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  1. #1
    A Real *and* Darn Cool Member! lstolze's Avatar
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    Affiliate Bashing
    I came across this little 'consumer alert' article, and must say, I'm offended. I don't appreciate people demonizing affiliates as if we ALL pull tricks on our visitors! And excuse me, but THEY are bashing affiliates that sell hoodia products, and they are also trying to cash in on hoodia. WTF is that all about?? I never post incorrect info on products, and have visited TONS of other affiliate sites that also are 'clean' in that regard. It seems to me that they should have refrained from making this sound like a common occurrence - like affiliate marketing is a dirty word.

    I suggest checking out the site if you have time, but I'll post the intact article too.

    h t t p://cellhealthmakeover.com/affiliate-hoodia-programs. html

    [Pleasse NOTE]
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=60929
    ~Lisa - Brilliant Mastermind, or Nut? You decide!

  2. #2
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Affiliate programs are a great plan for the websites offering them, but the affiliate participants often become underpaid sales representatives and the consumer often gets tricked by a biased recommendation.
    That is true. So many of you complain about low comissions etc. And a lot of affiliate sites that I have seen offer reviews for products they probably didn't even review. I even remember a thread a while ago about someone asking if they should review something they never tried.

    I don't think anyone should be offended by that article. Being offended by this article is basically the same as a COP being offended when a DIRTY COP is exposed.

  3. #3
    A Real *and* Darn Cool Member! lstolze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    That is true. So many of you complain about low comissions etc. And a lot of affiliate sites that I have seen offer reviews for products they probably didn't even review. I even remember a thread a while ago about someone asking if they should review something they never tried.

    I don't think anyone should be offended by that article. Being offended by this article is basically the same as a COP being offended when a DIRTY COP is exposed.
    I know there are affiliates that do this stuff, but to me, the tone of the article gives the impression that consumers should beware ALL affiliates. It doesn't say anything like 'some unscrupulous affiliates,' etc. I have never done something like this, and it worries me that if I sold a hoodia product, someone may do a search, read this article, buy the item from THEM (which again, I feel is their prime motivation for making affiliates look like scum, to boost their own sales), and then shun my site because they realize I'm an 'evil affiliate'. Maybe I am just touchy today, but I just think that this article is like 'the pot calling the kettle black' as my nana would say.
    ~Lisa - Brilliant Mastermind, or Nut? You decide!

  4. #4
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I know there are affiliates that do this stuff, but to me, the tone of the article gives the impression that consumers should beware ALL affiliates.
    Consumers should beaware of ALL affiliates and ALL merchants. If they aren't those bad apples will prosper. Stay legit encourage your visitors to be vigilant for scammy sites and you will prosper.

  5. #5
    A Real *and* Darn Cool Member! lstolze's Avatar
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    But then how to encourage them to be vigilant...? I certainly don't like the approach that the above site used. I would never bad mouth others to make a couple bucks. Just seems a lot like selling your soul to me.
    ~Lisa - Brilliant Mastermind, or Nut? You decide!

  6. #6
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Same way people encourage people not to use spyware. Inform them.
    Problem is a lot of affiliates want spyware companies in check, want merchants in check but when it comes to affiliates we want free rain we don't want to stay in check. But we raise hell when another affiliate steps on our turf and when someone makes a general statement about how affiliates sometimes make up reviews we are quick to be offended.

  7. #7
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    The time for passivity is long gone. Affiliates, merchants, competing merchants, hackers, adware whores, ad agencies, PPCSEs and everyone else in the pipeline is fair game to tag and expose. If you are still being passive, read the parasite forums here at ABW, read Ben's stuff - get an old PC and catch a bug - start logging complaints to CJ - they've got a new policy to enforce and they've shown before that they are understaffed (that's nice way of saying incompetent and criminally complicit) - so get out your mop and help - perhaps CJ will do something when they realize we're going to notify the press of all the help we've given them and all the NOTHING that they've done with it.

    Call me a narc - go ahead - I wear it proudly now. We have stood by and allowed our name to be smeared in the mud.

    Passivity has failed. Get in gear!

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    "We have stood by and allowed our name to be smeared in the mud."

    EXACTLY - it is our business not the networks.. CJ could shut down tomorrow and we would still be in business..

    You would think that CJ would do everything in their power to keep "AFFILIATE MARKETING" from getting any bad press.. yet they still promote the parasites adwhores... and then bundle them all under the AFFILIATE umbrella..

