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  1. #1
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    [Site Removed] -- what is it?
    I found a link to [Site Removed] on a merchant web site and thought I'd check it out. I can't figure out if this is an affiliate mall site, a price comparison site, a price validation site, or all of the above.

    According to their web site:
    [Site Removed] is becoming one of the most popular shopping search engines on the internet. Online shoppers use [Site Removed] to save money on products and get a hassle-free shopping experience. Shoppers can sort by lowest price, within a price range or even price compare any product. We have created the perfect environment that any online shopper can adapt to. [Site Removed] features one of the largest variety of categories, ranging from baby strollers to diamond rings, allowing shoppers to find almost any product sold on the internet. We are dedicated to maintaining and expanding a simple-to-use, time and cost-effective environment for the consumer and merchant alike. Our advanced search technology combined with our simple interface allows us to provide the most effective online shopping tool.
    Anyone know anything about this company?
    Last edited by MichaelColey; November 23rd, 2005 at 09:13 AM. Reason: Please don't post affiliate URLs

  2. #2
    Member felix8's Avatar
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    It looks totaly affiliate.
    But someone did a great job with this one.
    It looks like they use affiliate feeds plus accepting cpa clients.

    Samrt thing.
    Last edited by felix8; November 23rd, 2005 at 12:39 AM.
    Israeli Guy

  3. #3
    Member chenyingjing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by felix8
    It looks like they use affiliate feeds plus accepting cpa clients.
    You can bet it, cpa is what their most-part interest.

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Please don't post affiliate URLs. It looks like some of their links are affiliate links, so I've removed the references to their site.
    Michael Coley
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  5. #5
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Michael, whether or not it's an affiliate site hasn't been established, unless someone has some proof that hasn't been posted here. It was entirely speculation on my part that they might be piggybacking affiliate links onto their "search engine."

    In any case, until that matter is cleared up I won't be promoting any merchants who promote them.

  6. #6
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    why?
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  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager Sami B - Uncommon Goods's Avatar
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    As far as I know, they are not an affiliate site. They approached us for listing, on a flat-fee based pricing. I think they target the same audience as NexTag, Bizrate etc.

  8. #8
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Pops, it's like this. I'm not going to send traffic to a merchant that refers my visitors to a price comparison shopping engine. Leaky, doncha think?

    In addition, this particular SAS merchant has an 800 number and live chat.

  9. #9
    Full Member bwc's Avatar
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    If it's a Shareasale merchant leaking, I think we have a need to know . . . yes?

  10. #10
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    Whoops I had forgotten the part where you said that the merchant had their link on their site.


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  11. #11
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    The merchant is toys2wish4.com. All the leaks are repeated on even the product pages.

    What is it with toy retailers? Are any of them affiliate-friendly?

  12. #12
    Full Member ADesertRose's Avatar
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    Wouldn't it be best to err on the side of caution if they are an affiliate site and not out them here? If you have a beef with toys2wish4 then take it up with them personally...why hurt a "possible" affiliate in the process by sending tons of people who could copy their site and hurt their biz?

  13. #13
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    First of all, the company in question doesn't have a site that can be easily copied. Not even close.

    Secondly, outing leaky merchants is just fine around here. In fact I very much appreciate it when others bring leaky merchants to my attention. I don't have a "beef" with toys2wish4. It ain't personal...it's business.

    You'd think a toy store would be raking in the bucks and affiliate commissions this time of year. Here are the stats for toy2wish4. Read 'em and pull your links.





    7 7 Day $0.02 30 $1.96

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Lots of merchant sites link to sites like Bizrate, Shopping.com, Yahoo Shopping, etc. These are all more or less affiliate sites. Will you not promote a merchant that links to these as well? I think the purpose of the link is to give value to the merchant and allow potential customers to check the merchant's score and reviews. Yes, it is somewhat of a leak but from the merchant's point of view it builds credibility for their customers. Some customers may not even shop at a particular merchant without one of those seals of approval.

    I'm not arguing one way or the other, but I'm just trying to put this in the perspective of the merchant.

    - Scott
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  15. #15
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Lots of merchant sites link to sites like Bizrate, Shopping.com, Yahoo Shopping, etc. These are all more or less affiliate sites. Will you not promote a merchant that links to these as well?
    As far as I can recall, I haven't gone and outright fired any for it, but it definitely affects how much effort I'm willing to put in.
    If the customer "checks out" their rating, chances are they'll click back to the merchant via the links on those sites--and my cookie may well end up overwritten in the process.

    I think the purpose of the link is to give value to the merchant and allow potential customers to check the merchant's score and reviews. Yes, it is somewhat of a leak but from the merchant's point of view it builds credibility for their customers. Some customers may not even shop at a particular merchant without one of those seals of approval.
    While you're probably right, there, unless I can be sure that the leak isn't going to cause my cookie to be overwritten, as an affiliate I find those leaks distasteful. I know that many (if not all) merchants now get on those sites via PPC advertising rather than a real affiliate setup, but, some merchants won't pay commish if the link clicked last was a PPC one.

