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  1. #1
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It's shocking how many datafeeds don't have accurate prices. What are these merchants thinking?

    I've been working with OfficeDepot.com for two months, trying to get them to straighten out their pricing. This is a company that does over 10 BILLION dollars a year in sales--why can't they get their datafeed right? The same products I reported two months ago STILL have the same incorrect price in the datafeed today. Nearly 10% of the prices in their datafeed are incorrect. And there's no rhyme or reason as to why they're incorrect. They aren't recent price changes.

    Other than the few merchants like this who just have incorrect prices, I've found several other frequent pricing problems:

    1. Sale Prices. When items are on sale, many merchants don't reflect that sale price in the datafeeds. I think they should. Many feeds have three separate price field: List Price, Regular Price, Sale Price. Many also have a start and end date for sale prices.

    2. Multiple Products, Same Product Number. This is something anyone writing a datafeed should take into consideration. When there are multiple variations/options on a product (with different prices), some merchants give all the variations the same product number, but they don't account for this in the datafeed. I've seen this with MANY merchants: Brookstone, Target, Joann.com, and many others. The description will be for one variation but the price will be for another.

    3. Timing of Updates. Often, sale price changes at merchants are reflected at a certain time of the day (like midnight). Generate your datafeed as soon as possible AFTER the price changes. I've seen many merchants who seem to update their datafeeds right before their price changes, giving almost 24 hours with incorrect prices. Real-time datafeeds are even better, but few merchants offer that.

    4. Automate. I've had a handful of merchants where it's pretty obvious that their datafeed is MANUALLY updated rather than generated from their product file. These are usually merchants with a small number of products (often under 200). Automate it, or at the very least manually extract it from your live data. If you do it by hand, you'll make mistakes.

    Hopefully other merchants will read this and take these factors into consideration in their datafeeds.

    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com

  2. #2
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    Michael, you forgot to mention images. There is a problem with a lot of items in the datafeed that either have an incorrect image link or no image link. Also, there must be a thumbnail image available. I had one merchant who had a images that were about 600x600 in size and even larger file size!

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Images, categories, descriptions, and a bunch of other things are important, but there's nothing more fundamental or important in a datafeed than the price field. It must be right if we're going to use it.

    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    I had a merchant that only had very large images for each product, 80K to over 300K each. An email to them about this and they promptly replied with the naming scheme of their thumbnails. A search and replace of their image links fixed that.

  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    What are you doing Mike spoofing your visitors and the SE's into thinking your a responsible merchant. Repeat after me ...your not a merchant. Your certainly in no postition to demand Office Depot, or anyone else dumber then a bag of nails, giving you a carbon copy of the 10 billion dollar business.

    I'll notify Office Depot's management of your complaint that you demand daily pricing and inventory status of their entire business. They might question why 100 folks are pretending to be office depot in the SERPs with a 5 minute update and some of them from Pakistan, India, Korea, Balkins, Russia, Israel, Nigeria.

    Ask your Texas Attorney General's cybercrime unit how many cloned merchant sites, with a datafeed shopping cart, are stealing privacy info and credit card information from thousands daily! The AM who furnishes prices for any datafeed should be hauled into the merchants sales managers office and furnish the ID , address , SS# and tax ID# of every affiliate they furnish this too.

    Every such feed should be given a serial # or some identifier so if downloaded from KaZZaa, Grockster by cybercriminals it can be traced back to the rogue affiliate.

    Mike & Charlie ...

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

  6. #6
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    Mike, your painting all datafeed users with the same broad brush is getting tiresome. There is no reason to accuse Michael of attempting to spoof anyone. There is no need for him to repeat anything after you.

    The use of a datafeed doesn't equate with spoofing. It doesn't equate with cookie-cutter sites. It doesn't equate with "no value-added" sites whatever you own arbitrary definition of that is. It doesn't equate with "cybercrime." A datafeed is a tool just like a merchant-provided banner and can be used for legitimate or evil purposes.

    If Office Depot or any other merchant offers a datafeed as a tool to help their affiliate, then they are expected to provide accurate info. That's the point of this thread.

    I don't understand (or much care about ) your hostility to datafeed users. You're trying to draw a "class-distinction" among affiliates that doesn't exist.

    Wayne

  7. #7
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by NorthernStudio:
    I don't understand (or much care about ) your [Mike/EcomCity.com] hostility to datafeed users. You're trying to draw a "class-distinction" among affiliates that doesn't exist.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>It's not just datafeed users. He's also hostile agains coupon sites, most merchants, and just about everyone else. Most of us have learned to just ignore his ramblings. He's right once in a while, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com

  8. #8
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    Northern, you forgot middle eastern countries, european countries, african ... south american ... ok almost every country, most small towns and several species of animals.

    You know Mike can link together the fall of the roman empire to a $5 off coupon and of course the mayans disappeared because of datafeeds.

    That said, Michael is right...
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> He's right once in a while, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    And besides ... what would sesame street be without the grouch?

    Must Build More in 2004
    Game on!!!! - The DawgFather

  9. #9
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    Mike Bite Me.