    You would also think that the networks would do everything in their power to create a feeling of security when it came to ONLINE SHOPPING..(their bread and butter) but they just want to cash in on the crap programs.. regardless of how they make their money.. in my opinion the networks that allow this type of crap to go on - ARE THE BAD COPS..

    I AGREE::::
    Passivity has failed. Get in gear!

  9. #9
    Full Member bwc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    The time for passivity is long gone. Affiliates, merchants, competing merchants, hackers, adware whores, ad agencies, PPCSEs and everyone else in the pipeline is fair game to tag and expose. If you are still being passive, read the parasite forums here at ABW, read Ben's stuff - get an old PC and catch a bug - start logging complaints to CJ - they've got a new policy to enforce and they've shown before that they are understaffed (that's nice way of saying incompetent and criminally complicit) - so get out your mop and help - perhaps CJ will do something when they realize we're going to notify the press of all the help we've given them and all the NOTHING that they've done with it.

    Call me a narc - go ahead - I wear it proudly now. We have stood by and allowed our name to be smeared in the mud.

    Passivity has failed. Get in gear!
    So has being ACTIVE failed time and time again . . . CJ, and also NO other network, is ever going to do anything. This has been going on for years and it's NEVER EVER gonna stop. But, seeing as you've got a ball rolling, I'm in again too . . . whataya wanna do?

  10. #10
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Educate your merchants and show them what's happening. I am doing that and now several merchants pay me bounties to do it.

  11. #11
    Full Member bwc's Avatar
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    They PAY you to educate them? You mean they ask you questions and you provide answers to them so they don't have to actually get involved in this community?

    For a few years I used to try to get merchants to come here and get involved. I think maybe one or two did come but that's a sad state of affairs when the large numbers of merchants cannot be bothered.

    So how are you getting paid?

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    We are making headway on this, just look at how things were a year or two ago. We didn't win this yet, by any means, but we are making progress. Like Donuts said, educate your merchants. The more they hear it, the more they are likely to listen. Andy Rodriguez is cranking out more well informed, and likely more trustworthy, affiliate managers via his certification classes. As one of Andy's certified affiliate managers, I will not entertain working with any merchant who allows parasites, unless they want to clean up their program. In which case, I'd welcome the challenge. I've been asked a few times to just recruit affiliates and I turn them down because I'm not putting my name on a program if I don't have the authority over who joins and who isn't welcome. You'd be surprised how many merchants have no idea what spyware and parasites are doing to their program and their brand. But, one by one they're getting educated, affiliates are complaining, customers are complaining and Attornies General are taking action. I'm a firm believer in what goes around comes around and those who work with parasites will lose in the end.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  13. #13
    Full Member jerseyjim's Avatar
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    Cj and Gateway Be Free
    Quote Originally Posted by AddHandler
    "We have stood by and allowed our name to be smeared in the mud."

    EXACTLY - it is our business not the networks.. CJ could shut down tomorrow and we would still be in business..

    You would think that CJ would do everything in their power to keep "AFFILIATE MARKETING" from getting any bad press.. yet they still promote the parasites adwhores... and then bundle them all under the AFFILIATE umbrella..

    You would also think that the networks would do everything in their power to create a feeling of security when it came to ONLINE SHOPPING..(their bread and butter) but they just want to cash in on the crap programs.. regardless of how they make their money.. in my opinion the networks that allow this type of crap to go on - ARE THE BAD COPS..

    I AGREE::::
    Passivity has failed. Get in gear!
    I dumped Cj a long time ago, now I see a few merchants left on the Be free list, all the others have gone to CJ, I will dump them as well.
    No sense trying to change the world, as has happened all over the country,we didn't cause any of the poor debts,fuel,credit cards,big money to the super rich, and big corps, or monitor the storms that created all of the damage, their was plenty of time to build better and bigger flood protection, like Holland has down a long time ago. Excuses,excuses,excuses,all we get is BS.
    JJ
    [FONT=Times New Roman]Even Einstein read comic books to relax[/FONT] :clap:

  14. #14
    Full Member bwc's Avatar
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    You'd be surprised how many merchants have no idea what spyware and parasites are doing to their program and their brand. But, one by one they're getting educated, affiliates are complaining, customers are complaining and Attornies General are taking action.
    Greg, I'm not surprised at all. In fact, I find myself getting pissed off all over again at how many don't care to know. That's what I was trying to say.

