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  1. #1
    Full Member ske9963's Avatar
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    Question As a merchant, CJ or Linkshare?
    I have been reading a lot about CJ and also Linkshare (LS) on ABestWeb, including the voting thread. Yes, I also searched. Also found out that there is a company called ShareAsale.. humm...

    Anyway, we are a Yahoo Store selling electronics. We are looking into an affiliate program to boost sales and also make it cost effective for us. Margin for an electronic product is about 4-8%.

    We are looking betwen Linkshare and CJ. Linkshare is relatively expensive to deploy (about $4k) and monthly cost is quite high, but they pride themselves by having good technology and quality affiliates. CJ on the other hand is cheaper than LS by 1/2 and monthly is not a killer also. Not sure about the reliability of CJ but they are intergrade into Yahoo/Yahoo Store Merchants.

    Your thought please..
    Should we go with LS or CJ?

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    [I moved this thread to the "Becoming a merchant" forum.]

    I would recommend either CJ or SAS, based primarily on your margins.

    LinkShare charges 2-3% of sales as their network fee.

    CJ charges 30% of commissions as their network fee. The minimum fee for each affiliate transaction is $0.30, so you might end up paying more depending on how many smaller orders you have.

    SAS charges 20% of commissions as their network fee.

    If, for instance, you pay 3% commissions, your net affiliate cost would be 5-6% for LinkShare, 3.9% for CJ, and 3.6% for SAS. (That's assuming you have enough volume to hit the monthly minimums.) At LinkShare or CJ, that could boost your affiliate costs even more. With SAS, there is no monthly minimum, so it's not an issue there.
    Michael Coley
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  3. #3
    Full Member asr_guy's Avatar
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    Those are tight margins. With those margins aren't you better off focusing on your conversions instead, due to the leverage factor?
    [URL=http://www.typoassassin.com/?utm_source=abestweb&utm_medium=forum&utm_content=p&utm_campaign=sig]Are these affiliates stealing from you?[/URL]

  4. #4
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    To each his own on networks, but you'll definitely find a lot of information on thoughts about both CJ & Linkshare. We personally go with CJ, mostly because of the cost effectiveness for us and the no exclusivity clause. Shareasale is definitely on the up and up, and as they have been growing, so has our affiliate program with them.
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  5. #5
    Full Member ske9963's Avatar
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    Hey Michael,

    You are rite on when it comes to the transaction fee / network fees. I did some rough calculation via CJ's model and I doubt that we will be able to hit the monthly min, so basically, we will be paying like a straight $500 or $800 fee/month fee.

    That being said, we will still be doing better than what we are paying for pricegrabber/pricewatch.

    I like CJ cos there is little implementation as we are a Yahoo Store and CJ is already in the bed with Yahoo. So we need to click on a few things to enable the program.

  6. #6
    Full Member ske9963's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asr_guy
    Those are tight margins. With those margins aren't you better off focusing on your conversions instead, due to the leverage factor?
    Sad but true. Being a yahoo store, we are fighting for features to increase conversion. I am pushing the IT for better conversions but I will keep you guys posted. Thanks for all the reply

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    I like CJ cos there is little implementation as we are a Yahoo Store and CJ is already in the bed with Yahoo. So we need to click on a few things to enable the program.
    I would caution to make such an important decision on this. Consider what's best for your affiliate program and not just what's easier to setup. I think all the major networks should be easy to setup with a Yahoo store.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  8. #8
    Full Member ske9963's Avatar
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    Thanks Greg. I would investigate this further.

  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I'm sure SAS is a simple implementation. You just have to insert a tracking pixel on the landing page. I'm sure they've done enough Yahoo Stores to be able to give you the exact code you need to insert.
    Michael Coley
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  10. #10
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Your thought please..
    Should we go with LS or CJ?
    How about In-House too?
    ...

  11. #11
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    NEITHER!!!!

    Absolutely GO with SAS!!!

    Not only is it cost effective but every affiliate worth their salt knows about SAS and checks their for reliable and HONEST merchants.

    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  12. #12
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Last year, for just my single best producing merchant, I spent well over $150,000 in ppc costs (so I'm pretty serious about promotion as an affiliate). If you're at CJ, I won't even look at your program cuz CJ's house is full of parasites and they know it. Same thing at LS. I love SAS and Kowabunga MyAp indie merchants - don't let either's lower costs fool you.

