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  1. #1
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    Data Feeds from merchants
    Why do we have to pay for feed access? I don't understand why I should pay to have the tools to promote merchant stores. That should be provided by the merchant, not paid for by the affiliates.

    Comments?

    Peace,
    Lee

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Networks want to make sure you're serious about using the datafeeds, and there's no better way to make sure people are serious about something than to have them plunk down some money.

    If you generate at least $10,000 per month in sales for CJ merchants, they'll give you access to datafeeds for free.
    Michael Coley
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  3. #3
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    Why do we have to pay for feed access? I don't understand why I should pay to have the tools to promote merchant stores. That should be provided by the merchant, not paid for by the affiliates.
    I fully agree - we're the ones providing marketing efforts on their behalf, and shouldn't have to absorb the cost of having the tools to use for merchants who may or may not convert, may or may not be honest in their dealings, or even respond to emails when contacted. It's a financial investment with no way to tell if there will be any ROI whatsoever.

    make sure people are serious
    Providing necessary tools does a good job of conveying a message that merchants have a serious interest in their programs and are motivated toward supporting their affiliate partners' efforts on their behalf.

    Then again, it might motivate some people to get more serious if the networks would first get serious about merchants being parasite-free so that serious affiliates won't have their commissions seriously jeopardized.
    Last edited by webworker; December 26th, 2005 at 10:40 PM.

  4. #4
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    dreamerscove, I dont even get charged for access and I agree with you. Bah.

  5. #5
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    If a merchant has a datafeed on CJ then they had to create it. Ask the ones you want to promote if they have an external datafeed or if they can make one for affiliates that don't have access to CJ feeds.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the response.

    Chet, creating a feed should just be a part of normal business for them. Feeds have become a great marketing tool but apparently they're only for the 'elite' members. That I will never understand.

    I own over 100+ various websites with various niches. When I bring up a new loop of sites I don't want to encounter a fee to do it.

    gmarcoccia & webworker Thanks

    Michael, That's like saying ok I've got this 'great product' I want you to promote and sell it, but there's a 'catch' it will cost you $250 or whatever to do it. It's bad enough they don't pay life time commissions. But that's another 'thread'

    If I buy a domain name, pay hosting fees for that name, advertise the site etc.. Then that should be investment enough.

    I have emailed a few merchants I'm interested in, but no one has gotten back to me. I'm not holding my breath

    Peace,
    Lee

  7. #7
    Member Proverb's Avatar
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    But doesn't CJ customize the feeds for us by inserting our PIDs? I suppose this is automated somehow, but it still requires some effort on their part. Some of the feeds are extremely large and updated frequently, so it's not like CJ just hands something over to us with absolutely no effort on their part.

  8. #8
    Plazan Merchant Neil's Avatar
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    dreamerscove,
    you could always sign-up for Shareasale,
    and get you feeds for free.
    Actually its the merchants that pay for you to have
    the feeds, it costs us $1 everytime we approve an affiliate for feeds.
    if you have so many sites and my products fit.
    feel free to join my program at shareasale,
    i will approve you for free feeds in no time
    Find us at shareasale.com 12% commission
    Shareasale Merchant 7191
    PLAZAN SKIN CARE As seen on TV . Used by Jennifer Lopez

  9. #9
    Crazy like a fox suzigeek's Avatar
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    CJ has a one time fee of $200. Its not $200 for each fee...if your making decent money a one time fee of $200 shouldn't be a big investment.

    If you don't feel its worth the investment shareasale has bunches of great merchants and their feeds are free.

    At first glance it does seem *#$ backwards to charge for tools to promote a merchant but it takes a bit of effort on CJ's part to export your feeds for you. The process isn't an automatic one you have to deal with a real person that sets up you data delivery specifically for what your needs are. If they were free they would have affiliates willy nilly applying for them and sucking up CJ's resources....
    Suz~~GearGirl~~

  10. #10
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    I go along with suzigeek - I charged it off as an expense so the IRS paid their share and I paid for the $200 in the first two months. The other thing I like (and others won't) is it cuts down on the competition.

    Charles

  11. #11
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    But doesn't CJ customize the feeds for us by inserting our PIDs? I suppose this is automated somehow, but it still requires some effort on their part.
    It's called "find and replace" and takes about 2-3 clicks and a few seconds to do in Excel.

