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  1. #1
    Newbie Sir Isaac Lime's Avatar
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    Every affiliate network sucks?
    I was excited to recently find a merchant who is a member of an affiliate network, Linkconnector to be exact. I read each of the posts in that particular forum, and some of the comments made me feel a bit skeptical. So then I did some research on the other networks, and to my suprise it turns out that, in fact, every affiliate network sucks! Perhaps it's simply brutal honesty, or perhaps it's inhouse competetion at work. I have no idea...

    I guess i'm wondering, should the network issues that people scrutinize about here, really be that important to me as a newbie affiliate marketer? So far i've only found 3 merchants, only one of who belongs to an affiliate network. Assuming all the merchants have identical commision payouts, is it my best interest to side with one who belongs to a network?

  2. #2
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Sir Isaac,

    How do the independent merchants track/pay commissions? Ask questions.

    I would recommend that you start on a network to begin with such as Commission Junction, Linkshare, and/or Sharasale or whatever network listed on this forum deals with the merchants you would like to affiliate with.

    Just because people post complaints doesn't mean that the networks totally "suck" -- it often mean that the networks partially do so

  3. #3
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    Assuming all the merchants have identical commision payouts, is it my best interest to side with one who belongs to a network?
    That's a very important question for which I too would be interested in an answer.

    There are so many horror stories mentioning data mining and stolen sites etc by network employees, that it seems that every successful technique you use with a network would be copied in a blink.
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  4. #4
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newaff
    it seems that every successful technique you use with a network would be copied in a blink.
    It Takes a Network to Copy A Site

    That would be a good name for a book

    Why would copying be limited to network employees? The very fact that a site is online exposes the site to vunerabilities -- no?

  5. #5
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Isaac Lime
    I was excited to recently find a merchant who is a member of an affiliate network, Linkconnector to be exact. I read each of the posts in that particular forum, and some of the comments made me feel a bit skeptical. So then I did some research on the other networks, and to my suprise it turns out that, in fact, every affiliate network sucks! Perhaps it's simply brutal honesty, or perhaps it's inhouse competetion at work. I have no idea...

    I guess i'm wondering, should the network issues that people scrutinize about here, really be that important to me as a newbie affiliate marketer? So far i've only found 3 merchants, only one of who belongs to an affiliate network. Assuming all the merchants have identical commision payouts, is it my best interest to side with one who belongs to a network?
    Sir Isaac,

    The complaints are from people who are MEMBERS of the networks and work through them while working through the agitation of having to deal with network issues. ShareASale is one of he only networks you'll find not bashed in here and for good reason. They're a safe, sure bet. The other "biggies" do have problems but you can still make sales with them and if you find a merchant you want to work with, don't worry about the rest of it. See if they convert sales for you with a good amount of traffic and if not, drop them and find another merchant and so on until you find one that works for you. This could be a network merchant or not but you will want to check into the networks all the same.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  6. #6
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    Why would copying be limited to network employees? The very fact that a site is online exposes the site to vunerabilities -- no?
    Yes, it is true that every site is open to vulnerabilities but the difference is that the network already knows what you are successful at while others might not.

    I would like to add that what I am saying is not that I have personally experienced but what I have read at these forums and elsewhere. I don't know how widespread is this and if someone with some experience on this can give some inputs, it will be help.
    The Best Forums
    Nothing in the world can take the place of persistance
    . Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistance and determination are omnipotent.
    Abestweb Store

  7. #7
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    See if they convert sales for you with a good amount of traffic and if not, drop them and find another merchant and so on until you find one that works for you.
    Rexanne, if you find a good converting merchant and notice that it is available at a network as well as in-house too with the same incentives at both place, given a choice which one you'll go with all the other things being equal?
    The Best Forums
    Nothing in the world can take the place of persistance
    . Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistance and determination are omnipotent.
    Abestweb Store

  8. #8
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newaff
    Rexanne, if you find a good converting merchant and notice that it is available at a network as well as in-house too with the same incentives at both place, given a choice which one you'll go with all the other things being equal?
    Good question. It would depend on how much I trusted teh merchant or network. If it was a merchant in the ShareASale, I woulnd't hesitate to go through SAS instead of in house because I trust SAS.