    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...+inserts%2E%22


    5 pages of google results for the phrase:
    "Carve the slopes in luxury with a hot new Bloom "UFO" snowboard. Sporting a well-made wood core, this board features biaxial fiberglass construction with stainless steel inserts."

    That is from your site, that is some of the value you add... just using the exact same phrasing the merchant supplies. Mike you are running a datafeed site, just not doing it smart, but by hand.

    And no, no one will be fooled into thinking you are overstock, or even a real website, but check the list for the phrase I just listed. Show me the site that is ripping off overstock.

    Come on. Don't dance around, don't do some pathetic little - my parrot crap - you are accusing people here, you are making accusations.

    I have solid evidence that you do nothing but post the merchant's description, you "add no value to the click". So I am backing up my claim. Are you man enough to back up yours?

    Chet

  10. #10
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Individual product link developed right from Overstocks Linkshare code generator. Image nicely set in a left hand table. Text link with call to action. Manually added the description after verifying the landing page. The description is the exact same as furnished by Overstock in their feed and DRM's. Manually added in the price and discount rate so my shoppers aren't tricked into just setting a cookie as they are informed of all details prior to wasting their time. Any seasonal or shipping specials are noted for this merchant on most of my pages showcasing overstock. This page was never submitted to Google, who just picks it up on their own.

    100% legit by LS and Overstock TOS and no way could that product link showcase or page ever be construed as a Plish or spoofed merchant page for CC or identity theft purposes. Now for where the datafeed dangers can and do occur.

    My mall has a hosted MIVA.com shopping cart, which accepts unlimited datafeeds from either network merchants or drop shippers with the ability to HTML and image enhance every ecatalog page. I contracted for a HTML script language modification, which strips out the "buy now" button and redirects all purchase links to the order page/cart of the actual merchant. This combo was designed to host TigerDirect feeds as a betta test.

    Now I have donated the buildout of 2 shopping sites with similar setups without the Miva.com modifications to The States Attorney office cybercrime units in Fla. and Michigan. They have their own affiliate accounts and use them to monitor spyware/theftware and DUPER spam activities. They can test the upload of a datafeed to the ecatalog and duplicate Plisher type sites to understand how easy it is to use them as a front for CC and Identity theft operations. They can also monitor BHO theftware in action performing felony theft operations by hijacking cookies and even swapping affiliate ID#s. I'm not priviledged to what actions they'll take to any of this activity. I just have a step brother who is the boss over one of these cybercrime units and we converse on the state of affiliate marketing.

    Nice to see my flies trying to derail my warnings I pass on to affiliates and AM's that big brother is watching the loop holes. Their job is to follow the money trail and bust the bad guys. You can assume these activities are coordinated efforts in all States and with the Federal authorities. Hows that for dancing around the subject Chet?

    Mike & Charlie ...

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

  11. #11
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    That is dancing of course Mike, that is delusional dancing of an insane man.

    Mike that wording was pulled off your main page from some bizarre mismash of products - it is listed under "Talk about stretching your Christmas gifting budget, take advantage of some of these real bargains sold at 50-70% off list price." Timely!!!!

    So what is "the call to action"? That you made some of the overstock supplied tech clickable as a link to their site?

    Just beneath that - in more of a mess. You advertise:

    NEW! LOW $1.00 standard freight charge on all total orders, this is in regards to overstock that has $2.95 shipping right now.

    Should I take the time to notify the FTC of your deceptive ad as well as your buddy in the Michigan sanitorium or wherever you dream you report these things?

    I asked a simple question, you didn't answer.

    What did I do?

    Supplied more proof of your deceptive ways. So feel free to tell me how the FTC asked you to add the misleading overstock quote as way to track bargain shoppers looking for tinfoil hats... It should be obvious to anyone on these forums that Mike is full of BS with his datafeed rantings. He takes the same info as the datafeed, but enters it by hand, not able to update it in a timely manner, he even keeps old ads around to sucker in visitors.


    Mike, how many times does this make it that I have caught you doing what you rail against?

    Chet

  12. #12
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    Manual this and manual that does not an honest website make. You're taking materials provided by a merchant and using them to promote their products. The method of utilizing the information is not an indication of the honesty of the site.

    Bringing up credit card fraud in this discussion is ridiculous. One could easily be defrauded by a manually built, labor-intensive site such as you promote as with a database driven site.

    You've derailed the subject of the thread, associated affiliates using a valid website tool with cyber-criminals and danced around the issue you raised.

    The danger for fraud and abuse has nothing to do with the means used in presenting the merchant info. The internet itself is rife with fraud. Only an idiot would suggest we dump the medium.

    But thanks for not posting a two-page cut & paste Reuters article.

    Wayne

  13. #13
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I think the parrot made him do it.

    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com

  14. #14
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Take a leap of faith there Chetster and assume your own house is as clean as mine...

    Google away and find who heads up the running of the Fla cybercrimes unit... my step brother
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&i...=Google+Search

    Mike & Charlie ...

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

  15. #15
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    Mike. I have never come to this forum and attacked anyone for things I was doing myself.

    Never.

    You on the other hand, have three strikes for a couple of batters.