    But if you're having an easy time of it and you are seeing progress . . . WHERE are the merchants that participate in the boards as a result? How many thousands of programs are out there and how many merchants are here? From that perspective it's easy to see that the interest is not there for the merchants, especially when there's more response and respect for places like CJ that promote the parasites to them . . . do I really need to go on? NO, I think I'm burned out on trying to do informing when the results show so poorly. At best ABW is a great place to meet for newbies and disgruntles or those that are weary between coding sessions. That's why I come now. Shits'n'giggles sometimes . . .

  15. #15
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Rice
    Like Donuts said, educate your merchants. The more they hear it, the more they are likely to listen. Andy Rodriguez is cranking out more well informed, and likely more trustworthy, affiliate managers via his certification classes.
    One by one buddy, you were there. I invite anyone to scrutinize any merchant that attended my seminar. They all know. They all watch and heard Kellie's presentation. They have a clue and are running clean programs.....many didn't before, many had no clue. Just watch the video on my site and hear what they said before and after the seminar....

    One by one, we are making changes...
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  16. #16
    Full Member bwc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Rodriguez
    One by one, we are making changes...
    You might be seeing it first hand. Maybe that's what's really needed. But it sure doesn't show around here.

  17. #17
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    bwc,

    Many come here who don't necessarily post regularly or much at all necessarily. But I have had several Merchants contact me through the boards asking for assistance cleaning up their programs. Not all post, but they are here and reading.

  18. #18
    Full Member bwc's Avatar
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    I'm happy someone is getting somewhere. In my experience, I've tried to get them to come here, and I link them to specific threads because it was easier to have them read the thread than for me to explain. But still, where are they? I was dormant for over a year with no posting, but I was here and for over 4 years never saw too many names of members, nor lurkers, at the top of the boards. They seem to only be getting their information if they get spoon fed by folks like you. But, if this be so, then I think it would also do people like me some good to see some results along those lines. I'd really like to see the merchants and not the mystical list or occassional post of a merchant dropping a parasite. I'm just frustrated . . .

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwc
    Greg, I'm not surprised at all. In fact, I find myself getting pissed off all over again at how many don't care to know. That's what I was trying to say.

    But if you're having an easy time of it and you are seeing progress . . . WHERE are the merchants that participate in the boards as a result? How many thousands of programs are out there and how many merchants are here? From that perspective it's easy to see that the interest is not there for the merchants, especially when there's more response and respect for places like CJ that promote the parasites to them . . . do I really need to go on? NO, I think I'm burned out on trying to do informing when the results show so poorly. At best ABW is a great place to meet for newbies and disgruntles or those that are weary between coding sessions. That's why I come now. Shits'n'giggles sometimes . . .
    For starters, look at the merchants in Andy's sig. All clean. At Andy's class, I saw merchants who were horrified to see what was happening to their sites because of parasites. That day alone, a couple more merchants joined the "light" side. There's many, many more merchants here than last year and the year before that. No, they're not all here but they keep coming.

    I totally disagree about ABW being "great place to meet for newbies and disgruntles or those that are weary between coding sessions". Some of the best talent in this industry is here. I think ABW is a major reason things are changing for the better. Word gets out, merchants come to check it out, threads show up on web sites all over the Net, folks here getting quoted in print and popular sites. If you can't see the changes then you're not reading enough. We will win this. And, no, I'm not having "an easy time of it". As a new AM, I need the business. I need to pay my bills too so, it's tough to turn down money because of my stance on parsites. But, I know it will pay off in the long run. If I educate just 10 merchants, I've done this biz a service. If we all educate 10 merchants, we all win in the end.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwc
    I'm happy someone is getting somewhere. In my experience, I've tried to get them to come here, and I link them to specific threads because it was easier to have them read the thread than for me to explain. But still, where are they? I was dormant for over a year with no posting, but I was here and for over 4 years never saw too many names of members, nor lurkers, at the top of the boards. They seem to only be getting their information if they get spoon fed by folks like you. But, if this be so, then I think it would also do people like me some good to see some results along those lines. I'd really like to see the merchants and not the mystical list or occassional post of a merchant dropping a parasite. I'm just frustrated . . .
    bwc, take a look at the thred "Merchants Opposed to Parasiteware" and you can see some of what's happening. Tool King is a great example, Chuck is cleaning house over there and deserves a lot of credit.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Rodriguez
    One by one buddy, you were there. I invite anyone to scrutinize any merchant that attended my seminar. They all know. They all watch and heard Kellie's presentation. They have a clue and are running clean programs.....many didn't before, many had no clue. Just watch the video on my site and hear what they said before and after the seminar....

