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  1. #1
    A Real *and* Darn Cool Member! lstolze's Avatar
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    Affiliate Taking Customer Orders??
    Hey all, I have a big problem and need some advice.

    There is a merchant that carries some products we REALLY need for a current site, and a new site in production. They don't have a traditional affiliate program, but do have a special 'partner site' setup they use. Basically, we are allowed to add in up to three categories of product from them, and have the customer send us their order, which we then direct to the merchant for processing and shipping. Then the merchant emails us the order info and shipping info, which we then email to the customer. Now this sounds like a real pain in the ass, and something I wouldn't normally deal with, but suffice it to say that these products are not offered through any affiliate program I have found (believe me, I've searched and researched like crazy). The merchant seems like a pretty nice guy, and the site is fairly well put together for this particular niche. They give us minimally 10% commish (although some products go up to 15%, and the product price point ain't nuthin' to sneeze at) and pay us directly via PayPal.

    In a way it's nice, because I know exactly what people are ordering, and what my commission should be, so the first time I don't get what is laid out in our agreement, their stuff gets ripped down. On the other hand, this creates a whole new form of torture and organization on my end.

    What do you think? Anyone do a setup like this? It isn't quite drop shipping, right? So should I give it a shot?
    ~Lisa - Brilliant Mastermind, or Nut? You decide!

  2. #2
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Sounds like a bit of work, but acouple of things in my head would be that: One, you are placing yourself firmly inbetween the original merchant and the end user and; Two, if this takes off, you can build up the business without stocking an inventory, but at the same time you are building a customer base - at some safe point in the future, you could just 'become' the merchant, stock the items yourself, and take a 60% cut instead of 10%.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  3. #3
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    too much work for 10%. should be at least 25% in my opinion.

    also, you are responsible to the customer for any problems.

    good higher price, but is it really reasonable?

  4. #4
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    also, you are responsible to the customer for any problems.
    No thanks, for that I get the merchant's cut! For 10% commish? Forget it.

    Too much liability there. What if the customer wants a refund, but the merchant won't fork it over? You don't need to give the customer any legal grounds to try to take it out of YOU! After all, if you end up giving the refund, you just lost 100% of the purchase price--about 10x more than what your commission was.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  5. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I agree. 10% is nowhere near enough if you're going to need to handle credit card processing, customer service, returns, placing orders, customer notifications, etc. I'm not sure I would want to do that for any price, but that's probably why I'm an affiliate rather than a merchant.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Yes, I have a merchant who has been hounding me for two years to sell their products on my sites, but they just can't get the commission high enough to make it worth my while. Worse, they think my cut is way too high. Hey, I'm doing all the work!!!
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  7. #7
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    it almost sounds like this merchant is also working with a drop-shipper or even several. that would explain the low commission.

  8. #8
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I...

    Search for the posts about dropshipping...

    It's the same problems/same workload/same benefits

    I have a few of these relationships - and they work fine

    BUUUUUUUT - they only work if you're really tite with the merchant

    Sounds like your relationship with this merchant is "unsure"

  9. #9
    A Real *and* Darn Cool Member! lstolze's Avatar
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    Interesting points. I have another email out to him because I don't want to deal with payments, and honestly, not sure I want to deal with this. They offer a drop ship program too, but I specifically told him I just wanted to refer customers to him. Not sure what to do. It's just hard because I really need these products! Argh....
    ~Lisa - Brilliant Mastermind, or Nut? You decide!

  10. #10
    Full Member suzie250's Avatar
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    Who's responsible for the sales taxes in situations like this?

    I stopped selling on eBay when my state went to 82 different taxing districts. Sales taxes are now collected for where the product is shipped to. This was a combined effort of several other states (forget what the stupid thing was called) who try to tell us that every state will follow. There's nothing like alienating your own state and refusing to ship within the state.

    Sorry, I'm ranting a bit, it still gets my goat. But it is definately something to think about.
    I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Bud Lite than Kay.

  11. #11
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Discuss with them, opening an aff program at SAS - the entry costs are extremely low.

    Think about becoming both their aff and their affiliate manager as well were you're running their program at SAS.

  12. #12
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Lisa,

    You could turn it around and have them pay YOU up front to "advertise" on your pages. Charge a reasonable fee, per link, per banner ... whatever. Then all you have to do is monitor the payments once a month (feel free to PM me if you need help figuring this out). Otherwise, what Donuts said (set them up at SAS and manage their aff program.) Good luck!
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  13. #13
    Sinclair Oil Lurker Jones's Avatar
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    I would be easier for them to use affiliate management and tracking software, or join SAS, it would seem.
    [B][COLOR=Red]I look forward to Google's demise[/COLOR][/B]
    Look who is suing Google - [URL=http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=google+gets+sued]click here[/URL] and [URL=http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=google+gets+sued&FORM=MSNH&srch_type=0]here[/URL] and [URL=http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=google+gets+sued&fr=FP-tab-web-t&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8]here[/URL]

  14. #14
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    Search for the posts about dropshipping...
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...ight=drop+ship

  15. #15
    A Real *and* Darn Cool Member! lstolze's Avatar
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    I just got some clarification on this. Here is what he said:

    -------------------------------
    yes we are aware of that situation.but we are not working with this forward shopping carts so we have to do it as suggested:

    Once the products are displayed on your site and a customer is willing to purchase an article from your site, he ll forward simply his address and of course the email address to you. The customer will be notified by you , that the merchant ( we ) will get in touch with the client once you have given us the data. Than we will inform the customer on how to order that particular product on our shopping site via ssl and pgp.
    So you are aware of a customer request, well collect the billing data and fullfill the transaction and handling. Once done that we again inform you if the transaction went through. Of course you can double check with that client as well.
    -------------------------------
    English isn't his first language. Maybe it's worth a shot. This stuff is all imported, and hard to find.... I don't know. I do like your suggestion Rexanne. And Donuts, that sounds cool, but I gather they LIKE having just a few affiliates. They have pretty high ranking in the search engines, and seem very picky on who they 'partner' with. Of course I will certainly make the suggestion.
    ~Lisa - Brilliant Mastermind, or Nut? You decide!

  16. #16
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lstolze
    I just got some clarification on this. Here is what he said:

    -------------------------------
    yes we are aware of that situation.but we are not working with this forward shopping carts so we have to do it as suggested:

    Once the products are displayed on your site and a customer is willing to purchase an article from your site, he ll forward simply his address and of course the email address to you. The customer will be notified by you , that the merchant ( we ) will get in touch with the client once you have given us the data. Than we will inform the customer on how to order that particular product on our shopping site via ssl and pgp.
    So you are aware of a customer request, well collect the billing data and fullfill the transaction and handling. Once done that we again inform you if the transaction went through. Of course you can double check with that client as well.

    -------------------------------
    English isn't his first language. Maybe it's worth a shot. This stuff is all imported, and hard to find.... I don't know. I do like your suggestion Rexanne. And Donuts, that sounds cool, but I gather they LIKE having just a few affiliates. They have pretty high ranking in the search engines, and seem very picky on who they 'partner' with. Of course I will certainly make the suggestion.
    Sounds like a lot of complicated steps. If he IS interested in partnering with just a few affiliates, he should definitely set up at SAS (or in house) and he can screen his aff requests.

    You could suggest he buy an ad on your site and see what it does. Code the link so he can track clicks/sales and CTR if he can't figure it out in his logs. This way, he'll see the potential and maybe get an affil program going or just keep advertising on your site. You could offer him the first month ad free to show him the potential. I've done this with certain merchants I wanted on my site because I knew they would do very well and be impressed with results. They always buy ads the next month. :-)
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


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