    And of course you will not confront, or answer to anything I have asked or said here. But you continue to make pitiful posts like your first one in the thread attacking Michael.

    Uncalled for, ignorant and as we can see - something you do yourself. You just want to tell stories instead of keeping on the subject. But then i guess since the subject hits so close to home, and clearly shows what kind of person you really are, it must be something you want to run from.

    Chet

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Has anyone ever verified that Mike is not actually a patient at the Michigan State Psychiatric Hospital and somehow got internet access?

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Popdawg, I'm ROFLMAO! While it's funny I tend to agree with this. I can just see Mike roaming around his home mumbling about disasters and using "datafeed" in every sentence - "this country's going to H@$l...datafeeds...Sadam Husein...datafeeds...people stealing from one another...datafeeds..."

    It's useless to argue this point with him. I've seen people misuse datafeeds just like people who misuse HTML . A crook is a crook, regardless of his weapon of choice. Unless you enjoy debating (I loosely use this term since no actual debate occurs) with him, forget it. If he ever started to use datafeeds he'd say manual website owners were inspired by Satan.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Didn't Mike set up a datafeed for that suspender's site that Poon and Nova were using?

  19. #19
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Cover your asses datafeeders as just like the couponers your lot is cast amongst the scumbags of affiliate marketing. Care to figure out how many of these two classes of affiliates are pure ppaly SE spammers. I get my kicks out of baiting the same old group and watching them defend their addictions praying affiliate marketing stays as corrupt as ever.

    Hey Chet should we all start researching your sites from the reveal point in the OptinRealbig thread. What does that site have to do with datafeeds, shopping or even coupons. You must have others like I do as ABWers take it upon themselves to PRO Ecomcity.com all the time when they're pissed I'm outing their schemes.

    The point I make is no merchant Plisher site can exist for stealing CC#'s and Indentify info without free and open access to datafeeds. These are spoofed merchant sites quickly thrown together on expendable domains with the sole purpose of selling information to the the cyber criminals. Spam is the victim traffic driver and these sites close within 30 days.

    Mike & Charlie ...

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

  20. #20
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chez Noir:
    5 pages of google results for the phrase:
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Hey thanks Chet. I finally made one of these lists.

  21. #21
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    Hey Mike. I demonstrated my point clearly. You make claims about datafeeds, then you go out and do the same but worse. You make claims about coupons, and you go out and do worse. You make claims about sites that duplicate content, you go out and do the same.

    What am I covering? Care to not speculate? Care to explain what the hell you are talking about by your mention of the optinreal big thread, in English this time.

    Mike, I am sick of you. Here you go again making accusations against me and others with zero proof, zero facts. I have stated my accusations clearly, I have stated my proof clearly. All you have done is hidden and make outlandish claims against me and others.

    Not once have you been an adult, a man, never once have you offered any proof about the accusations you have made against me or others. Not once having the nerve to put up the proof or retract the statements. You have called me a spammer, a tricks--for-clicks SE spammer, blah blah blah.

    Anytime I ask you for proof, you start making up stories, letting me know how bill gates personally listens to you. Look, I ignore you 99% of the time - because I really do think you are a troubled person - but this direct accusations against innocent people have to stop.

    Until you offer one bit of proof, I do think you should be able to post any accusations against anyone.

    And Mike, I have been "exposed" countless times on this forum. Do you notice what has been exposed? What evils I have done? For all the people pissed at me, what thing has been posted about me that shows I have acted dishonestly as an affiliate? Said one thing and done another? What is your record?

    Mike words are cheap, actions are not. Something you may not now, since I have never seen honest actions by you, just finger pointing followed by hypocritical actions.

    Can a mod tell me why Mike's first post in this thread was allowed to stand? How that post had anything to do with the topic? Or was beneficial to anyone but Mike's own delusions?

    Chet

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador swampy_webber's Avatar
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    I know how I deal with wrong prices... Think about it and it will become obvious.

    And Mike (the one with the bird) You still kill me! There's always stand-up comedy...

    (Yep, I'm in a crappy mood... my sales and traffic are down but hey, I'll bounce back)

    You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
    --Mark Twain

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    "The point I make is no merchant Plisher site can exist for stealing CC#'s and Indentify info without free and open access to datafeeds."

    Mike, that comment is so ridiculous for at LEAST 2 reasons.

    1. Why can't someone steal CC numbers and identities without a datafeed? I got an email once from a site claiming to be a major credit card company. They were duping people into entering their CC numbers on their website. They didn't have any datafeed working on their site. Are you saying what they did is impossible?

    2. To group all datafeed users with thieves is so ignorant. That's like saying guns cause crime. In responsible hands, they are both tools. In the wrong hands they're weapons of crime. Just like HTML and web sites. Since people are stealing with HTML web sites, are all web sites evil? You're the only person I ever heard that cast datafeed users as scumbags. And SE spammers? How many pages does it take to make a SE spammer? Is that anyone who beats you out for SE rank?

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pete:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chez Noir:
    5 pages of google results for the phrase:
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Hey thanks Chet. I finally made one of these lists. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It's nice to be recognized, eh Pete?

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    On my new site I am combining coupons and datafeeds, does that make me double evil?

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