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  1. #1
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    Vent: affiliate links on merchant
    Send your traffic to a merchant only to discover they have posted various affiliate links at the bottom of their webpages. Not just one, but most pages. On top of that, they are obvious CJ, LS & Amazon links ... we're talking about a SAS merchant here.

    Publishers - review, check and even visit your affiliate sites. Sometimes things may surprise you!

    Wonder if there is a blatant list of these type of merchants or is this acceptable?

  2. #2
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TommyG
    Send your traffic to a merchant only to discover they have posted various affiliate links at the bottom of their webpages. Not just one, but most pages. On top of that, they are obvious CJ, LS & Amazon links ... we're talking about a SAS merchant here.

    Publishers - review, check and even visit your affiliate sites. Sometimes things may surprise you!

    Wonder if there is a blatant list of these type of merchants or is this acceptable?
    It's totally unacceptable but happens a lot. Do a search here for "merchant leaks" and you'll find plenty of rants about it.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
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  3. #3
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    There are a ton of posts about different "merchants" doing it. And yes, it's 100% unacceptable and people should let others know who they are when they find them; they're just sponging free traffic from people who either didn't look thoroughly or who got into a bait an switch situation.

  4. #4
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    So who is it?

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    It seems like a trend.

    should we call them merfilliates? affchants?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by simcat
    It seems like a trend.

    should we call them merfilliates? affchants?
    I've always called them merchaffiliates.

  7. #7
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    I call them parasites.
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  8. #8
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    I call them parasites.
    I think they're actually worse than parasites, because whoever gets sent to the site can potentially leave off one of the OP's links.

  9. #9
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    I'll admit I'm a bit new to this forum and this arena, but what is the problem with merchants/publishers looking for other ways to monetize their site?
    As suggested in this thread, I did a search for 'merchant leaks'...one of the posts even complained about affiliate sites that have google ads.
    If I recall correctly, AbestWeb is a Shareasale affiliate, yet I *just* viewed an ad at the VERY top of this page for 'Intellicontact', which showed to be link from 'googlesyndication' on a right click.
    Maybe I'm wrong and this forum is no longer an SAS merchant, but I know for a fact that they used to be.
    What exactly is the problem with this...? And if it is a problem, how can there be so many complaints about this on a forum that seems to participate in the same type of thing?
    Don't get me wrong - I'm not bashing this forum for this, as I don't see any problem with merchants using multiple resources to monetize their website. After all, THEY are the ones allowing you to earn an income with your promotions - so whats wrong with them using every resource available to monetize their site?

    Am I missing something here?

  10. #10
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    so whats wrong with them using every resource available to monetize their site
    The traffic I send costs me in either effort or direct dollars (PPC). I don't want to send them a shopper that has a buch of options that won't give me a commission. What's the point in effort that dosen't have reward here.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bumpaw
    The traffic I send costs me in either effort or direct dollars (PPC). I don't want to send them a shopper that has a buch of options that won't give me a commission. What's the point in effort that dosen't have reward here.
    I suppose thats a valid opinion, but you're making this post on a SAS merchant that participates in this same 'merchant leak' practice?

    Perhaps you should consider another viewpoint on this - if merchants didn't look for other ways to generate revenue, you'd have only a fraction of the merchants available for promotion, therefore less income for yourself.

    I'll have to assume you vote Democrat in the polls...

  12. #12
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    If I recall correctly, AbestWeb is a Shareasale affiliate,
    Say What?

    Now I want my money back!

    ...

  13. #13
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    lost the whole friggin post
    had links
    had wit
    had good points
    had bad attitude


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  14. #14
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    if merchants didn't look for other ways to generate revenue, you'd have only a fraction of the merchants available for promotion, ....
    For my part, I'll be more than happy to settle for the "fraction" who will pay for performance on traffic that I spent my time and my money to generate for them.

