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  1. #1
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    I had a conversation with a gentleman at Ebates and here are some of his comments:

    a. They are promising not to touch linksynergy links or other links with afsrc codes in them.

    b. He wouldn't give me exact numbers, but he claims that Ebates has 6 million customers

    c. They are not willing to collect commissions on new customers only, even with 60 return days.

    If they are willing to leave affiliate links untouched, what are other concerns that our affiliates have about ebates?

  2. #2
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    Even when the local burgler promises to leave my stuff alone, I don't invite him into my house.

    Wayne

  3. #3
    Merchant Linda's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Abu Gabby:
    I had a conversation with a gentleman at Ebates and here are some of his comments:

    a. They are promising not to touch linksynergy links or other links with afsrc codes in them. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    That's good for the affiliates that know that they should have their links coded that way. (This would only apply to affiliates that have databases redirecting their affiliate links.) Since the networks don't communicate to affiliates that they should be adding this to the end of their links, I'd wager that there are way too many that aren't protecting themselves because they just don't know that they should.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    b. He wouldn't give me exact numbers, but he claims that Ebates has their software installed on 3 million(?) computers in the US. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Currently installed on computers or number of times eBates' Mo Money Maker has been installed whether by intentional download or bundled with other software?

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    c. They are not willing to collect commissions on new customers only, even with 60 return days.

    If they are willing to leave affiliate links untouched, what are other concerns that our affiliates have about ebates? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    One major concern is that if their software is installed on a customer's computer, your return days (cookies) will become zero. Example: Someone clicks on my affiliate link to you, doesn't buy but return day/cookie is set. The following day they decide that they liked what they saw and go back to your site by typing in your URL directly. Ooops! eBates Mo Money Maker is on their computer and up pops "You are now earning a rebate!" Bye-bye cookie. eBates gets the commission.

    Another senario - Anyone with Mo Money Maker on their computer goes to Google and clicks thru on a free search link going straight to your site, generates a commission to eBates. This should be a commission-free sale for you unless that particular customer has a pre-existing affiliate cookie. Why would you want to pay out commission to an affiliate if they didn't actually send the customer to you?

  4. #4
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Linda:
    That's good for the affiliates that know that they should have their links coded that way. (This would only apply to affiliates that have databases redirecting their affiliate links.) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Aren't all of Linkshare's links coded with the "linksynergy" already in there? I am not familiar with other networks, but it is my understanding that all Linkshare links are safe.
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>One major concern is that if their software is installed on a customer's computer, your return days (cookies) will become zero. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Is there any thing that we can do to your cookie that will prevent this?
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Another senario - Anyone with Mo Money Maker on their computer goes to Google and clicks thru on a free search link going straight to your site, generates a commission to eBates. This should be a commission-free sale for you unless that particular customer has a pre-existing affiliate cookie. Why would you want to pay out commission to an affiliate if they didn't actually send the customer to you? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    That is not a major concern for us (unless there is an existing affiliate cookie). We have 6 million customers and 1.5 million of those are web customers. Out of 100,000,000 people in the US who shop online, fewer than 3% have the Ebates software. Fewer than 1.5% are customers of ours. The chances that a SIGNIFICANT number of our customers also have the Ebates software is fairly small. Can anyone see any flaw in my reasoning?

  5. #5
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    The flaw comes from you potentially ignoring affiliates who do not want to work with merchants that partner with applications considered as parasitic.

    25% of your business is from online sales and if your policy impacted a large percentage of affiliates to stop or not promote you, the ability to maintain/grow online sales could potentially be limited.

    The falicy becomes real when affiliates do percieve items as an issue that you feel is insignificant.

  6. #6
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Out of 100,000,000 people in the US who shop online, fewer than 3% have the Ebates software. Fewer than 1.5% are customers of ours. The chances that a SIGNIFICANT number of our customers also have the Ebates software is fairly small. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Uh-oh!!! You are daring to use LOGIC and SENSE while discussing a parasite!!!

    You'd better have a great flameproof suit! The panic-don't-actually-think--or-else police will be along any time now to flame you and cast aspersions on your character for not being consumed with moral outrage!

    OOPS too late, someone's already come claiming that his perceptions are more important than reality, and then saying that's a fallacy in YOUR thinking!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  7. #7
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Abu Gabby:
    That is not a major concern for us (unless there is an existing affiliate cookie). We have 6 million customers and 1.5 million of those are web customers. Out of 100,000,000 people in the US who shop online, fewer than 3% have the Ebates software. Fewer than 1.5% are customers of ours. The chances that a SIGNIFICANT number of our customers also have the Ebates software is fairly small. Can anyone see any flaw in my reasoning? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If you STEAL just ONE commission that should have LEGITIMATELY gone to someone else, it's one too many.

    Who cares how many people have the software installed??

    Who cares how many online customers you have??

