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  1. #1
    Full Member Jungleland's Avatar
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    I can't think of any of the top of my head, but it may be worthwhile to go through the list of merchants that don't take kindly to sites listing coupons.

    I can say that JcPenney didn't approve me because my site lists a few coupons and sales. I don't consider my main site a coupon site, but JCPenney thought otherwise.

    I tried to explain that less than 1% of my traffic was coupon related, to no avail.

    "Don't let yesterday take up to much of today."

  2. #2
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    Jcrew is dumping a lot of affiliates at the end of april who promote discounts/coupons/etc.

  3. #3
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    Funny how JCPenny is on a lot of coupon sites..

    ----
    -J
    The neighbors complain about the noises above ...

  4. #4
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    I posted my thoughts on JCPenney on the Vermont Teddy Bear thread. I guess that'll teach me to read all the threads before posting.

    FWIW, I was dropped from J.Crew's program. Big deal.

    Michael

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    I am going to miss JCrew. Did good with them with the coupons. They always had a $20 off $80 available!

    Connie Berg
    http://www.flamingoworld.com


  6. #6
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    Aahaha..I just read the email. ****ers.

    focusing on partners that provide sales in a manner consistent with our full-price brand position

    Sorry, I don't know anyone who shops there online, mail, or in store w/o discounts..

    Wonder if they're gonna modify their liberal return policy i've heard about.

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    The neighbors complain about the noises above ...

  7. #7
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    Yeah had JCPenney in the past and dropped me, JCREW dropped me too, but there are always lots of merchants out there and new ones starting affiliate programs each week. Just gives me room on my page to fit some new ones in

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

  8. #8
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Yet JCPenny and JCrew both remain with ebates. Now isn't that special.....

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  9. #9
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    Too bad for jcrew, I recently got some faborable SE rankings with them.. Guess I'll be replacing that page with something else now!

    Hmm.. Maybe old navy... Suggestions??

  10. #10
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    Well the JCrew "change of direction" date is 4/30. I'd be interested to see if ebates is still an affiliate of them after that date... Wouldn't surprise me if they are.. :|

    ----
    -J
    The neighbors complain about the noises above ...

  11. #11
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    An angle from a company with an affiliate program...

    What I didn't like is that one affiliate (coupon site) posted an incorrect coupon and it turned out that plenty of other site copied it.

    (It seemed as if other sites wanted to copy it, so as not to be excluded.)

    All affiliates are sent the latest coupon(s).

    That was frustrating when customers sent us complaint mail, saying our coupon didn't work. That's how we found that the site had an incorrect coupon.. then later on finding that others had copied it. (Not all but some other sites copied it.)

    Troy McDonald
    Affiliate Manager
    troy@HobbyTron.com
    1-877-606-8766 ext 123
    http://www.HobbyTron.com
    Find us in CJ under HobbyTron.com

  12. #12
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by HobbyTron.com:
    All affiliates are sent the latest coupon(s).
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Coming from you, Troy, I believe it. But I can't tell you how many merchants tell us that and then have other coupons floating around. It's gotten to a point where we often don't believe them and if we can find the coupon on another site or in a forum, it's fair game. Staples has gotten smart about it and issued one-time use coupons, like gift certificates.

    PetFoodDirect is a perfect example of this. They give us crappy 'pons and then when we send them customers, PFD sends them even better coupons through their emailings. If we try to post those same coupons, they swoop down on us.It's irritating as hell because I didn't intend to give them customers so they could undercut us with better coupons.

  13. #13
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    I guess the coupon scenario is nothing different than the rest of the internet, a lot of distrust because of what some "other" companies do.

    I don't see anything wrong with companies sending out coupons in their newsletter, but to offer "crap" coupons to affiliates and then offering better ones to the newsletter subscribers is not cool.

    Troy McDonald
    Affiliate Manager
    troy@HobbyTron.com
    1-877-606-8766 ext 123
    http://www.HobbyTron.com
    Find us in CJ under HobbyTron.com

  14. #14
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by HobbyTron.com:
    I don't see anything wrong with companies sending out coupons in their newsletter, but to offer "crap" coupons to affiliates and then offering better ones to the newsletter subscribers is not cool.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>And of course, I have no problem with stores sending customers coupons. But just don't keep me from posting those same coupons.

  15. #15
    Member mayatime's Avatar
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    I second that, Steele. Nothings torks me more than a merchant who gives crap coupons to me, and sends out killer coupons in their emails.... or worse, no coupons for me, and great coupons in their customer emails. What's the point of having affiliates if you are going to use those marketing practices?

  16. #16
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    Quite simply, MayaTime, they don't want us to have repeat customers. They want to grab the customer, say thanks to us with a few bucks and send us on our way to bring new customers to them.