    .....therefore less income for yourself.
    And where is the share for the affiliate who sent the traffic that generates revenue for the "merchant"?
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  15. #15
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    TommyG, please name the merchant.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoWires
    For my part, I'll be more than happy to settle for the "fraction" who will pay for performance on traffic that I spent my time and my money to generate for them.



    And where is the share for the affiliate who sent the traffic that generates revenue for the "merchant"?
    Your 'share' is the fact that some merchants may only exist only because of these extra revenue sources.
    A perfect example - I just clicked on a banner on THIS FORUM that directed to another SAS merchant...and remember, this forum is also an SAS merchant. This is just speculation, but perhaps this forum wouldn't exist without this extra revenue? They obviously display these ads for a reason, which I've now seen include both Google ads AND other SAS merchants.

    Your point is understood, but seems to be a bit 'selfish'.
    If you were good at what you do, you wouldn't worry too much about 3rd party ads. If you ARE so worried about ads like this, you are obviously sending very untargeted and very unqualified traffic. Its perfectly fine to not want to participate with merchants who display these 3rd party ads, but you're only hurting yourself - I personally think you'd be much better off concentrating on sending better qualified traffic- traffic that is perhaps a bit mroe screened or targeted - if you deliver pre-qualified traffic to your merchants, you really won't have much of a problem losing sales to ads like Adsense, etc.

    Not all affiliate marketers simply place blind banner ads on sites - anyone using email marketing with a qualified leads list really wouldn't be concerned with losing traffic to these 3rd party type of ads.

    Again, I realize the point some are trying to make here...but come on - its being blown out of proportion a bit. Typical 3rd party ads (such as the ones displayed on this very forum) will NOT make a big hit for any qualified traffic sent. If you're doing nothing but placing a banner here or there or throwing down a ton of PPC bids on keywords all over the place then maybe it will make a difference, but doesn't that come with the territory? Shouldn't little effort equal little results?

  17. #17
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    I don't send shoppers to this forum. You're confusing the issue really badly.

  18. #18
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    Let me give an example I gave earlier:

    http://www.youractivepet.com

    Right on the home page, big leak to 1800PetMeds and Sierra Trading Post, their own affiliate links. I pulled this merchant a long time ago. Do you see the problem with that? I'm sending the traffic to the merchant to make money, to help the merchant sell their stuff. I'm not sending traffic so they can send it off to 1800Petmeds without any compensation to me. There are merchants that also put up Adsense. Adsense and a merchant with an affiliate program don't go together. Affiliates are not going to send traffic to a merchant so that traffic can click on the merchant's Adsense and make them money. Any affiliate that finds that acceptable is a sucker.

  19. #19
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    Well, some people must send shoppers to this forum, as its still an active SAS merchant.
    You seem to use this forum on a regular basis - and this forum displays these 'merchant leak' ads - there is no hypocrisy there?
    This forum is obviously of value to many people, and since its still an active SAS merchant, one must assume its also of value to many SAS affiliates, yet it displays these 3rd party ads that seem to be considered so 'evil'.

    Doesn't this mean that perhaps merchants can display these types of ads but still be profitable and of value to some affiliates...and shouldn't necessarily be bashed so much in threads like this?

    Its fine to not want to promote merchants that use this practice, but is it right to make threads that basically try to make them wear a big letter 'A' on their chest?

  20. #20
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksey
    I don't see any problem with merchants using multiple resources to monetize their website. After all, THEY are the ones allowing you to earn an income with your promotions - so whats wrong with them using every resource available to monetize their site?

    Am I missing something here?
    Ksey, yes you're absolutely missing something here.

    The problem is when a merchant feels they are doing us a favor by allowing us the supreme honor of linking to their products and merchandise while the actual fact is that we are the ones generating TRAFFIC and building trust with our visitors and we are the ones who have worked hard to gain and keep this audience. We could promote any merchant we want. Why should we promote merchants who choose to devalue their affiliate program by sending OUR buyers to other sites where we don't get a commission? We have to rely on the merchant to CLOSE sales we are preselling for them.

