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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    I like SAS; their stance against affiliate enemies and affordability for merchants so there is variety. I have not promoted any merchants with them, yet -- but I have a few in my mind to try -- after Andy Rodriguez started a few programs there. So, this is intended to be constructive criticism. Here it goes:

    The SAS site usability is terrible. Affiliate interface sucks. Links are not grouped with logic at all. Screening merchants is a pain in the ass; some has a page-long intro with huge logos, some has nothing.

    I don't mind a few misspellings -- which are everywhere at SAS, or that JavaScript asking what I think about a page, but some things are not acceptable:

    >> There is a merchant advertised in SAS that named Inspector Website http://www.inspectorwebsite.com that's said to be paying 31% commission on all sales. Not only there is no running affiliate program at that website, there is no such website! It's a domain name parked at RegsiterFly.

    >> There is another "merchant" named PlusSize.com that is said to be paying 10% on all "sales". It's no merchant. It's another affiliate. I'm sure they're not paying their commissions on their own sales to their SAS affiliates.

    >> The copyright notice in SAS still reads
    "© shareasale.com 2000-2002." After 11 months into 2003. Wait another month and change it 2004. It seems like simple but it's not, if you can update a thing that's in every page of your site, what can you update?

    Trust is not the only issue in an affiliate network; business agility is as important as that. So SAS need to clean up the house, start running their company/website properly. Because that shows respect to the affiliates – merchants, customers, partners etc.

    I don't care whether 1 person is running SAS or 100. Sometimes, a few can do more than a mass. But SAS has a responsibility to do things the right way and it needs to hire more people if the need be.

    That’s my opinion about SAS.

  2. #2
    Crazy Cat Lady Heidi's Avatar
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    add to that the merchants who only give you a "marker" of a nickel for sales and then 3 months or more later you still haven't gotten paid commission on them. I've been waiting since September for Swimsuits for Us to pay on sales I had. During this time they have gone offline at least once or twice and regularly show low funds in their account.

    Frank Bee is another one who repeatedly has to be bothered to pay their commissions. This whole system is messed.

    Heidi
    Fit2a-t - Make Money Selling T-Shirts From Your Site!!

  3. #3
    Schlaumeier cumbrowski's Avatar
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    I saw the SAS Merchant Interface as well.
    It's horrible. I saw the CJ Merchant Interface as well. It's much much better (although also not perfect).

    I see changes on the Merchant and Affiliate Interface from time to time, but they are rather minor.

    I know, that SAS is an one man show and I don't have a problem with it (or him, hi Brian ).

    I don't know how his business is doing.
    He might does not generate enough revenue to hire a person full time, but he should at least consider to sub-contract developers to extend functionalities and hire a part timer to keep an eye on the SAS Merchants and Affiliates.

    SAS has potential, but he is not exploiding it to its full extend.

    Carsten

    If you can't move things, try harder!

  4. #4
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    SamBay -

    You make a few good points - and some that I can't really help you on...

    One of those for example would be...

    quote:
    The SAS site usability is terrible. Affiliate interface sucks.


    I don't mind you thinking that - and would like to fix it... but, well - it is a bit broad. I have people email me everyday to say that they LIKE the interface, and that the useability is high, etc... Obviously, different people like different things - and when affiliate or merchants have requested specific changes, or edits - we have always tried to implement them.... I just can't do anything about blanket general statements.

    On the issues that you did bring up...

    1. inspectorguy's program has been removed.

    2. PlusSize.com does have a store, your assesment was not correct. They have some practices that might not be looked upon favorably... but they do pay commissions for sales.

    3. were you just looking for a third thing to report? the copyright year? i admit to having done a bunch of other things this year, and neglecting to change the copyright year.

    Thanks for the review though, we are always happy to hear from affiliates - whether the review be good or bad - because it helps us make changes that benefit everyone.

    Thanks,

    -Brian Littleton
    -Owner/Operator Shareasale.com
    brian@shareasale.com

  5. #5
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    quote:
    Frank Bee is another one who repeatedly has to be bothered to pay their commissions. This whole system is messed.


    @ Heidi - the FB was cleaned up a whole bunch a few months ago - prior to the haloween rush.

    Thanks,

    -Brian Littleton
    -Owner/Operator Shareasale.com
    brian@shareasale.com

  6. #6
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    Hi Brian,

    I actually like the sas interface - so maybe I'm the minority

    Oscar

  7. #7
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Oscar,

    That was some of my point. A lot of people do like it, and a lot don't.

