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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Well, it seems Amazon has changed it's policies about
    popups. I have been an affiliate of Amazon's for a
    while, years in fact. I wasn't even aware there was a
    policy regarding them. My bad.

    Well, I know now. I also didn't know there was only a
    24 hour cookie. Hmm. That would explain why of the
    33,000 uniques I have referred to their site this
    quarter so far, only 73 or so items have been
    purchases. More than half of them have been
    marketplace orders. I have a staggering $86 dollars
    in commissions...a substantial amount of which will no
    doubt disappear in returns.

    While I understand Amazon's need to protect the
    integrity of it's business. I feel as though they are
    cutting off their nose to spite their face. Long-time
    affiliates like myself have been instrumental in
    making Amazon a success. Now that they are fat not
    (phat), they announce that they can decree whatever
    they want and affiliates just have to take it.

    This may prove to be a grave miscalculation on there
    part.

    The emporer has no clothes.
    There was a leap of faith necessary for publishers to
    trust Amazon. Just as Amazon had to trust publishers
    to operate within certain guidelines.

    Our economy operates on trust. Lenders trust
    borrowers. We trust our money is worth something.
    But Amazon has said...ok, we are no longer trusting
    our publishers. We have full discretion as to which
    sales we will and will not honor. And by the
    way...you'll have no way of telling if you are being
    penalized, because everything we do is a secret.


    While I am aware that fraud goes on but I believe it's
    the exception among publishers not the rule and should
    be easy to detect.

    So we wait sometimes for days for our reports to
    update showing we have 0 sales, even though we send
    hundreds and thousands of prospective customers to
    their site on a daily basis. We make $200 a quarter
    and wait nearly half a year for a check. Minus any
    applicable fees.

    We continually get carrots dangled before us, and when
    we fortunate and succeed we get the bruising slap of
    the stick in the form of a "policy change",
    conveniently placed a few short days before the
    busiest shopping days of the year. Hmm. Why not
    announce a policy change in Spring or Summer? That
    would give affiliates time to change strategy for the
    holiday. To me that shows a lack of concern for
    affiliates who rely on sales for income. Merry
    Christmas suckers!

    It is not we associates who need to be audited. It's
    Amazon. They should have a 3rd party monitor and
    audit their affiliate program. And do a better job of
    notifying violators and removing them, instead of
    sticking to a Napoleonic rule that says everyone is
    guilty til proven innocent. I really do respect
    Amazon.com I love their products and reviews, but
    their practice borders on arrogant and they need a
    customer relations person who can handle the heat. (I
    am available)

    I have removed all but 1 affiliate link from my site,
    sending about 800 shoppers a day to Amazon. I hope
    that it will be successful, but dear
    affiliates...don't put all your eggs in one basket.
    There are many affiliate programs out there that pay a
    lot more and with no caps and much faster payments.

    Keep the pressure on Amazon to play fair. Seek
    publishers who use 3rd parties to audit, Cj.com,
    Linkshare, and others. I know it will hurt initially,
    but in the long term it will pay dividends.

    Most of all, look for affiliate programs that are
    profitable for you from the start. If they dangle a
    carrot in front of you tell them to put the carrot
    where the sun don't shine. I want to believe that
    Amazon wouldn't shave commissions, but there is really
    no way for me to discern that. There is no way for me
    to tell if I am being jipped. That makes me uneasy.

    Holla!

  2. #2
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>While I understand Amazon's need to protect the integrity of it's business. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Sounds like you were force popping to set the cookie? Since that is about the only thing dealing with popups they have an issue on...

    If so, glad they dumped you and why don't you keep moving along. I heard MLM's can make you a ton of money.

    Chet

  3. #3
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Popping up the merchant site is a Bad Thing for all sorts of reasons, but basically because most affiliates and merchants consider it a cheating way to set a cookie.

    However, Amazon's conversions suck at the moment. My EPC (earning per 100 clicks) is 45 cents, and the EPC has been dropping quarter-on-quarter for some time. And I personally don't believe the conversion stats at all.. I sent highly targetted traffic and convert 0.4% for individual items, but they say the average is 2.85%.

    I always used to use Amazon for links on content pages, carefully choosing an item that closely matched the text. Not any more, I just paste in an AdWords banner and make much more money.

    ________
    "All your commission are belong to us." - Slimeware Corporation

  4. #4
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    I've had very good success with Amazon. Not making tons of money, but it has been a nice stable income flow of around 50-60 bucks a month, with about 1/3 being at 15%.

    My conversion rate has also been very stable - around 6%. I use ASIN links only. No AWS. Also no banners.

    Dynamoo - I had similar problem about this time last year with Amazon - clicks but no sales from content pages. Then I changed the way I was displaying the books and things jumped through the roof and have stayed there. What helped for me was to put a small image of the book, a big "buy now" button using the add to cart feature, and a short description of the item. By having a description of the item, you avoid the plague of people clicking on it just to find out what the hell it is.



    Jim

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Wasn't it about this time last year that Amazon changed its payment policy? I believe it was Q4 2002 when they said they would start to charge a fee for paper checks, and direct deposit was the only way to get around this if you lived in the U.S.

    They made this announcement well into Q4, which was very bad timing IMO, then the form they put online to update payment procedure was confusing and didn't work properly. As a result, a lot of publishers who thought they'd signed up for direct deposit hadn't, and either got charged a fee for a paper check, or had to wait until after Q1 2003 for payment.

    Meanwhile, that money sits in Amazon's bank account earning interest for Amazon.

    Amazon needs to update its 1959 computer technology, and move to real time reporting. As an Internet based business, it's unacceptable for them to do less. And that's exactly what they do. Offer less.

