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  1. #1
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    I've been in contact with a merchant over a number of months who is listed on Ebates but who is seriously considering leaving the 'dark side'.

    The merchant has checked out the parasitic applications (BHO's etc) but is more interested in how to trace back to the ultimate beneficiaries of parasitic activity in order to weed them out of his program.

    He's also considering becoming an Abestweb Trusted Merchant, so I think we should help him in any way we can.

    My knowledge in this area is very basic.

    Can anybody out there more clued up than I help?

  2. #2
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    quote:
    is more interested in how to trace back to the ultimate beneficiaries of parasitic activity in order to weed them out of his program.


    I don't understand this statement?

    Parasites and networks are the ultimate beneficiaries financially when a merchant does business with parasites. The merchant and it's affiliates are the losers with the merchant paying commisisons on what is often non commissionable sales and affiliates by having their marketing efforts undermined and their profits being diverted into a parasites pockets.

    As far as tracing it back to who's responsible, all he needs to do is go in the bathroom and look in the mirror at himself.

    Parasites "may" provide value to small time businesses who don't have lots of traffic but all the big, well established known merchants are fools IMO to be partnering with them considering the many sources of free traffic, bookmarks, email campaigns and their own ppc campaigns that get tackled with a commission when it wasn't necessary.

  3. #3
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    OK Poon, I know your history on ABW and happen to think you talk a lot of sense, but don't see how your comments here help.

    If a merchant is seriously considering severing all links with parasites and given our dislike of those parasites, shouldn't we support said merchant?

    Surely this is simply the same process by which other merchants have become trusted on ABW?

    Surely it's not a magical formula?

  4. #4
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Have them call me on my number listed in whois ... I'll help - I've got many great merchants who went p-ware free and can help them better understand what will happen with the numbers when they do go p-ware free and what should happen.

    Great work!!!!
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  5. #5
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    Yo Dot....

    You asked a question - I said I didn't fully understand but did attempt to provide some insight.

    The insight provided was not to ridicule the merchant in question but an attempt to provide information - it was not meant to be disparaging. It is a merchants "or in many cases" an am's decision to faciliate parterships with a parasite or not.

    I know many AM's who fight their upper level management in order to boot parasites and just talked with another one who has taken these steps today in fact. "Whether the buck stops with an AM or not" - the AM is IMO ultimately responsible for continuing relationships with parasites or dropping them either directly or not. I've asked many merchants to consider this and "look in the mirror" before this last post and I'm certainly not ashamed of asking someone to do that again.

    Most affiliates would say IMO that merchants should drop parasites solely because of ethics but for most merchants - "it is the bottom line that matters most" and it is no different with the affiliates either - ask them to drop a merchant dealing with parasites that they make good money with and see what they say LOL. 99.9 of the affiliates here WONT just as most merchants haven't either.

    My best advice would have him talk with other AMs who have been in this same boat, made changes and see if they can shed some light on results after the fact. Andy Rodriguiz, Andy of Sierra trading post, Fogdog ran a test period and then finally adopted an anti-parasite stance and have seen before and after. There are other trusted merchants here who have adopted anti-parasite policies and can discuss this as well.

    As to "if these kinds of statements are helpful or not" just like any thing else, the interpretation can be taken one way or another and one things for sure - the variations of interpretations will be very different.

    Rock on!

  6. #6
    Full Member ahmar's Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Haiko:
    Have them call me on my number listed in whois ... I'll help - I've got many great merchants who went p-ware free and can help them better understand what will happen with the numbers when they do go p-ware free and what should happen.

    Great work!!!!


    Way to go Microdot & Haiko! I guess thats the only bet against parasites to educate the Merchants. In a process of helping them clean their programs actually we are helping ourselves. We may not be able to eliminate them but surely we can reduce them.

    quote:
    Parasites and networks are the ultimate beneficiaries financially when a merchant does business with parasites. The merchant and it's affiliates are the losers with the merchant paying commisisons on what is often non commissionable sales and affiliates by having their marketing efforts undermined and their profits being diverted into a parasites pockets.


    I always failed to understand why would a merchant wants to pay on non-commissionable sales?

    Only advantage I can see, as Andy R. said, merchants have to write fewer checks. Rather than paying to 100 they pay to 1 or 2.

    I read this in other thread (I dont know how far its true) that few AM (not all) keep the parasites in their programs to inflate the affiliates sales to show their performance and increase their own commission, if they are on commission, as well.

    Anyways, Microdot keep up the good work. I am sure if that merchant goes parasite free you will be one proud person.
    <DT>[size=1][color=navy]"The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return.[/color][/size]<DT>[size=1][color=navy]It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale." Arthur C. Clark[/color][/size]</DT>

  7. #7
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    Thanks Haiko, I passed your contact details on to the merchant in question.

    Hopfully they will be in touch soon

  8. #8
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    I'm very happy to be able to reveal, with the a.m.'s permission, that the merchant in question is Shoebuy.Com

    I'm also happy to reveal that effective today Shoebuy.Com have terminated their links with Ebates

    In light of this move I, for one, will be certainly be happy to add Shoebuy to my list of preferred merchants and I know that their a.m., Mike Ouelette is very keen to prove that this move is a good one for them by recruiting from the ranks of proper, hard working affiliates to be found on boards such as ABW.

    I've approached a fair number of merchant a.m.'s over the past few months with regard to their stance on parasites and, more often than not, been completely snubbed - many of them just don't want to listen.

