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  1. #1
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    Here's three suggestions for on the pages where we join programs to make it much easior for us to be able to find the good merchants and stay away from the poor ones that might go off-line.

    1. How about having a rating system where we can rate the merchants 1-10.

    2. You should list the number of days since they ran out of funds, or joined if they havn't ran out of funds. Then we would have no trouble finding merchants that have gone six months or a year with out ending up with no funds, and list this info on the Quick view version.

    3. Add a star next to the site name if they have never ran out of funds and have been on for six months. Two stars if they have gone one year and never ran out of funds, with an extra star for every six months until the have five stars, or two and a half years. Then they lose one star each time they run out of funds, and lose one star every week they are off-line until they have no stars left.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    This system of ratings would also be very subjective.

    Millenium Tuxedo or whatever they were called would have ranked tops; they were still online posthumously.

  3. #3
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    Just a response to point #1...

    On sites such as Amazon, rating systems work well because they come directly from customers who have made a purchase from the merchant.
    However, on Shareasale, many merchants are also affiliate members. As a result, competitive merchants would be able to give each other low ratings just for spite. If a ratings system were to be in place at Shareasale (which is doubtful), it would have to be set up to only allow ratings from affiliates who have actively promoted a merchant for six months or so.

    As for your other suggestions, it will be interesting to hear what others think of this (including Shareasale). I like to see affiliates think creatively - this is a wonderful quality in an affiliate (from a merchant's point of view).

    Bart Leatherman
    Modern Artisans
    Bart at <A HREF=http://www.modernartisans.com>Modern Artisans</A>... Artful Living for Home, Garden & Soul.
    <A HREF=https://shareasale.com/shareasale.cfm?merchantID=4349>Shareasale Affiliate Program</A>

  4. #4
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    quote:
    Originally posted by ModernArtisans.com:
    Just a response to point #1...

    many merchants are also affiliate members. As a result, competitive merchants would be able to give each other low ratings just for spite. If a ratings system were to be in place at Shareasale (which is doubtful), it would have to be set up to only allow ratings from affiliates who have actively promoted a merchant for six months or so.

    Bart Leatherman
    http://www.modernartisans.com


    There is still a problem with that. We have a SAS affiliate account just so we can check the cart. We check it about once a month. So we are active affiliates with our program..

    We would not be able to rate the other merchants but we could rate ourselves higher. We could also open 20 affiliate ID's and use them to test the cart and keep them active to rate ourselves higher..

    We would never do that because it is not a efficient use of our time but I could see where others would.

    The star idea is a great one.

    I also like the date idea for marking when they went off line.

    I did find something out about the low funds. In our merchant area we can set the dollar amount that alerts it. This is separate from the dollar amount that we set for auto replenish. In other words when you see low funds if that merchant set it to $401.00 and their auto replenish to $200.00 they would always show low funds because they would never have $401.00 in the account. They would have $400.00 though and not have any problem at all.

  5. #5
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    #1 would be a bad idea, agree with the points above.

    #2 & #3 not so bad. What I would like is some kind of volume indicator. Are people in the program? Is the $30.00 EPC because his brother is in the program and no one else? Even if it is something as vague as the bar system, but it really needs some indicator of their "program" size.

    I think SAS has some unique issues when compared to CJ and linkshare, and one of them to me is the above, I feel some of their merchants have next to no one in their program and if they have been a memember for 2 years and that still is true, that is a red flag.

    Chet

  6. #6
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Also, how about making merchants that go "offline" keep a higher amount of reserve funds for a set period of time to help prevent going offline in the future?
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager
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    Even thought we are a merchant, I did sign up with an affiliate account just to see how things work.

    My experience is that, if you are an affiliate, you can go by the EPC (I think it means earnings per 100 clicks). You can see if they have auto-replenish and datafeed on. If they have Auto-replenish, probably their chanes of going offline is lower. And, if they took the time to create a datafeed, it means at least they care and can divert sufficent time into the program.

    Besides that, I don't really see what sort of evaluator SAS have that helps determine your decision. Probably you would want to visit the site first hand.

    Regarding a ratings system, I don't really have a problem with that. Only thing I can think of is if competitors create accounts and start rating us down. Personally, I don't think people have low enough morals to do that.

  8. #8
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    Hi Ya

    I would have to agree with Paul, this would be one way of identifying merchants that are peforming. The affiliate led rating system would be good and I think SAS would be on the ball re competitors marking down their rivals, also wouldn't it just get boring in the end? A good affiliate program is quick to grow anyway? Just my cents worth.

