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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Merchant has gone offline due to lack of funds.
    In the last two days I have had two Merchant that has gone offline due to lack of funds. Both of these Merchants Black Forest Decor, GivingGallery I think are reliable. I know they could go on auto deposit but their have decided not to for some reason.
    My question is: Does SAS give them a few days to send more money or do they shut them down when the balance reaches $0?? If they do shut them down right away would a 3 day grace period be possible of say merchants who have been reliable in the past in paying their bills??
    I love SAS and I think they run the best affiliate program I use. The datafeed option is great!! But the above problem is my main concern with SAS.

  2. #2
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    A friend of mine who is a merchant told me they go offline as soon as they hit $0.
    2 or 3 days would be good for a grace period

  3. #3
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kse
    If they do shut them down right away would a 3 day grace period be possible of say merchants who have been reliable in the past in paying their bills??
    Two questions give birth a lot of thoughts in my head now:

    Question 1: Who would then be the ultimate authority for passing a judgement on a merchant's reliability or unreliability?

    Question 2: What would save the designated "ultimate authority" from being responsible for those merchants that never deposit the funds?

    Geno

  4. #4
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geno Prussakov


    Two questions give birth a lot of thoughts in my head now:

    Question 1: Who would then be the ultimate authority for passing a judgement on a merchant's reliability or unreliability?

    Question 2: What would save the designated "ultimate authority" from being responsible for those merchants that never deposit the funds?

    Geno
    If it weren't such a terrible job to program it, we could decide for ourselves which merchants we would trust, and for how long or how much. When a merchant went to $0 they would only remain live for accounts that had specifically agreed to keep them live for a time.

    But I know it wouldn't be practical.
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  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geno Prussakov


    Two questions give birth a lot of thoughts in my head now:

    Question 1: Who would then be the ultimate authority for passing a judgement on a merchant's reliability or unreliability?

    Question 2: What would save the designated "ultimate authority" from being responsible for those merchants that never deposit the funds?

    Geno

    Thank you for your questions and discussion is great, The way it works on CJ I think is that I would take all the risk if CJ (or SAS in this case) does not get paid then I do not get paid.

    As far as being reliable is harder but I would say if the have been on the network for over a year and have paid all payment with in a reasonable time, say seven to ten days then I would think that they are reliable.

  6. #6
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    It's why I only work with auto deposit merchants. Had too many past frustrations with it. It's either that or SAS makes them go on auto deposit or just boot the ones that always go offline, off the network.

  7. #7
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    Black Forest Decor
    Didn't they just show up at CJ as well (meaning they're not broke)?

  8. #8
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webworker
    Didn't they just show up at CJ as well (meaning they're not broke)?
    CJ probably took so much money from them that it broke them.

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  9. #9
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    "gone offline due to lack of funds"

    I'd be far more concerned about merchants who stay online due to lack of tracking pixel.
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  10. #10
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    Going offline makes an unreliable merchant period. No excuses - forget about past performance.

    Offline means your site promotes dead links -- you make no money

    This is an old issue among affiliates and SAS has yet to fix the problem.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador JudiMoore's Avatar
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    If the idea of Auto Deposit is too much for a merchant to swallow, then they really aren't serious about this business arrangement.

    I think the merchants who refuse AutoDeposit are thinking this is something else to "try" and hopefully will "pay for itself". If not, then they just can't spare the "credit" and I really don't want them involved in my business.

    Merchants who are just learning the retail business aren't reliable enough for our concentrated efforts and should only be additional decoration if we need it for a certain topic.

  12. #12
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    I wish SAS enforced a deposit algorithm that uses an average of commissions disbursed each month to determine required funds on hand at all times.

    As for BFD, did anyone else receive the silly email "promoting" their new commission scheme? They tried to make it sound as if we'd be getting an increase in commission through October 10th, when in fact on October 11th they're going to reduce the commission from the rate it's been since...well since I joined them. And just in time for the holiday shopping season, too.

    Too bad for me, I made a few bucks with them. Too bad for them they won't be making a few bucks with me after October 10th.

