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  1. #1
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    I am not that happy with coupon sites and do coupon sites violate the TOS of CJ?

    Also, if advertisers wants a better affiliate program, they shouldn't provide any real coupon codes. Because if someone are in the middle of a signup process and they saw the 'Enter Coupon Code Here' field, normally they will stop there, open google, type xxx coupon to see if they can get one. These sites trick them into clicking a link which actually is the merchant it seft. Booom, cookies has been hijacked.

    See See See ... I hate COUPONS ...

  2. #2
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    Webmaster Mike--is that you?

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Wow ...my first convert

    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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    "I am not that happy with coupon sites and do coupon sites violate the TOS of CJ?"

    No, of course not, merchants can run their affiliate program as they see fit. Coupons help convert, really simple idea.

    If you're an affiliate with a merchant that supplies coupon codes to their affiliates and you don't use them, you're just lazy, and you drive traffic to my coupon site. I was in chat one day where someone was having trouble with surefit.com conversions, they had a whole site with surefit products. I asked did you post the coupon for 10% off that surefit sends out in their e-mails? The answer was no. I encourage people to make more of these product/datafeed sites with nothing but products. Really what value do you give to your visitor having the exact same product that can be found on a merchant site? Same exact stuff just packaged differently. When they go to checkout and see a coupon code box, and you didn't supply one because of laziness, you just drive traffic to my site. Those that have product/datafeed sites to merchants that have coupons and post them, you're smart, you save your visitor money.

    "Nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map."
    --Wayne Calloway

  5. #5
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    quote:
    If you're an affiliate with a merchant that supplies coupon codes to their affiliates and you don't use them, you're just lazy, and you drive traffic to my coupon site.


    My best merchants don't use coupon codes. They just have sales. The few merchants that do have coupon codes available from time to time...well, they don't really make for increased sales if I post them.

    In fact, I've noticed if I post coupon codes for a few merchants that have them available...it makes sales go down across the board. The reason is obvious.

    So, in posting a few coupon codes, I've probably driven traffic to your coupon site by reminding or educating my shoppers about them. They go looking for coupon codes for my merchants that have none, and I miss a sale to another affiliate with no coupon code for them as well.

    Coupon codes could very well become a thing of the past. Merchants are complaining about their use here lately you know.

    Sites that rely on returning visitors looking for coupon codes should be concerned. Should codes cease to be, you're out of business.

  6. #6
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    I have merchants on my site with and without coupons and do pretty good with both. If they have a coupon, i post it, along with what sales are happening etc. So its not strictly coupon codes, more of a shopping directory/coupon code site. In fact 2 out of my top 5 merchants don't use codes.

    "In fact, I've noticed if I post coupon codes for a few merchants that have them available...it makes sales go down across the board. The reason is obvious."

    I don't understand this. What i've seen is people who normally shop at a merchant that has codes every once in awhile, will wait until a code is available. Example Surefit.com When no code is available, sales pretty much come to a halt, but when 1 is available sales jump. I have it setup where my site visitors can sign up for specific merchants and get codes just for that merchant, seems to do well.

    "Coupon codes could very well become a thing of the past. Merchants are complaining about their use here lately you know.
    Sites that rely on returning visitors looking for coupon codes should be concerned. Should codes cease to be, you're out of business."

    Don't agree with that, just as there is fierce competition between affiliates, there is competition between merchants. There will always be merchants with coupon codes just like there will always be coupons in the Sunday paper for grocery stores. etc. They help conversions. In the battle for the online dollar, consumers will be looking for deals, be it coupon codes, free shipping deals(codes), sales, etc. My post was more to those who have sites dedicated to a merchant but don't post codes readily available to them. Takes a few minutes, gets you more sales. I see a visitor going to a site with nothing but products links and at checkout seeing the coupon box, but with no coupon. If they look for one and find it on a coupon site, they will remember the site that saved them money, not the one that didn't take the minute to post a cod if one is available, at least i would. And i also take Mike as an example, knowledgeable in a lot of areas, but one of the worst converting affiliates i know because of his refusal to post coupons. Coupons are not evil, saving people money is a good thing.
    No biggie, theres not a set way of making money with affiliate marketing. People make money with and without coupons. I just know when i shop online, if there is a code available, i'm using it.