  13. #13
    Full Member ske9963's Avatar
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    I do not mean to thread crap but I check out SAS http://www.shareasale.com/out-search...s.cfm?type=all and a large part of the merchants there are very small merchants. I am not able to comment about the affiliates cos i do not have access to that.. Do you think we will get lost among the small merchants?

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    I'm not totally sure what you mean by "get lost among the small merchants"? Someone correct me if I'm wrong but here's how I see it.


    • Your best bet is with affiliates who are making money. Those who know this business and know how to make money in it. They're bright, creative and informed. How many of these affiliates, do you think, don't have accounts at Share A Sale? I suspect that nearly all of them do.
    • Don't expect the network to do your recruiting for you, actively do it yourself. Seek out new affiliates every month, never stop.
    • Buy some ad space at ABW (Program Announcement and/or dedicated forum) and SAS (Featured Merchant if you sign with them).
    • Keep in constant contact with your affiliates via email, forum (ABW), phone or whatever method they prefer.
    • Design a good affiliate program. Respectable commission, good cookie life, pay on time all the time and constantly work on better conversion rates for your site.
    • Those merchants who will "get lost" are those who setup an affiliate program and expect it to run by itself. They don't know what their affiliates want, what their competition is doing in this area, have cookies set at 1 day, don't address issues in a timely manner and don't answer emails or phone calls from their affiliates.
    When it comes to choosing a network, think about what's best for your program and your affiliates. If you don't want to get lost then you need to stand out.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  15. #15
    Full Member ske9963's Avatar
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    Thanks Greg for the input. I plan to be proactive in Aff Marketing to kick off the program.

    The reason I mentioned that it would get lost was due to the fact that I was overwhelmed when I looked at some of the merchant list.

    Are there any large merchants using Share a Sale?

  16. #16
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Are you a large merchant? Is it valid to assume doing what many large merchants have done is good for your business, large or small?

    Do you understand the nature of the "affiliates" that CJ and LS will recruit hardest for your program?

    Are you looking for incremental sales or just sales tagged as coming from your affiliate channel?

    You said you are planning to be "proactive in Aff Marketing to kick off the program" - are you aware of the obstacles that CJ and LS intentionally put between you and your affiliates?

    Good luck!

  17. #17
    Full Member ske9963's Avatar
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    We are a faily good size merchant. Doing about 10-30mil a year. I am not knocking any small merchants, pls do not get me the wrong way. It's just that the larger merchants have typically gone with CJ or LS. Even the previous company that I worked with used LS, and yes, they charge for everything and doing something is always tough.

    I am not looking for tagged aff sales, but more of a boost in sales from affiliates.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Well, I had a rather long post prepared and changed my mind before I posted it. I'm curious about the last company you worked for. The person who made the decision to go with LS, were they experienced as an affiliate manager or affiliate marketer? I suspect they were in Marketing. Why did they choose LS? How long ago was that decision made? I'm not trying to "sell" you anything as there clearly isn't anything in this for me, but you DID ask If you're creating something for Marketing, then do what's best for Marketing. If you're creating something for affiliates, then do what's best for the affiliates. Go with that win-win every chance you get.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  19. #19
    Full Member ske9963's Avatar
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    I did not have a say when they went with LS cos it was already there when i started. And to answer ur question, it was top mgmt who decided and they were not marketers (period).

  20. #20
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Seems to me that you would be a lot more likely to get "lost" at LS or CJ where accounts like yours may be a dime a dozen.

    Tell me. Is it easier to find a big fish in a small pool or in the ocean?

    Which network do you really feel would be more likely to promote and feature you, the one who has plenty others just like you or the one that you are the top producer for?

    Given that SAS is beyond any question the most respected and trusted network available and that any professional affiliate marketer knows about them and checks them for merchants, why would you rather be one of the crowd at CJ or LS when you could be the leading program at SAS?
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  21. #21
    Member phantomcat's Avatar
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    As an affiliate of almost 10 years I would opt for SAS with any sized company. Your customer base doesn't know, or care about SAS. Your affiliates are the ones out on the virtual street finding your customers for you. You want the best damn sales force, period. If you are not familiar with parasites then I suggest you bone-up. When you sleep on a louse ridden mattress you are going to get bit! SAS is parasite free.
    Terrie
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  22. #22
    http and a telephoto
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    Terri, you might want to check dates on the threads you are replying to today, this is the second one that is well over a year old you have dug up.
    Deborah Carney
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