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  1. #1
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Hello all,

    BestForeignParts has decided to shut down their affiliate program on BeFree effective June 30, 2004.

    I will be am staying on until the end of May to wrap up any loose ends, take care of any pending issues and be sure it winds down smoothly.

    It has been great working with Craig and Brian at BFP. Craig started the program over a year ago on BeFree and I took it over in October of last year. We went from under $1K per month in October to a peak of $15K in March. Much of that was feed generated and was generated by a dozen or so partners. A big thank you to the ones responsible, your work and energy is appreciated.

    I suggested to Craig and Brian to work on site conversions and maybe re visit the idea of an affiliate program down the road when conversions are much more stable and higher. The traffic was there, just not enough sales being generated to support the program. Brian is working on a new site design as I speak, the check out process will be streamlined and made seamless. Once they get their site conversions to an acceptable level, I suggested they should revisit the idea again.

    I am posting this today to give all of you plenty of time to do whatever you need to wind this program down. Basically, you have 45 days to remove any links. Please keep in mind that after June 30, they will not track and the program will be shut down on BeFree's end. You will get paid for any and all sales made until that time.

    Thanks again for all your support,
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Good move Andy and needless to say all my criticism (amazing shopper unfriendly) when the program first opened was spot on! Just because some drop shipper has a CD database of car parts that is supposed to be used by experienced parts counter or telephone catalog order takers ...doesn't make it a consumer web site. No matter how that sparce raw data is manipulated via "database to HTML" tools it will never become a customer self service shopping e-catalog.

    If you took 20 minutes and that feed from week one, imported it into a hosted www.miva.com e-catalog you could have parsed out all the empty part/car/category slots. Then added missing photos, enhanced the product information text ...and then inside 2 minutes... exported a completely usable CVS or Pipe delimited datafeed for your affiliates.

    Please don't waste your AM talents based upon datafeed diehards seeking immediate SE spam food and then taking time later to make their merchant mirrored site meaningful for ignornant shoppers. Shoppers hate datafeed merchant sites as worthless price catalogs. Millions are spent on e-catalogs to hide the datafeed structure and make sure every damn page have displays for relevent products ...as the shoppers zero in on products. www.Overstock.com and www.tigerdirect.com and www.walmart.com www.jcwhitney.com are all database e-catalogs. The spend millions to make sure the shopper never realizes this boring fact.

    Make sure the Andy Rodriguez Inc pool of merchants convert at a steady 1/150 ratio from general SE traffic BEFORE you take on the task of making sure your affiliate click traffic converts better for the paying client.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  3. #3
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Murphy's Law raises its head again as last week I had finally made a section for BFP. No point in leaving it up, I guess, since it'll probably get fully indexed around June 20th only to die on the 30th.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> If you took 20 minutes and that feed from week one, imported it into a hosted www.miva.com e-catalog you could have parsed out all the empty part/car/category slots. Then added missing photos, enhanced the product information text ...and then inside 2 minutes... exported a completely usable CVS or Pipe delimited datafeed for your affiliates. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If that works as easily as Mike's claiming--and I've read other indications that it really does work that easy w/Miva--I hope they do it! I ended up using product-name-only pages in order to both get it up and have a chance of getting the pages seen in the engines. Those kind of pages work fine for merchants who have a VERY easy to navigate front page (complete with EZ on-site search box) but they're really not suited for merchants with complicated sites.

    Good luck to them on fixing the site and improving the conversion ratio. That nav needs help. Hint, if I send someone over with just a name they should be able to use an on-site search box that'll take them to the exact product (or finely aimed category) in one click.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Nature Boy's Avatar
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    Even though I never jumped on the BFP wagon (even though I was looking for a nice domain name for it) I am kinda sad to see them go. Perhaps, as Andy said, they will one day look to affiliate marketing, to which I make the suggestion... shareasale.com.

    I'm not 100% sure, but it sounds like money was an issue for the demise of the program. If the money coming in doesn't pay the bill each month to be apart of Befree, I don't blame them for pulling out. That being said, shareasale would be a nice "cheaper" way to reintroduce theirselves back into affiliate marketing.

    Just my 2&cent;
    Scott
    If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with bulls#!t
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  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    It works perfectly Leader as I have setup several computer master distributors who use this tool to build their e-catalog froma a database file, automatically adjust reseller prices displayed, and replicate reseller private labeled sites in one step. Got one client with 620 computer resellers, who are almost completely PC illiterate, booking orders from these sites. Distributor has one webmaster to updates the database daily and it automatically updates all 620 sites all capable of showing their enduser customers different prices. Distributor drop ships for all 620 tax ID'd resellers and settles accounts monthly.

    I did not keep this info from Andy and even recommended He use this for true VARs (value added resellers) at Tigerdirect if they could afford the 895.00 reseller Miva licensing fee or get dedicated hosting with Miva included. Of course Andy and haiko are buddies and Haiko refuses to endorse Miva or Microsoft's Frontpage as viable affiliate/merchant tools.