    Perhaps this would be a good opportunity for us to use our collective influence to prove that we can do better for the merchants than the likes of Ebates? I think the best way to prove this is by stepping up and supporting merchants who are willing to listen to what we have to say and acting on it in a positive way.

    Who is with me?

    By the way, Mr. Haiko, if you're not too busy Mike would love to speak to you about going the whole-hog and becoming an ABW Trusted Merchant and is eagerly awaiting a return telephone call to discuss.

    I realise that you probably have a million and one things to do as it's the busiest time of the year, but seeing ShoeBuy as a Trusted Merchant on ABW would sure be a good Christmas present for me

  9. #9
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    Yes, we have decided to part ways with Ebates. This is a decision that we came to based on some very fundamental business challenges that we had with the Ebates model. Many of these issues have been brought up on this board. Surfacing this information forced us to take a much deeper look into these types of businesses and how they impact our company’s overall profitability.

    Microdot is correct in that we are looking to become a trusted merchant as I feel it’s the best thing that we can do for our program/business at this point. I do have a little ground to make up with the loss of Ebates, but am confident that by reaching out further into the affiliate community that I will easily make up that ground.

    I am looking to start a merchant forum as soon as we can get it going. In the meantime if anyone has any questions please feel free to contact me directly via email.

    Just to let everyone know we have programs on both the BeFree and CJ platforms starting at 17%. We offer customers Free Shipping (on ALL products), Free Return Shipping, 110% Price Guarantee and no sales tax. On conversion is high as we also offer monthly coupons and clearance specials on top of that. We carry over 300,000 products including luggage, athletic apparel and accessories. We offer 30 return days and do process reversals. I’m always looking for new affiliates!

    Happy Holidays Everyone!
    Mike

    Michael Ouellette
    Shoebuy.com
    mouellette@shoebuy.com

  10. #10
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    To pound home the difference in your shoe sales program to the others riddled with cookie/commission thieves is to open a ABW forum. This is the only place real value-add domain bound affiliates flock too. Merry Christmas and I, like others will revamp 2005 exposure to only those who reward legit referral traffic.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
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    Michael Ouellette - Shoebuy.com

    Thank you very much for the gift this Christmas!

    @Mircodot - Great job and thank you too!

    Merry Merry Christmas ABW!

    What COC stand for? Crooks Overwriting Commission
    Don't worry tracking is Infected

    Live life to the fullest, You only get 1 chance. Enjoy it while you can... Nothing last forever!

  12. #12
    Full Member ahmar's Avatar
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    Thanks Michael & Shoebuy.com for respecting the other honest affiliates. Wish you all the best with your program and sales.

    Great work Microdot
    <DT>[size=1][color=navy]"The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return.[/color][/size]<DT>[size=1][color=navy]It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale." Arthur C. Clark[/color][/size]</DT>

  13. #13
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    @ Nova & Ahmar - my pleasure

    But then again, it's really Mike we have to thank for listening to us and taking positive action.

    Having done my best to 'push' him over the edge, I'd love to see this thread full of responses from affiliates willing to at least give ShoeBuy a fresh chance - so come one guys - don't let me down here

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
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    Ya welcome Dot!

    I just applied to their program and just waiting for the approval and will add them to our site as soon as we are approve!

    Anyone else getting cleaned up let us know!

    What COC stand for? Crooks Overwriting Commission
    Don't worry tracking is Infected

    Live life to the fullest, You only get 1 chance. Enjoy it while you can... Nothing last forever!

  15. #15
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    Is it just me?

    Or does anybody else find it odd that there seems to be far more energy expended here on ABW in complaining about merchants who do business with parasites than in supporting merchants who step up and ditch them?

    I know don't have a big following here, and probably never will have given the rarity of my visits here lately, but I remain stunned at the lack of enthusiasm this news has generated.


  16. #16
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    quote:
    Or does anybody else find it odd that there seems to be far more energy expended here on ABW in complaining about merchants who do business with parasites than in supporting merchants who step up and ditch them?


    Odd? Nah. It's a human nature thing--same effect as with the evening news. Good news is welcome, but bad news *compels* people to talk/complain/warn others about it. It's the same human-behavior quirk that makes it so that companies have to pay to advertise to spread a good message about their product, whereas if any bad PR comes up, they have to spend money/effort to *dampen* the spread of it!

    Which reminds me, I never mentioned--Good for ShoeBuy for going p-ware free, and good for you and Haiko for educating them!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  17. #17
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    It's so true as we constently spend energy to whip the parasite free merchants into better shape, while blasting those who'll always be in the commission basement. They all are like herding cats with the biggest fear being the winners getting exposed to the group. Sure kiss of death as the cookie stuffing and SERP spamming tricksters will pounce on them.

    Somehow I've managed to keep my select group of 12 Holdup affiliates (plus one super affiliate) from growing into an unmanageable size. Not one new recruit in 2004 regardless of posting more pro-affiliate advice than all ABW AM's combined. Jeeze it's nice to get a letter from the super affiliate today totally floored they sold 142 pairs of suspenders and 4 pair of jeans on 433 clicks in December. They like more then 3 sizes of jeans (LOL) and hinted they want the complete product line exposed on their site.

    Let them beg as the leakage is killing their 1/4 conversion ratio. Affiliates not content with a 25% conversion ratio, making me do most the work, sure need to do something about branding my client. The major apparel merchants get the side bar and logo branding, so I'll save my energy for trashing merchants here who hinder converting or reporting targeted traffic.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

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