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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador AWaR's Avatar
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    Check all your product links to see if they're going to the correct product.

    I sold a lipstick from my ghost site yesterday because they changed the product number without telling anyone (the link should have gone to a nice skeleton figure).

    There were other links I had to change too because they were going to cosmetics pages and they shouldn't have...

  2. #2
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    Fish,
    I've several others say they have had problems with Catalog City, particularly links expiring with no notification...I've heard you have to watch them closely...but hey, at least you sold the lipstick :rolleyes:

  3. #3
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    We don't use them all that much because of the s hitty maintenance on their links... it's actually more work on our part to keep up with them.

    Generally, any product link without a "::" in them appear to be to some "out of stock"/"not here any more" page.

    CodeJockey.

  4. #4
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    Aparently the fact their product ID numbers regularly get switched around at random 'is a small price to pay for access to their catalog of 250 000 products'.

    And the solution, supposedly, is to check every one of their links on a regular basis then go to CJ and *search for each individual item by name', yet again* and replace the ones they screwed up with more equally likely to screw up.

    So they know about it and don't intend to do a damn thing about it.

    I asked them if this was any way to run a business and they agreed it was not but aren't planning to change.

    If I were you I'd either 1) plan to spend the rest of my life nursing their stupid links 2) send them an email telling them why they are dumped.

    I

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador AWaR's Avatar
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    I only use a dozen of their product links and I don't get mega traffic to the pages they're on, so I don't mind updating them once in a blue moon.

    quote:
    If I were you I'd either 1) plan to spend the rest of my life nursing their stupid links 2) send them an email telling them why they are dumped

    Looks like I'll be nursing the links for a while as they have some very relevent products for my content (except for the lipstick [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] )

  6. #6
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    I've jsut joined but I can't even get CJ to serve up the product links for that merchant reliably.

    It *is* an impressive product range though! There are only two merchants that sell what I want, and they have the best site.

  7. #7
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    My opinion is that the best commission payer equals the best site.

    And with their 5% commission on already cheap-cheap prices, they rarely get through that filter.

    When they do manage to pass that, there's the bit with the links. Forget that constant updating! That means I have to be able to tell my customer how to get to the product from the front page. It's not something I'm averse to on general principles, BUT when combined with the teensy commission, that's another story.

    So I never have got around to running them except for a couple of banners on the gardening site (content)... they get quite a few hits considering that lousy placement so when I find a REAL merchant that pays a decent commission and isn't constantly messing up their links I'd give that real merchant a revenue page and let 'er roll...

  8. #8
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    The best thing about Catalog City (and I will always use them because of this very thing) is they can introduce you to new affiliate programs -- if they're selling something, it's because the company they're selling for has an affiliate program (although, sometimes they're crummy affiliate programs where cc has obviously negotiated a better deal becuase of their volume).

    I got my TOP merchant through cc. One CJ merchant ran out of a product, I used a cc link for filler. This was a cheap product and at 5% it was almost not worth the link -- except I had good position in several search engines and it was selling at incredible rates. I went to the merchant's site (tracked down via cc), found their affiliate program (privately run) and signed up. They have a tiered commish and the first day I was in the highest commish range -- now I get 18% of that product.

    The new merchant is now my top performer across all networks, and not just on that one product, I'm selling other stuff of theirs as well.

    If you find a merchant that sells through cc, contact that merchant and find out about their affiliate program (it's not always on their site). If they have terms you can live with, join up and bypass cc. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    Of course, I did that recently and the new merchant emailed me their terms -- 5% -- on inexpensive costume jewelry (we're talking max $25 items)... I politely thanked them for their time and said "no thanks"... not worth the hassle of tracking yet another program for 5% of pennies.

  9. #9
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    Cedric,

    Smart idea there. I've done it a few times.
    But never with CC.

    In general for those who missed it. Go look
    at MALLS and check the stores to see if they have their own affiliate program.

    You can find better deals on the same stuff that's offered thru Snare, BeRipped Off and
    We'll Steal Your Commission Junction.

  10. #10
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    Does anyone make any money from Catalog City?

    I too have noticed that product links get "switched around randomly" - they don't even change them to a related product. If you were linking to a stereo, they might end up at a baby rattle or lipstick page - Not EVEN CLOSE. Geeshhhhh! Atleast send them to a related product.

    Check out these stats. :eek:

    I sent Catalog City 823 Targeted Hits.
    Sales = $0.00

    Come on, give me a break....

  11. #11
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    Unfortunately, I went through our product links and a few had been switched. There was no notification of changing links, etc. I have way to many products on one of our sites to babysit just catalog city. I just removed 500 products that were linked through catalog city.

    Tom Pyles

  12. #12
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    Yeah, I've made money with CC (various products).