  17. #17
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    worse.. shitty coupons to you, good coupon to e****s...

    ----
    -J
    The neighbors complain about the noises above ...

  18. #18
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    More coupon thoughts:

    I can see why an affiliate would want to post a coupon they found that an advertiser has (say for 10% off) and the advertiser has only given the affiliates a 4% off coupon (for example).

    ** The affiliate wants more sales.

    From the advertiser side they may be using this coupon for return customers. (The longer time goes on customers die off and don't return.) They may be testing some new tracking, etc. They may even have say a 6% off coupon for testing things/protions to see if it pays off. (Affiliates would "steal" this coupon and not think twice about it, from a merchant's/advertisers standpoint.

    Okay now let me tie up some loose ends.

    The whole problem is this:

    1. There are merchants that really try to cheat affiliates.

    2. There are affiliates that care less about a merchant and it's ability to run profitably. (Profitability is a relative term.)

    Now to go deeper.

    Regarding #1:

    This really bites as it makes affiliates weary towards all affilaite managers/companies and so the bad and good get mixed together.

    Regarding #2:

    In society it seems that since business is about making money, a lot of people generalize and assume that all companies are swimming in profits, thus there are some and the keyword is "some" affiliates that really don't care about a company.

    Now to bring it full circle:

    Since most companies have never met their affiliate partners, nor the affiliate partners meeting their partner companies in person (or even on the phone), there is no "real" connection.

    Advice to companies and affiliates:

    Make it easy for affiliates to get in contact with you.

    I have a toll-free number. I have a cell-phone. I reply to CJ e-mail as soon as I can. If I cannot reply soon (I'm looking into something), I let the affiliate know.

    I keep in mind that in front of the computer screen is a real person just like I am. (We both have good days and bad days, and that we are both not perfect. Take a deep breath.)

    Final Words:

    Affiliates. Try to contact the company to build a relationship with the company/affiliate manager. I know there are crooked companies out there, but not all are bad. Just like "real life" there are good people and bad people.

    Affiliate managers. Remember that there are real people on the other end of the computer screen. I know that you have to help keep the company profitable, but at the same time remember that affiliates are really an extension of your company and thus "part of the family" too.

    Both affiliates and managers:
    These comments are to be taken with a grain of salt. You are your best judge. Go with your gut feeling. You know your situation better than I do.

    Troy McDonald
    Affiliate Manager
    troy@HobbyTron.com
    1-877-606-8766 ext 123
    http://www.HobbyTron.com
    Find us in CJ under HobbyTron.com

  19. #19
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Troy makes some very valid points and keeping the coupon pushing affiliates in line is like herding cats in a busy parking lot.

    Now comes the real hard part for the hobby product affiliate enabled merchants. All here know my running battle with eHobbies in there 2 years at BeFree and 1 with CJ. For the first year I made 200.00 monthly with them till the partners there got in greed battles and used diversion and reporting tag tricks to cut out commissions. Now last year they reversed 90% of all my customers sales (no coupon ever posted) and this year reversed 100%. Add in the non-converting offerings in hobby products by WalMart -eToys/KBtoys and this verticle sucks for sales. I know sales are made daily as hobby RC kits and products are sold everyday from my sister's shop over the last 18 years. She averages 40% markup on her shop sales.

    Now the hobby etailers have a real problem converting targeted traffic from affiliates ..but no problem converting marginally targeted SE/PPCSE traffic. No one clicking on a link from my Cybermall are not expecting to shop for hobby products at your site. Do you think your e-catalog would be totally worthless for 600 of these shoppers YTD?

    Hobbytron.com commissions= $0.00 0 0 clicks=598 impressions=56,793 0.010 $0.00 0.000 $0.00

    Add in the eHobbies stats and remember this diversion site reversed all 5 sales so the EPC is ZERO.

    eHobbies.com commissions=$39.09 sales=5 0 clicks=742 29,887 0.025 $1.31 0.007 EPC=$5.27

    Now for a real wakeup call for the niche' hobby and toy etailers and why I hate sending traffic to any of them or choosing new ones. Your not fooling me a bit. I designed two local merchant operated niche' product websites that have been up for over 3 years. One in stock & custom Skateboards and one in men's suspenders. Both close and ship products to one out of every 40 shoppers to their sites...regardless of the source of the traffic.

    No product merchant should ever be allowed to apply or qualify for a major network affiliate program till they can verify they close one in every 100 visitors. Holdup Suspender Company's site www.suspenders.com averages only 300 unique visitors (800 page views) per day and still books and ships 40-60 ecatalog orders per day. No stupid gimmics like coupons -no e-mail flyers and no real discounts beyond a new free freight offer on sales over 50.00. Total reversals and returns well under 1% for the last 5 years.

