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  1. #1
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    A couple of months ago I joined a bunch of new merchants at SAS because I was building a new website and I needed to have these products available. They seemed to be doing well so I created the webpages.

    Since then, one has been "temporarily offline" almost since I joined them and now two more are also "temporarily offline".

    I've been waiting for the first one to come back online, but it hasn't happened yet and more are joining them in the offline status. Since my website is not finished yet and not receiving any traffic, it doesn't matter that much but what a pain to delete these pages and find replacements!

    At what point do merchants become PERMANENTLY offline?? Once I find a replacement for them, they're history.

    Catwoman

  2. #2
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    Sometimes "temporarily offline" may mean "out of business" or simply "deadbeat".

    In any case, any place that does not take their affiliate program seriously enough not to let this occur for more than 2 or 3 days is not worth bothering with in the first place.

  3. #3
    Full Member BrattyKitty's Avatar
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    I have another "temporary offline" merchant
    I quit the program for the first one that was offline
    Was that a good idea?

    Now I don't know if I should quit this offline merchant or just delete the links and see if they get their act together.
    Never argue with an idiot.
    The person watching, may not be able to tell the difference!

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  4. #4
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    you can email them and ask what their intentions are. you may get an answer.

  5. #5
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    I can't figure out at SAS how to contact the merchant that is now Temporarily Offline to ask them what's up.

    Can anyone tell me if there is a place at SAS that gives you a contact link for individual merchants?

    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    I have a zero tolerance policy with this on SAS.
    Go offline and I don't notice, shame on me.
    If I see them offline just once...I am gone.
    SAS needs to fix that if they inted to grow.


  7. #7
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    I thought it means they need to put more money in their account. It shows low funds first, then offline temporarily. A lot of times it is a merchant oversite.

    As far as contacting the merchants...go to join new programs and find this merchant. It doesn't matter if you are already a member. They will be there. When you find them look to the right of their name and click on View Details of the Program you will then see a horizontal menu Join Program/Preview Creative/Contact this Merchant

  8. #8
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    I see that Halloweenie went offline at the peak of their selling season. SAS definitely needs to work on this problem especially for merchants that will have wildly unpredictible fluctuations in sales. I suspect that it is extremely difficult for merchants to know in advance what the peaks will be. I suspect that it is extremely costly, if not impossible, for merchants to tie up enought capital to assure that any maximum peak is covered.

    In other words. The one change I would make to SaS temporarily offline program would be to make it so merchants weren't punished for peaks in their sales...that they were only punished when they were not keeping up with payments. In the case of a Halloween shop, SaS should have made arrangements for x amount to be paid. If the peak sales were higher than predicted they would go into credit mode, rather than being turned off at the height of the season.

  9. #9
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    They should be encouraged to go to auto-replenish mode so they would never go offline. If one of your favorite merchants goes offline and you still want to work them, send them a message and encourage them to go to auto-replenish and then they can come here and post about it and get some free advertising But i'm not for extending credit because if something happens then Brian loses.

  10. #10
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    I am not sure exactly how autoreplenish works. I am assuming it automatically does an ACH transaction.

    Auto replenish is a dangerous way to handle spikes because the merchant would need to keep enough money on hand in a bank account to cover any possible spike. The problem with spikes is that you just don't know how high a spike will go. Disabling and even auto replenish should only happen with the parameters of expected business. Spikes need to be handled by a different financial mechanism...perhaps there should be an underwriter or insurer involved with handling spikes.

    It is possible that a spike occurs because of fraud. Let's say a spike in orders occurs due to fraud...someone runs $100,000 of orders through stolen credit cards for whatever reason. These orders are likely to all be reject...yet the poor merchant suffers from an autoreplenish deduction. Let's say there was an unexpected surge in orders from an unexpected media event such as a mention of a product during a presidential debate or a slashdotting. Handling the surge again means everything is now in an atypical mode. If the surge is legitimate, then the surge will result in enough money to pay for the surge in affiliate income.

    There really needs to be a different mechanism for handling unexpected peaks than requiring a merchant to have excessively large amounts of cash tied up in the affiliate program. I agree that Brian shouldn't bear the risk. An unexpected surge is a case where I think it is okay for the affiliates to bear the risk, or there could be a separate financial mechanism or underwriter to carry the risk involved in the surge.

