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  1. #1
    Internet Cowboy
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    I just looked at the merchant status report.
    Of the list of my SAS merchants, 20 are on low funds and 4 are temporarily offline.

    To the best of my knowledge, you can set your account to automatically replentish itself and avoid this. I think the threshold is $200?

    If you are not on auto-replentish, please do this so your publishers don't see red when they look at your status. We do all we can to market your products, and we appreciate the commissions we earn, but if you are low on funds and my sale comes in right behind another affiliate's sale that drained your account, then we have both lost here.

    I can't imagine why a merchant would not set themselves up on auto-replentish. Is it the $200 that is being held up? If your business is running so closely that $200 makes a difference, maybe affiliate marketing is not for you.

    Is it fear of a large amount of bogus orders? You can reverse the bogus ones and you won't pay for them.

    Is it the mindset that "I keep a close eye on my business and I don't need auto-replentish?" If so, I ask you if you ever get side-tracked and do not accomplish all that you wanted to accomplish in a given day. We all have days like these, don't let your program suffer as a result of this.

    I really can't find a legitimate reason not to utilize the auto-replentish. It isn't a matter of trying to sneak in some commission-free transactions (not that I am accusing anyone of such) because when you go offline, the links don't get through to you.

    If anyone out there has a real readon NOT to use auto-replentish, I would be curious to hear it.

    This is getting to the point where publishers are getting sick and tired of merchants who go offline and we will eventually not join programs that do not use auto-replentish.

    Standing firm with my zero tolerance convictions on this matter, I just dropped a merchant that is offline. I will not mention any names, but it is a merchant that I canned a CJ merchant for. I am now going back to the CJ merchant (parasites and all) because I know that they will not let their account go offline. I'll take part of something over all of nothing any day.

    Please consider this. It will make a difference in the success of your program.

    Thanks

    Scott


  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager
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    As a blatant plug, our merchant account is on auto-replenish and is never in the red


    Hmm.. Maybe you can try to send an email to each of your merchant with this message to see if you can get better response?

  3. #3
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    I placed a card on file to ensure replenishing.

    IF SAS would accept DISCOVER I could have received a 2% cash back for the use of there services! *HINT *HINT *HINT

  4. #4
    Newbie dogdecor's Avatar
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    Scott - You asked a ligitimate question that I thought deserved an honest answer. I can only speak for myself but I wanted to explain why I choose not to have auto-replenish turned on. Online merchants are subject to fraudulent orders, mostly from the Nigerians. They place fraudulent orders for hundreds or thousands of dollars in merchandise at a time. In my case, my payout is 10.5%. If I get a $1200 fraudulent order, then this sucks $126 out of my Shareasale account. Now multiply that times 4 or 5 transactions in a single day. The fraudulent orders seem to hit in spurts. I'll go days or even weeks without a single Nigerian order. But then one day I will get 4-5 in a row. If these orders are affiliate referrals and we cannot reverse the order immediately, then the auto-replenish kicks in. As a small business owner, you can imagine what a mess this could cause. That is why I do not have auto-replenish set to YES.

    This explanation may not be sufficient for some of the affilitates but I do respect your positions. If memory serves, the only time I have ever gone offline was once when the nigerian orders depleted my reserve. I was able to reverse the sales quickly and was only offline for a few minutes. As far as low-funds go, my policy is that if my reserve dips below the low-funds threshhold it is replenished literally within a few minutes.

    I hope this helps to answer some of your questions. I have received zero complaints from my affiliates so I will be sticking with my current plan for now.

    Teri Fritts
    teri@dogdecor.com
    DogDecor.com Gifts for Dog Lovers
    http://www.dogdecor.com

  5. #5
    Internet Cowboy
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    quote:
    This explanation may not be sufficient for some of the affilitates but I do respect your positions. If memory serves, the only time I have ever gone offline was once when the nigerian orders depleted my reserve. I was able to reverse the sales quickly and was only offline for a few minutes. As far as low-funds go, my policy is that if my reserve dips below the low-funds threshhold it is replenished literally within a few minutes.