    "Nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map."
    --Wayne Calloway

  7. #7
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    I totally agree with the Redfish's dislike of coupon codes for the precise same reasons that once a customer sees a coupon code box, you stand to loose commission from that customer as he or she will go off to a search engine hunting for a code.

    And no, it's not me, Mike, Redfish or whoever being "too lazy" to put coupon codes on our sites. I just don't think merchants should be encouraging commission-hijacking by offering publicly available coupon codes. If I have the choice of using a merchant who offers coupons and one who doesn't I'll choose the one who doesn't.

    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.

  8. #8
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    It sounds like you have what we call, "Coupon Envy"...

    Naturally your question is rhetorical. Obviously you and others know it is in no way in violation of TOS to utilize coupons. The bottom line is that the coupon relationship is between the merchant and the affiliate and YOU have no real say in the matter. You are however, welcome to dislike coupon sites -- though it is doubtful it will get you anywhere or change anything...

    It is true that the lack of a coupon while checking out is a proven reason for lower conversion rates on online stores. However, this is an unfortunate side affect of "online" marketing. It does not, however, stop the avid buyer or the niche buyer who buys online because of convenience and will pay a little more, even to do so. Stats are pushing the growing numbers towards the later type of buyer making the issue of not having a coupon less impacting.

  9. #9
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    "Surefit sales dry up without a coupon code"...ok.

    So, you promote the merchant for practically free during no coupon code time, and then hope the hell your shoppers are satisfied with a product they wouldn't otherwise buy without such a gimmick, at whatever time one is available.

    If a merchant realizes that affiliates expect sales during coupon codes, and don't during the absence of them, a major door is opened for the merchant to put the screws to you big time.

    If the merchant knows that sales soar during coupon codes, they should run the codes non-stop. But obviously they are mere mindplay, and have a greater meaning in manipulating affiliate expectations.

    Whether you run a coupon code for 10% off, or advertise a 10% off sale without one, tell me the difference in the mind of shoppers, other than with the minority that have their pictures alongside the definition of naive in the dictionary.

    Creating a situation where shoppers feel compelled to search the internet over for a coupon code before they buy isn't a good thing. Who should be credited with the sale then can become like trying to find a kid's biological father now days.

    If someone comes to my site, it's because they searched for something and they want to buy it. "coupon code" was not in their search string. Neither do I want it to be the next time they search... so I won't educate them about it.

    If you run a coupon site and feel "successful", great. Success though is a relative term...of which some of us think beyond a coupon site's commissions, and additionally the realization that gimmicks are most likely not the building blocks of lasting long term "success" out here.

    Any merchant that doesn't produce sales without a coupon code is definitely not a "surefit" for such success.

  10. #10
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    next message

    [This message was edited by TrustNo1® on April 28, 2003 at 11:55 PM.]

  11. #11
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    I make commissions on surefit and lots of other merchants with or without a coupon, more when there is one available. My site is shopping directory/coupon site. Thats because online shoppers are getting smarter and know when to wait for a deal.

    "Creating a situation where shoppers feel compelled to search the internet over for a coupon code before they buy isn't a good thing. Who should be credited with the sale then can become like trying to find a kid's biological father now days."

    You create the situation by not taking the time to post a coupon if one is available, laziness. The one who took the time to save their site visitors money should get the credit. A better way for merchants who run affiliate programs is to have clickable coupon text links that show at checkout, that way visitors reaching their site from ways other than from the affiliate never see the coupon box.

    "If someone comes to my site, it's because they searched for something and they want to buy it. "coupon code" was not in their search string. Neither do I want it to be the next time they search... so I won't educate them about it."

    I don't think you sell on your site if you're an affiliate, you link to someone who does. So when they searched for what brought them to your site, they weren't looking for you, they were looking for an actual merchant. So in reality you offer your visitor no value. And thanks for not educating your visitors about how they can save money online, i'll educate them for you And i will be the one getting the repeat business because coupon sites actually offer people something. So thanks for the new customers.

    "And no, it's not me, Mike, Redfish or whoever being "too lazy" to put coupon codes on our sites."
    If you have a merchant on your site that offers coupons and you don't post them, it's lazy. Lots of my site visitors find my site because of this laziness as most online shoppers don't even know coupon sites exist.
    Again, thanks.