    A merchant who can't make enough money to maintain an affiliate program because their site isn't converting is a bad merchant. It's also about respect and understanding that our value as publishers is as valid as your value as a merchant. You wouldn't expect a magazine to give you free ads, would you? why should we give you what essentially amounts to free space on our sites?

    In all honesty, I could earn income without any affiliate merchants on my site. If a merchant would rather monetize his/her site as an affiliate, fine. Just don't expect publishers to send traffic to a site that has zero regard for their affiliates other than believing they are doing us a favor by giving us a commission. Sales people do not work for free, neither do we.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  21. #21
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    ABW is not a merchant it is a forum. Affiliates can make money by having ABW links on their site to send people to this forum. I don't send my shoppers here, since ABW isn't a merchant. It isn't a leak to me because shoppers come to my site, not this forum.

    "Its fine to not want to promote merchants that use this practice, but is it right to make threads that basically try to make them wear a big letter 'A' on their chest?"

    Yes they should all be outed, we have enough sneaky merchants. It's not how you run a successful program.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    ABW is not a merchant it is a forum. Affiliates can make money by having ABW links on their site to send people to this forum. I don't send my shoppers here, since ABW isn't a merchant. It isn't a leak to me because shoppers come to my site, not this forum.
    .

    dp internet services, LLC
    www.abestweb.com
    Webmaster Tools
    ID: 972 Active on: 09/18/2001
    Campaign Start Date: 18-Sep-01
    Auto-Approval of Affiliates: Yes
    Last Commissionable Transaction through Affiliate: 08/24/2006 01:40.20 AM
    Last Compliance Test Completed: N/A

    Seems like a merchant just like anyone else?
    Whats the difference if they sell traffic to this forum or if they sell hubcaps?

    I'm not arguing that perhaps having 3rd party ads wouldn't be the best options for many sellers, but the threads regarding this practice here basically calling them out as the definition of evil just isn't right, especially since its being posted on an SAS 'MERCHANT!!' that does the same thing.

  23. #23
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    And your point is? Tell me if shoppers come to my site and I send them here, they can buy what? The ABW program would work on a site talking about affiliate marketing and such. I have a straight up coupon/deal site. There is no reason to send them here.

    You seriously don't understand the difference between an affiliate marketing forum and a merchant that sells stuff? Do you see a lot of ABW stores at your local mall, what do they sell?

  24. #24
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    I agree with all of the comments about how this practice is not good at all for affiliates and should in all cases be outed when the relationship is based on being paid per action (a sale). It is an acceptable practice, however, when the affiliate relationship is based on being paid for the click to the merchant's site.

    ksey, do you promote any merchants that have non-commissionable products, ads, etc. on their site and if so, how do you do with them?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman

    ksey, do you promote any merchants that have non-commissionable products, ads, etc. on their site and if so, how do you do with them?
    I do basically nothing but promote small 'per lead' programs on SAS and 2 other similar networks - I can't think of any offhand that don't display non-commissionable produtcs, ads, etc ....or maybe I just never paid any attention to whether they do or not. If your traffic is qualified and know what they're visiting, it really isn't a big deal - if so, oh well....win some, lose some.

    As to your question of 'how do I do with them'...well, I'd say I qualify as being somewhere between 'poor' and 'struggling', but i've made enough for the past 4 years to not have to have a 'real' 9-5 job, 90% from promotion of what would generally be considered as 'low quality' , per lead merchants, of which I think the vast majority display these 3rd party ads.

    As I said before, its fine to not want to deal with merchants that do this, but jeez...it sounds like this thread and other similar ones almost want to call for a boycott on these merchants. There are many affiliates that don't really care too much about this - and many merchants that do this that still manage to be successful...I don't see any reason to ostracize the merchants that do this sort of thing.

    Wow...there is more concern over displaying these 3rd party ads than there is over merchants like I mentioned in a previous post with an 81% reversal rate over 30 days. :/

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