    The biggest issue with networks is that your commissions can be stolen too easily if they allow parasitic affiliates to join. There's no way to know what's happening unless you invest time and space on your site and then realize you're being screwed after sending thousands of visitors with no sales. Same with an in house merchant, for this or other reasons. Not that this doesn't happen with some SAS merchants, because it does, but at least I'm relatively sure it's not because parasites are stealing my commissions through link hijacking.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    I've always done much better when I switched from the network to the in-house program given a choice. But I only have 2 merchants to base this on.

    But a dud merchant will be a dud anyway, in-house or in the network IMO.

  10. #10
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexanne
    Sir Isaac,

    The complaints are from people who are MEMBERS of the networks and work through them while working through the agitation of having to deal with network issues. ShareASale is one of he only networks you'll find not bashed in here and for good reason. They're a safe, sure bet. The other "biggies" do have problems but you can still make sales with them and if you find a merchant you want to work with, don't worry about the rest of it. See if they convert sales for you with a good amount of traffic and if not, drop them and find another merchant and so on until you find one that works for you. This could be a network merchant or not but you will want to check into the networks all the same.
    That's a less flame-attracting way than I was going to put it. But that's about what I would have said. I took the liberty of bolding the part I would have made my main point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Isaac Lime
    Assuming all the merchants have identical commision payouts, is it my best interest to side with one who belongs to a network?
    IMO, yes!! Unless that network is LS.

    I've had much worse luck with indies being deadbeats, than with non-LS network merchants. As for LS, their merchants might as well be indies (or worse), since LS allows them to pay "whenever."

    Personally I find many benefits to using networks and network merchants in general, including:

    • Less deadbeats
    • Standardized interface
    • Semi-standardized datafeeds
    • Reporting's all in one spot
    • Same with feeds and links
    • Lots of merchants in one place--no scouting all over the Internet for them
    • No having to log into a million places to check my stats


    Except for the "less deadbeats" part, I suppose that would fall under the heading of "convenience." And convenience is important, once you get more than a few merchants. If I had all indies, I'd have 80 or so logins to do just to check my stats, and that many logins to do in order to get updated feeds...SHUDDER...

  11. #11
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Every network has pros and cons. Working with networks vs. indies has pros and cons. An argument could be made for or against any particular network or indies as a whole. You'll find fans for almost every network (yes, even LinkShare got almost 10% of the vote in the recent poll!). You'll find people upset with almost every network (except ShareASale!). You'll find people who love indies. You'll find people who hate indies.

    In the end, the network (or lack of a network) doesn't make much difference. Find the merchants that work for you.

    As a newbie affiliate, one network feature that would be helpful for you is Consolidated Payments. That way, if you promote multiple merchants on the same network, you won't have to meet a minimum payment amount for each merchant. Fortunately, almost all of the networks (CJ, SAS, LinkShare, Performics, and to a lesser extent BeFree) have consolidated payments.
    Last edited by MichaelColey; February 4th, 2006 at 04:53 PM. Reason: Fixed a typo
    Michael Coley
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  12. #12
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Don't forget too, that like anything else, people often are quicker to post negative experiences than good ones. Not all the networks suck. In fact, as mentioned above, they all have good points.

    I would COMPLETELY agree with Leader and Rexanne on the merchant being the bigger consideration over the network. If they fit your bill, run them.
    Kevin Webster
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  13. #13
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I love indies and ShareASale. One huge advantage to working with SAS goes back to the concern about deadbeats - chose merchants with SAS that are on Auto-Deposit and know that as you earn commissions, funds are being deposited by the merchant, to pay you, long before they are due. The chance of getting burned by an SAS merchant on Auto-Deposit are the lowest that can be found in my opinion.

    There's a thread here where SAS merchants on Auto-Deposit were invited to list themselves - a great place for newbies to look for merchants!
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=48659
    Thank TrustNo1 for starting this great thread!
    And we should ask the SAS moderator to make it yellow and sticky and always at the top of the SAS list of threads - it's a valuable resource!