    The bottom line is still the same, Ebates STEALS commissions from affiliates who are trying to earn an HONEST living online. Whether you steal from one person, 100 or 1000 or one million people, you are still STEALING!

    Catwoman

  8. #8
    Merchant Linda's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Abu Gabby:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Linda:
    That's good for the affiliates that know that they should have their links coded that way. (This would only apply to affiliates that have databases redirecting their affiliate links.) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Aren't all of Linkshare's links coded with the "linksynergy" already in there? I am not familiar with other networks, but it is my understanding that all Linkshare links are safe. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    I was talking about the "afsrc" added to the end of links that you brought up in your original question. My response was not to straight-forward "linksynergy" links.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>One major concern is that if their software is installed on a customer's computer, your return days (cookies) will become zero. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Is there any thing that we can do to your cookie that will prevent this? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    There's not anything you can do to prevent this except not let them use their download software in your affiliate program. This is what their software does no matter what you do or we do.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Another senario - Anyone with Mo Money Maker on their computer goes to Google and clicks thru on a free search link going straight to your site, generates a commission to eBates. This should be a commission-free sale for you unless that particular customer has a pre-existing affiliate cookie. Why would you want to pay out commission to an affiliate if they didn't actually send the customer to you? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    That is not a major concern for us (unless there is an existing affiliate cookie). We have 6 million customers and 1.5 million of those are web customers. Out of 100,000,000 people in the US who shop online, fewer than 3% have the Ebates software. Fewer than 1.5% are customers of ours. The chances that a SIGNIFICANT number of our customers also have the Ebates software is fairly small. Can anyone see any flaw in my reasoning? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    No flaw as long as you don't care about giving out free money to an affiliate that didn't generate the customer click-thru. As long as the customer didn't click thru my link within the return day period, it's your bottom line that gets smaller..not mine.

  9. #9
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    touche Leader (and a touch of lol)

  10. #10
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    "The chances that a SIGNIFICANT number of our customers also have the Ebates software is fairly small. Can anyone see any flaw in my reasoning?"

    Seems to me you're saying "Well, eBates isn't stealing ALOT of money so what's the big deal?" If someone steals, say 3%, of your earnings each week is that a big deal?

    Not surprising but eBates may be lying to someone. Back in September they reported over 6 million users and they told you 3 million. Either they lied to you (a parasite lie???) or they lied to the press in September OR, best of all, they lost half their customer base since September. Is the public getting smart and realizing parasites feed off them as much as they feed off us?

    Rationalizing theft isn't a good way to build trust. Too many affiliates are aware of parasites and, like me, will not work with a merchant who pays someone else to steal my commissions.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

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  11. #11
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Rationalizing theft isn't a good way to build trust. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Couldn't have said it better.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  12. #12
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    My flame-proof suit is on and zipped.

    I understand everyone's concern about Ebates stealing commissions and remember, I removed them from our program while looking into the matter.

    You have to understand that my objective is to make my company money. One of the methods of doing this is to recruit and retain affiliates. I understand the value of the core affiliates and I want to develop strong relationships with as many as possible.

    But another part of my job is to evaluate potential affiliate partners and I would be remiss if I weren't having this discussion.

    Ebates is a central part of the Linkshare network...yes or no?

    I know some of you are staunchly against the name Ebates regardless of whatever assurances they give Linkshare and merchants, but my job is to generate revenue. I share your concerns and acted on them as soon as I became aware of them. I removed 180, Shopathome and Ebates within a couple of days of visiting this forum for the first time even though they accounted for 30% of my affiliate sales.

    Who here could go to their boss and say "Expect a 30% drop in revenue because I need to make our smaller partners comfortable."? Trust me when I say that was a difficult thing to explain to a man who runs a $200,000,000 company.

    And also understand that I have yet to replace even a fraction of that 30% represented by those three.

  13. #13
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    As for rationalizing theft...

    If you sent me $100,000 in sales and then claimed a commission on another $5,000 that you didn't earn I would be more than happy to pay it...wouldn't you in that same situation?

  14. #14
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> The chances that a SIGNIFICANT number of our customers also have the Ebates software is fairly small. Can anyone see any flaw in my reasoning? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Then you add in when u
    then you add in gator, then you add in the other multitudes of crap programs that do the same stuff and what are the real numbers involved
    Its going to be far more than 1.5%

  15. #15
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    There are certain affiliates who have no chance at getting back into my program.

    With certain assurances and lots of monitoring, others may.

  16. #16
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    You're correct in that you're not going to get much validation here to justify a partnership with Ebates, but it's not a matter of big vs. small affiliates.

    Nor is the size of your boss's company any more an issue than Enron's size was in justifying their behavior. The issue only is whether your company is going to profit from parnering with a company notorious for their behavior at the expense of smaller partners who play by the rules. If it is worth saving the 30% then you should go for it.

    It's silly to look for approval here. Only you and your boss know how far into the sewer you're willing to go to make a buck.