    However, when someone tells me WHY... I am often able to make adjustments that improve for them, and don't take away from what others like. After "improving" one report (in my mind) ... i got a lot of feedback that the old report was better... so we went with both. everyone lived happily ever after.

    Thanks,

    -Brian Littleton
    -Owner/Operator Shareasale.com
    brian@shareasale.com

  8. #8
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Brian,

    THis is what I think would improve the affiliate end of SAS regarding the pages where the merchants are listed vertically one after another.

    IMO it would be best to limit the size of those program info/solicitations to maybe one inch tall and force them to use a micro version of their logo or what have you. The merchant could then use their full size ads on a get more info page.

    This would eliminate what a lot of us affilaites find annoying about shareasale. We don't like those huge ads that you have to sort through taking so much of our time.

    I would also on the same page with one inch tall ads put in check boxes so that an affilaite can select multiple merchants to sign up for.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador FFoc's Avatar
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    Things I'd like to see:

    It would be nice if the "lead" and "service" merchants were taken out of the "product" merchant list...

    More detailed category breakdowns in the feeds..

    A method of picking up the csv files that enables the use of automated tools such as wget or ncftpget..

    Um.. there's more.. But I don't remember them right now..

    --
    "The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own." – Benjamin Disraeli
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    Ford Fox-body Owners Club -- http://www.ford-fox.org

  10. #10
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    SAS shouldn't be compared to CJ. Does anyone remember CJ 4.0? (I think that is what it was called) Well, a lot of people liked that a whole lot better than the current CJ. The point is CJ has had years of revisions, some good and some bad. When SAS has been around a few years, it will probably be a great deal different than it is now. These things take time.

    Mr.Merchant, if you do business in any way what-so-ever with parasites, your products will not be sold on my sites!!

    Farewell, CJ! I loved you when you were young and pure. I will try to remember you that way. Disclaimer: Comments are to be interpreted as opinion unless otherwise noted.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    Yes Brian, I should have been more specific. I just expressed my general opinion about SAS.

    Heyder's point is specific and I agree with 100%.

    Also, in the main affiliate page, if you can group different affilate functions seperately, it would easier to see and navigate. Grouping like "Join Merchants", "Create Links" "Reports" would be helpful.

    You can also remove clutters like inspectorwebsite, to improve performance and quality of the network. Also, putting a small monthly network fee for merchants would a good way for them keep their program up to date. You certainly deserve it, and producing merchants would not mind a small fee. Or apply the fee only to the ones with little or no activities.

  12. #12
    Crazy Cat Lady Heidi's Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by shareasale:
    quote:
    Frank Bee is another one who repeatedly has to be bothered to pay their commissions. This whole system is messed.


    @ Heidi - the FB was cleaned up a whole bunch a few months ago - prior to the haloween rush.



    Ok so what about Swimsuits For Us - Clean them up to - they should be required to deal with outstanding sales in a timely manner, not wait months to approve sales.

    Frank Bee and Swimsuits is one of the reasons why I won't expand and promote merchants at Shareasale - this type of stuff should have never been allowed.

    Heidi
    Fit2a-t - Make Money Selling T-Shirts From Your Site!!

  13. #13
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    How about a way to sort, search, or view merchants by ratings or earnings performance, $$$$$ - all
    $$$$ - all, etc...

    CY

    The Devil "and" the Money's in the details!

  14. #14
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    good suggestions all... some of them are already in the works, ill post an update shortly.

    Thanks,

    -Brian Littleton
    -Owner/Operator Shareasale.com
    brian@shareasale.com

  15. #15
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    As a merchant at SAS I am mortified that there are dead sites on his system. For one my site would be placed higher if the people in my category whos sites were dead were simply removed. Also I have to think that as an affiliate or a potential affiliate that dead links are a bad bad sign and it might discourage me from joining or participating. People only have so much time to waste and if after a couple tries the links are dead...they will move on.

    [Affiliate URLS removed]

    These are both dead sites.

    [This message was edited by Haiko on December 02, 2003 at 06:15 PM.]

  16. #16
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    I am also a merchant on SAS and I would like to know how a merchant can not pay you. I seen the post about the swim-suit site and I just don't get it. As soon as a affiliate makes a sale the commission is ducted from my SAS account balance. I have to pay or my program will go off line and I will not be getting any more sales.

    As far as dead sites on the system, Really,,, that should be fixed imedetly. I would also say to remove a merchant that does not replenish the funds to their account in a given amount of time. (Like 48 hours) I have only hit low funds one time but as soon as I received the email I added funds to the account. Like in a matter of a few minutes. I think all the merchants on the system should operate like this also.