    Teri,
    I guess it comes down to the point of what is more important, a good affiliate base or having a few hundred dollars dapped on your credit card that you will have to reverse. I would bet that before the bill for this bogus commission comes in from your credit card company, you could have reversed these bogus sales.

    It would be the oddity that the statement is calculated while these bogus sales are there. If this happens, you would be "out" this money for 30 days provided you pay your card off each month.

    Thanks for your reply,

    Scott


  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager frankodelic's Avatar
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    We've been auto-replenish for over a year and haven't had any trouble to speak of. Sure, fraud happens and it happens in waves, but we've found that fradulent charges can be backed out of SAS pretty quickly. Fraud is a problem that constantly requires monitoring. It does help if you block the IP's of the worst offending countries to reduce fraud... if your business model allows it.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
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    Hey Teri
    Thanks for coming in and explaining at least a different view some may not think of when we can't figure out why merchants go offline because of low funds
    I notice it is seemingly the same ones this always occurs with for my choce of merchants.
    A proactive merchant who remains in contact andd keeping an eye on the account and monitoring their programs are far less the issue than the ones who leave things on auto pilot and are constantly going low and offline.

    On a bot of a sidenote I just spoke to two small independents who had indy programs with few reports and info to help generate proper sales through an affiliate.
    I asked them to look at SAS or opther smaller network solutions to help get us the tools to make the sales ad grow the program
    Their answers totally on one hand baffled me why they even ran a program. Some are just content making a few additional sales, with no long term goals or ideas how far an affiliate program could really help their business.
    On the other hand, it came as no surprise why upon hearing there answers, why sales from them were very low, or non existant. It was no big deal to them.

    As I said to my two kids yesterday over dinner, you should care about the way you do things and how you care for your things, because no one else will if you don't.
    I have reduced/removed these two programs and pages from my site even though a proper replacement isn't yet found based on how little thought or caring they seemed to have for their own programs.

    So your answer speaks volumes about your program and how you run it Teri. It seems you probably put a bit more into it than the many merchants who seem to let things slide by always going offline

  8. #8
    Newbie dogdecor's Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by scohaz: Teri,
    I guess it comes down to the point of what is more important, a good affiliate base or having a few hundred dollars dapped on your credit card that you will have to reverse. I would bet that before the bill for this bogus commission comes in from your credit card company, you could have reversed these bogus sales.

    It would be the oddity that the statement is calculated while these bogus sales are there. If this happens, you would be "out" this money for 30 days provided you pay your card off each month.

    Thanks for your reply,

    Scott

    Scott - Obviously I cannot comment on the logisitcs of when and how I pay my credit card bills. My financial obligation to my affiliates is to ensure that I always have funds available in the SAS account to pay their commissions. I have always done that and I will continue to do so as long as I am a Shareasale merchant. At this time, I do not feel that auto-replenish is necessary to accomplish that, nor is it in the best interest of my business model.
    Thank you for your reply as well.

    Teri Fritts
    teri@dogdecor.com
    DogDecor.com Dog Breed Gifts
    http://www.dogdecor.com

  9. #9
    Newbie dogdecor's Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by walleye warrior:
    So your answer speaks volumes about your program and how you run it Teri. It seems you probably put a bit more into it than the many merchants who seem to let things slide by always going offline

    Hello Walleye - I'm the first to admit that I have neglected fleshing out my affiliate program. Besides managing the funds and approving/disapproving affiliates I have kind of let it run on it's own steam. I know I need to work on the creatives and be more proactive with promotions. I won't have time to do that now during the holiday season but I have it at the top of my to-do list for after the holidays.
    ...and thanks for understanding!

