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  1. #1
    Full Member Verbalkent's Avatar
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    I have been thinking about this for a lil while, I'm sure its possible. Can a affiliate only site operate similar to a merchant site. In that I mean.. Can a person with an affil site have thier own shopping cart, thier own checkout? So instead of the redirect to the merchant, they instead have thier purchases databased into a file, and the affil then in turn makes the purchase and generates the commission that way?

    I do realize that this method would be extremely complicated, and will have plenty of downsides, But.. has any one tried this? or know of a site that is doing this?, and more importantly, is this possible for a long term alternative?

    By long term alternative I mean.. would the merchants actually still count those clicks, even if all of them from one affil site, originate from the same ip? (this probably can be overcome by proxies or something right?) and will all the work be worth it? (hard for me to come up with any reason NOT to make money.. especially when one asnt made ANY )

    I understand that to go about this the way that I describe it means to take the orders. Manually goto each merchants site, and place the order, charge shipping at a rate thats above normal fees,(come on, I have ordered from many sites that charge almost next day delivery fees for ground shipping...and I paid it.. g'head, laugh, but I truelly think we all have,and continued to make purchases like that) and also this person would have to have everything shipped to them.. then shipped out to the customer (to keep everything uniform, ie: instead of many boxes from different merchants.. which is how they would recieve anything they buy from us.. they get one box from one location...) With this however comes the fact that this person would have to deal with Returns, Unsatisfied customers, and all the woahs of bieng a merchant, I can go on and on, but maybe later..


    Ok. the reality in this all is the fact that this site would have to constantly be updated, and checked for out-of-stock or removed items, on a constant basis, and that is no easy task if your site has many different merchants. and hundreds of products.. . (dont it seem like the more i go on, the less tempting this becomes?? ) I personally am willing to do whatever it takes to become my own boss, do whatever it takes to make my customers feel comfy... and most likly it wouldnt have to involve such mesures.. but still.. I would be nice.. I'm sure the more successful affiliates out there can probably manage this with a small team of customer support agents and what not.. I just want to know if its been done.. (if so... please post an example) and would it be worth it? (elaborate please).

    The floor is now open to any comments, suggestions, examples, words of wisdom and advise


    I thank you all in advance for any input.

  2. #2
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>

    Can a person with an affil site have thier own shopping cart, thier own checkout? So instead of the redirect to the merchant, they instead have thier purchases databased into a file, and the affil then in turn makes the purchase and generates the commission that way?
    (Snipped)
    has any one tried this? or know of a site that is doing this?, <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yep--Catalog City! If you look at their products, you'll see that they're all really coming from other merchants. Some of those other merchants have public affiliate programs, and some are direct deals.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>By long term alternative I mean.. would the merchants actually still count those clicks, even if all of them from one affil site, originate from the same ip? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'm not sure of the technical details. But that place manages to stay alive year after year, so I figure they're either having their orders tracked well enough--or they've got a whole heap of VC money.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> and also this person would have to have everything shipped to them.. then shipped out to the customer (to keep everything uniform, ie: instead of many boxes from different merchants.. which is how they would recieve anything they buy from us.. they get one box from one location...) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think you'd beat CC on that one. As I recall, with them you get multiple boxes despite using one shopping cart.

    Thing is, the delay of that reprocessing step may cost you some antsy customers. What happens when the person who orders from you wants their stuff overnight? You couldn't deliver overnight if the boxes had to make a stop at your processing center before going to the customer, even if you had the stuff FedEx'd to you.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> this site would have to constantly be updated, and checked for out-of-stock or removed items, on a constant basis, and that is no easy task if your site has many different merchants. and hundreds of products.. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Catalog City has drawn the ire of many webmasters, for constantly messing with their feed and changing the site around. That part sounds like it'd be a real mess.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> (dont it seem like the more i go on, the less tempting this becomes?? ) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yeah, I always thought Catalog City was nuts, actually. The commissions made from AM are NOT worth doing the customer service stuff. Merchants get what amounts to "90% commission" for a REASON!

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I personally am willing to do whatever it takes to become my own boss, do whatever it takes to make my customers feel comfy... and most likly it wouldnt have to involve such mesures.. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    First, you can certainly be your own boss without adding all those layers of work and grief to the endeavor! A successful affiliate site (or collection of sites) will make plenty without ever dealing directly with the customers, let alone handling the shipping! So it certainly does not have to involve such measures.

    But, if you're willing to do customer service, shipping, handle returns, have your own shopping cart, etc... BE A MERCHANT!

    What you're proposing here is all the work of a merchant, for the pay of an affiliate. That's a raw deal for you!

    Go whole hog and stock your own stuff, too. It's the only thing missing between what you describe and being a full-scale merchant.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> the more successful affiliates out there can probably manage this with a small team of customer support agents and what not.. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Not trying to be mean, but I think the more successful affiliates wouldn't touch that scenario with a barge pole, for the reasons mentioned above. They'd go ahead and open a merchant site instead.

    In fact, there's a couple of affiliates on this board who have opened merchant sites. ElbowCreek and SamyT are two that I can think of right off, who have full-fledged merchant sites along with their affiliate endeavors. I'm sure there are more that are slipping my mind at the moment.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  3. #3
    Full Member Verbalkent's Avatar
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    Leader thank you for your reply, and depth..

    Ive been looking over the forum since Ive posted this. and (God I love this SITE) I have come to the conclusion that my best bet would prolly be "Drop Ship" orders, but that will take time and money (Shopping carts, Merchant accounts, etc) but I think it will take less coding and would somewhat reduce the hassle (instead of masking affil links with all the whatnot I described in my initial post, I can order products from the drop shippers minus the initial expense, and there for have products shipped directly to the customer. Just need to find a drop ship network like LS,CJ,performics etc. and hope that they have one central basket I can put all my eggs(Sales/Orders) into.)

    Im continuing my search for the grail of making my first buck. and will post it, I guess it'll help someone...



    THx again, and keep em comin.


    P.S. All of the points you made are well taken, and in all honesty very true and valid responses.

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