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  1. #1
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    "The Art of Woo"
    Interesting Article by Alessandro, Hey AI

    http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/7802.asp
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  2. #2
    I like traffic lights
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    "Ebates works with more than 800 trusted retail sites"

    Wanker.

  3. #3
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    Aside from “out-offering” all of your competitors,
    This is assole speak for "Aside from "stealing from" all of our competitors.
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

  4. #4
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Revenue-sharing partners drive traffic to your site that you otherwise might not get.
    About spit my coffee all over the keyboard. Maybe other revenue-sharing partners. Alessandro conveniently doesn't mention the customers already at the merchant's site that are redirected back through ebates to the merchant. Wonder why he didn't say "Ebates can drive traffic to your site that you already had."

    Love a PR piece first thing in the morning to get me laughing.

  5. #5
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Wonder why he didn't say "Ebates can drive traffic to your site that you already had."
    Actually he came pretty darned close to it! But it's hidden in a bunch of spin.

    Offering cash back builds unprecedented loyalty among consumers who know they can buy the same products they would buy anyway -- at the same stores -- and get cash back.
    To me, this line here is a big reason for merchants NOT to do business with eBates! Who needs to pay them for customers who would've bought anyway?
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    After reading that I had to go take a shower since I felt so dirty.

    This one is a no-brainer.
    Did they mean their merchants are no-brainers? If merchants thought of this type of business model wtih a brick and mortar store, they would be appalled thinking about paying someone a commission for a customer who already walked through their doors.

    I think "The Art of Poo" would be a better title for this thread
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  7. #7
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    "Alessandro Isolani is co-founder and CEO of Ebates, the largest cash-back shopping portal. A former deputy district attorney, Isolani prosecuted credit card fraud and identity theft cases before launching Ebates, the first cash-back shopping portal, in 1999."

    How ironic.

  8. #8
    15 years and counting
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    Yep. Isn't it a shame?
    Read that, too:
    As a co-founder of the company, Wasserman previously held the position of chief executive officer and President of ebates.com. Before founding ebates.com, Wasserman was a Deputy District Attorney and founded the High Technology Prosecution Unit in San Mateo County, and successfully prosecuted multiple technology-related crimes ranging from computer network intrusion to murder for hire over the Internet.
    Bold added.
    Both of them have been to the right school.
    http://www.ebates.com/displayStaticC...press_018.html

  9. #9
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    From the modern day Sodom & Gomorrah capital of the ABB, liberal socialist, Gay blade, if it feels good -do it, movement comes the eBates team of looney lefties. What better place to find those adept at exploiting the loop holes of ethical marketing then the elite liberal bent minds of former assistant DA's funneling cases into the Calif 9th District Court of Appeals. The eBates group is the elite of the crop of BHO system hijackers employing the hidden bundling and drive-by underworld of affiliate marketing to do the dirty on consumers. The one stat they know best is the number of eBates hijacked members who don't even know they have a rebate claim coming on those infernal popups & unders. Their victims don't even know where MMM even came from and block the eBates daily cookie setting promo spam.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  10. #10
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Its interesting that when I talked to my account manager at eBates last year when trying to decide whether to take them out of the program I was managing (ToolKing), the thing that made the decision for me was the comment, "we are owned by lawyers and they know what they are doing". That pretty much sealed the deal for me and I took them out that day.

    I think it is relatively easy to follow the money trail on that one. Our country, unfortunately had plenty of examples of people who knew how to work the system and stay one step ahead of the laws. Doesn't mean that they were right, just meant they were crafty. That bought us agencies like the FDA, EPA, OSHA. Not that I want more bureaucracy but some things are necessary. How about an APA or AMA?

    Guess its the smell of money that lures the networks into this trap, saying that sites like Ebates are operating within compliance. But, the democratic nature of the web allows forums like this to blow the smokescreen away just like early newspapers did. That's why I support ABW!!

    Found this article from 2003: http://www.soberingthought.co.uk/marketing/50.html. Haiko can you point me to discussions here so I can see the blow-by-blow. I assume it was dissolved with no accord. (sorry if it opens old wounds)

  11. #11
    Internet Cowboy
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    wanker is the correct term


  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie aka Ms. B
    About spit my coffee all over the keyboard.
    Too funny - but so true!

  13. #13
    I like traffic lights
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    Nice bit of gay-bashing there, Mike.

    Sigh.

  14. #14
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Nice job pretending to fixate on two words of Mike's post, as if all the liberal-bashing wasn't an issue, for the self-proclaimed "tree hugging liberal hippy...." :-/

  15. #15
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    I check ebates on a regular basis for merchants I am promoting and just before Christmas I found one I was surprised to find listed. I contacted the AM and they told me that Commission Junction had called them and recommended ebates. CJ also used Ben Edelman's site and abestweb to prove that ebates has cleaned up their act. According to what CJ told the AM, that there was no recent posted problems with ebates it was all right to sign up with them. Of course this was just before Christmas and yes I saw a difference in sales.