    Wayne

  17. #17
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>As for rationalizing theft...
    If you sent me $100,000 in sales and then claimed a commission on another $5,000 that you didn't earn I would be more than happy to pay it...wouldn't you in that same situation? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Interesting, a sliding scale of tolerance for dishonesty.

    Wayne

  18. #18
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>You have to understand that my objective is to make my company money. One of the methods of doing this is to recruit and retain affiliates. I understand the value of the core affiliates and I want to develop strong relationships with as many as possible. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Sorry, but this is a CROCK.

    If you allow thieves like ebates in, you are VIOLATING the agreement you have with your affiliates.

    You pay me (the theoretical affiliate) to send you traffic. When you pay someone else for that same traffic and not paying me, you are VIOLATING the agreement you have with me.

    You can play the "need to make money for my company" line, but you can't have it both ways. Either you can run an honest program and pay affiliates for their traffic, or you run with ebates.

    Try and do both, and you're screwing affiliates and not paying them what they are promised. That makes you as shady as ebates.

  19. #19
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>It's silly to look for approval here. Only you and your boss know how far into the sewer you're willing to go to make a buck.
    Wayne <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    I'm not looking for approval. I am gathering facts and trying to make a decision.

    And the company I work for is very conscientious, but we are in the business of making money. We don't allow porn sites, hate sites, we run honest email campaigns, we are serious and strict about opt-outs, popups, etc.

    According to Linkshare, Ebates is in compliance. According to Ebates, they will not touch affiliate links.

    All contrived indignation aside, I want to know where the problem is. And I am asking you for your help in providing me the information to make an educated business decision. Improbable scenarios and emotional anti-theft chest pounding will not assist us in having a rational discussion.

  20. #20
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    It seems that a great deal of you are operating in a moral wonderland that has no grounding in reality. Affiliate Networks are a business and they have rules. Linkshare sets the rules, not my company.

    When I took over this program I read our Terms and Conditions which strictly stated that no affiliate could use our company name to link directly to our site in search engines. Guess how many affiliates were doing it? 20 or so, and not just Ebates and 180...but some of you were also. Is that breaking the rules?

  21. #21
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    - - - - - -
    You have to understand that my objective is to make my company money.
    - - - - - -

    Yes it is. And, you have to consider the cost of bad PR in your calculations, even if morality plays but a small role. I suppose you could look at the way Overstock got eviscerated here a while back, and you could try to estimate how much time Shawn spent (A HUGE AMOUNT) trying to defend his company, how many articles came out mentioning their poor relationships, how many posts he had to counteract,etc., all of which took up time. If you want to spend your time defending yourself and your companies name instead of growing the affiliate program, that's your perogative. In the end, the company's owners will put any bad affiliate related PR directly on your shoulders, though.

    When I decide a company is trustworthy, I promote the crap out of that company. I build entire websites around niches they sell to.

    My process is straightforward, and part of that process is evaluating the trustworthiness of a merchant and their AM. That plays a huge role.

    I have not done anything with Overstock, for example, because of their past history. I will not touch them for years, eons, even if they have cleaned up their act: they lost my trust. Overstock will never know how much their screwing around cost them, because I, like many others, never developed sites for them. So, you need to figure what the cost of all that is.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  22. #22
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Abu Gabby:
    As for rationalizing theft...

    If you sent me $100,000 in sales and then claimed a commission on another $5,000 that you didn't earn I would be more than happy to pay it...wouldn't you in that same situation? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No.

    Because at the end of the day I have to live with myself and what I believe to be right and honest.

    Some people/companies will do or say anything and partner with anyone to make a buck - and they rationalize that "hey, it's just business." And for them that explains it all and makes it ok.

    Only you can decide what type of person you will be and how you will conduct your life and business.

    If you choose to deal with dishonest people, that is your choice.
    Ebudae


  23. #23
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    Rational and well-thought out.

    There is so much righteous indignation and moral superiority in a lot of the comments that it is hard to weed out the facts.

    I challenge some of you to open your minds a little and see that there seems to be a middle road. As an affiliate manager, I will not tolerate someone popping up over other affiliates, but not all the affiliates who are on the "hit list" do this.

    Ebates seems willing to work with us and with you and I would like to see someone take me up on my challenge.

    Here is what I propose...who here has a busy affiliate site? I will create a special offer for one person here with a high commission rate and extra return days. Lets try it out and see if Ebates takes any sales from you. What would you have to lose, other than the moral highground because you worked with an affiliate who ENCOURAGES THEFT and wants all small affiliates to choke and die in a pool of poverty?

    You would almost certainly have a nice fat check from Collections Etc. at the end of the trial period.

  24. #24
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    LOL, how about this for a test, how about you turn off ebates for a year, and let's see if your affiliate program grows.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  25. #25
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    I turned them off...the question is do I let them back in?

    Is anyone actually reading what I type, or is everyone searching for EBATES and then flaming away?

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