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  1. #1
    Newbie Tom Modzelesky's Avatar
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    some others sneakily make a ton of money with coupon sites
    some others sneakily make a ton of money with coupon sites--not everyone with a coupon site, just some. I say this because there are a lot of products offered on these coupon sites, like tickets for example, that do not offer discounts. coupon site owners still feature these items because they want to give the idea that the non-discounted products are in some way cheaper nonetheless. so, instead of someone going directly to the ticket site to buy tickets (the site is seo'd and ppc'd) they type in discount tickets and go to the coupon site which unfairly gets an affiliate commission for a sale generated by giving the consumer the idea that the ticket is cheaper because it is on a coupon site.

  2. #2
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I'm not defending people that create fake coupons, but I've also seen merchants add "specials" to their coupon/discounts/sales offers that aren't special either.

    There's good deals, then the illusion of a good deal. Even mainstream companies do this - do you think the CEO of General Motors, during their "employee discount for everyone" push 6-12 months ago, would pay the same price that a consumer would pay? I don't.

    If you see a fake coupon and it bothers you, report it to the merchant. Most care and will correct the situation with a harsh warning or more.

    This issue though, has so little to do with your opportunity and success, I'd urge you to ratchet it down your "what matters" ladder a few rungs. It's not meaningless, but it's not something to occupy your thoughts with for very long. Keep in mind that consumers are smart, a fake coupon or deal, will hurt those sites in the long run.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador best123's Avatar
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    The illusions definitely tarnish the reputation of the coupon site. And merchants who give fake promotions like this to affiliates have NO RESPECT for the affiliate community.

    3 years ago, i didn't know anything about aff marketing, and I used to frequently go to this coupon site.

    until one day i felt cheated, what they had posted on their site wasn't true at all, and I ended up spending more money than what was posted.

    After that incident, I never went to that coupon site again, and never will

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    There are many things low-quality coupon sites do that are deceptive. While these things may temporarily increase their CTR or sales, the long term effect is that they lose customers. Who would go back to a site that they knew was deceptive and what merchant would want to keep working with a site that was deceptive? Their antics backfire in the long run.

    Some of the things I've seen:

    1) Implying that there is a coupon when there isn't.
    2) Implying that something is a good deal when it isn't.
    3) Tricking customers into clicking through to the merchant.
    4) Forcing customers to click through to the merchant in order to get a coupon code.
    5) Stuffing cookies.
    6) Promoting coupon codes that are exclusive to other affiliates or that are obviously intended for customer service.
    7) Listing expired coupons.

    The coupon sites that avoid these deceptive practices and provide value by offering their loyal customers true savings will be the ones to succeed.
    Michael Coley
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  5. #5
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    I totally agree. I haven't seen too many coupon sites just referring me through a link with no special offers. However, I do see coupon sites doing a lot of search engine promotions just to get traffic with nothing special to offer.

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Factoid: If all affiliate enabled merchants banned affiliates from using coupons the income of the other affiliates would rise by at least 50%. Zinger would be the cost savings by not having to cash coupons would substancially increase the profit/sale for those same merchants.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  7. #7
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    And the vendor would lose their competitive advantage over their competitors.
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  8. #8
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoWires
    And the vendor would lose their competitive advantage over their competitors.
    HOW?
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  9. #9
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecomcity
    HOW?
    Mike

    This has got to be the shortest post that you've ever made.

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  10. #10
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    There are many strategies that a merchant could employ to make sure their non-coupon affiliates were unaffected by the merchants coupon strategy. [Note: not blaming coupon affs, the merchant has chosen to create this situation.]

    Most merchants aren't giving sufficient thought/action to recognize/reward the proportion of incremental sales that different affiliates and different affiliate techniques bring to them.

    After trying for years to work with my merchants on this issue - til I'm blue in the face - I've decided it's simply time for me to build a coupon site. See you couponers at the trough.

  11. #11
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecomcity
    Factoid: If all affiliate enabled merchants banned affiliates from using coupons the income of the other affiliates would rise by at least 50%. Zinger would be the cost savings by not having to cash coupons would substancially increase the profit/sale for those same merchants.
    Not true, at least not in my personal experience.

