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  1. #1
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    I wanted to see what others felt in regards to the Staples channel @ Befree. It almost seems like, in our opinion, they are their for brand marketing and new customer acquisitions...This being said there are no real tools (such as discounts, promotions, direct linking abilities) to sell volume of product. Furthermore there is no bonus for acquiring new customers either.

    Are we missing something and are there other thoughts about Staples out there?

    Survey Man

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Like most of the ZERO cookie day brick-n-mortar merchants they pay some dimwit professional management firm 5K a month to sign them up with the parasites and dupers and forget the ignorant masses who don't know what diversion tactics are all about. 2 years of Staples.com banners and a few text links and I'm still at 4.80 in commissions. It would take a staple gun to get their AM off his/her butt to think about conversion ratios. Even the parasites give them a minus rating.

    WebMaster Mike

  3. #3
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    I've done ok with Staples in terms of conversion rate and epc. If they would get product links, it would be a real money maker. Reporting.net has most of the best computer/electronics affiliate programs.

  4. #4
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    I was told once that they are their for new customer acquisition primarily...however there is now new customer bonus...well actually there is and it is literally .01 per new customer which is for Staples to track it...

    They don't have direct product linking setup (although it is possible) which is a huge minus and they are unwilling to do any special promotions, coupons or discounts for affiliates.

  5. #5
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    They actually do have coupons sometimes. The problem is you cannot choose to run it specifically. You can only choose to run the random-specials banners and hope that the coupon banner appears when a buyer shows up.

  6. #6
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    I do great with them, get a check every month. Mike try a coupon every once in awhile. I have read in the past about your poor conversion ratio and how you hate coupons. Just throwing up a banner and a text link aint gonna do it. Give them a reason to click. I get over $100 in commissions a month.

  7. #7
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    TrustNo1 - coupon use is not allowed with staples.com...if they find you are posting coupons they can withhold payment or terminate you *grin*.

    They have had one (1) valid coupon in the reporting.net interface that was allowed to be posted...if it is not there you can't post it, period. This has been the entire year of 2002.

  8. #8
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    SurveyMan - Not true. I have had affiliate coupons sent to me in my email, from them. Some affiliates have special deals with merchants that others don't. Sometimes you have to prove first that you are able to produce sales to get special affiliate deals. You would be suprised how helpful merchants are if you send them an e-mail or phone call.

    [This message was edited by TrustNo1 on October 24, 2002 at 04:41 PM.]

  9. #9
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    TrustNo1 - in the first 10 months of this year Staples has ONE (1) official affiliate coupon code for general use, that is it. They did have two for specific expensive printers, which had a snow balls chance in you know where of being purchased (thus the coupon).

    And as to calling them, we produced over 80K in sales one month this year and even then and a friendly call they refuse to work on any coupon or discounting basis. So Staples is not one merchant to do too much coupon / percentage off deals...even with a strong volume.

    If you have been able to request a coupon code for your web site as a special deal with Staples I'd love to hear about it...the AM told me flat out they won't do it both via email and a phone call...she said that is not the goal of this "channel"...It is primarily new customer acquisition...for which an affiliate gets what???? Literally .01 per new customer...she says just so they can track it on their end.

    I dunno.

  10. #10
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    Here is a suggestion I signed up for their newsletter, so I get a listing of all the weekly specials. I then use the weekly special as the link text for a link going to the home page.

    partners@bigvaluezone.com
    ------------------------------
    Let us show you where the best online deals are!
    --------------------------------
    http://www.bigvaluezone.com

  11. #11
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    I agree, it would be helpful if they put out more affiliate coupons to use. We did great with staples last year when there where plenty of good promotions out there.

    I wouldn't post anything you get in their newsletter. They are really picky about what you put on your site, if you put something that is not in their "affiliate channel" (ie on Reporting.net) then you are in violation of their TOS. Trust me, I've gotten plenty of emails from karin (Staples affiliate mgr) in the past about this.

