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  1. #1
    Newbie TheHoff's Avatar
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    Scam: World Class Nutrition takes affiliate traffic and redirects it
    I was waiting to hear back from Brian before I posted but now that I've emailed with the merchant a few times, I know it wasn't a mistake.

    I've been dealing with hxxp://www.worldclassnutrition.com/ for a while as they have decent prices on some hard to find bodybuilding supplements. Last night I checked one of their category landing pages and I see a huge (H1 size) link glaring me in the face inviting me to clickthrough.

    That clickthrough on the merchant's page was an SAS affiliate link leading to another merchant selling the same products. It seems WCN did not want to sell ephedra at the moment because of a possible re-ban by the FDA. So instead of taking down the category pages, the owner put an affiliate link so that people could clickthrough to another store selling it and he could get a cut. Effectively robbing his own affiliates to make a buck on their traffic.

    I will no longer deal with World Class Nutrition and I suggest you do the same. They have accounts on both SAS and ClixGalore.

    Screenshot:
    http://img87.imageshack.us/my.php?image=wcnlink0kg.gif


    ps. don't get me started on ephedra. It is currently legal and has been studied for dozens of years in Europe-- deemed safe. Happy to quote pubmed to you in PMs

  2. #2
    Newbie TheHoff's Avatar
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    This link STILL exists on their page.

    So this is OK with Shareasale? A merchant has their own SAS account as an affiliate and is redirecting traffic from their site to make money with it. That is kosher activity here?

    hxxp://www.worldclassnutrition.com/worldclassnutrition/dietpilwitep.html

  3. #3
    Internet Cowboy
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    Even on Shareasale you get crooked merchants. I guess there is no real violation here. A merchant can have affiliate links on their site if they want. If they choose to do this, it is our job as affiliates to out them as a cheater and tell as many people as possible.

    Go post this on every affiliate marketing or Internet marketing board you can find and bump the threads every day or two to keep them on top.

    Send the merchant a link to the thread.


  4. #4
    Newbie TheHoff's Avatar
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    Thanks, US. I just assumed it would be against SAS policy and that he might get the boot.

    After confronting the merchant in email, he claimed to have no idea how he was defrauding his affiliates. I explained it to him... and he would rather leave up his link than keep me as a partner. I know that page generates a significant portion of his monthly income, so I suppose he made a choice necessary for his business. If he had bothered to notify his affiliates before putting the link up, I wouldn't have had a problem with it.

    I am posting this notice wherever appropriate

  5. #5
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    "Even on Shareasale you get crooked merchants."

    Seem to be more leaky ones there.

  6. #6
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    While this may not be against the "rules" it is certainly unfair and against the spirit of SAS. Rules cannot be written to cover every contingency.

    I hope Brian will, at least, talk to him and ask him to desist of at least not provide affiliates with links to the offending area.
    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!

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
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    It seems that leaks on sites are OK, even if it's actually 95% an affiliate site

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=70640

    IMHO, it's worse than parasites because only a percentage of people have adware installed, but 100% of the traffic sent gets exposed to those leaks and gets to click on the so-called bogus "merchant's" affiliate links.

    It's parasitic activity at its worst, by functioning as "point of sale attack dogs", with the "merchants" themselves being the dogs. It's just not called that.

  8. #8
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    I just don't put links up to the merchant. And I think adware is much worse since that's something you can't really control, what people download onto their computers. But I don't have to put up links to a merchant with leaks so those merchants have 0 affect on me.

  9. #9
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    How about this. You know how there is an Auto Deposit thread which might have inspired some merchants to go on it since there are affiliates (like me) that will only work with merchants on it. Have a SAS Leaky merchant thread and we can just post the ones with leaks. So it will let everyone else know and maybe the merchant will see it or hear it from their affiliates and make changes.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
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    at least, this leak is very glaring. at cj, there are merchants there whose leaks are not that noticeable, especially in the financial area. how'd that happen? if they have 5 products for example, they make the top-converting product non-commissionable for affiliates.

    they send out an email about this, of course. but who reads all the affiliate emails anyway?

  11. #11
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    I checked on the merchant to make sure that there weren't any direct product links, datafeed links, or specific creatives that were targetted towards that page...which there was not. Technically, there isn't any rules violation here though I do agree that it is a leak that should be fixed. However, in another light, if the customer was interested in buying the product listed... this merchant no longer sells it so it is likely that no commission would be generated.