  13. #13
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    Dear Black Forest Decor Affiliates,

    We apologize for the lack of funds issue related to our Shareasale affiliate program. We do use auto-deposit with Shareasale and have for several years. Over the weekend we received an order from an affiliate that was over $10,000. This order wiped out our funds at Shareasale. Auto-deposit worked but did not bring our account up to balance since we had auto-deposit set to $500. We have since increased our auto-deposit amount to accommodate larger orders coming from affiliates and do not expect this problem to occur again.

    Sincerely,

    Jason Dupus, President
    Black Forest Décor, LLC
    Lone Star Western Décor
    Aspen Lighting

  14. #14
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    It helps to check out the offline history of merchants at SAS. SAS Offline History statistics began calculation on July 17th, 2005, and it appears that BFD has been offline 25 times since that date.
    Ken

  15. #15
    Full Member clyderose's Avatar
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    @ kse all the merchants get enough of time to add funds. when they are low on funds a mailer is sent to them to deposit funds into the account.

    if a merchant does not deposit funds into his account on time, it only shows that he does not take his affiliate program seriously. So you should probarbly consider taking a look at the merchant list who are on autodeposit, you can see this list from our sas account by clicking on the autodeposite icon when you are on the join merchants screen.

    Hope this helps you.
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  16. #16
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by porkchop
    Going offline makes an unreliable merchant period. No excuses - forget about past performance.

    Offline means your site promotes dead links -- you make no money

    This is an old issue among affiliates and SAS has yet to fix the problem.
    Porkchop, this is only an issue because we see they're offline - at least SAS lets us know when a merchant is not paid up and will potentially not be paying commissions earned. It's a drag to see a merchant offline but it's better than not knowing. It's not a bad SAS feature, just one that gets bandied around because it effects us - I'd still rather know and I'm happy SAS lets us know.
    Peace,

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  17. #17
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    What is the point of having merchants not paid up. Nobody makes money. Not you, not SAS, the merchant can miss a sale and your site suffers because when your visitor clicks the link it goes to a dead page. Hurts your chances of having a repeat visitor to your site. Haven't you ever clicked on a link and it goes to a dead page? Very annoying. Not to mention you have that link on your site to make money and if isn't working that is a big problem.

    If a merchant is going to run an affiliate program and join a network such as SAS he ought to assure things such as going offline never happens. I don't understand why everybody doesn't see the bad in the offline status. Maybe everybody has grown to accept it because SAS has yet to fix the ongoing issue.

  18. #18
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by porkchop
    What is the point of having merchants not paid up. Nobody makes money. Not you, not SAS, the merchant can miss a sale and your site suffers because when your visitor clicks the link it goes to a dead page. Hurts your chances of having a repeat visitor to your site. Haven't you ever clicked on a link and it goes to a dead page? Very annoying. Not to mention you have that link on your site to make money and if isn't working that is a big problem.

    If a merchant is going to run an affiliate program and join a network such as SAS he ought to assure things such as going offline never happens. I don't understand why everybody doesn't see the bad in the offline status. Maybe everybody has grown to accept it because SAS has yet to fix the ongoing issue.
    Of course it's bad that our links are going to dead pages, etc. but other networks don't let us know when a merchant is "low funds" or offline so that we have the option of taking their links off our sites. The only issue with SAS is that they let the merchant stay in the line up of merchants indefinitely. We all need to look at the merchant's online history before joining or promoting their program.

    If a merchant shows low funds I won't put their links on my site and if they have a history of going off line, same thing.

    And absolutely ... merchants who allow their program to go offline are jackasses and not at all serious about their affiliate business. At least we can see their payment and online history in SAS. Other networks hide this information from affiliates and we can be promoting a merchant who has no funds to pay us forever before we find out we're not gonna get paid.
    Peace,

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  19. #19
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    "we can be promoting a merchant who has no funds to pay us"

    I don't think that is how the other networks work. I think they get their money first and don't throw the burden on the affiliate.

    If you use Commission Junction you will find links to deactivated merchants or soon to expire merchants/links. I get email reminders all the time telling me to check this section when I logon. I think when they become unreliable they get kicked out.