    What is really bad, is that it doesn't seem to be a universal thing. They seem to choose who they want to pick on. I've gone to many sites that post unauthorized codes and links to products that aren't in reporting net, and even links on how to get things for free at staples after codes/rebates.

    http://www.ahugedeal.com

  12. #12
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    Is staples no longer available as an affiliate?

    Is reporting.net no longer?

    We clicked on reporting.net and it took us to a befree.com page where staples does not appear.

    Where else is staples affilate available???

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    David,

    Staples is still there.

    If you've already applied and been rejected, you won't see them on the list of merchants to apply to.

    (If you logout and quickly go through search for merchants at the bottom right of the login screen, you'll see them.)

    If you have been rejected, you can be recosidered by emailing staples. If you're not sure of your status with Staples, you can also get help at help@befree.com.

    --scott

  14. #14
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    Before considering Staples as a viable merchant, be sure you understand their TOS. Could you save you time and effort.

    3. Exclusive Office Products Supplier
    Staples.com shall be the exclusive Office Products Supplier on your site. You agree that you will not (directly or indirectly) allow any other person or entity whose business is the sale of office products to sell office products on your site or link their site to yours in connection with the sale of office products. For purposes of this agreement, ‘Office Products’ shall include (but not be limited to) office supply consumable products, consumables, paper and paper goods, computers, computer accessories, software peripherals, computer media, office supply technology equipment, business machines, and office furniture.

    Note that you cannot sponsor any other office supply merchants, computer merchants, software merchants, office furniture merchants, or any other merchant that sells any type of office equipment.

    IMO, that makes them too costly to sponsor.

    Gene
    TCS

  15. #15
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    That part they don't enforce. I've had them right next to OfficeMax and OfficeDepot for over 2 years with no problems.

    Refuse To Lose - Chuck D

  16. #16
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    Thank you very much for the quick reply.

    We were probably rejected.

    This policy of Staples having an exclusive reminds me of certain markets where Coke will not place the products in the same store or cafe if Pepsi is there.

    As a Coke fan, whenever I ask the waitress for a Coke... they always say.. "Is Pepsi okay?" And I reply "No. Just bring me a pitcher of ice water."

    Back on Staples:
    It may be better to not have an affiliate account link whenever coupon codes are to be used that come from another Staples Source.

    One of our offices has a local Staples store within 20 minutes. The office manager orders off the staples website for over $50 to get free shipping, plus she always finds a 20% OFF coupon on top of that! I suspect an afficiate link would not honor such a discount PLUS pay a percentage to the affiliate. I may be wrong, but that's my feeling.

    David

  17. #17
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    PS:

    So is the old reporting.net now befree? Or did they get bought out? I couldn't find any new topic on it.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    Reporting.net has always been Be Free.

    That confusion is why we ditched the name as a brand and redirected it to a Be Free branded page, the Be Free Partner Gateway, when we redesigned the interface back in Sept.

    I got real tired of hearing about the four affiliate providers: Be Free, Linkshare, CJ, and reporting.net.

    --
    Scott Jangro
    sjangro@befree.com

  19. #19
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    Well, Scott...

    It's a real pleasure to come to a new forum and see a moderator here that is also a part of the very service I am inquiring about.

    Thank's so much for your dedication in helping us newbees find the answers we need for our sites.

    David

  20. #20
    Member gotapex's Avatar
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    We dropped their program on our own accord. They used to threaten to drop us everytime we posted an unauthorized coupon (completely within their rights). However, it became a balancing act for us. I saw our choices as:

    1. Only post the coupons they give us, when and if available, and suffer the loss of reputation as a "one stop shop". Make a few hundred bucks a month.

    2. Drop their program, post every single coupon available, keep our reputation up.

    Other than in 1 wild month, even in the best of times, we never did more than a few thousand dollars a month in commissions from staples, so it was an easy choice. Yes, they do have great products, and often do have good prices. But the money was not worth the drop in viewer perception.

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