    Bob Rawley
    www.dimout.com

  17. #17
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    I have to think about this one.

    I LOVE the fact that when the money dries up there is no more free traffic. Really gets attention of the ner-do-well merchant fast. But, I also hate the dead link even for a short time. I guess, it would be nice if a dead link automatically took the customer to my home page instead of to the dead link page or some page I can designate for my dead link landing page so that I can give the customer a "try again" message. I don't know if that can be done.

    Mr.Merchant, if you do business in any way what-so-ever with parasites, your products will not be sold on my sites!!

    Farewell, CJ! I loved you when you were young and pure. I will try to remember you that way. Disclaimer: Comments are to be interpreted as opinion unless otherwise noted.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador
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    There is a Custom Error Redirect for "Temporarily Offline Merchants" in your Edit Your Account area. Is this what you were looking for?

    You can specify a URL on your own site that redirects those links that are from merchants that are temporarily offline

    www.cjshoppingnetwork.com

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager
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    Brian,

    Maybe you could do something like I did on FineClicks (not sure if it is still working like this or not) for the inactive offers...

    Set up a seperate page with the top current active merchants links on them. Maybe your premier merchants since they probably never run out of funds. The top of the page could read something like "Sorry, the page you are trying to access is currently offline, please select any additional offers listed below:"

    Then when any merchant goes offline and their links are clicked then it would take the clicker to this page with the referring affiliates id in the links. It sure beats going to a page with just a message and no other links.

  20. #20
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    quote:
    There is a Custom Error Redirect for "Temporarily Offline Merchants" in your Edit Your Account area.


    Thanks!

    I never saw that. I am going to look for it.....

    Found it! Great! That is so much better!

    Mr.Merchant, if you do business in any way what-so-ever with parasites, your products will not be sold on my sites!!

    Farewell, CJ! I loved you when you were young and pure. I will try to remember you that way. Disclaimer: Comments are to be interpreted as opinion unless otherwise noted.

    [This message was edited by SSanf on December 03, 2003 at 12:48 PM.]

  21. #21
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    quote:
    There is a Custom Error Redirect for "Temporarily Offline Merchants" in your Edit Your Account area. Is this what you were looking for?

    You can specify a URL on your own site that redirects those links that are from merchants that are temporarily offline


    The solution mentioned by cjshoppingnetwork (for Full members only) was our solution to this problem, and we feel it give you all much greater control over what happens when there is a dead link. i.e., you can display your own alternative offers, redirect to a different merchant, etc.....

    We decided not to go the Fineclicks route of 404 offers, although that is a good solution for Fineclicks because of the type of offers, target markets, etc... and instead give control to the affiliate on SAS...

    Thanks,

    -Brian Littleton
    -Owner/Operator Shareasale.com
    brian@shareasale.com

  22. #22
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    quote:
    it would be nice if a dead link automatically took the customer to my home page instead of to the dead link page or some page I can designate


    What a good idea!

  23. #23
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Yep! I have it doing that, now.

    Mr.Merchant, if you do business in any way what-so-ever with parasites, your products will not be sold on my sites!!

    Farewell, CJ! I loved you when you were young and pure. I will try to remember you that way. Disclaimer: Comments are to be interpreted as opinion unless otherwise noted.

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador
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    This is what I like about the SAS interface

    Consolidated payments

    Individual product tracking which appears in the reports through (that's where it is better than cj)

    Low funds - temporary offline status ensures fair play.. Suggestion. why not send an email to the merchants once they go temporary offline and that it would mean all the affiliate links go to a temporary offline page, meaning they lose sales. They may not be aware of it. I had to email my merchants to tell them that their sas program was temporary offline, somewhere during the christmas buying season.

    Instant datafeeds for any merchant with product links.

    What needs improvement..
    Not enough merchants.
    Affiliates that pose as merchants.

    Direct deposit for international accounts would be greatly appreciated.

    Parasites are thieves. What are you going to do about it?

  25. #25
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    Let's hope that ShareaSale does continue with improvements like streamlining & speeding up the system, stricter merchant catagorizing and attracting LOT'S MORE QUALITY MERCHANTS!

    Because, the big networks have openly embraced parasites. EVENTUALLY, that will make them absoutley worthless to non-parasite affiliates. The parasite cancer will keep growing to the point where the only networks that will be worth messing with will be those like ShareaSale. Looks like it's just a matter of time.

    Let's just hope they don't sell out when some other big network comes along with a hard-to-resist buyout offer. That would have to be VERY, VERY tempting.

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