    I love SAS and find it more user friendly with the program I use. I guess my frustration is with lack of responsibility that so many merchants show by constantly showing low funds and you are holding your breath the next time you login to see if any went offline. SAS can end all this by requiring auto deposit. If you are going to have a website, have inventory, ship merchandise, attract affiliates blah blah blah then dog gone it you ought to fund your account. Depending on the products you want to promote it isn't always easy to just promote the ones on auto deposit.

  20. #20
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    "Of course it's bad that our links are going to dead pages, etc. but other networks don't let us know when a merchant is "low funds" or offline so that we have the option of taking their links off our sites."

    With LS, you get an email about Discontinued Merchant Programs. Performics is horrible when it comes to this. I've had some merchants get deactivated without any notice and the links still go thru. LS and CJ links go to deactivated type pages. CJ has a deactivated merchant list and you get an email and has a place where you can see clicks from invalid links. They don't leave them up for years. I was just checking some of my "temp offline merchants" at SAS and found some offine for years by checking the compliance date. Do you know you can still join them, still put up links? They need to be removed from the network. Go down your list of offline merchants and check the compliance dates, it's a real eye opener. It is a continuing problem and complaint from affiliates that can and should be fixed.

    "SAS can end all this by requiring auto deposit."

    I agree, time to step it up, cut the drag off. Some nice merchants on the network but these offline merchants are a negative to the network.

    It's why I started this thread almost 2 years ago:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=48659

    At the time I was going thru my merchants and offline everywhere, I would guess at least 1/4 at the time. It was ridiculous. So now I just work with auto deposit merchants.
    Last edited by Trust; August 8th, 2006 at 03:01 AM.

  21. #21
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    Would a SAS representative care to join this discussion?

  22. #22
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    OK - understood about the deactivation notifications and yeah, it would be great to be notified by email when a merchant goes offline. I know Brian has an RSS feed that does this but I don't have an RSS set up so an email would be sweet.

    I would surely love to see merchants booted from the network who go offline more than once or be forced to go on auto deposit. I know how long some of my merchants have been offline ... years ... it is stupid and I'd certainly vote to have them removed, especially considering someone could still potentially grab a link and promote them. That's not OK at all.

    Wasn't there a thread here a few months ago about a CJ merchant who did not have funds to pay accrued commissions and CJ was extending them credit, without telling affiliates? I could go looking for it but I won't. ;-) That is the example I was referring to as far as knowing a merchant didn't have the funds on account to pay at SAS.
    Peace,

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  23. #23
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    "SAS can end all this by requiring auto deposit."

    I agree, time to step it up, cut the drag off. Some nice merchants on the network but these offline merchants are a negative to the network.

    It's why I started this thread almost 2 years ago:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=48659
    Maybe 2 years is not long enough!

    Or

    Maybe quantity looks better than quality!

    ...

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Well maybe Auto Deposit should be enforced on all new merchants signup in SAS and give the current merchants 12 month's to switch over to Auto Deposit.

  25. #25
    Member Jigsaw2order's Avatar
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    My view is that if a Merchant is serious, they will setup Auto Deposit from Day 1. Why would a Merchant want to take the chance of going offline if they can protect themselves.

    There are however situations that would cause a merchant to go offline even if they were on Auto Deposit as has been outlined above by Jason of Black Forest Decor.

    We apologize for the lack of funds issue related to our Shareasale affiliate program. We do use auto-deposit with Shareasale and have for several years. Over the weekend we received an order from an affiliate that was over $10,000. This order wiped out our funds at Shareasale. Auto-deposit worked but did not bring our account up to balance since we had auto-deposit set to $500. We have since increased our auto-deposit amount to accommodate larger orders coming from affiliates and do not expect this problem to occur again.
    This is something a Merchant can really not protect themselves against. The important thing is not the fact the Merchant went offline, but the time it took them to get back on-line. Anyone that is managing their Affiliate program, will see what has happened and should be able to react very quickly.

    My suggestion would be that SAS make available a Merchant history showing when a Merchant has gone offline and how long for. Affiliates can then take this into consideration when choosing to join a program.

    Colin
    Jigsaw2order.com
    On SAS, On Auto Deposit

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