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  1. #1
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    "You most likely already know about this, but are you familiar with Ebates? If you enter Drugstore.com through the Ebates.com site, you get an additional 6% back in cash every 3 months. It's great! Especially since you can use it in addition to the Drugstore.com discount. I do most of my shopping online these days, and with the huge list of stores they have available at Ebates, we've gotten over $500 back in the last 2 years! I just thought I'd mention it in case you weren't aware of it. I'm always surprised that none of the bargain lists I subscribe to ever mention Ebates because it's such a great deal."

    This is not only depressing, but it has made me realize that I'm really not sure what this means. Will I never see a commission from this woman because she goes through ebates every time she shops?

    Maria at ItsRainingBargains.com

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    My response to: "If you enter Drugstore.com through the Ebates.com site, you get an additional 6% back in cash every 3 months. It's great!"

    I send a e-mail to the drugstore.com affiliate manager demanding 6% higher commission rate they so freely give to eBates for performing popups on other folks domains. Their response is that they wonder what type of traffic hijacking program do I use to deserve this raise......LOL.

    Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    You should write them back, and tell them what their support of these programs means to smaller sites. Ask them why they're on your site, if other sites offer them so much more.

    Ask them if they enjoy viewing content.

    Ask them if they appreciate having a selection of different sites to choose from when they shop.

    Ask them what they're going to do when all the smaller sites have dried up from lack of support, and the rebates sites are all gone as well, since they no longer have traffic from the smaller sites to feed off of.

    Andy

    AFFILIATE MARKETING STANDARD: The site upon which the initial action to buy occurs is the site the commission is paid to. Period.

  4. #4
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    this is really my question. If a shopper like her sees a deal in my newsletter and clicks through to look at it, but then turns around and logs into ebates to make the actual transaction, there is really nothing we can do about that. its just plain depressing.

    Maria at ItsRainingBargains.com

  5. #5
    Schlaumeier cumbrowski's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by itsrainingbargains.com:
    this is really my question. If a shopper like her sees a deal in my newsletter and clicks through to look at it, but then turns around and logs into ebates to make the actual transaction, there is really nothing we can do about that. its just plain depressing.
    Maria at ItsRainingBargains.com<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It is depressing.
    I see only 3 options for the future:

    1.
    You stop and the customer has to trust the parasites, that the 6% cashback is really a money-saver and not just a scam to sell products 10-xx% overpriced = No Savings.

    2.
    The Parasites are going out of business due to laws, that prohibit electronic trespassing on merchant sites.

    3.
    Parasites loose Merchants and Customers, once both of them realize whats going on and decide, that it is not benefitial to use them anymore.

    capitalism sucks from time to time.

    Carsten

    Shop-Links.net Partner
    http://www.shop-links.net
    Sign-up for our Affiliate Program
    http://www.shareasale.com/shareasale...erchantID=2123

    If you can't move things, try harder!

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    < flame suit on >

    Well, if she is actually logging in to eBates before each purchase, then they've done their job of branding and becoming a site with loyalty.

    I should hope some of my sites also pique some loyalty at some point. But nothing beats cash for loyalty.

    If all of eBates users had to log in to the eBates site to get their rebate I'd have a lot less grudge against their business model.

    - - - - -
    42. Yup, the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

  7. #7
    Schlaumeier cumbrowski's Avatar
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    I have absolutly no problem with rebate sites.
    If the customers go to their site, login and visit the merchant to get their rebate, fine.
    It's an attractive business model and we thought about that Idea a lot.

    The Shopping Plugin is a problem.
    Somebody else pays the bills for the marketing and eBates collects the money (commissison).

    That's not okay. Simple as that.

    Carsten

    Shop-Links.net Partner
    http://www.shop-links.net
    Sign-up for our Affiliate Program
    http://www.shareasale.com/shareasale...erchantID=2123

    If you can't move things, try harder!

  8. #8
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Maria,

    The chances are you won't ever realize a commission from this woman unless you happen to list a merchant she is interested in that is not affiliated with ebates. It's unclear from her statements whether she is using the MMM app. Since she seems to be on of those more savvy shoppers I would hesitate about going into too many details with her. She may have not yet discovered MMM.