    I also feel like things at Amazon may not be on the up and up, perhaps another Enron or WorldCom lurking in the shadows? Eventually the truth will come out, and when it does Mr. Bezos might get caught in the spotlight with his pants down!

    Andy

    _______________
    &lt;font color="red"&gt;Call the Exterminators! We've Got &lt;A HREF="http://www.parasiteware.com" TARGET="_blank"&gt;PARASITES!&lt;/A&gt;&lt;/font&gt;

  6. #6
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    Amazon is great. Best affiliate program ever (honest, high converting, reliable).

  7. #7
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I had enough of Amazon's crap 4 years ago when I told them to shove their affiliate cannon fodder program and pulled all my links to them. No regrets from not having Amazon links or not showcasing Barnes & Noble. Only one with any book sales for my traffic have come from Overstock's whacking both of them with lower prices and shipping fees.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  8. #8
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    What commission does Overstock pay on books? I haven't been able to find any info on this.

  9. #9
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>What commission does Overstock pay on books? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    From their page at Linkshare:
    Commission:
    3% commission on Media
    7% commission on Non-Media

    Just looked into it today, hoping it might be reasonable. It isn't.

    Wayne

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the info. I keep looking for a substitute for Amazon -- hope I find one someday.

  11. #11
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    I'm looking around for book programs.
    Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.

    Does anyone know if these programs prohibit you from selling your own books or making deals with the publishers directly? I would think not, just wondering as I explore further.

    Also, imagine they are not exclusive, where you can in fact be with both Amazon and Barnes and Noble if you wish.

    Thanks

    Victor Caballero
    victor@realtytrac.com
    Residual Revenue Affiliate Program: www.realtytrac.com/affiliates

  12. #12
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    Barnes & Noble used to have an exclusivity clause, but they no longer do. Amazon has never had one.

    As far as I know, it's OK to sell your own books. Plenty of people do it.

    And I am still looking for a decent bookseller to replace Amazon...

  13. #13
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>And I am still looking for a decent bookseller to replace Amazon.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    I've been doing that for a long time. B&N would sell but seems infested with parasites and has no datafeed, making it useless on my database-driven bookreview site with over 25,000 titles. Powells provided me with access to their database. I wrote the scripts to retrieve & display the data but had not one sale in over a month of using it. It was back to Amz.

    Wayne

  14. #14
    Full Member garystarling's Avatar
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    Yesterday was my best day at Amazon - sold $2,000 of books. I use the Cusimano scipt program so should get a few with 15% fees as well. I don't do anything to confuse or disturb the visitor - no ads, no pop ups just clean information!

    'I am not young enough to know everything.'
    - Oscar Wilde

  15. #15
    Newbie Affiliate Ian's Avatar
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    Gary, just PM'ed ya.

    Ian Lee, M.Sc.

    Internet Marketing Strategist / Affiliate Manager
    EYI, Inc.
    ilee_NO_SPAM@eyi.us
    http://www.eyiproducts.com/affiliate.html
    604-596-9766

    Personal Sites: ADS-Links.com | HealthCastle.com

  16. #16
    Full Member garystarling's Avatar
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    Replied!

    'I am not young enough to know everything.'
    - Oscar Wilde

  17. #17
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    Unfortunately, Amazon does seem to be the best choice. Powell's prices are too high. My problem with B&N is simply that they don't answer email, and I don't work on behalf of people who don't answer my email! And there is the parasite problem, of course, too.

    Barnes & Noble is supposedly buying back its online divison, so maybe they will take control of the affiliate program, too, and do it properly. A well-run program would probably attract a lot of disgruntled Amazon affiliates. I know this is a forlorn hope (a well-run program?!!!), but I keep hoping.

  18. #18
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Amazon has never had one.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    they did for years. it seems to have disappeared quietly.


    _____
    I earned something? Who screwed up?

  19. #19
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    In May of 2004, are there any better alternatives to Amazon.com?

    I've put a lot of time into building Amazon product links and the ROI has been extremely poor.

  20. #20
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    The thing about Amazon, at least for me, is that Amazon converts like crazy in the Xmas season. So, you might not be as bad off as you think. Right now, one amazon site converts about 1% of my clickthroughs. That same site converted 11% of the clickthroughs last November and December. The site is not going to make me rich - but you can bet I am working on building traffic and ranking to the site before Xmas gets here, lol.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  21. #21
    "An Englishman In New York" TJ's Avatar
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    My Amazon conversions have been in the toilet for 3 or 4 months now, something is up at their end for sure, same number of clicks but 75% less conversion... oh well, time to work on something else

  22. #22
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    I've tried just about every book merchant. When Amazon cut direct link commissions in half, I moved their links to the bottom of the option pile and featured Booksense, the online marketing site for independent local bookshops. I really like the concept but after 5 months without a sale I'm reconsidering featuring them as the primary merchant. (They also provide absolutely no way to track clicks, sales or anything.)

    Despite their lowly status on my site, I'm still getting Amazon sales. Interestingly, both Powells & Amazon.ca have take off this past quarter with sales equalling or exceeding those from Amazon.com.

    Always good to offer alternatives even if you feature Amazon. There are those who simply hate them.

    Wayne

  23. #23
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    consensus of opinion in the Amzn forum is that you need a heluva lotta hits to make a sale. I believe it. So I leave my links up waiting for google to be nice again.

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    My Amazon conversions are pretty good.
    Overall 13.50%

  25. #25
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    Amazon converting fine for me too, not as good as Connie They do have the lowest price on books from what i can see. Lowest prices on just about everything, it's where i do most of my online shopping.

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