    That doesn't make it any better of a practice, just food for thought. I will contact the merchant to discuss the leak but in the meantime I would recommend that if the leak is of particular concern to any one - definitely don't promote the program, etc...
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  12. #12
    Newbie TheHoff's Avatar
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    Yup, no skin off of my back. I can simply redirect my links to the same program he is promoting. As I said in my PM, I had previously had a cordial relationship with this merchant-- we've exchanged at least a dozen emails before this. I was shocked that he did not notify his affiliates of the change... he'd said he has lots of people profiting from that page so I know many more were sending traffic than just me.. and most of them are paying for it (PPC->merchant).

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador
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    I know many more were sending traffic than just me.. and most of them are paying for it (PPC->merchant).
    And unfortunately, when merchants change pages AFTER affiliates have signed up (technically a bait and switch), chances are the change won't be detected, and people will continue to send them traffic without being aware.

    Have a SAS Leaky merchant thread and we can just post the ones with leaks. So it will let everyone else know and maybe the merchant will see it or hear it from their affiliates and make changes.
    Well, that sure would serve to alert people who didn't know enough to look for leaks at the time they signed up (which a lot don't), or who signed up before the merchant put the leaky drain on their site and aren't aware of the change - which also happens.

  14. #14
    Internet Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale
    However, in another light, if the customer was interested in buying the product listed... this merchant no longer sells it so it is likely that no commission would be generated.
    So this merchant has destroyed their credibility for nothing. What a dumb*ss!


  15. #15
    Newbie TheHoff's Avatar
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    He lost me as an affiliate for good. While I'm not a big deal for him, I do plenty of business with his competitors.

    As requested: The SAS Leaky Merchant thread

  16. #16
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Scooter,

    I agree it isn't good business for the merchant... unfortunately all I can do is explain that as best I can in this situation...
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  17. #17
    Member karomesis's Avatar
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    So this merchant has destroyed their credibility for nothing. What a dumb*ss!
    yup. What I'm wondering is if the merchants pulling this kindof crap actually think they'll get away with it, especially when aff are using PPC.

    there should be a seperate section on ABW just for outing merchants with titanic sized leaks....The leaky merchant section

    Hoff, thanks for the heads up. I was actually going to promote them, but not now.

  18. #18
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    Thank you TheHoff, My links have been ripped out (and replaced with "the other merchant")

    Might be okay with SAS, but not me.

    Lily

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Have a SAS Leaky merchant thread and we can just post the ones with leaks. So it will let everyone else know and maybe the merchant will see it or hear it from their affiliates and make changes.
    I agree!

    Considering dealing with houndreds or thousands of merchants, no matter the leaky merchants have the leak pages before or after we sign up their programs, most of us (at least me) will prbably never go through their pages to try to find sth fishy.

    Affiliate business is pretty much based on trust. Maybe that's why there are more and more rats taking their chances.

  20. #20
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atonca
    I agree!

    Considering dealing with houndreds or thousands of merchants, no matter the leaky merchants have the leak pages before or after we sign up their programs, most of us (at least me) will prbably never go through their pages to try to find sth fishy.

    Affiliate business is pretty much based on trust. Maybe that's why there are more and more rats taking their chances.
    Speeking of merchant posers draining traffic how about every page being a affiliate link leak.... http://www.joebrands.com/page/JB/CTGY/JBK This one is even more blatent and the guy runs a link-pop links page for even more leakage.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  21. #21
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
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    For some reason I got popped with a full size PartyPoker.com affiliate window beneath the link I was trying to open when I clicked the link at the top of this thread for the screenshot. I'm assuming that's not supposed to happen. Perhaps the page has been hijacked?

    Just thought I'd mention it... and I don't have adware installed on my computer by the way.

  22. #22
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    World Class Nutrition has been a great merchant for us
    I see that these posts were from 2 or more years ago and I have to say that we have made a lot of money from World Class Nutrition and have never had a problem with them in my 5 years of being an affiliate for them. I would certainly give them anothe rlook.

  23. #23
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    You must think we're all idiots.

  24. #24
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kragen1
    I see that these posts were from 2 or more years ago and I have to say that we have made a lot of money from World Class Nutrition and have never had a problem with them in my 5 years of being an affiliate for them. I would certainly give them anothe rlook.
    Are you implying that you're an affiliate for your own program? Your profile says that you ARE World Class Nutrition.

    A real CLASS act, I see.
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  25. #25
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    Why would I be an affiliate for a website I own. Not very intelligent I see.

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