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  1. #1
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    For anyone who is an affiliate of YouCanSave.com, make sure you read the new Terms & Conditions carefully before you agree to them. #4 is a real killer:

    quote:
    4. I agree to continue use of Affiliate links provided by YouCanSave.Com for as long as I sell a product that can be found on their website. This means that once I use a link that connects to a specific YouCanSave.Com product, I will not sell or advertise that product in any other way, shape or form unless agreed upon by YouCanSave.Com.
    I let their affiliate manager know that I could not and would not agree to that. At first, he said he would grant me an exception, then he decided he wouldn't and terminated me. I had been a productive affiliate for four years, sending them thousands of customers.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  2. #2
    http and a telephoto
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    LOL, are they *crazy*??? Do they have unique one of a kind products???? So I would have to memorize their catalog and then make sure I didn't sell *anything* they sell through other links. Well, someone has no clue....

    Thanks for the heads up!!!! Not that I looked at their program anyway, but now I know not to bother in the future!!
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  3. #3
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    These guys have got to be smoking the drapes. Think they should go back to marketing 101. Although it doesn't appear that they even took that course!!! Bottom line is that Greed turns into lost sales, lost customers and eventually a dead website. What a bunch of idiots! I don't care what they offer or what their incentives will be in the future. They just showed their true colors which is stay away from that online store at any cost!!!

  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Where do they get off as some kind of exclusive merchant. Their a drop shipper Infomercial dime a dozen company? Same type products and for sure a info peddler to IAB/DMA members.

    What is the YouCanSave.Com Affiliate Program?
    Our Affiliate Program is an opportunity for you to make money by selling As Seen on TV and other unique products, without actually having to buy or distribute them. All you need to do is put our affiliate product links on your site, and when a customer clicks on the link and proceeds to buy one of our great products, you will earn a percentage of the sale. We offer both text links and banners that are easy for you to place on your site, so you can start getting sales in no time.

    Who is YouCanSave.Com?
    YouCanSave.Com is one of the largest online retailers of As Seen on TV and other unique products. We pride ourselves on having a site that carries great products at low prices. Since we are able to keep good relationships with the product manufacturers, we can often sell products for much less than you can find them anywhere else. Since 1999 we have run a successful and lucrative program for thousands of affiliates.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  5. #5
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Michael Coley--Thanks for the warning. I'll be staying away from this one too!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Youcansave is also a WhenU merchant.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  7. #7
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    So does anyone here work with YouCanSave.com? Is anyone planning on continuing to work with them? The affiliate manager told me that I was the only affiliate complaining about the exclusivity clause.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  8. #8
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    I'm not affiliate with me, but to answer your question, no one read that clause. Plus the clause isn't that onerous (sp?)). All it says if you have a link to their talking bass, you can't have a link to someone else's identical talking bass. The only problem with the clause is that it doesn't have a time limit, so theoretically if you had their talking bass once, you can never have anyone else's talking bass even if you remove their talking bass. It does seem to be a silly clause, I guess what its for is so people can't do talking bass comparison shopping.

    Mike

    P.S.
    I haven't checked, do they sell the talking bass?

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    This must be a joke!

    If it's not, Dump 'em, dump 'em, dump 'em!

    That's ridiculous, and most likely would not be enforcible, since they cannot prohibit or restrict another party from earning a living by their terms!

    It would never stand up in a court of law, as a company can't do business with another and tell them they can't ever do something in the future. They can restrict you to not running competing links for the same product while you're running their link, but they cannot prevent you from doing so if you remove their link. They really are smoking the drapes if they think they can hold an affiliate to these terms!

    What a laugh! If you listen closely, you'll hear the vacuum sound created by all their affiliates dropping them once they discover this new clause.

    Andy

  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Sadly, most affiliates will probably never notice the clause. They told me that I was the only one who didn't agree to it.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  11. #11
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    Thank you Michael for slandering a company that consistantly and fairly sent you affiliate checks for the past 4 years.
    I feel that there needs to be some rebuttal to this one-sided ribbing that you all seem to be giving to the YouCanSave.Com affiliate system...