    I would probably just nicely thank her for visiting my site and her comments. I would explain that ebates is a basically a competitor to me and to other bargain sites. As such, she probably won't see much mention of ebates by other bargain sites. I might throw in something nicely about how when people visit my site to get the latest promotionals, sales, etc from their favorite stores and then go to ebates to take advantage of the promo and rebate, the bargain site loses revenue which helps to pay for operating the site and the ability to continue to bring her great bargains. Then I would thank her for her continued support of my site.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  9. #9
    Schlaumeier cumbrowski's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BLFH:
    Maria,

    The chances are you won't ever realize a commission from this woman unless you happen to list a merchant she is interested in that is not affiliated with ebates. It's unclear from her statements whether she is using the MMM app. Since she seems to be on of those more savvy shoppers I would hesitate about going into too many details with her. She may have not yet discovered MMM.

    I would probably just nicely thank her for visiting my site and her comments. I would explain that ebates is a basically a competitor to me and to other bargain sites. As such, she probably won't see much mention of ebates by other bargain sites. I might throw in something nicely about how when people visit my site to get the latest promotionals, sales, etc from their favorite stores and then go to ebates to take advantage of the promo and rebate, the bargain site loses revenue which helps to pay for operating the site and the ability to continue to bring her great bargains. Then I would thank her for her continued support of my site.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    your sarcasm rocks

    Carsten

    Shop-Links.net Partner
    http://www.shop-links.net
    Sign-up for our Affiliate Program
    http://www.shareasale.com/shareasale...erchantID=2123

    If you can't move things, try harder!

  10. #10
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>your sarcasm rocks <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yep, it can. Only I really wasn't being sacrastic this time.
    I've turned more than one disgruntled customer into a loyal customer along those lines. Hey, $$$$ is $$$$.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  11. #11
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    I would put up a web page at my site describing eBates and how they operate and everything else bad about them including spying on shoppers while they surf - are those credit cards safe? etc etc.
    At the bottom of the page mention that eBates and similar incentive sites are putting you aout of business, and if you want to continue shopping through them, please remove yourself from my list.

    Then in the Newsletter, put a your ususal link to the merchants, but in addition put a link that says eBates users here. Send them to the page.
    By monitoring your logs you can see how many actually click through. Might give you an idea of how many. Again it could just be curious peopole.


    Of course this could backfire and curious people might discover the wonders of eBates, thereby losing you a few more customers.

    Andy Williams

    Keyword DARTs - New search engine optimization software
    http://www.affiliate-masters.co.uk/k...timization.htm

  12. #12
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    I would strongly encourage members to be careful about what they publish on their sites or in newsletters regarding these companies and what you say they are doing regarding their business practice. It would probably be a good idea to run any statements by someone with legal knowledge before publishing. Uhm...you know CYA and all of that.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  13. #13
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    Very good advice, BLFH.

    ----
    -J
    Merchants: Do you realize that some of your affiliates are being paid commission on sales which you have paid for via PPC, offline advertising, and your targeted mailings?

  14. #14
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    After spending hours each day erasing spam from my various inboxes, I cannot find it in my heart to feel bad for any of you folks. You're all spouting off about the ethics of Ebates, but you think nothing about slamming my inbox with a pile of garbage. That's MY inbox, not yours. I hope all spammers lose their businesses to the Ebates of the world.

    I also think you're all a little unrealistic. People load the MMM so that they get the cash back benefit when they shop online. They WANT to use it. I have not used it, but I do use Ebates, and will continue to do so.

    I apologize to the few of you who direct traffic to merchant sites from your website only; to all your spammers...die!

  15. #15
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    nomorespam,

    First hello and welcome to ABW.

    Second, I think you will find that the majority of members of ABW feel the exact same way about spam as you do. Do a search for spam and see what kinds of posts you come up with. This is a very spam intolerant crowd here. Many tips have been posted by this community for ways to combat spam. I'm not sure what you have received in your mailbox that you can tie to a particular ABW member....????? If it were proved that a member here is utilizing spam...will they would probably need to get out the extra heavy duty flame suit and get ready for a little bit of and