  11. #11
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    quote:
    Originally posted by yintercept:
    I am not sure exactly how autoreplenish works. I am assuming it automatically does an ACH transaction.


    It actually just charges my company issued visa. The card is linked to the same bank account that our merchant accounts deposit to, so any spikes (and undetected fraud for that mater) will flow to our account 24-48 hours later. A merchant who can't handle the two day float is not exactly stable.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager frankodelic's Avatar
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    quote:
    It actually just charges my company issued visa.


    We do that as well. It's really no big deal. Auto-deposit is pretty common. You have to do that for Overture, Google AdWords, and so on and so forth. Any merchant worth his/her salt should be able to handle an auto-replenish of funds. You can set auto-replenish to $200 if that's all you want to add at one time.

    We've been auto-replenish for over a year now and there are no worries from the merchant's perspective. Merchants are protected from fraud. If we discover a fradulent transaction we can reverse it. In other words, the money isn't get sucked out of our pocket's by auto-replish then in some hoodlum's filthy little grubby nasty hands ten minutes later.

    Can you tell I don't like hoodlums?

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  14. #14
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Until SAS comes up with some better system, I would just dump any merchant that goes ever goes temporarily offline. This really leaves you hanging, especially if a lot of links are created. This is probably my only complaint with SAS.

    Perhaps use new merchants sparingly until you are quite certain they won't go offline.
    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

  15. #15
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    This is indeed my ONLY complaint with SAS, but it is a LARGE one.
    I don't think it is too much for SAS to demand that ALL merchants be on auto-replentish.
    If you can't afford the $200, you can't afford affiiate marketing.
    It is just that simple.


  16. #16
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    I can safely say that as a previous shareasale AM for a merchant that had auto-replenish of $500.00 all the time, there were never any problems.

    I highly recommend this to any merchant if not $500.00 or higher, then at least the minimum which is 200.00.

  17. #17
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    $500 is not much of a spike. I certainly hope that $500 is not a Share-A-Sale's merchant's definition of a lot of money. It is my hope, at least, that the internet could produce spikes in the thousands of dollars.

    Does SAS put limits on the number of $500 auto pay transactions they will charge in a day? Would a $5,000 spike result in 10 $500.00 charges?

    Basically it sounds like the current system uses a business's line of credit as the financial tool for handling risk. That works in a lot of cases. Unfortunately, seasonal merchants are likely to exhaust their line of credit at the height of the season when commissions hit. Things like the Letter to Santa merchant will have one big block of orders a year.

    Likewise, a clearance merchant might come across a killer deal. They spend their line of credit buying up the inventory of a bankrupt competitor...so their line of credit is exhausted when they go to sell the products on the net.

    It really seems to me that there should be a separate device for handling commssion spikes. Autopay is something for standard transactions.

    While a business should be able to absorb the impact of a commission spike with standard line of credit, a monumental spike will still exhaust that line of credit.

  18. #18
    Full Member Travelin Man's Avatar
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    I'm with you Scohaz.

    Although I'm not making any real money yet on my new mall site (some day I hope) I've dumped 2 merchants this weekend for going offline. With a butt load of merchants to look after, I don't have time to play games with dead links.

    Merchants you go offline you lose money. Business 101, simple as that.
    Travelin' Man

    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will lead you there." -- unknown

  19. #19
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    Hey guys... I am a merchant but I have not yet signed up for "auto update funds" yet because I'm new to shareasale and I want to learn the rope first. If I experience no problems with payments I will gladly sign up to automatically add new funds. Until then I'm just going to monitor my account on a daily basis to make sure my account doesn't run dry. to be honest... I don't know why ANY merchant would let their account run dry. The bottom line is... If their account is declining it means their affiliates are referring sales. By going offline they are stopping a revenue stream. Really makes no sense. I agree with all the post before this one in terms of auto replenish funds but I think as long as Merchants are responsible and monitor their account on a daily basis this is fine as well.

    I'll see how it goes in the future and maybe sign up for auto replenish funds myself.

  20. #20
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    Originally posted by Zizzoo
    quote:
    I don't know why ANY merchant would let their account run dry.

    I don't think it is a matter of intentionally letting it run dry.
    Things happen, people get busy and forget to tend to such things.
    Do auto-replentish and don't risk losing sales or good publishers.


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