    "Nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map."
    --Wayne Calloway

    "Nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map."
    --Wayne Calloway

  12. #12
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    Coupons will always play a major role in the online business as offline coupons do for ages.

    An important fact is, that a lot of online merchants make their offline coupons available on the internet as well to make sure, that Online Customers are not treated differently.

    A coupon Box will not always divert customers,
    if the merchant let's the customer know about automatic promotions.

    I initiated a test myself. I wanted to buy something from BestBuy.com. I knew, that I will get free shipping but still got a coupon box during checkout. I searched the Net. NO COUPONS.
    Just the free Shipping I already new about.
    So, no help there.

    Some merchants promote special coupons to affiliates to sell certain kind of products (high margin usually). They are fine, if a customer picks up that one and places his order.

    Some merchant promote all their coupons through the affiliate sales channel and don't care, if the sale is coming from an affiliate or not.
    Merchant thinking: If the affiliate gets the customer to me, no problem. I still make enough money by substracting commission and coupon discount.

    I personally do not like coupons and prefer to shop at a merchant with already low prices and hate to check coupons.
    I grew up in europe where the retail competition is already so fierce, that there is not much room for coupons.
    The business here in the US is different. It's coupon country. Don't ask me why, but it still seems to work, even if you as customer still overpay AFTER the coupon.
    10% off $100 still makes people buy, even if they could get it for $75 somewhere else. Don't ask me why.


    Carsten

    Shop-Links.net Partner
    Shop-Links.net

    If you can't move things, try harder!

  13. #13
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    My merchants are too lazy to create coupon codes, and I'm too lazy to post them if they did. I admit it.

    Besides, I enjoy giving my visitors absolutely no value and getting paid well for it.

    Don't you?

  14. #14
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    Keep up the good work

    "Nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map."
    --Wayne Calloway

  15. #15
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    quote:
    And thanks for not educating your visitors about how they can save money online, i'll educate them for you And i will be the one getting the repeat business because coupon sites actually offer people something. So thanks for the new customers.



    Trustno1 -- I'm with you, but please share the new customers!

    I run both content sites and a coupon site, and I can say that the coupon site is a lot more profitable with higher traffic. I have content sites because, well because, I can create them easily with a datafeed and once they are setup they are basically on auto-pilot. There are a lot of quality content sites that provide value, however, there are more that are basically just a "banner farm" to different merchants.

  16. #16
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    I have a coupon site. People are searching for coupon codes for online purchases to save money. One of the benefits, in the beginning of online shopping, was that consumers could actually have more to choose from, and save money versus offline shopping. It is quick and convenient for people. Concerning your dislike for coupon sites... it is because we do get your prospective visitors. If they choose to look for an offer that saves them money, and comes to my site instead of yours, then that'sok with me. I aint stealing them from you, they just found me 'cause I offered 'ema deal they couldn't refuse

    Big Chuck
    If you can't run with the big dogs, then stay on the porch!

  17. #17
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    True, very true. A merchant HAS to convert without the use of a coupon...this is not in question. On the flipside a merchant that converts without a coupon will ALSO convert even better with one. I cannot count the partnerships that follow this rule hard and fast...and I am talking from brick and morter partners to pure dot commers. It matters not.

    Face it folks, coupons are here to stay...both in the real world and the dot com reality.

    That doesn't mean you have to offer them, but let us not complain that they exist for a great number of members here use coupons as I think all of us already know...

  18. #18
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    quote:
    Our program has several requirements designed to protect its brand- such as preventing partnerships with Web sites that exclusively promote discounts, rebates or controversial topics including religious or political content.


    When coupon sites get declined by merchant programs for some of the reasons quoted above...that's where we "lazy" non-coupon sites come in the picture.

    I'd be the first to start up a coupon site if I thought there was a future in it. Copy and Paste coupon codes isn't that hard a job, even for we lazy non-coupon site owners.

  19. #19
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    quote:
    Our program has several requirements designed to protect its brand- such as preventing partnerships with _Web sites that exclusively promote discounts, rebates_ or controversial topics including religious or political content.