    As far as ebates goes. I have no issues with ebates website. I do have an issue with the MMM app. I really don't care if the end user wants it or not. The MMM can divert a commission that should have been earned by me to ebates. The end user has no right to decide that what so ever. Sorry. Actually, I'm not sorry but only meant that as a figure of speech. Would you think it was ok for on total stranger to say part of your paycheck should go to someone else just because that stranger wanted it? Don't think so.. That is the issue with ebates. Not their site. If all rebates earned for ebates came through their website there would be no issue with ebates.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    BLFH
    You are a master of diplomacy! People would be well advised to heed your advice.
    It's easy to forget the customers' perspective in this whole parasite issue.
    At the end of the day the customers are surfing the web because they want to buy something. Their interest is in what is in it for THEM.
    (Rightly so - they are the ones who pull out the credit cards and make the transactions that keep the entire machinery oiled.)
    I have certain qualms about the use of cookies which is the entire basis of the online affiliate marketing model.
    If customers really understood what was happening (he said, slipping into his heavy-duty asbestos suit...)when they visit merchant sites, (ie, a piece of code is downloaded to their hard drive which tracks purchasing preferences/history and surfing history and delivers it to the merchant on their next visit to the site) they would be HORRIFIED. Many of them, at least.
    Affiliate merchants often make comparisons to real shopping models to justify their case against parasites (ie, BHO software is akin to expecting merchants to honour coupons handed out in front of the cash register) but think of the implications of applying the cookie model to a real shopping environment...
    I am an affiliate myself, please don't get me wrong, I am firmly against parasites!
    I think to find a solution to the problem it is necessary to understand it and see it in a broader perspective, and I do think some affiliates are guilty of blinkered vision to a certain extent.

    (He tentatively moves his mouse pointer towards the 'Post Now' button........)

  17. #17
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Radegast:
    I have certain qualms about the use of cookies which is the entire basis of the online affiliate marketing model.

    If customers really understood what was happening (he said, slipping into his heavy-duty asbestos suit...)when they visit merchant sites, (ie, a piece of code is downloaded to their hard drive which tracks purchasing preferences/history and surfing history and delivers it to the merchant on their next visit to the site) they would be HORRIFIED. Many of them, at least.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Cookies in themselves are not bad, in fact without cookies, the affiliate system wouldn't work. There are no other way to maintain "state" between browser uses.

    A cookie DOES NOT download "a piece of code." It downloads a string of text, which is easily viewable by anyone with a simple text editor.

    A cookie in itself DOES NOT track a person's purchasing preferences, history or surfing habits.

    A cookie which is set by a specific website can only be read by that website. Now, I'll admit that there is a caviet here. since images can set cookies, ad-serving companies (and those companies which use web-bugs) can know which sites you visit, but unless the merchant specifically passes information to the 3rd party company, they only know which page you visited, not what you purchased, etc.

    If you're worried about your purchases being tracked by cookies, I hope you use cash all the time when you buy stuff.

    Think about how much data supermarkets have about what people buy. I guarantee you that for most of their shoppers, they can tell you exactly what that person will buy in any given week (assuming they mine their data). And speaking of credit cards, what do you think Visa knows about me or you?

    My point is that cookies are not an evil technology that people make them out to be. As with any technology there are those who misuse it's ability, but cookies provide far more benefit when enabling the web then the negatives.

    Mark Wolinski
    GigaGolf, Inc

  18. #18
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Without a valid sales tracking cookie even ebates and the other BHO's poaching merchant traffic wouldn't earn a dime of commissions. If the BHO's, who leach onto the browsers of those they enticed with some promiseland reward or FreeBee, can't develop a scheme to set their own cookie they are compelled to get commissions from their own domain's traffic. Sleezy merchants and their Advertising mindset could care less about rewarding their customers ...they just want to advertise freely on their competitors web sites...end of story.

    I warn my shoppers that I don't use popups or unders and they won't save a dime or get a reward from shopping EcomCity....just a immediate low price. The 400 million adware infected systems have been purposely hijacked by a few conieving operators to enrich themselves ..not their endusers. So what's new ..the greedy feed like sharks on internet shoppers wherever they smell bloody money.

    My shoppers have to leave my site to get datamined for privacy info and duped into some Freebee, coupon or reward promise. All paid for by merchants who's sole purpose of recruiting affiliates is to make them a ADVERTISING herd of lemmings.

    Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    Mark
    Thanks for your comments.
    Don't worry - I'm quite capable of overcoming my qualms at the prospect of an affiliate cheque landing on my doormat...
    I'm not trying to say that cookies are an evil technology, my point is really that they are used without the active consent of the majority of users and without the knowledge of a good percentage of users.
    Now, I really must stop drinking during the day...

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