  9. #9
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    A rating system that evaluated all or many areas of interest to an affiliate would be great! Certainly, whether a merchant has gone offline, how often,etc is important.
    Whether the merchant offers datafeeds.
    Whether the merchant's affiliate has an affiliate manager, and if so, who!
    How long the program has been online!
    How long the website has been online!
    Alexa rating
    Google PR rating-date of rating.
    Affiliate feedback- ie-date, nature of feedback
    Number of items in datafeed.

    The list could go on and on. And I think the idea has a great deal of merit! As a merchant I would welcome the idea.
    There is a downside to rating programs,though.
    As a Yahoo merchant, our site,FlirtyLingerie has been reviewed by over 1300 customers over the last three years! While this is less than 1/2 of one percent of our customers, they carry a disproportinate weight on Yahoo rankings.

    Please know that any rating system is subject to abuses. Customers that rate us badly often know that since the results are published, a negative review often results in Flirty giving free shipping,discount, etc to get a rating removed or changed. Also, we can do everything exactly as requested and we still get a stinging negative rating. Perhaps they just had a bad day.

    Be careful what you ask for! Any rating system would need to be very well thought out, and IMHO, a rating system that primarily looks at offline performance needs some tweaking.

    Before instituting a rating program, I would also initiate a merchant informational program.
    Why? Because as a merchant starting out, I was clueless! Merchants need to know
    1. Why going offline is a problem.
    2. What affiliates want, and need.
    3. All merchants should be given an affiliate
    account to see the other part of the program. When I opened mine, my eyes were opened as well.

    Ratings program-sure!
    Education on how to be a better merchant-just as important.



    Richard
    www.flirtylingerie.com
    sales@flirtylingerie.com

  10. #10
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    HAH! Do you think I would give a merchant who performs well a good rating so you will know to compete with me? That is poop for brains if I do say so!

    Figure it out for yourself like everyone else does. Don't expect everyone else to do your homework for you.

    People aren't going to hand it to you on a platter!
    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!

  11. #11
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    quote:
    HAH! Do you think I would give a merchant who performs well a good rating so you will know to compete with me? That is poop for brains if I do say so!

    Figure it out for yourself like everyone else does. Don't expect everyone else to do your homework for you.

    People aren't going to hand it to you on a platter!

    I think SSanf makes a very good point...Besides, this may not give new merchants with potential much of a chance since thry have no record.

    Cheers,
    Richard Lupu
    ARA Master Watchmaker & Sons
    www.masterwatchmaker.net

  12. #12
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Watchmaker:
    quote:
    HAH! Do you think I would give a merchant who performs well a good rating so you will know to compete with me? That is poop for brains if I do say so!

    Figure it out for yourself like everyone else does. Don't expect everyone else to do your homework for you.

    People aren't going to hand it to you on a platter!

    I think SSanf makes a very good point...Besides, this may not give new merchants with potential much of a chance since thry have no record.

    Cheers,
    Richard Lupu
    Why nor have SASlet us know when the merchants go offline.like the other programs do?There must be more than one person at SAS,time to spruce up.My nickles worth.
    JJ

  13. #13
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    > As a result, competitive merchants would be able to give each other low ratings

    > We would never do that because it is not a efficient use of our time but I could see where others would.

    > if they took the time to create a datafeed,

    > competitors create accounts and start rating us down. Personally, I don't think people have low enough morals to do that.

    > HAH! Do you think I would give a merchant who performs well a good rating so you will know to compete with me? That is poop for brains if I do say so!

    Figure it out for yourself like everyone else does. Don't expect everyone else to do your homework for you.

    People aren't going to hand it to you on a platter!

    All the points above are great. But SSanf says it best. While rating are great they will will only always have one sided view.

    The best rating is the one YOU create for your self and test on your own sites. Don't rely on anything or anyone.

    In off-line marketing such as direct mail and advertising companies perform tests and tests all the time to see what works best and what brings in the better results. It the only real indicator of what is selling.

    What works for others on their site might be different than on your site, and you might get hits from Google on your site when others get hits from other SE.

    Create your own sites with what ever merchants you feel confortable with and test and test. You rate them based on your click-throughs and sales. That's it!

  14. #14
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    Another way to find good merchants is to actually have someone that will help and educate merchants before and after joining on the benefits of shareasale and to bring ethical affiliates and ethical merchants together.

    From my announcement here:

    http://abw.infopop.cc/eve/ubb.x?a=tp...11&m=749107338

    That someone is now Jrami, offering my services to merchants and affiliates through www.jrami.com

    Focused exclusively to the shareasale.com network.

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