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  1. #1
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    Ok posting my first topic and wanted to get some feedback from you all. When merchants do lower commissions do think that in turn them offering their affiliates some sort of promotion (free shipping, $5 bucks off) to increase traffic and in turn hopeful double their sales because of the promotion. Do you see that as acceptable, a good trade off or not?

  2. #2
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    Okay first thought -- you lower my commish and then offer the customer a discount which further lowers my commish... doesn't sound attractive to me.

    My traffic is not targeted for coupons/discounts, but rather specific products. On those few products I have used discounts with, I haven't seen any increase in sales.

    "Free shipping" does seem more attractive (and doesn't hurt my commish), but if it's a time-limited offer, I won't promote it -- those darn coupons are just too hard to keep track of.

    Now, if you lower my commish, but up my cookie, that's a bit more attractive.

  3. #3
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    Oh, on that cookie thing -- that's only if you have a ridiculously short cookie to start with... say, 7 days. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  4. #4
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    originally posted by BigShoes2Phill
    quote:

    Ok posting my first topic and wanted to get some feedback from you all. When merchants do lower commissions do think that in turn them offering their affiliates some sort of promotion (free shipping, $5 bucks off) to increase traffic and in turn hopeful double their sales because of the promotion. Do you see that as acceptable, a good trade off or not?
    --------------------

    Bonny Elder



    [ 12-31-2001: Message edited by: austin powers ]

    [ 12-31-2001: Message edited by: austin powers ]

  5. #5
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    testing the water huh?


    you are so off my website, im logging off abestweb right now to take your links down

    [ 12-31-2001: Message edited by: austin powers ]

    [ 12-31-2001: Message edited by: austin powers ]

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Austin, Phil was laid off and Bonnie took his place at Gift Tree. She is the new affiliate manager there.

    Bonnie, the name is a wise choice.

    I agree about the timed coupons. Too many links to keep up with. I also agree that I tend to do better with free shipping and I agre with Cedric about being cut twice with cut in commission and then a cut with the discount. I would say if you have to choose go for free shipping.

  7. #7
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    maybe thats true, who cares, its still a double pay cut and im not changing my mind

  8. #8
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    i did it


    im not a gambling man but i will wager anyone here that in 10 weeks you will all be complaining about gifttrees 1 day cookie and 3% commish

  9. #9
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Austin,

    quote:
    im not a gambling man but i will wager anyone here that in 10 weeks you will all be complaining about gifttrees 1 day cookie and 3% commish



    quote:
    Originally posted by Haiko:

    Promotion from within is fantastic but when an online business person does not allow for qualified people to hold their positions and let them run with their plans after such levels of rapport and good will you have developed it just shows "Me" that your boss seems to a pure BS artist and I will remove all my links to gifttree. Furthermore, I see the gifttree affiliate manager becoming a ppc and SE optimizing agent, and gifttree discontinuing its affiliate program entirely!



    I completely agree! Watch and wait!

    Haiko

    [ 12-31-2001: Message edited by: Haiko ]

  10. #10
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    BigShoes2Phill,

    Welcome!

    IMHO, I suggest that you inform us as to what exactly is going on (cookies and commissions!) so we can make our decisions with regard to your affiliate program.

    Haiko

  11. #11
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    First to Cedric, if from me asking the opinions of the people on this message board, which I thought was designed to get and give insight makes you drop our links, then you are already pissed off enough and so be it, I was asking your opinions for pete sake!

    Secondly, The commission/cookie thing, as Phillip informed everyone before it was a business decision that was made to lower commissions and cookies, and maybe it was made to quickly, but neither I or Phillip could change that decision. Like any position or business you have to work within guidelines which you are given to you (unless you work for yourself) which many of you do, but you still have goals you need to meet too, hence why you are upset about the commissions and cookies. The point I am trying to make I understand why you are upset, but these are my new guidelines and Gifttree has good products and good people and they aren't a terrible company, they are trying to make decision to survive in this internet world just as you are. Over the past week I have collected tons of research that I am taking to my boss on Wed so can evaluate the situations we are in, rationally and not quickly so that the right decision can be made in the future so we don't lose good affiliates like youselves. That is what I can tell you now and hopefully next time we talk and can give you better news and we can get better results all around. I will most likely get completely bashed, but these are my feelings and at least I am putting myself out there and speaking my thoughts and listening to yours...just as I hope you are doing.