    Teri Fritts
    teri@dogdecor.com
    DogDecor.com Gifts for Dog Lovers
    http://www.dogdecor.com

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
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    Offline merchants, off my site or never make it on.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    When I see offline, I delete them immediately from my site. If I continuously see low funds, they are gone too.
    I don't advertise for free on my site and I don't have time to babysit.
    If you are serious and going to have a real affiliate program, act like it.

  12. #12
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    number one:
    quote:
    because I know that they will not let their account go offline.


    no, but CJ is known to let some run a tab, then split.

    number two:
    go offline for more than two days and I don't want to know you any more.

  13. #13
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Well, it is a choice, I guess, of what you are willing to put up with. At least with SAS merchants they can't let you send the traffic for months that they never intend to pay you for.

    If they are off line, at least you can know and replace them. The way CJ does it, you are a sitting duck just waiting for the plucking!
    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!

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador
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    originally posted by Connie Berg:

    [When I see offline, I delete them immediately from my site. If I continuously see low funds, they are gone too.
    I don't advertise for free on my site and I don't have time to babysit.
    If you are serious and going to have a real affiliate program, act like it.]

    I agree. I usually watch SAS merchants for a while before I add them to my site. Just to see if they go off line or low funds.

    Is there a way to tell if they are on auto replenish?

    Lily

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador
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    On the merchant detail page there is Auto $$$$, hover your mouse over that and it says merchant is participating in the Auto Deposit program.

    Also thread here of some:
    http://abw.infopop.cc/eve/ubb.x?a=tp...89&m=996102068

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager
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    We use the auto replenish feature. In my opinion it is much easier than worrying about making sure the account has adequate funds.

    But... I do understand what Teri is saying. I went through the same thing. Nigerians were placing bogus orders on my site and my card kept getting charged to deal with the commissions. The solution... StoreIQ's IP blocker. Anyone trying to order from Nigeria and other high risk countries is blocked at checkout. It has eliminated the problem. If you have any questions, feel free to email.

    Good luck.

    Melissa C. Murphy
    CrazyforBargains.com
    SAS Parasite Free | Data Feed | Coupon Codes | 12% Commission

  17. #17
    Newbie
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    Well we have to agree that merchants should set their account to auto replenish and we are setting our program that way.

  18. #18
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    I've seen nests of fraudulent orders in the $100,000 plus region. These were from a place called Fresno--which I think is close to Nigeria (at least in mindset).

    Autopay simply needs to have a cap set to something like 4 times the average weekly commissions. Having an automated process that could charge an unlimited amount to an account is just plane ludicrous.

    Spikes should be handled differently from simple failure to pay.

    If I were a merchant, the only way I would put a credit card in the autopay box is if my bank offered me an infinite line of credit. I really don't know of many banks offering infinite lines of credit.

  19. #19
    Full Member Travelin Man's Avatar
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    I agree with merchant's concerns on fraud. But offline for 3 days tells me someone isn't serious about making sales. I axed one today myself. See ya!
    Travelin' Man

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

  20. #20
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    Why not just drop your merchants an email once they reach low funds and remind them to top up their SAS accounts.

    It really helps.

  21. #21
    Internet Cowboy
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    womanht,
    I speak only for myself, but I have several merchants on SAS and don't have the time to monitor all of them to make sure they are keeping their account up.
    As for the $100,000+ in bogus orders, I would say that would be the exception to the rule. There is nothing we can do that will make things perfect, but auto-replentish is a valuable tool to let publishers know you are serious.
    I am afraid that some merchants treat affiliate marketing the same way they treat their PPC campaigns. If your PPC runs dry, no big deal because you can do without it for a while and it isn't hurting anyone on the other end. Affiliate marketing can not be treated in the same way.


  22. #22
    Full Member Travelin Man's Avatar
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    Scohaz you have made some good points. I too have a large number of SAS merchants. Right now about 15% are low on funds That's a lot of emails. We'll just have to weed out the ones that aren't serious about their programs. Good luck!
    Travelin' Man

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

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