    I got lucky on a couple of hotties in December -- 624 Hits ; 60 Sales ... I've since joined the original vendors the product comes from, so my January numbers for cc are quite dog like... but I'll stick in a product here and there for them... looking for more hotties.

  13. #13
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    quote:
    The best thing about Catalog City (and I will always use them because of this very thing) is they can introduce you to new affiliate programs


    Cedric,

    Thanks for the tip. I was only using Catalog City for basically 1 product, and I just joined the affiliate program of the merchant who has that product. They pay 20% commission too! (way better than CC's 5%)

    Plus this merchant has ALOT of other cool products I could easily sell too!

    The next 800 target hits are going straight to this merchant. I bet my sales and commissions will improve dramatically. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  14. #14
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    Excellent, CK! Best of luck with it.

  15. #15
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    I am the affiliate manager for Catalog City and I hope to shed some light on the product link situation within CJ. New content is constantly being added to Catalog City. Once the catalogs are updated, there isn't really a fool-proof method to communicate this transition to publishers. The only real way to accomplish an efficient method of communicating change is to remind all affiliates once a week that the catalog will update daily, and thus the data could change within 24 hours. I understand, however that this solution will not eliminate the fact the the product links need to be maintained.

    Regarding the image issues, this is a problem currently being resolved. I believe a solution can be reached in the near future.

    I apologize for any inconveniences our product links have caused. I truly appreciate your feedback and would be interested to hear of any other possible solutions to this problem.

    Beth Kroenke
    CatalogCity.com

  16. #16
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    When you're changing your catalog one of your highest design considerations should be to make life easy for affiliates. Other companies manage to have dynamic updating that doesn't require a lot of babysitting from the affiliate's end, so it CAN be done.

  17. #17
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Well,

    I appreciate their honesty and I am certainly never going to use them!

    Check and update links daily? Are they kidding, or what? :eek:

    [ 01-14-2002: Message edited by: SSanf ]

  18. #18
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    Beth, very glad to see you here.

    Unfortunately, the ever-changing product link situation will continue to be a problem until affiliates can rest assured that they're not going to change as often as weekly... actually, until they can be assured that they're not going to change, period.

    I use CC and will continue to do so for the reasons I mentioned earlier, but CC will never be a heavy hitter on my page for two reasons: 1)the second I find a product that sells, I'll be headed off to work a deal with product originator; 2)I won't use a high number of cc links because of the difficulty of maintaining them -- it's just waaaay too much of a headache.

    As Elisabeth said, other merchants manage to have dynamic content without becoming a MAJOR source of irritation for the affiliates -- somebody needs to whip your DB people into shape... they simply aren't doing it right. And if they tell you it can't be done, all they're really saying is "we're stuck with a legacy system that can't manage it and for whatever reason, we're not changing it."

  19. #19
    Guest
    Beth, you could at least update the link-info at CJ, dont you think?

    Quiet777

  20. #20
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Hi Beth!

    Welcome to ABW!


    (If I think of anything that's not alreay in this thread, I'll post it later...)

  21. #21
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    I'm glad to see Beth here too!

    CC is an excellent advertiser with fair terms, a deep product catalog, and well there are soo many reasons I am glad to have found this merchant.

    I have had little problem with the links, but most of the ones I use (in the Performics program) are not product links.

    I prefer links to individual catalog pages - there is less chance an entire catalog will disappear and the visitors seem to find what they are looking for as long as you get them close enough.

    CatalogCity - a real diamond in the rough over at Performics (Performics' motto: 'Hey at least we are better than reporting.net!')

  22. #22
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    Beth,

    Welcome!

    quote:
    I'm glad to see Beth here too!

    CC is an excellent advertiser with fair terms, a deep product catalog, and well there are soo many reasons I am glad to have found this merchant.


    I agree 1,000%!

    Haiko

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador mailman's Avatar
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    Welcome Beth. I received your email at CJ-delisted. I will wait to see what you do correcting your problems. As you can see, affiliates are getting tired of listing sites that don't generate revenue. Again WELCOME! http://www.mailordering.com/catalogs.html
    Gerry

  24. #24
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    Beth,
    Glad to see you checking in. From our perspective, we have a shopping section on one of our sites. We currently have several thousand products listed. I started to add Catalog City products, and we had about 500 listed. I would have been more than happy to add many, many more products to our site, but with the links changing as they do, I would spend hours, if not days, checking every product at catalog city alone. Our goal is to have 10-15k products total in the next few months. Many of those products would have been catalog city, but the maintenance for one single merchant is a problem.

    Tom Pyles

  25. #25
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    Thank you all for the kind reception. I too would like to make the update of the product links seamless to affiliates. While I continue to investigate this problem and work to correct it, I truly appreciate your input and am open to any other options you would like to see implemented. Thank you again for your feedback and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Beth Kroenke
    CatalogCity.com

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