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  1. #1
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    I have a merchant that offers tiered bonuses -- if I sell over $500 in a month, I get a 50% bonus, and if I sell over $1000, I get a 100% bonus (from 6% commission to 12% commission).

    I'm within $225 of the $1000 marker. If I sell $1000, I get another $120 added to my commissions.

    That essentially means that if I buy something worth $225 from that merchant right now, I'd get back $120, plus 6% from the purchase.

    I can't find anything in their rules that states that I can't buy through their links. Do merchants usually allow this?

    My $225 purchase might just put me over the top now, but if I bought something earlier in the month, it wouldn't have been so obvious.

    What are people's thoughts on this?

    Ralph

    http://www.hockeydb.com

  2. #2
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    I have a similar situation with a Linkshare merchant. I am on $4,600 and if I sell $5,000 I go up to the next tier. That will add $100 commission.
    However, Linkshare does stipulate that you cannot use the links for personal use.
    I am not sure about CJ though.
    Why not phone the merchant to make sure? You could end up spending the $225 and getting no commission at all.

    www.cjshoppingnetwork.com

  3. #3
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    Most merchants allow you to buy through your own links since a sale is a sale. And not only can you be an affiliate, you can be a customer too. Not allowing affiliates to buy through their own links brings about bad feelings and sometimes the affiliate will just pull them. Depends on the merchant, some have a problem with it, some don't. It's best just to email the merchant in question to make sure.

    "The successful man is the average man, focused."

  4. #4
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    I know that a lot of merchants do allow you to buy from your own links. However, some don't. For example, I know that Bluefly don't. If I wanted to buy designer clothing, I would just go somewhere else any Bluefly would miss out on a sale.

    www.cjshoppingnetwork.com

  5. #5
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    This is a question of ethics. Though most merchants don't mind , your motives are not exactly "pure". The incentives are meant to stimulate "real customer sales" . Not sales from an affiliate to reach the next level of compensation.

    If you have no problem with the ethics , just insure your "sale" by having a friend make the purchase , the merchant will never know.

    If you are ethical , just email the merchant , explain the situation honestly. A good merchant might either allow the transaction , so your conscience is clear or let you slide by since you are close to the level and honest. Some merchants actually value their relationships with their affiliates and value honesty. If they don't , why bring yourself down to their level for a few lousy dollars? No one can TAKE away your integrity , you have to give it away.

    Now if you "really" meant you are making the purchase so you can personally experience the merchant's service , products , etc. in able to promote their product with a personal testimonial , that would be another issue. We encourage our sales force to do this , but then again , we give them a 50% discount off their personal purchases. ( no we don't also pay them a commission on top of the discount )

    Let your conscience be your guide.

    Toledo Swords - Collectible Heirloom Armory
    http://www.toledoswords.com

  6. #6
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    I agree with cinst. What is the "spirit" of the affiliate agreement and tiered bonus structure? I would also say it is to stimulate "real" ARMS LENGTH sales.

    Apollo

  7. #7
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    I probably won't buy from my link, but it seems to me that the goals are there to stimulate sales, not necessarily "arms-length" sales. There's no difference between me buying something and an existing customer of that merchant buying something.

    Ralph

    http://www.hockeydb.com

  8. #8
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    dupe post

    [This message was edited by TrustNo1® on September 28, 2003 at 02:42 AM.]

  9. #9
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    Sale is a sale. Whether it comes from an affiliate or an affiliates site visitor, it still shows the same in the end. The "meaning" of a purchase doesn't reflect at checkout.

    "The successful man is the average man, focused."

  10. #10
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    It always amazes me how "ethics" can be twisted and justified to suit any situation.

    Ralph - just email and ask the merchant and explain the issue. Be forthright.

    TrustNo1 - I understand , by your handle , your point.


    "What goes around , comes around"

    Toledo Swords - Collectible Heirloom Armory
    http://www.toledoswords.com

  11. #11
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    "TrustNo1 - I understand , by your handle , your point."

    Are you meaning to say i'm an unethical person?

    Look at my first post where i say:
    "It's best just to email the merchant in question to make sure."

