on consolidating Dupers -BHO's and Super Affiliates and their SEO/SEM plays which only require cutting bigger checks to fewer people.

    Honest prompt paying merchnats like Overstock are flustered too as they endeavor to pay their affiliates before most LS merchants even mail in their checks.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  21. #21
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    AAARGH!

    We shouldn't even HAVE to debate direct depost!

    The reason we DO, is because Linkshare has shown time and time again that they CAN'T SUCCESSFULLY MAIL A CHECK TO AN AFFILIATE!

    It's that simple!!

    Update on my tag line/sig file:

    SEVEN months AFTER the commissions were earned...

    FOUR months after my Better Business Bureau complaint (referenced here

    I may actually be seeing some money!!

    Got the following email this morning from Sarah:

    Dear Bill -
    Our accounting department has re-issued check 634234. The new check number is 701964 and you should receive it shortly via mail. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you experience further delays.
    Sarah


    I'll keep my fingers crossed that they send it to Las Vegas - and NOT to Canada again...

  22. #22
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    I just get the best warm & fuzzy feeling reading this. Glad to see you're finally gonna get your cash.

    You gonna change your sig or leave it?

  23. #23
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    At the risk of sounding hypocritical, I'd like to make this topic a more merchant concentric thread....

    Perhaps, and this is just a suggestion, each of us active affiliates could email our inside affiliate managers to come and have a peak at this thread...and MAYBE even post their thoughts....

    LOL

  24. #24
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    Dear everyone,

    I am sorry but I just got back from traveling. Everyone at LinkShare is keenly aware of what you would all like to see in payments. We are working on it, and will address many of your issues soon. To clarify a few issues:
    1: LinkShare keeps a merchants money in a seperate account and thus does not touch a merchants money (translation: we make nothing off any float, never have never will.)
    2: The delays are due to the size of the amount of money we process and our desire to make sure that it can pass an auditors trail. For those who have never dealt with auditors let me give you some insight. To get their blessing on a payments process requires many, many groups to review many policies dealing with everything from adjusments, holding chks for policy violations, approval and review by different internal groups, reconciliation, security meassures both at our merchants and at LinkShare, and on and on. They first put the process through a review team on paper. After that is complete legal has to get the procedures approved to make sure that they meet all the local and federal rules. That requires adjustments and so on. Then once that is agreed, it goes to a technical implementation process that requires us to create technical specs that they then reveiw to make sure they follow the process followed in the procedures. Then it goes to the technical group to get implementated. Then QA and our auditors have to review it to make sure that it is accurate and complete. Then it will go live.

    Was this an easy process. No, but we wanted to do it right. This area is to important not to. We could have just done it without auditors but then the risk would have been security and accuracy. Since we are providing this service for others and since it is there money, we really want to make sure that it is done well.

    I chose the safer route and still think it was the right decision. Clearly some of you are not fans of checks, but we actually do have people who prefer them and thus our solution has to address as many of these issues as we can. I will have more information on this soon, but we have always done what we think is the right thing for our partners. We want everyone to do well with us and work hard every day to make this a better marketplace.

    Steve

  25. #25
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    I'm a fan of consolidated checks which is the one edge cj has over linkshare. It is also the reason why I started off promoting cj merchants far more than linkshare merchants.

    Direct deposit is of no use to overseas affiliates like myself if you only offer it to a selected number of countries.

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