    Troy post an honest CJ conversion ratio (average clicks to get one sale) here and then do what Andy of TigerDirect does in his highly competitive market. Improve on it for all classes of affiliates.

    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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    Hobbytron.com commissions= $0.00 0 0 clicks=598 impressions=56,793 0.010 $0.00 0.000 $0.00

    Mike, thats your fault. Use the coupon that Hobbytron makes readily available for affliate use. You mentioned KB, i do fine with them too, of course i use the coupon they have available for affiliates. All your claims of non-converting merchants is baseless if you don't use what they give you to convert.

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

  21. #21
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    Charlie/Mike?,

    I would rather discuss your personal scenario in private. Posting publicly, I assume you want to analyze things...

    Let's fill in a bit more information for those reading.

    Your stats as mentioned above is for Jan. 1, 2003 to April 27, 2003.

    589 (not 598) click-throughs for you with no sales.

    Let's look at similar (and less) click-throughs with their payouts from Jan. 1, 2003 to April 27, 2003.

    Clicks --- Total Commissions
    578 --- $11.06
    566 --- $352.01
    530 --- $40.16
    526 --- $176.84
    522 --- $33.51
    520 --- $22.44
    501 --- $51.32
    472 --- $614.84
    447 --- $28.51
    437 --- $19.87
    etc.

    We are consistently working on helping ALL sites to convert (convert better) through what we do in public and also behind the scenes.
    (Tools, ads, etc.)

    Getting 1 in 100 to convert from every single affiliate would be like herding cats in a busy parking lot.

    We have and continue to strive to hold the #1 spot in CJ under our main category (Toys), both for 3 Month EPC and 7 day EPC.

    We are doing something right, and improving the rest.

    Troy McDonald
    Affiliate Manager
    troy@HobbyTron.com
    1-877-606-8766 ext 123
    http://www.HobbyTron.com
    Find us in CJ under HobbyTron.com

    [This message was edited by HobbyTron.com on April 27, 2003 at 08:36 PM.]

  22. #22
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    Don't worry about it Troy, he never uses coupons and wonders why he can't convert. Mike, maybe because after they click your link and are ready to check out they see a box for a coupon code you didn't provide? Maybe your site visitor opens another browser looking for a hobbytron coupon and comes to my site where i say click here and use coupon xxx at checkout. Thanks for the business, Mike.

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

  23. #23
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by EcomCity.com:
    Troy makes some very valid points and keeping the coupon pushing affiliates in line is like herding cats in a busy parking lot...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Am I the only one getting tired of this holier-than-thou attitude? Why are coupon affiliates looked down upon by you?

  24. #24
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Thanks for the business, Mike <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    This is too funny! Trustno1 I think your post is exactly right.

    Steele--You are not the only one.

  25. #25
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Hobbytron.com commissions= $0.00 0 0 clicks=598 impressions=56,793 0.010 $0.00 0.000 $0.00

    Add in the eHobbies stats and remember this diversion site reversed all 5 sales so the EPC is ZERO.

    eHobbies.com commissions=$39.09 sales=5 0 clicks=742 29,887 0.025 $1.31 0.007 EPC=$5.27

    My point is that the job of the affiliate is to create a page like http://www.ecomcity.com/webworld/hobby.htm and migrate some shoppers to the page based upon the shopping subject. I'd like to put product links there but ehobbies had just 3 out of stock product links. The affiliate can get better CTR rates by enhancing the page and merchant spin. I'd make that effort when I find a merchant who steadly converts.

    A great coupon landing page with a specific product(s) that apply would be great for conversions. A coupon offer that requires a PHD in computer science to navigate a strange site is the norm. Some merchants have coupon/incent links that automatically credits the referred shopper with the coupon/special offer upon checkout. But as the online retailers association points out the major cause of cart abandonment is confusion on rebates-coupons and blatent display at the checkout process where normal buyers fear they are paying too much and seek the ADVERTISED discount.

    So I concentrate on showcasing merchants who have either niche' product of everyday low prices on name brand products.

    My CTR is OK on this page but I can guarantee on 100+ clicks to someone like Essentail Apparel or TigerDirect brings me consistant sales. No trick for clicks ..no coupons..no deceptive ploys to get the shoppers turned over to the merchant. The merchant has to assume 100% of the risk of conversion once the affiliate refers the shopper from a straight Cybermall like mine. My shoppers do not expect to jump thru hoops with opening additional browser windows to search for coupons. Many have some BHO's installed to remind them or distract them during their shopping session. Some might be a member at some legit "incent" site and know the online tricks for some further discounts.

    BUT NO way do 1200 unique visitors shopping for hobby items come up with empty shopping carts unless they get turned off at the merchants site!!!

    Charlie ...

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

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