    It seems that nobody is reading the condition completely, as it clearly states at the end "unless agreed upon by YouCanSave.Com". The fact is that 99% of the time, we would be more than willing to give exemption from this clause, it is only in place to protect from a rare few who abuse the system. Do you really think we would find it reasonable to force all of our affiliates to NEVER advertise a product we carry through another vendor??? C'mon, we have run an honest and easy affiliate program for years (if we were that harsh, how would we survive this long?) and our company is definitely not a fly-by-night drop shipping internet company. We have a fully stocked warehouse located right here at our home-office.

    In an attempt to be professional about the issue, I will refrain from giving everybody the details of Mr. Coley's removal from our system. I will state though that we have many high-level affiliates who pay VERY CLOSE attention to all details of our program, and none of them have had issue with our Terms and Conditions.
    What do all of you look for in an affiliate program? The fact of the matter is that YouCanSave.Com has ALWAYS provided payments that were accurate and sent out in the beginning of each month. I personally talk with all of my affiliates to make sure that things are running smoothly. Unfortunately, Mr. Coley and I could not reach an understanding in this issue, but I'm sure ALL other online companies have never lost an affiliate because they didn't see eye-to-eye, right? Lets try not to be so hasty and get all of the facts, not just those provided by a solitary disgruntled former affiliate.

  12. #12
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Travis,

    Your accusation of slander is hogwash. All I stated was the facts. I quoted the term in question in its entirety and specifically pointed out that you were considering granting an exception.

    You state that you consistantly [sic] and fairly sent me affiliate checks for the past 4 years. That's true. And I consistently and fairly send you customers over that same time. That's how affiliate programs work. I do give YouCanSave.com credit for good tracking, good commissions, good products, good prices, and fast payments.

    You state that you would be more than willing to give exemption from the clause 99% of the time, but you were not willing to give that exemption to me. In the past four years, I have NEVER promoted one of your competitors. But I'm not going to sign a clause saying that I never will.

    You're welcome to give whatever details you feel necessary. (Yes, I went over your head to try to salvage a four-year relationship. Is that so bad?) I have seen very little professionalism since you came on as the affiliate manager a couple years ago and frankly don't expect it from you now.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  13. #13
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    Please, name off something else that you think has been unprofessional on my part. I would love to hear your constructive feedback. Funny that I have received dozens of emails since I have become affiliate manager telling me that I have our program running much smoother now and that I am doing an excellent job.
    Surely I'm the unproffesional one when I laid out Terms and Conditions required by our corporate offices. I was in the process of telling you that I would help you out and give you an "ok" to advertise as you wished, when you decided to TRY and go over my head. FYI, I'm not the one who was insistant on cutting you off after that very unproffesional attempt. Considering that I have told you several times before that I am the one to talk to about any issues in the affiliate program, do you think it was wise to bother our marketing VP (who does not work with affiliates any longer at all)? Either way, things didn't work out as either of us had wished and the affiliate relationship has ended. I'm sorry that you feel our decision was unfair.

  14. #14
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by TravisYCS:
    Please, name off something else that you think has been unprofessional on my part. I would love to hear your constructive feedback.
    Very well. Since you asked...

    Let's start with your very first email to me, in July of 2002, notifying me that my affiliation was being terminated immediately. This turned out being a mistake and my account was reinstated. I ended up having to go over your head to get this resolved. Not the best first impression.

    In the following months, my commission checks were at the wrong rate. It took several months of following up with you to get it corrected.

    In May 2003, I forwarded a customer complaint to you so it could be resolved. Most companies are anxious to have the opportunity to make things right with upset customers. You basically griped me out and told me to let customer service do their job. You could have been much more tactful with your response. I took your criticism constructively, however, and have been careful not to promise too much to customers.