    And once you get in SAS, you'll get used to looking for the Auto-Deposit icon, that shows in the merchant listings, to see which are essentially escrowing funds with SAS by depositing them ahead of time.

  14. #14
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newaff
    Rexanne, if you find a good converting merchant and notice that it is available at a network as well as in-house too with the same incentives at both place, given a choice which one you'll go with all the other things being equal?
    The same merchant usually pays more if you're in house because they don't have to pay network fees on your sales.

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  15. #15
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader

    I've had much worse luck with indies being deadbeats, than with non-LS network merchants. As for LS, their merchants might as well be indies (or worse), since LS allows them to pay "whenever."
    What??? :

    LinkShare is the best paying network ... and they don't hold back until you make a quota. During one pay period when I only made $1.75 -- I got that right away

    [WOULD SOMEONE IN ICON MAINTENANCE PLEASE FIX "the " & "Oh Please" icons? Thank you]

    LS consolidates commissions & when the money is combined --> nice check.

    If the commission is small, you get it anyway

  16. #16
    You are in, or you are out ... choose!
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    >During one pay period when I only made $1.75 -- I got that right away

    Of course there are CONS to that practice. Despite me asking LS for a higher payout threshold, they sent me a cheque for $20, which will cost me $15 to cash. Doh!
    [url=http://www.dWoz.com/][b]dWoz[/b][/url] - serious webmaster tools & resources.

  17. #17
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woz
    >During one pay period when I only made $1.75 -- I got that right away

    Of course there are CONS to that practice. Despite me asking LS for a higher payout threshold, they sent me a cheque for $20, which will cost me $15 to cash. Doh!
    Had you just deposited the amount in your bank account you would not have been charged a fee.

    $15 fee on a $20 check sounds like you do your business at a Check Cashing type of place.

  18. #18
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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  19. #19
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    Had you just deposited the amount in your bank account you would not have been charged a fee.

    $15 fee on a $20 check sounds like you do your business at a Check Cashing type of place.
    NOT NECESSARILY SO!!

    What makes you so sure that the person is located here in the States? If you'll read enough posts around here, you'll see that many, many people in other countries have had to pay high fees for depositing U.S. checks in their bank.

    It really is wise to get all the pertinent facts in a matter before becoming contentious based on erroneous assumptions.

  20. #20
    You are in, or you are out ... choose!
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    >What makes you so sure that the person is located here in the States?

    Hehe, a common mistake amongst members, affiliates, merchants, networks, ... the list goes on.

    For the record, Woz does not live in the good 'ol U.S. of A., rather, he lives in the Best Country in the World bar none.
    [url=http://www.dWoz.com/][b]dWoz[/b][/url] - serious webmaster tools & resources.

  21. #21
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    , and a whole bunch others fixed.

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  22. #22
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haiko de Poel, Jr.
    , and a whole bunch others fixed.

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  23. #23
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    Rhia - LinkShare is the best paying network ... and they don't hold back until you make a quota. During one pay period when I only made $1.75 -- I got that right away
    LinkShare was for years and by far the WORSE paying network.
    No consolidated payment
    High threshold for some merchants like $100
    No Direct Deposit
    No escrow account
    Late paying merchants
    Awful reporting system
    Lost checks (envelopes not sealed, checks not printed correctly...)
    No automatic deactivation of merchant not paying
    ...
    Sure, it's better now but what a pain for their affiliates during the transition.
    They still have no escrow accounts, they don't deactivate merchants not paying, we're still paid 3 months after the merchants sold their products (for some)

  24. #24
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Tremendous improvements, though. In the last couple years, I've lost more from CJ merchants than from LinkShare merchants, despite CJ's supposed escrow accounts and automatic deactivation when merchants go negative.
    Michael Coley
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  25. #25
    15 years and counting
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    I'm not so sure CJ still require an escrow account for their merchants. It was one of their strong points. Now, they extend credit at our expense, that's a fact.

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