    Last contact I had with Andy was before the Christmas shopping period. Hope he's doing well.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  6. #6
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>BestForeignParts has decided to shut down their affiliate program on BeFree effective June 30, 2004...... and maybe re visit the idea of an affiliate program down the road when conversions are much more stable and higher. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    I hope they do reconsider it in the future. Too much work has gone into this program by affiliates to have it all flushed down the toilet. The datafeed, while a challange to implement, meshed nicely with the Drivewerks datafeed on my pages.

    If they decide in the future to offer an affiliate program, they should offer the same feed, though they might simplify the parts-year fields. Otherwise there was nothing wrong with the feed.

    Wayne

  7. #7
    Intergalactic Trader IGshop's Avatar
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    This is really too bad. I put a lot of time into making this feed work and now that yahoo has started sending me traffic, it will be a shame to close it down. I'm hoping the Drivewerks feed will take it's place.

    Jim

  8. #8
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Otherwise there was nothing wrong with the feed. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Especially since That Thing was keeping most of your competition out of the arena...

    Comparing that feed with any non-auto parts merchant, it's easy to see that most parts stores really don't have it together when it comes to feeds.

    SKU--product name--keywords--description

    Stick the model/year info in the product names so they're all unique, come on how hard can that be for a parts merchant to do instead of sending out their typical mashage?!?
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  9. #9
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Leader:
    Stick the model/year info in the product names so they're all unique, come on how hard can that be for a parts merchant to do instead of sending out their typical mashage?!? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I can tell you that it's no so simple...auto parts are a completely different beast when compared to other consumer goods. As an exmaple, one spark plug may work in 50 different cars, but two identical cars from the same year but with slightly different engines may need two different types of spark plugs. There is a HUGE industry mapping database which lists all vehicles and engine types and is used to map individual parts to the correct vehicles.

    Say you have a database of 20k different parts, and each part works in an average of 100 different vehicles (not actual numbers, just an example) to create a flat file database, you would be looking at a db of over 2 million rows. And thats a converative estimate. Our current list of vehicles contains over 14,000 different makes/models! On the other hand, if you just had SKU-name-keys-descr., you wouldn't have enough information for it to be useful to a consumer...all you have created in spider food that has no value for someone looking for parts for their car.

    I haven't seen the BFP datafeed (for obvious reasons) but, in their defense, I can see problems that trying to build a datafeed can create...believe me, I've been working on it myself for some time now....!

  10. #10
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    Jim,

    Definitely look at the Drivewerks feed. Your programming efforts for the BFP feed will not go to waste.

    Wayne

  11. #11
    Action Jackson - King of the World
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    Ross:

    Do you have an auto affiliate program? I have never heard of Diyautoparts

  12. #12
    Intergalactic Trader IGshop's Avatar
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    Wayne,

    Yeah, I've been in touch with Chris about it.

    Jim

  13. #13
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Hi All

    First many thanks to Andy for allowing me to post this message on his forum

    DriveWerks along with you all, are aware of the decision that BFP made to discontinue their affiliate program. We can definitely respect their decision, as we know how difficult it can be to make a program like this successful, even when you have a top-notch manager like Andy at the helm.

    At DriveWerks, we use the same feed and the same data (and the same drop-ship supplier) as BFP does. However, we realize that the existance of the feed cannot support an affiliate program by itself.

    The parts feed is only one part of our automotive accessories site. We have more than 30,000+ automotive accessories in addition to the ones offered in the feed. In addition, we've created a few affiliate tools that have chopped down the size of the feed and made it a bit easier to handle.

    We Also realize that you all may have spent a large chunk of time on prepping your site for the BFP feed. The good news is that you can recoup a lot of this work by signing up with DriveWerks.

    We're working closely with Andy on this transition, as he realizes the time and effort that you all have put into this program.

    Thank you eveyone for taking the time to read this message and review DriveWerks as a option to BFP and again to Andy for your permission to post this DriveWerks message here.

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
    Join our affiliate programs :Vaper Empire, Iolo, Art of Tea, or See ALL our Programs here

  14. #14
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Hi All,

    I appreciate all the work many of you have put in to BFP. If you are one of those that spent the hours on the feed, please take a look at the DriveWerks program.

    Chris will work with you to insure a smooth transition over to their affiliate program so your efforts won't go to waste.

    I'm sure Chris and I will meet up again for more friendly head to head competition..
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  15. #15
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I'm sure Chris and I will meet up again for more friendly head to head competition.. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think we already have

  16. #16
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    You guys are so nice. One hand washes the other. What goes round, comes round.

    May you both be blessed by the three fold law of return.
    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!

  17. #17
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris - WSO:
    I think we already have <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    In more ways that you know....stay tuned...
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  18. #18
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    I'm guessing Jewelry...though it might be Skincare based on the RFPs I've seen floating around... hmmm... guess I'll have to be patient

    Cheers

    Chris

  19. #19
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris - WSO:
    I'm guessing Jewelry...though it might be Skincare based on the RFPs I've seen floating around... hmmm... guess I'll have to be patient

    Cheers

    Chris <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  20. #20
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    What's up with all the BeFree Express merchnats as Revenue magazine says their closing down that section. Was consolidated payments and low entry fees just a whim for the new CJ/BeFree/ValueClick consortium?
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

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