    In June 2003, you threatened to remove me as an affiliate for listing a coupon. The coupon had been given to me THREE YEARS earlier by Chris and Tim Vanderhook. John Devlin, Steve Newman, and others in the company knew about the coupon. Steve had even set it back up for me a few months previous when you had switched systems. You refused to ask Steve about it and were incredibly rude in your responses. I didn't go over your head on this one, and removed the coupon code. Sales slumped as a result.

    Your datafeed is one of the worst I've ever seen. It's manually updated, separate from the products on your site. It has several wrong prices. It has several products that are no longer on your site. I tried to get you to make some changes to make it more automated and useable, but you blew me off and said I needed to work with what you had.

    In September 2003, Steve emailed me personally, asking for suggestions and ideas about the affiliate program. I told him about the issues with the coupon, your rudeness, and the data feeds. He apologized for your actions, authorized me to list a coupon again, and gave me access to an internal datafeed. Instead of being argumentative, he provided solutions. Is that so hard?

    That brings us up to the most recent problems, with the terms and conditions. I sent you an email saying I wanted to continue working with you, but that I couldn't agree with that one term. Your response was that I would be terminated if I did not agree. I went over your head to Steve. He let me know that he was out of the loop, but pointed out that you could make an exception. You responded back to me, all upset about me going over your head. After several more emails back and forth, you agreed to allow me to promote items from other merchants, then you changed your mind and terminated me.

    In the four years I worked with Chris and Tim Vanderhook, John Devlin, and Steve Newman, they were always very professional, helpful, and appreciative. They valued my input and sought it out. We built a relationship that was mutually beneficial. In the nearly two years since you became affiliate manager, I've seen nothing but friction from you. You've terminated or threatened to terminate me on three separate occasions. You have been argumentative and brash. I have worked with hundreds of affiliate managers, and I've never had this many problems with any other affiliate manager.

    If YouCanSave.com got rid of this exclusivity clause, I would rejoin it in a minute. They are a fantastic company with some great people, products, and potential.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  15. #15
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Point is that it is a stupid idiotic clause that needs to be removed. I certainly will never consider joining a progrm with such nonsense in the contract.
    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!

  16. #16
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    A few FYI notes Michael...
    1. When I first started as Affiliate manager, I was told by the company president that any affiliates giving a specific coupon code needed to be immediately terminated. Upon later discussion, it was decided that you would be given another chance. I was just the messenger.
    2. Your commission checks were the wrong rate in the following months because our site was dropped from the Yahoo store and we had to scramble to find another affiliate system to use. The stats from Yahoo were not recovered for quite some time. Again, I don't see how this is my doing.
    3. I don't remember the customer complaint, but the fact is that I don't deal with customer issues, and if I told you that Customer Service would handle it, obviously it was an issue that they needed to take care of, not you or I.
    4. Again, our company President (who's name you do not drop because he doesn't deal with affiliates) asked me to remove any affiliate who was giving out coupon codes. FYI - Chris and Tim Vanderhook and John Delvin are names that don't mean anything to me, so you can quit throwing them around.
    5. The datafeed provided in our system has not ever been presented as anything more than it is -- a basic feed that is only meant to supply basic info for some affiliates. Funny, I would think that the 2 data feeds I instituted would still be better than NONE, like we had before. I'm glad you appreciated the effort to make our affiliates job slightly easier.
    6. You can drop Steve's name all day long, just remember that he is the one that wanted you cut off the most, saying that you have been a pain to deal with for years and he didn't want to hear you complain any more. Maybe it would have been beneficial for you if you wouldn't constantly try and go over my head. Please show me this internal datafeed that he gave you, I would love to see it.
    7. Like I said, keep dropping those names like it means something. I've never even heard of three of them, and the other fully backed my decision regarding your removal from our program.
    This debating is getting us nowhere. You obviously have some personal issue with me and I have never had such with you until you decided to rip on me in a chat forum. Clearly we are both better off not working with each other since you don't like how I run the program (though others seem to be very pleased), and I feel that I am better off not having to deal with somebody that doesn't like that fact that I have to do my job (which requires me to follow the demands of Thane and our company President).
    Best of luck, Travis

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador
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    Whoa, after those 3 posts I'm grateful not to be a member of this AM's program - you wouldn't see any of the professional affiliate managers on this board talking like this.