    Then look at your post after mine:
    "If you are ethical , just email the merchant , explain the situation honestly."

    Good job of getting rid of those leaks to other merchants on your site. I hate it when someone new to affiliate marketing might send targetted traffic to a merchant with the possibility that the traffic will be sent elsewhere with no compensation to the affiliate sending the traffic.

    "The successful man is the average man, focused."

    [This message was edited by TrustNo1® on September 28, 2003 at 06:47 PM.]

  12. #12
    "An Englishman In New York" TJ's Avatar
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    quote:
    There's no difference between me buying something and an existing customer of that merchant buying something.
    Right, I feel the same way, and the inside/outside sales reps for the companies that we sell for... they get discount when they buy from their company! It's called a perk!! Why shouldn't we get a discount too?

  13. #13
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    wrong forum

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Akiva's Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Tj©:
    Right, I feel the same way, and the inside/outside sales reps for the companies that we sell for... they get discount when they buy from their company! It's called a perk!! Why shouldn't we get a discount too?


    Ditto!

    Akiva Bergstrom
    Affiliate Partner Manager
    EssentialApparel.com
    CJ/6%/120 days/Datafeed/Parasite free
    Email: akiva@essentialapparel.com
    Phone: 973.696.6200 ext 751
    > Join now! <
    SportsFanfare.com
    CJ/10%/120 days/Datafeed/Parasite free
    Email: akiva@sportsfanfare.com
    AIM: akivabergs
    > Join now! <

  15. #15
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    So wait. Is this correct?

    You've currently sold $775 @ 6% commission. Thats $46.50 you've made so far.

    If you sell $1000 @ 6% ($60 commission), you get a 100% bonus (another $60).. That's $120 you've made.

    Why spend $225 to make $73.50?

  16. #16
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    Show me a merchant that offers tiered bonuses that aren't anticipating a good number of affiliates, affiliate family members, their friends, etc. to buy to help acquire such bonuses. Hmmm

    Merchants that offer tiered bonuses sell products or services with a sufficient profit margin ...and they can easily afford to pay your bonuses if you get every one in your neighborhood to buy something, all your family members, and yourself.

    They can most likely afford to pay you 12% to begin with ...but by giving you 6% and holding out "bonuses" in front of your nose, they can count on you doing all kind of unheard of things ...like even buying stuff yourself.

    I think most everyone here can remember back in school when there were fund raisers where everyone got the chance to sell candy. Which ever class sold the most got a special something, the individual that sold the most got a prize (I won a 10 speed bike in 7th grade) ... So you were sent off with so much candy your parents had to help you carry it home. You just had to win, and it was Mom and Dad who ended up buying what you couldn't push off on your neighbors.

    Did you realize that the CJ Publisher Service Agreement forbids you to even click on merchant links? Who was it anyway that coined the phrase "rules were made to be broken"?

    Heck, if the stuff you want to buy makes you happy, and it gets you a bonus rebate, go for it.

    Remember, this is ABW ...you probably already would be at the $1000 mark, but parasites stole the difference. Have a clear conscious and enjoy whatever it is you want to buy ...today!

  17. #17
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    quote:
    Originally posted by TrustNo1®:
    "TrustNo1 - I understand , by your handle , your point."
    Are you meaning to say i'm an unethical person?

    Look at my first post where i say:
    "It's best just to email the merchant in question to make sure."



    I apologize , missed your first post - which IMO is the CORRECT approach. It was the "sale is a sale" post that hit me.

    Not saying that the "sale is a sale" attitude is incorrect either. Because unless specifically forbidden by the merchant , it should be allowed , though it actually might not / or might be , the merchant's spirit of intent.