    The reason I hardly ever offer coupons on GB anymore is because when I did offer them, it didn't change my sales one way or the other. Coupon sites didn't eat sales, in fact, they got trounced by regular sites.

    I tried taking that coupon box off of the checkout, to increase the CR: No change in CR happened one way or the other. Seems its presence was irrelevant.

    This season it's going back, but that's because I'm offering a coupon on another channel, and the only way to accept 'em that I know of is to have the box. So, to be fair, I'll offer one to the aff channel too. But I'd be very surprised if I was barraged with online coupon-site users.

    SE-wise, what I saw happening was coupon sites jumping on as soon as I put out a coupon, listing it, but then leaving that page up after it expired (with a notice to "check out GoodBulbs to see what deals are active now" or somesuch). But since the only one looking for "GoodBulbs Coupons" is ME and THEM, I didn't worry about it. A listing under that is like a giant billboard--in the middle of the Saskatchewan corn belt (where there's nothing but miles and miles of corn!).

    Perhaps if these coupon sites were listed under something people actually searched for, instead of sticking with their formula of "MerchantName + Coupons," they would do better with my coupons. It's no surprise that some couponers do better with the huge brands, when the only place they show up is under that keyphrase!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  12. #12
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    Mike read a marketing book.

    I like how Mike makes up factoids.

  13. #13
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Factoid: If all online merchants banned their webmasters from directing 404 site traffic to said webmaster's personal affiliate sites, the income of the merchant site could rise by at least 50%. Zinger would be the cost savings by not having to pay for PPC traffic to get the same customer back to the site when they search again after the trick landing on the un-related personal affiliate site of the aforementioned webmaster.

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  14. #14
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    Nice catch. Tricky stuff. What's up with that Mike?

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Awhhhh come on Donuts ....speaking as somebody who offers coupons at my site.....don't tell me you're going to do it now, too. I'm having a hard enough time without having to compete directly with you, too. I'm just teasing you
    Unitl I read that one article a while back about coupon sites I didn't really understand why there seems to be some that don't speak too nicely about coupon sites. (I don't think that article was very fair, though) I started paying more attention to some of the posts and made some searches on my own and it is true that there are several very high ranking "coupon" type sites that do list expired coupons, etc. I don't quite understand why that's done, though. The last thing I would want to do is have any coupon or offer that a person might not understand was expired and have them go to use it then get mad. I admit since it's just me and ummm dial-up I don't always get every single one of the coupons off of my site that exact day it expires but I always very clearly state when a coupon expires and don't engage in any tricky type things. Maybe I'm being naive but I don't want to do anything to alienate any visitors and agree with what Michael said that I guess there's always a new visitor out there that will use those type of sites that do that but I would think once a visitor gets burned from something they're not going to keep going back to that site.
    On coupons in general. I've been listening to some people complaining how if companies didn't have coupons the price of products would come down. This coming from people who do not use coupons. Ummm guess I come from a long line of coupon cutters but learned from my Mom how to save money by using coupons. Nothing is stopping anybody from cutting out coupons. (unless you're poor and can't afford a Sunday paper.) I don't particularly enjoy cutting them out and it is time consuming (although being the fidget that I am at times, I'll do it while doing something else, too lol ) It's sort of a form of advertising I guess from the companies and if I want to take the time to do it and be rewarded by them for doing so.....the ones that don't cut coupons but complain....should start doing it themselves and not blame those of us who do take advantage of them because it wouldn't change the prices. They'd only spend it on more advertising or something else.
    Just one more kind of strange thought on coupons. Maybe cos I've never tried to get anything from her lol or even taken when offered so she knows I'm not after her money. lol but have a pretty wealthy friend (nope...she didn't get that way from cutting coupons) she's blue blood type money but as rich as she is....she still cuts coupons. lol
    ok I'll be quiet now....and you can go back to your conversation. lol
    Donuts: really was just teasing

  16. #16
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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