  18. #18
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    You are very right. I thought that I was responding out of defense, but I really should have been more professional and agreed to disagree. My apologies for the lapse in judgement regarding conversation about this issue.
    Sincerely, Travis

  19. #19
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Travis,

    For the record, I never mentioned you until you came here, accused me of slandering the company, made derogatory remarks about me, and asked for criticism.

    I had absolutely no problems with YouCanSave.com before you came on board. Steve and I have always had a wonderful working relationship. He even sought out my opinions as recently as September 2003, saying "I know you've always had a wealth of great ideas" and letting me know that I could contact him at any time. I highly doubt your assertations that he was the one pushing to have me removed.

    I have gone over your head a total of TWICE since you became Affiliate Manager almost two years ago. That certainly doesn't qualify as "constantly" trying to go over your head.

    As for you not knowing the history of your company, I can't help you much there. Steve was one of the two founders of the company, and I think John Devlin was the first employee. I haven't talked with John, Chris, or Tim for years. The only reason I brought them up is because they were the ones who gave me the coupon.

    When you have a policy change, there are much more tactful ways of communicating that change than sending out termination notices. Coupons were originally given out freely and affiliates were encouraged to promote them. I never received any notice of the change. Steve gave me ANOTHER coupon after you told me that coupons weren't allowed. In fact, in his email from September 2003 he OFFERED coupons without me asking.

    As for giving you details on the internal feed, I'll send them to you in an email. I'm not sure why I'm still willing to help you after everything you've done.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador
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    OK children. Enough is enough.

  21. #21
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I must say, Travis has got to be one of the most insecure people I've read posts from in ages!

    Sooo concerned with people "going over his head"

    If you don't want your head gone over, become the owner of your own company. That way there is no "over." And you don't have to engange in any machinations to maintain your status at your own company.

    We affiliates are not employees and therefore have no respect for this office politics BS of whose "head was gone over." In fact, avoiding such utter nonsense is one of the points of doing affiliate marketing instead of employment!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  22. #22
    Affiliate Manager PaulS's Avatar
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    For any and all who read this thread......

    Wonderfulbuys.com, a CJ merchant, purchased YouCanSave.com a few months ago and has taken over their affiliate program (or what is left of it).

    Although it may take me some time to figure out DirectTrack as well as I know CJ, here are some things you should know:

    1. The exclusivity clause - gone. My apologies to the former YCS people, but what the heck kind of crap was that? If I don't have the best offer on a particular product, the affiliate should be allowed to promote someone else. However, I would appreciate a note if you find that we are being undersold on a popular product, perhaps we can fix that.

    2. Michael Coley - My deepest apologies. Wow. Four years and then that.... freakish is the only word I can think of to describe it.

    3. Datafeeds... We will work on those, We have them for Wonderfulbuys.com, so the system should be easily transferable to YouCanSave.com.

    However, I have to be honest that my priority right now is to clean up the Wonderfulbuys.com program (it was infested with Spyware until recently, and there's still things to be done), and will be focussed on YouCanSave.com after the holidays.

    It was a hard decision (it would have been nice to have them both fixed for the holidays, but - unfortunately - I've only been here for a few weeks so there isn't enough time). It made the most sense to try to fix one program, then do partial fixes on both.

    However, if you want to work with the YCS program again, you can consider that clause dropped (I can't find it in the system to drop it, but if you need an "official" exemption, I will provide it.

    Please remember that Catherine G and I (now Liz G) worked hard to clean up and improve the Rugman.com affiliate program. It does take time, but I appreciate everyone's support while we're in the process.

    Sorry for the long post, but given what went on in the posts above, I figured it was required...

    Paul

  23. #23
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Great news! I look forward to working with you, Paul. I've sent you an email.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  24. #24
    Affiliate Manager PaulS's Avatar
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    Me too.

    I've sent you my direct e-mail address (it's faster than going through the cj@ account...)

    Talk soon,

    Paul

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