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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    January 12th, 2006
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    Questions for Affiliates from Merchant
    Hello,

    We have been considering joining shareasale’s merchant program for a couple of months now. Our main concern is if any affiliates are interested (or successful) selling original fine art to a niche market? We’re also wondering is most affiliates would simply link to us or would require a product feed? Any feedback would be great.

    Basic details about us: 20% commission. Products range in price from $25-$5,000. Average sale is roughly $200; low is $35, high is $500. We do have numerous sales in the thousands of dollars each month. 14 day return policy on full priced items. Discount items are not returnable. Free shipping in the U.S. and we ship worldwide (free with $250 minimum order). Over the last 5 years we have averaged about 2 returns a year.

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It certainly sounds like something that could garner some interest.
    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

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    Average sale is roughly $200; low is $35, high is $500. We do have numerous sales in the thousands of dollars each month. 14 day return policy on full priced items.
    What my figures have shown is that items with low price-points can sell right away on targeted specifics or impulse buys, some even the same day. But once it gets into high dollar amounts the time can be considerably longer - 15-20 days at the minimum, or considerably more.

    A 14 day return policy would be far too short, particularly with the average sale $200 and many items for considerably more than that, into the thousands.

  4. #4
    Canadienne extraordinaire Susan's Avatar
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    Hi there,

    Do you categorize your artwork? If you do, and have enough inventory, then a feed would be most helpful for affiliates. I agree with webworker, 14 day is pretty short, I'd recommend pushing that out to at least 45 days.

    You also may want to consider a tiered commission approach depending on volume, commission percentages could increase based on revenue attained.

    Hope this helps a little :-)
    Susan Arts
    Senior Vice President, Marketing
    Moxy Media

  5. #5
    Newbie
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    Thanks for the feedback.

    We've tested a 14, 30, and 60 day return policies over the years but given the nature of the product, it seems to make little difference to the customer. We don't have a problem changing our current return policy if it would help our affiliates though.

    We maintain around 500 original artworks in our inventory at any given time. They are organized into three specific categories.

    Another question, we do have a toll-free info/order number. Most customers order through the shopping cart so we do not take many phone orders (1% of total orders). If a phone order is referred through an affiliate, is there any way such as the customer looking at the URL that we can give proper credit to the affiliate?

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador
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    We don't have a problem changing our current return policy if it would help our affiliates though.
    It would help, but more than that it would help in your recruiting efforts.

    Another question, we do have a toll-free info/order number. Most customers order through the shopping cart so we do not take many phone orders (1% of total orders). If a phone order is referred through an affiliate, is there any way such as the customer looking at the URL that we can give proper credit to the affiliate?
    I believe Shareasale has something about that, you'd have to ask them about it.

    Boy, talk about making a good first impression! You've sure got an affiliate-friendly attitude.

  7. #7
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Excellent question. Many merchants will display the affiliate ID under the phone number and train their customer service reps to ask them. If you're looking at ShareASale.com, I know they've implemented that with many merchants. Ask them and they should be able to tell you how to implement it.
    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

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    I believe you could have a nice program there. Good questions and good attitude. I wish you best of success with your new adventure. With 500 products, a datafeed would probably work well.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

    Join us! - MiNeeds.com | DiscountCandleShop/CheeseSupply | Feng Shui Plaza

  9. #9
    Internet Cowboy
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    Welcome mearts,
    I think you and Webworker are talking about two different "return days". If I read this correctly, you are talking about how long the customer has to return items after the purchase. I think webworker is talking about the duration of the tracking cookie after clicking through from her site to yours. I could be wrong.

    If I am not wrong, try to set your tracking cookie duration to at least 45 days. 90 days will get you more quality affiliates. If we sent a customer to your site and they return and buy within 90 days, that benefits us both.

    Best of luck.


  10. #10
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    With 500 items (especially unique / original ones) a datafeed is a must. A feed allows affiliates to keep up with your inventory changes - to do this manually as an affiliate is too time consuming - so it won't get done - and sites won't be updated - or never built in the first place.

  11. #11
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    You would definitely want to make sure affiliates realized that each item is unique and that there is only one of each available. Many datafeed affiliates download the feed once, build pages, and never update it. You would want to make sure they know that they need to update their pages regularly (and preferably automatically).
    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

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