  16. #16
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    CJ also used Ben Edelman's site and abestweb to prove that ebates has cleaned up their act. According to what CJ told the AM, that there was no recent posted problems with ebates it was all right to sign up with them.
    More coffee spillage on the keyboard. So CJ's 'compliance' team just checks ABW and Ben's site?!?!?!?!

  17. #17
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    Haiko should sue the ass of them.
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

  18. #18
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie aka Ms. B
    So CJ's 'compliance' team just checks ABW and Ben's site?!?!?!?!
    Yeah, I don't believe it either - I suspect it's beyond the current capabilities of the compliance team...

  19. #19
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    From what I've gleaned, CJ's position is that the information on abestweb is faulty. Meaning that anyone can post negative information about ebates but there is no apparent proof. Even Ben Edelman's documentation is called suspect because there are only nuances of evidence (according to CJ).

    We all know that ebates is very profitable so it only stands to reason that anything CJ has to say about ebates will be to protect that relationship. The AM's are pretty much in the middle and will always be looking for the path of least resistance to the most profit. In some ways you really can't blame the AM's but of course when it hits YOUR pocket then it's wrong.

    Without a united front there is really nothing we as affiliates can do unless the networks make a major legal blunder that would be actionable by law. All the *****ing and moaning (and spitting and coffee spilling) is only good for an interesting post or two.

    I've said this before, without real cooperation amongst affiliates it will always be a one person battle against the networks and merchants.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    The AM's are pretty much in the middle and will always be looking for the path of least resistance to the most profit.
    Have to strongly disagree with you on this one. There are a number of AMs on this board who have 0 tolerance for the likes of ebates and do NOT allow them in their programs. Those of us AMs who don't accept them into our programs certainly are not "looking for the path of least resisance" and probably all of them have lost propective clients because of this, not to mention money as part of the income is from affiliate sales.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  21. #21
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    And I have to disagree with you Greg because of your own words:

    There are a number of AMs on this board who have 0 tolerance for the likes of ebates and do NOT allow them in their programs.

    Only "enlightened" AM's who have perhaps followed the posts here at abestweb and have direct personal dealings with affiliates seem to have seen the light as it were. But from what I have seen personally the AM unless hired for that job specfically is someone from their current staff, adding to their already full plate of duties. Or it may be the upper management that have signed to a network thinking that is all they have to do. Allowing the networks to do as they please because they are the "experts". The system in place now gives much more credibility to what a network has to say than what a few vocal affiliate have to say (or rant).

    I have personally tried to educate merchants and have found a wall that has been placed there by the networks. The people I have spoken to (and I have called many) are reluctant to change any of the ways they do online business because it does not make sense to them. I had one AM that went to the company board and tried (with a second hand explanation from me) to explain what ebates was actually doing and they failed. The board based their decision on their spreadsheets and not common sense.

    The little vocal group here at abestweb make a lot of noise and of course much more sense than any network. But it is basically just a forum where "affiliates can vent" and not something mainstream online businesses take seriously. On another of my posts I mentioned that I was talking to a network executive on unrelated issues a couple months back. When I brought up some of the things that we as affiliates have experienced, this person because very defensive and basically told me that I was an employee and that they did not run their business based on (or even consider) anything that was posted on abestweb or the people that posted there. What I brought away from that conversation (and attitude) was that we are not anything other than a tool to use as they see fit.

    Do you know what the basic tenet of magic is (as in magician)? "It's not what you see, but what you think you see". And anyone who has seen a really good magician at work understand those words completely.

    This is what is happening in our industry but it is a different kind of magic and perhaps better known as "spin".

    Networks have perfected the game we play, they will always be one step ahead of those that want to earn on a level playing field. Online money is earned by tipping that virtual scale in your direction and as long as affiliates have only a single voice, that process will be only available to a lucky few. Because the networks and companies like ebates can manipulate the process they will continue to reap a greater reward than we can.

    Greg, I think it is great that there are some AM's that have taken a stand against companies like ebates. But it is a much larger battle than what we see here on abestweb. There are many many affiliates and merchants that will never find this forum or know what is happening to what they could have earned. Networks earn from those people too.

    But I don't believe that the battle is lost or even close to that because I would not be here otherwise. I just think we need organize and present a untied front.