  12. #12
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    Sorry not Cedric, but Austin Powers...my fault...sorry cedric!

  13. #13
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    wow... tough crowd.

    I'm not ready to give up on giftree... I've done a lot of basket research and I really believe they have good solid products. Yep, I did drop allwine and if the rest of their stores go the way of allwine, I'll drop those as well...

    BUT. Bonny is here working the problem and I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt -- we all know she's in a tough position with the suits already (READ: remember Phil?), we have the opportunity to allow a new affiliate manager the chance to see how affiliates think... isn't that a good thing?

  14. #14
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    bonny, im sorry if i upset you

    i didnt know phil was gone, i thought he(you) was posing as an affiliate

    im still not gonna put those links back up, dont worry im no great loss but i think we can all see which way gifttree is gonna go

    do yourself a favor, look for another job, your only good till the next costcutting exercise

  15. #15
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    Bonnie,

    If lowering commissions and cookies is a business decision, then dropping you as a merchant is a business decision made by your affiliates.

    Unfortunately, you have an idiot for a boss.

    There are lots of gift basket places and lots of affiliate sites. Therefore the gift basket merchant with the best deal for affiliates and customers gets the business not the merchant with the best deal for the merchant.

  16. #16
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    Lowering the comissions, lowering the sales price to attract more sales. Sounds VERY familiar to me.

    I had another merchant do this and I can tell you, I did NOT sell more. It did not help me at all and I don't think it helped get more sales. I saw the same rate of sales but more click throughs, and I just made less money.

    So, for me, no it was not good.
    Vicki [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  17. #17
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    I have to say I'm a bit surprised you showed up, Bonny! But it's nice to see you are trying.

    But from Phil's description of your boss, it sounds like you will be totally beating your head on a concrete wall, trying to keep him from shooting himself in the foot and perhaps more vital places by wrecking the commissions, cookies, and anything else that gets in the way of his mad ax!

    As it stands now, I only have a few products from GiftTree on and that's how it's going to stay. Giftbaskets are a tough thing to sell and it isn't worth it to me to promote them further.

    Like your place makes business decisions, I have my own to make. In other words, I look for the stuff that's easiest to sell with the highest commissions. GiftServices is NOT just competing with other gift basket merchants on my sites, but with EVERY merchant at CJ and Performics! I have no problem with not selling gift baskets. Bosses like yours don't seem to realize that a lot of sites don't really care what products are up there as long as they pay great, have decent cookie durations (Pay being most important to me as long as the cookie isn't ridiculously short), and can convert.

    The premise of making up for lower commissions with increased sales hasn't worked for me. Sales stay the same. Then they lower like a brick, when I find a replacement merchant!

    I have to agree with the assessment that in a few months this program will be in a HANDbasket, despite your best intentions. We've seen the pattern before. The deal goes from great to okay to mediocre to bad to DEACTIVATED.

    I agree with Austin on this, Bonny: You should jump ship! Your boss is sinking the one that you're on--whether he aims at you personally or not won't matter once he's shot enough holes in the hull...it'll sink without anyone driving in the sales!!!

  18. #18
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    Lowering the commision by 1 to 2% wouldn't be noticed by affiliates. Unless you lower it everyday! [img]tongue.gif[/img] But a cookie duration of less than 30 days will never be acceptable to affiliates. The merchant will be seen as trying to take advantage.

  19. #19
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    >before it was a business decision that was >made to lower commissions and cookies,

    I remember that business decision. I took a buisness decision too that day.

