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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    I would like to know how those of you who promote Expedia on your sites feel about their affiliate program and whether you feel your conversions seem in line with the traffic you are sending them. Here is a recap of my experience over the past year.

    Our conversions have always been extremely low. I have had a few sales that were forwarded to me from my customers that never tracked, yet all of those customers sales purchased through other affiliate links on my site did track.

    Expedia does not provide any in-house contact to their affiliates. BeFree totally handles Expedia's affiliate program, from the affiliate side and from the merchant side. This is clearly a conflict of interest on BeFree's part as it is the merchant who pays them so they will always defer to the merchant with no one left for the affiliate to contact. When I spoke with this person at BeFree earlier today, he told me that he would be turning over the Expedia account to someone else at BeFree later this month. I asked him why. He said it's good to make a change every once in a while. Later in the conversation, this person told me he is leaving BeFree later this month. To me, this is a perfect example of how I have been misled. First he said it was good to make a change, when in fact the real reason is because he's leaving the company. How do I know that anything else I've been told is true?

    When providing BeFree with confirmation numbers to track, they take weeks to follow through. This could be accomplished in 2-3 days.

    Expedia is a very slow pay. They lost their BeFree "Acclaim" status several months ago.

    While Expedia is the largest online travel agency, I get 10 times more sales from Orbitz than I do from Expedia.

    Expedia is affiliated with all of the known parasites. Expedia has no return days.

    What has been your experience as an Expedia affiliate?

  2. #2
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    We have had very good luck with Expedia. It is agreed that there is no attempt at customer service other than a monthly newsletter we get. Our monthly commisions at Expedia are double the total of the commissions we make on all the other travel sites combined.

    For the last two months, we have 1595 clickthroughs, 58 orders and $463 in commissions. Now that is not a bad return at all.

    We have had no luck at all with Hotwire, Priceline or the others (plus I think you will see their commission struction is lower). Plus from a personal standpoint, we find it much easier to book hotels/airfares with Expedia (no memberships/logins etc).

    They might be a month or two behind on payments (last payment was for April), but that is okay with us as long as we get sales and eventually get paid. They can be "Acclaimed" up the ying-yang, but if we get no sales what difference does it make. Plus, lets face reality, parasites are snatching commissions all over the place, so as long as we make money with an affiliate (the bottom line) we continue to partner with them.

    So even though there is not great interaction with Expedia to help us make sales, we basically keep the same links up for Expedia on our travel page and our homepage (some dynamic wizard links) and do well with them.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    The conversion rates are too low and the program is like a black hole (no support), so we only use Expedia when the other travle program cannot accomodate a particular destination.

  4. #4
    Member
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    Expedia is about average for me as far as conversion goes. I get at least three times as much revenue from Orbitz.

    Steve G - Your average commision is almost $8 per order? Which of their products have you had the most success with?

  5. #5
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Here is the breakdown:

    Merchandise Type Leads Affiliate Base Earnings
    ESR Hotel 15 $86.45
    Expedia Airline 20 $40.00
    Expedia Hotel 1 $0.00
    Expedia.com car 3 $3.42
    packagetotal_baseamt 16 $332.78

    Total 55 $462.65

    We just basically post links to their homepage. It is easy for people to find what they are looking for, plus as I said previously there is no registration requirements at Expedia unlike some of the other travel sites.

    Plus, when we book a vacation/hotel, we like to know which airline we are taking and which hotel we are staying at (at the time of the purchase). Expedia is a lot better at doing this than Hotwire/Priceline/Orbitz.

    As our stats show, we do best on travel packages. Actually, now that I look at the stats perhaps we should push that more.

    In any event, we do not change our Expedia links often, but still do okay.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
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    I do great with them. They have nice dynamic text links you can use, just paste and don't have to worry about deals being current.

    "Nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map."
    --Wayne Calloway

  7. #7
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    Expedia is one of my top performers. It does MUCH better for me than Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotwire or Priceline. I haven't had any problems with slow pay; Expedia has been about average in the time it takes to pay out.

    Expedia has much better commission structure than the competition and the site is easy to use. The hotel search is much better than Travelocity's product, for instance.

    I do agree with you that Expedia's communication with affiliate partners is poor. I don't get any kind of information from them, ever. In fact, I didn't even know they HAD a newsletter until I read Steve G's post!

  8. #8
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    ScottJ, I first reported missing Expedia sales to Larry J. more than three weeks ago and I still have not received any indication that they are being addressed by Expedia. What can you do to expediate this for me?

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    I'd encourage you to contact them again. As you probably know, Larry's no longer there.

    I tried, "Hey, isn't anyone taking care of Snowman?" but they looked at me funny. Maybe because it's too hot for snowmen.

    --
    scott@befree.com

  10. #10
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    ScottJ, who is "them?" The only contact I have ever had is Larry at BeFree because, as you very well know, Expedia provides no contact at all for their affiliates. No, I didn't know that Larry was no longer there. I asked him previously when his last day would be and he wouldn't tell me. I left a voice mail for him two days ago. There was no indication he was no longer employed by BeFree.

    It has now been almost a full month since I provided documentation of missing orders to Larry at BeFree, yet nothing has been done to give me credit for those orders. Since BeFree is fully responsible for managing Expedia's affiliate program, the fault lies with BeFree.

    BeFree has clearly dropped the ball on this one. What can you do to get these missing orders credited to me?

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    >>Expedia provides no contact at all for their affiliates. <<

    That's not entirely true. Go into partner gateway, Get Help section, merchant speicific help. From there you can escalate through the "Still need help" link. You can get to the same place from the FAQ section of their branded area of reporting.net.

    By "them" I mean Expedia's affiliate management team (via the above mechanism). It's them who need to help you. It doesn't matter that Larry's gone, there are a number of people.

    And of course you know how to reach me. That's no secret.

    --scott

    --
    scott@befree.com

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