  12. #12
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    Search and replace works fine with Excel (as long as you don't try to load any big data feeds (>65000 items))

    Charles

  13. #13
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    I'm afraid I disagree. We take the risk ultimately.

    For me personally, it's not the fee, but the principle. It always comes down to have/have nots. If you are making a ton you get feeds free. If not, you're S.O.L.

    I can afford the fee, but some here can not. Who is the one that determines because you don't have x number of sales you're site, ultimately you, and all your hard work is invalid.

    It's all those small nickel and dime sales that keep the merchants in business.

    Oh Well, wasting my breath I guess FYI. I've still not received an answer from any merchant I've emailed.

    Interesting.

    Peace,
    Lee

  14. #14
    Crazy like a fox suzigeek's Avatar
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    I'm sorry but I'm going to have to say this...I was a have not, I had NO money for any web projects. I found merchants with free feeds and there are many!!

    For me personally, it's not the fee, but the principle. It always comes down to have/have nots. If you are making a ton you get feeds free. If not, you're S.O.L.
    That is such the victim attitude.
    I hand rolled pages and started making more income. I don't play the victim game, I rolled up my sleeves and went to work. There are plenty of ways to make money without access to cj's data feeds.

    BTW its not that they insert your PID for you, thats no big deal. They have different ways of delivering the feeds to you, you tell them what you would like and they totally customize the whole process for you. So its not just a simple insert your pid for you.

    In the end the $200 is returned 100 fold,( if you know what your doing) you are not taking a risk if you promote merchants you have researched. Besides you always are taking a risk promoting a merchant with or without a feed....

    Suz~~GearGirl~~

  15. #15
    Member Proverb's Avatar
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    Also, as you work your way up to the month of 10,000 in sales you can probably access the merchant's product catalog through the links/product section where you Get Links. More time consuming than if you have the data feed, but that's how we worked around it until we hit the 10,000, which didn't take too long. Actually, in some ways it was quicker than loading a >50,000 record document into Excel and was ideal for selecting a smallish number of products from a big catalog due to the search functions.

  16. #16
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    IMHO the mechanics of creating links is irrelevant to the issue of CJ trying to squeeze $ out of affiliates who may or may not get any ROI on their investment with any particular merchants - particularly when the majority of merchants in some product categories (if not 100% of them) are totally infested with parasites.

    That's like saying ok I've got this 'great product' I want you to promote and sell it, but there's a 'catch' it will cost you $250 or whatever to do it.
    And then it's like saying it'll cost you $200, send them to our site and we can take their phone order or write their order through LiveHelper and not pay you any commission.

    Or if your cookie gets over-written, wellll.... that's just something that's part of doing business nowadays, isn't it? It'll be good for keeping taxes down, right along with the $200 business deduction to send me sales that I may or may not be paying you for.

    What it looks like is that CJ is trying to soak anyone they possibly can for as much as they can get away with. The merchants pay a huge fee to start up with CJ, and also pay healthy enough ongoing fees. There's no reason why distributing the tools, which IS a function CJ is providing on behalf of the merchants, shouldn't be billable to the merchants as well, either as part of their ongoing fees or as a value-added service.

  17. #17
    Crazy like a fox suzigeek's Avatar
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    Linkshare also charges, they charge $250...so you might as well bash them too.
    Suz~~GearGirl~~

  18. #18
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by micheck
    Search and replace works fine with Excel (as long as you don't try to load any big data feeds (>65000 items))

    Charles
    Break the feed up into smaller folders or worksheets.

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  19. #19
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    I can understand that the feeds are not open to everyone but I think they should give affiliates like myself who are making sales and progressing each month access to the feeds. I know if I had these feeds I could make a lot of merchants a lot of money but as a matter of principle I would never ever pay for access to datafeeds, I'm not paying you if I will be making you money! You pay me and give me the tools I need to make you money or I will make money for others like ShareAsale Merchants or merchants who provide alternatives to the Links share & CJ Elite snobs club.

    and besides I don't even know if these datafeeds are setup how I want? Do they have Multi-merchant Coupon & Promotions only feeds? Can I download all Womans Apparel datafeeds? they are happy to show us how much we have to pay and how we aren't an elite affiliate but they aren't so quick to show us what we are paying for, no demo feeds nothing? ggrr

  20. #20
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    Glinted,

    there are to many ways to respond to your post, but i'll stick to the information ;-)

    There are many things that you can do without the full feed..If I were you I would start working with simple product links (search for a particular product under get links) there is no fee for that.