    The thing about lowering the price increasing throughput is fine for passing exams, but in the real world people make buying decisions on emotional criteria so long as the price is within reason.

    In other words, its just a theory. If you act on a theory like that without testing it you'll go out of business even faster than you already are. I'm sure your boss likes the theory just fine though.

    The problem with people like your boss is they are stuck in a brick and mortar mentality. He doesn't realise *he* works for *us*. If he catches on to this real quick, he'll still be around in 6 months. Well, except on my site. I fired him the day he reduced the cookie from 45 days because it is not in my interest to tolerate that kind of behaviour, and only a failing business would do that anyway.

    A successful business rewards its sales people well, because this is a good way of making more sales. Especially on the net we have a choice. You, the merchant, can be dropped in seconds and replaced in minutes and to make matters even more confusing we can do this for any reason we like - not just commission.

    To behave as if we are tied workers paid sweatshop rates in some workhouse we can't escape from is professional suicide for your boss, and firing Phil only brought on his demise that much quicker.

    If he's hoping to make it up on the PPCs - tell him to dream on.


    f

  20. #20
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Bonny,

    I don't even know you yet ... but Phil was the "man", he knew and if he didn't ... he asked and tried to do! I see the same wit you .... but, Your boss is "SOL" as I see it ... he /she created this situation ... not you, not Phil, not us ... but him/her!

    He/she has to live with it!

    Haiko
    PS ... Any goodwill gained is easilly lost, ten times over, with BADwill!

  21. #21
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    Bonnie:

    Thanks for coming on and dealing with the fallout your short-sighted boss has caused.

    I'm sure, though, that someone will fill the gift basket spot at CJ when he downgrades himself out of affiliates, especially when those same affiliates are figuring out how to duplicate his business model.

  22. #22
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    Dropping commissions and cookies in exchange for a coupon?

    If Gifttree is in a position to continue cutting affiliates' income then good for you!

    But the wise affiliates (the ones who are making reallly good money for you and themselves) know darn well that there are plenty of better deals out there in your product space.

    Continuing to do this to real producing affiliates will mean you are starting from scratch as they all go to your competitors.

    I am not desperate to have GiftTree on my site.

  23. #23
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    Hello Bonny.
    In my other "real"life here...I am a manufacturers rep. Maybe you should look at setting up the way it should be and the way it works for us. Playing with a sales rep(affiliate) commission rate does NOTHING to instill confidence and faith in the company represented. Screwing agents out of sales commissions is almost as bad as some of the stories I have heard in here.
    Therefore I would see you creating a number of your affiliates not putting forth the effort to promote the products to it's proper potential. Sure it is a 2 way sword. Balance less sales with greater margins or more sales at less margins. In turn there is probably a median that would be beneficial to all. Sites that convert, and are providing the money and sales to you should NOT be changed.
    If sites need these special incentives to close a sale, so be it. If you really want to balance things out, a coupon for so much off the price needs to be made. Arent we paid on net amount. So if $100.00 item is discounted $10, your margin is less but so is our commission (on $90 vs $100) This way it is our decision to run a coupon or not. This way there is no penalization. Basically if I sell it a discount my rate of pay stays the same however by lowering the price I also lower my paid amount for selling it. This should be our decision to work WITH with a company as such instead of us being FORCED to tow the line.
    If only it was so easy in real life position to be able to weed out the dogs.
    To sum it all up; I imagine lowering the cookies and pay rate would only find you searching for new affiliate replacements.
    WW

  24. #24
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    Whew that was a long winded post!!!


    BTW
    HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL
    if I dont post again tonight.
    [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  25. #25
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    I knew when GiftTree first cut the cookie duration just in time to screw their affiliates out of some Christmas Sales, they were headed for the toilet.

    Anyone know anything about The Gift Basket Company? I think I read they are paying 15% commissions and their main text link was at like $40 EPC. Sounds like a possibility if I didn't miss something here.

    Anyone use them yet?

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