    Just curious--what merchant is that from?

    quote:
    Originally posted by kelly626:
    I'd be the first to start up a coupon site if I thought there was a future in it. Copy and Paste coupon codes isn't that hard a job, even for we lazy non-coupon site owners.


    Be my guest. You grossly underestimate the work involved in running a coupon site. It's not just a copy-and-paste job. You have to test *every* coupon to verify that it's valid. When a customer comes to your site, clicks through to a merchant, loads up their cart, and then tries to use a coupon you listed that's not valid, they leave your site. Doesn't matter what else is on there--once they find a coupon that doesn't work, they're gone.

    Multiply this by potentially hundreds of merchants on a site, and you've got a full day's work.

    Michael

  20. #20
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    "When coupon sites get declined by merchant programs for some of the reasons quoted above...that's where we "lazy" non-coupon sites come in the picture."

    I agree with you partially on that, thats why i also have merchants that don't use coupons. As far as non-coupon shopping sites being in the picture, i think that picture will slowly fade. Straight shopping directories that just have merchant name and description or sites that feature only products links to a merchant without any mention of current codes, sales or deals might work now but in the future will see there income take a dive.

    "I'd be the first to start up a coupon site if I thought there was a future in it."

    There will always be a future for coupon sites. America loves coupons, not a hard idea to grasp. Offline and online retailers will tell you this. Coupons have been around forever and aren't going anywhere.

    "Copy and Paste coupon codes isn't that hard a job, even for we lazy non-coupon site owners."

    Do it then. Any shopping site that wants to be around in the future should start to implement this now. I know a lot of affiliates think just making sites full of product links or datafeed sites with no mention of current coupons or deals, think that there is a future in this. I don't see a future with sites that are basically mini-co-branded sites having the exact same thing on your site that the merchant has. Basically duplicate content with a different template all fighting for the same spot in the search engines. Thousands of affiliates with the same datafeed, with a different template, no future in that. You will wake up one morning finding your site buried on page 200. Enjoy it while it lasts.

    "Nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map."
    --Wayne Calloway

  21. #21
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    I don't underestimate the work involved in running a coupon site. You get a message from a CJ merchant telling of a coupon code to use, and you post it. If you want to click a few times here and there to make sure the merchant isn't pulling your leg, that's great.

    Do you think I posted the $3.00 off your order Hobbytron coupon code awhile back? Not a chance, and it didn't affect sales whatsoever.

    I'm sure you're aware that if a merchant says you get credited for 1 action in 90 days, that's what you get. Your returning visitor that buys again from that merchant (through your coupon site) within 90 days, do you get credit? No.

    I'm aware that a majority of my traffic is shoppers that may have never heard of particular merchant (if they have, I just remind them ), may have never heard of a merchant coupon code (or care ), and they want to buy what they want. So I direct them to specifically what they want, and they buy.

    If a majority of my merchants ran coupon codes, I'd conform. They're just not there. I couldn't be a coupon site if I wanted to really.

  22. #22
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    I do not mind most coupon sites at all! i love flamingo world, excellent site!, and If i lived in the usa, i am sure i would visit alot.

    What annoys me, is when i visit some sites, looking for a coupon, like today, i looked for a sears coupon, to see if there were any,(after reading these posts!) and in the top 10 spaces in google were sites, that had no coupon, but had various pop ups of sears etc, so even if people were looking and did not find! our cookie is gone anyway!#

    These are the unscrupulous sites that take our money!

  23. #23
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    quote:
    Originally posted by kelly626:
    Your returning visitor that buys again from that merchant (through your coupon site) within 90 days, do you get credit? No.



    Wrong answer.

    If a visitor clicks through your site again, a new cookie is set which remains valid for 90 days. The first purchase within that 90 days is again credited to your account, even if the visitor does not click again when they make the actual purchase (in a different session).

    That's why the loyalty sites can provide incentive for every purchase.

    There are some execeptions: when a sale using an existing account at the merchant site does not credit the affiliate after 1st purchase. These merchants track the sale based on email ids, names, addresses, credit card numbers, accounts etc., not by the cookie.

  24. #24
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    10% off ST99, exp. 5/1 Sears Room For Kids, ShowPlace, Home Center

  25. #25
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    thanks, i did find that, but was not sure if it worked!

    do not want to lose any of my sales! lol

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