    One thing that you will also notice is that even when you find a product you want to work with, you will still need a valid relationship with that advertiser, before your allowed to have the code...so regarding your question "Do they have Multi-merchant Coupon & Promotions only feeds? Can I download all Womans Apparel datafeeds?" .....not today and it won't be available tomorrow.

    When you look at the information for a specific product, you will see all the information that the given advertiser provides, this changes depending on the advertiser, so there is no way to 100% of the time provide this information ahead of time

  21. #21
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    Speaking of Linkshare and their $250 fee - and womens apparel merchants - try to find one at LS that isn't listed on the partnering merchant lists at the parasite sites. Start out with ebates and upromise and go on from there.

    AFAIC until the day comes that the networks show some commitment to making sure that affiliates get all the commissions that are rightfully due them, then affiliates who pay them money in order to promote their merchants are bending over and saying "stick it to me here."

  22. #22
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    Yes, webworker, it's open wide and swallow hard. Sad to say. I only have maybe 3 feeds I'm interested in at cj and a few more at ls. It's not worth forking out the $ to do just a few.

    Of course, I've still not gotten over how cj took my 2tier referrals away. But that's another story >-) I guess paying me a few pennies a month was killing their bottom line.

    But it follows the theme. They roger us at every angle. I think they dream up new ways to do it.

    Peace,
    Lee

  23. #23
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    I'll throw my 2 cents in here ...

    Because CJ product links stopped working (the ones I had on my site all began redirecting to the merchant home page) I contacted a certain merchant who contacted CJ to see what the problem was with the product link. This CJ person told this merchant that if I wanted "product links" I should get the data feed and if I wasn't willing to spend the money for it, I wasn't a serious affiliate. Ahhhhhhhhhemmmmmmmmm ... that pisssed me off so much, I went and made a beautiful page through SAS with the same products from a competitor of this merchant. The merchant wanted to then pay for me to get the data feed but I had already changed everything out.

    I wouldn't pay CJ for a data feed on principle. In another thread, someone mentioned that it was worth it for them to pay and I understand that thinking. It's very valid. If CJ didn't mess up the original product links I'd not be so annoyed but their product links no longer work after I spent many hours creating customized pages with product links for various merchants. Yeah it's "the principle" and I live by mine so it's a tough nut to swallow, which I'm not going to do. I'm spitting it out.
    Last edited by Rexanne; December 28th, 2005 at 11:05 PM. Reason: typo
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  24. #24
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    It might be worth paying a nominal fee for accessing a specific merchant feed if that merchant has a steady, good track record of converting well for a site and paying a decent commission rate with good return days, but to require paying a bulk fee for the whole lot of them is unreasonable when it might only be one or two that are needed and actually worth paying for.

    Good point about the CJ product links not working, Rexanne. There were zero sales for CJ merchants on certain high volume holiday pages, while a certain LS merchant cleaned up on those very same pages, with daily, multi-item sales.

    On another note, I can't imagine paying $200 for feed access because you simply can't get any SWEATER links for an apparel merchant in WINTER when they've got a ton of them.

    I also can't imagine paying $200 for feed access to promote a merchant who doesn't even reply to an email - or doesn't even have any contact information available, which many of them don't. Or better yet, to promote a merchant with multiple leaks - 800 number prominent with no phone tracking, LiveChat window and Adsense running on all the pages, and involved with every single parasite out there.

    I guess cash that's gouged from what's considered to be, and is treated like, affiliate trailer-trash pond-scum looks as good on a bank deposit slip as anyone else's cash.

  25. #25
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    I just checked CJ, I think I have made over $10k in sales or close to it for Dec if I include BeFree commissions, whether that is possible I do not know but I think at my current prgress I hope to reach 10k on CJ alone next month or Feb... it still sucks though that hard working affiliates have to pay this fee..

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