    Depending on the prominence of the outlink, it can indeed cause interference with the affiliate channel. From my own experience, I'd say the effect ranges all the way from negligable to substantial, depending on how attractive the merchant makes it to click the thing.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  16. #16
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Whats the saying.
    If you can't beat them Join them?

    If you fear your competition and ***** and moan about them you won't become as sucessfull as them.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    Whats the saying.
    If you can't beat them Join them?

    If you fear your competition and ***** and moan about them you won't become as sucessfull as them.
    Exactly! Why not strive to become that link on the merchant's site?

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  18. #18
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Meh...

    Better to be the merchant than yet another lame BR copy-site.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  19. #19
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea
    Michael, whether or not it's an affiliate site hasn't been established, unless someone has some proof that hasn't been posted here.
    I think for the most part they aren't, but some of the links I found did appear to be affiliate links. It's always possible that 1) the merchant is just using their affiliate links to track results, or 2) an affiliate submitted affiliate links. In any case, I think it's best to err on the side of caution.

    The site has nowhere near as much traffic as the top sites in the price comparison industry. Unless the flat fee is very, very small, I don't see how it would be worthwhile for most merchants at this time. I also have a hard time seeing why any merchant would link back to a price comparison site (which would send customers to their competitors!).
    Michael Coley
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  20. #20
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    I found a smattering of affiliate links on the site. That being said....

    If the real issue is that the merchant has several leaks (outside of just the url that was posted), then why even post the URL that site anyway? It would be the who the Merchant is no? Which was later posted.

  21. #21
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    The real issue was whether or not a company promoting itself as an add-on service to merchants can legitimately also be an affiliate of those merchants. Looks like a double-play to me and one which would be detrimental to both merchants and the affiliate community.

    I stumbled on the darn thing when I was checked toys2wish4's site, wondering why their conversions were so lousy. Now I know and now you all know, too. The issue with toys2wish4 was not my major concern when I made my original post. I only posted the merchant name because I was asked and it's reasonable to share info like that.

    As for affiliate sites being verboten...somebody's gotta be the first one to raise the alarm or at least a question or two. Real affiliates shouldn't need to disguise themselves as something other than an affiliate. I figure if you're both fish and fowl then you're fair game, too. (Ooh, sorry for the bad pun.) If a company is not clearly an affiliate site then what's the big deal about posting the URL? But as usual I guess I misunderstood the rules. Fortunately my error was easily corrected.

  22. #22
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    As far as I can recall, I haven't gone and outright fired any for it, but it definitely affects how much effort I'm willing to put in.
    If the customer "checks out" their rating, chances are they'll click back to the merchant via the links on those sites--and my cookie may well end up overwritten in the process.

    While you're probably right, there, unless I can be sure that the leak isn't going to cause my cookie to be overwritten, as an affiliate I find those leaks distasteful. I know that many (if not all) merchants now get on those sites via PPC advertising rather than a real affiliate setup, but, some merchants won't pay commish if the link clicked last was a PPC one.

    Depending on the prominence of the outlink, it can indeed cause interference with the affiliate channel. From my own experience, I'd say the effect ranges all the way from negligable to substantial, depending on how attractive the merchant makes it to click the thing.
    BizRate does add credence to a merchant and I only object to their incessant desire to scrape the merchant raters shopping habits for direct mail followups during and after the shopping process. Bizrate doesn't set their own affiliate enabled merchant cookie as far as I know. Be a conflict of interest to charge on a keywork product showing click, and then double dip the merchant with a commissionable link. Maybe they run some of their own keyword links on a trackable affiliate house account??
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea
    As for affiliate sites being verboten...somebody's gotta be the first one to raise the alarm or at least a question or two. Real affiliates shouldn't need to disguise themselves as something other than an affiliate. I figure if you're both fish and fowl then you're fair game, too. (Ooh, sorry for the bad pun.) If a company is not clearly an affiliate site then what's the big deal about posting the URL?
    What? Are you kidding me? Because someone works on their site to craft it into something other than another cookie-cutter crap site, they should not be given the same courtesy as the cookie-cutter sites? That somehow people who work on their sites should be punished?

    And you wouldn't promote a merchant they promoted? Or just that did the link share? The issue is the merchant, not the affiliate.

    Posts like these are why I laugh when people complain about the SEs.

    Chet

  24. #24
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Well how about offering some constructive suggestions for how to find out about a situation that looks suspicious, rather than criticizing. Who was the first person to blow the whistle on UPromise or eBates or any of those guys? Did the whistleblower know exactly what they were looking at or were they just suspicious that something unusual was happening? Had they been given permission by someone to post the URL and their suspicions. Apparently there's a right way to do this and a wrong way, so tell me the right way, okay?

    And I still haven't seen any proof that this site is an affiliate. PM me with proof if you have it, which will then prove I've been a bad girl. Otherwise no harm's been done to anybody.

    Sheesh, next time I'll just send an email to someone...else.

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