    Ethics are subjective. What is ethical to one person is not to another. Neither position is right or wrong , but I have found that specific ethics of an individual vary depending on the circumstance. ( people look to justify ) Personally , I guide my ethics by "do under others as you would have them do unto you" Which assumes a large amount of trust in your fellow man. Since I TrustEvery1 , I do get burned a lot. "No good deed goes unpunished" Your handle , is probably the more practical outlook , which suggest that although YOU are not doing anything wrong , don't give the other person the chance to wrong you. I sometimes wish I could adopt that attitude. But if the world was made of extremes which would be a better world to live in , a world of TrustEvery1 or a world of TrustNo1 ? I would vote for the former rather than the latter. And since a beach begins with one grain of sand , I am that grain for the world I would prefer.

    quote:

    Good job of getting rid of those leaks to other merchants on your site. I hate it when someone new to affiliate marketing might send targetted traffic to a merchant with the possibility that the traffic will be sent elsewhere with no compensation to the affiliate sending the traffic.



    Thank you , but TS had no intentions of keeping ANY of those commissions. As explained in a different thread. They would have been distributed to the TS affiliates. But I do listen and respond to our sales force. "Their wishes are my command"

    Toledo Swords - Collectible Heirloom Armory
    http://www.toledoswords.com

  18. #18
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    I used to trust, then i started affiliate marketing Just kidding. I'm usually a trusting person, but trust is something you have to earn. My nick has something behind it. I look at it as Trust No. 1, Trust #1 meaning you should always trust yourself and go with your gut. Be true to yourself. Also sent you a pm.

    [This message was edited by TrustNo1® on September 29, 2003 at 04:05 AM.]

  19. #19
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    quote:
    Originally posted by TrustNo1®:
    I look at it as Trust No. 1, Trust #1 meaning you should always trust yourself and go with your gut. Be true to yourself. Also sent you a pm.


    This I absolutely agree with , but there is also one other you should trust. You'll know who I mean when you read my PM

    Toledo Swords - Collectible Heirloom Armory
    http://www.toledoswords.com

  20. #20
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    Got it Will try to get some sword sales, i like working with good, honest merchants.

    "The successful man is the average man, focused."

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    I don't see what difference it makes if you buy through your own links or not. A sale is a sale. As long as you aren't reselling the stuff and it's for personal use, it shouldn't matter.

    I wonder about merchants who don't allow affiliates to buy through their own links. Yes, I can see the opportunity for abuse, and I think that should be handled on an individual basis. It should be easy enough to spot when abuse is happening.

    About the only merchant I deal with who doesn't allow me to make purchases through my affiliate links is Amazon, and they have been and are getting complaints about that ridiculous policy. I imagine they will eventually change it.

    When I make a purchase it verifies that the links are tracking, and that the merchant is paying commissions on sales, which motivates me to add more links to that merchant.

    Andy

    _______________
    Call the Exterminators! We've Got PARASITES!

  22. #22
    Affiliate Addict Robert484848's Avatar
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    I buy stuff from my own links all the time. That way when I don't get credit for the sale I can call the merchant and complain about parisites stealing my comissions. Works like a charm

    "I did'nt get where I'm at today by worrying about how I'm going to feel tomorrow."

  23. #23
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    Here's an update. I'm currently sitting at $1,939.00 with this merchant. I get a $60 bonus because I hit the $500 mark, and I would get another $60 for hitting the $2000 mark. My original estimate was wrong, because I neglected to count the original $60.

    I'm in a position to spend $61 to get $60 back, plus I'd get an item that I wouldn't mind having (but probably wouldn't buy on my own).

    I'd in essence spend $1 to get an item that I don't mind having but wouldn't spend $60 on.

    I still don't think I'll do it, but it's an interesting position to be in.

    It's kind of like how old sports owners used to bench their players towards the end of the season if they had a performance-based bonus clause in their contract. Someone who got paid extra by hitting 25 home runs might not get put into the last few games of the season if he had 24 and the team was out of the race.

    Ralph

    http://www.hockeydb.com

  24. #24
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    Ralph - Why don't u send the merchant a copy of this thread and invite him to participat ? Kill 2 birds with 1 stone

    Toledo Swords - Collectible Heirloom Armory
    http://www.toledoswords.com

  25. #25
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    Final tally: $1,939.00 for the merchant. I didn't make it. I missed out on $60.

    And on the morning of October 1, I had a sale for $200.

    Ralph

    http://www.hockeydb.com

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