    One by one, we are making changes...
    So true, merchants and future AMs alike get one hell of an education. Sorry, I can't make the one in October but I'll surely attend more as I know they'll keep getting better.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  22. #22
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I'll be in Miami! One great thing about Andy's seminar is that merchants and AMs who attend are learning from Andy how to run a clean program - most have no idea what's going on. For me, a full-time affiliate, I met several GREAT new merchants there. I met Rugman there and am building a site dedicated to them. Why? Because of the ethics and morals of the person from Rugman that I met while there. Her name is Farida and she then introduced me to Liz Glazer, a regular posted here at ABW. So, they are making efforts and spending money to LEARN - they are interested in doing the right thing - I had the opportunity toi meet them in person for extended discussions and discuss the issue with them - to educate them. The merchants and AMs at Andy's seminar are PRIME targets for serious minded affs like me to partner with. I'm going to sell a truck load of rugs and along the way, I'll be educating them on who in their program needs a closer look - I'll send them videos and cookies and a lot more documentation. This has been my path with my merchants and it is working.

    I met Dave Culpepper there as well - the man is as honest and hard working as anyone you'll meet. He's a merchant you should give strong thought to if you sell magazines. Remember, 1400+ magazines means Dave likely has something available in most interest areas.... if you sell fishing equipment, he's got a mag for it. etc.

    I met dozens of merchants at Andy's gig - attending it, to scope for new merchants who INTEND to do right and are making serious, bona fide EFFORTS to be the best, was money well spent.

    Now, pick your merchant that you sell the most for and tell them how much more you will do, in ppc, seo, pages, sites, etc, if they make efforts to clean house.

    And when Kellie posts info about bad actors, learn who they are and learn how to find them in your best programs. Kellie has been a TREMENDOUS help to me as a teacher!

    And read Ben's site - this page alone is a great place to pick out a flu to catch on a test PC and start helping your merchants understand what's happening:
    http://www.benedelman.org/spyware/im...-091405.html#1

  23. #23
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwc
    So how are you getting paid?
    Cash.

    I send them videos of cookie stuffers and explain how the theft is occuring and they fire the cheater and know they're saving money going forward.

    I send them one for free and explain how they're being stolen from. I ask them to review the number of sales involved with that account and see for themselves. Then I tell them it takes time for me to test - so if they want more, I need to be paid.

    I show them how the cheaters stuff cookies over direct type-ins in search engines and at the merchant's site itself. These are sales that the merchant should pay no commission on - they are being stolen from. The merchants get HIGHLY pissed when they see what's happening.

    If you have a merchant that does their own ppc campaigns (most), then all you have to do is show them why their ROI isn't what they hoped for. In larger merchants, the AM and PPC jobs are separate people - so it's harder to educate the whole team. But in smaller merchants, the AM or the AMs boss is usually very close to their internal SEO and PPC efforts and the education is easy.

    Submit evidence to CJ and you're wating your time. I have sent them rock solid proof of cookie stuffing, resending it every 7 days to CJ, and waited 8 weeks for an email reply that says "we're looking into it".

    I'm a busy guy, but in the name of supporting the industry, I will examine a program that is not my own. I will be at Andy's gig in Miami in 2 weeks and I'll let Andy choose the merchant program - for 1 attendee of his seminar - and I'll report what I find to the person Andy names. I got a lot out of his seminar, much more than money I paid to attend, so I see this as a way to pay him back. So if you're attending Andy's gig - and you're trying to do the right thing, I support that with more than words.

    Andy, after the seminar, let me know who you've decided for me to assist - affiliate, AM, merchant, who ever - you give me the contact names and I'll do some testing.

    Now let be very clear here as well, compared to Kellie and Ben, I am an pure amateur. If you want serious professional assistance, you should contact Kellie or Ben for a quote for professional services! If you're associated with Andy, he can help you and guide you as well.

    One at a time. Everyone do your part and progress will come.

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Very well said Donuts!
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  25. #25
    Full Member bwc's Avatar
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    Thanks Donuts . . . VERY enlightening. I'd like to start getting into testing to. What would I need to start, a second computer to have crap load onto it from different sites? I imagine, if it's testing to show proof, that only one site could be tested at a time, per computer that is . . . sounds extremely intriguing to me . . . plus it would be like getting payback for them sniping us for years.

    Where do you suggest as a start?

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