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    zendozen, I understand what you're saying and agree that the vast majority of AMs have no clue. The part of your post I disagree with is where you say AMs "will always be looking for the path of least resistance to the most profit." Those AMs who oppose parasites are not looking for the path of least resistance. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

    But it is basically just a forum where "affiliates can vent" and not something mainstream online businesses take seriously.
    I wasn't an AM when ABW first launched so I don't know what came first: AMs opposing parasites or ABW which lead to AMs opposing parasites. I do know that in the years I've been here, many more AMs and merchants took a stand against parasites. And I don't believe this would have happened without ABW. This forum helped to educate many AMs and affiliates over the years. I have no fantasy about all parasites being removed but the reality is there has been a lot of headway in getting them out of programs and out of our pockets.

    All networks and merchants can't be lumped together as being for or against parasites. Like you, I've had mostly clueless AMs to deal with as an affiliate. When merchants tried to recruit me, one of the first things I looked for (after I was educated about parasites) was parasitic affiliates. If they had them, a reply back was "no thanks, not while you pay another affiliate to steal commissions for me". Did this change these merchant's programs? Probably not, but I wasn't supporting the parasties either and it was just another time these merchants heard this. I do agree we need more organization since large numbers have more impact. But these "few vocal affiliates" have made a positive impact.

    Sadly, too many merchants are getting advice from those who benefit from the commissons paid to parasites and, like anyone ignorant about their business, are open to be fleeced of their money. I don't like that the government is getting into this field now with the court rulings and lawsuits.
    It will be interesting when the first merchant has to defend themselves in a class action lawsuit because of an affiliate that some network pushed on them. Courts have already ruled that merchants are responsible for their affiliates.

    Affiliates and AMs need to keep inviting others here and help spread the word. Granted, there are merchants who want nothing to do with ABW but you'll also find merchants who wouldn't think of running their affiliate programs without ABW. It sounds like you've done more than most other affiliates by trying to educate merchants (hats off to you for that) and the more educated affiliates we have, the more educated merchants and AMs we will have. Merchant affiliate programs can't survive with only parasitic affiliates so they need honest, hard working affiliates. When we can get enough affiliates educating merchants we will see even more positive changes. It sounds like those AMs you talked to were clueless and the one who tried to convince his board, didn't do his homework properly and prepare the needed evidence. I attended Andy Rodriguez's Affiliate Manager Certification Seminar and witnessed the reactions of merchants when they saw what the parasites were actually doing. They heard about parasites but didn't actually see them in action. They had no idea they were paying a commission on traffic they already had. Change is happening, not nearly as fast as we'd like, but it's happening.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  23. #23
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    Edelman response re Ebates testing - what we know and what we don't
    Quote Originally Posted by zendozen
    I contacted the AM and they told me that Commission Junction had called them and recommended ebates. CJ also used Ben Edelman's site and abestweb to prove that ebates has cleaned up their act. According to what CJ told the AM, that there was no recent posted problems with ebates it was all right to sign up with them.
    That is shocking. If I had a client that wanted a full investigation of Ebates -- to assess whether behavior (once installed) is compliant with stated affiliate network rules, and to assess whether installation is compliant with stated rules -- I could perform such an investigation. But no one should infer that I think Ebates is in the clean merely because I hadn't posted recent evidence to the contrary.

    Even Ben Edelman's documentation is called suspect because there are only nuances of evidence (according to CJ).
    I wonder what specific documentation is "suspect" and for what specific (alleged) deficiencies. I certainly don't think there's anything deficient about my video showing Ebates installed through security exploits. Now, that's work from late 2004, so more than a year old. But a year isn't that long in the scheme of things -- it's still well within the statute of limitations, for example, so it's not impossible to imagine a consumer class action lawsuit against Ebates as to these nonconsensual installations. (Recall the similar suits against 180solutions, Direct Revenue, eXact Advertising, etc.)

    If anyone wants to call my work "suspect," I hope they'll at least have the decency to say, publicly, what specifically they think is wrong. Let me respond and say why I think they're wrong (if I do). Doing this in whispers and winks is no way to figure out what's actually going on.

  24. #24
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Go get em' Ben as 2006 offers your investigations a much wider audience. The real merchants on eBates list are getting wise to the negative branding and parasitic behavior of these loyality club/cash back BHO's. Those CEO's and merchant management types are scratching their own butts trying to figure out where those damn popups are coming from on their home and office systems...
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  25. #25
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zendozen
    CJ also used Ben Edelman's site and abestweb to prove that ebates has cleaned up their act.
    Notice the word also. CJ compliance does "know", but acting on it is the is the difference.

    They go to ABW to see if the resident sleuths see anything new, nothing wrong with that!

    Ben's site - well the self touted "expert" has said ABSOFREAKINGLY zero evidence or proof of redirects by eBates (HMMMMM, I wonder why?), he only posted a video that "IS" "suspect" of how they "install" - if that ain't clearly evident, then pinch yourself, you must be dreamin' or check the damn glass and say just no to the cool aid refills.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

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