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  1. #1
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    Question Should a merchant tell what's selling?
    One of my merchants wouldn't tell me what was selling well because they said they never tell and think that affiliates should find out what works best for them. Sure would like to not lose money on non-sellers when they have the information that could keep me from it.

  2. #2
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    I heartily agree with him. This is proprietary information. And there are plenty of folks who would think nothing of blabbing the info to the vendor's competition, inadvertently, at that.

    Should an affilaite with great SE rankings give merchants info on how they get their sites to rank?
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  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    WIth some good tracking I'd think you'd be able to figure out some of this from your own site.
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  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    We generally share that information with affiliates, especially affiliates who we know have a potential to produce higher numbers. However, as AmeriTrust is in online ions, it is a little bit different scenario.

    In some industries, I can understand that certain proprietary information might not be disclosed, or only disclosed to the more productive partners, but with good tracking, you should be able to see a lot of this for yourself. Perhaps the merchant in question feels that you will promote more seriously if you find this out for yourself?? Possible.
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  5. #5
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Also, regarding the "what works best for them", do consider that when a merchant blasts out an email or makes a public post announcing their top 10, all of a sudden you've got their entire affiliate base (and half of everybody else's) vying for exposure for the same items.

    When you find the pearls yourself, you get to keep them for yourself.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyWebAffiliate
    One of my merchants wouldn't tell me what was selling well because they said they never tell and think that affiliates should find out what works best for them. Sure would like to not lose money on non-sellers when they have the information that could keep me from it.
    I actually see more of the opposite. I had a few merchants send me calendars of what sold the best during various months. Merchants have competitors so they can use affiliates to help them push what's selling, so letting them know would help. And there are other ways to tell what's selling, from the affiliate emails they send out, the regular newsletter from their site, the one they send to customers (I always sign up for those) and from just checking their home page. Usually the feature hot sellers and such.

    But that stuff will also have a lot of competition too.

  7. #7
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Maybe they're scared their competitors have infiltrated their program, and he knows that those competitors are currently missing the Big Seller of the Year...

    He does have a point about "what works for you" although it's harder to find hidden gems nowadays. However, there are, on occasion, times when an affiliate may be able to reach the perfect audience for an item, or get it seen in the SEs where no one else has--but the merchant has no clue how to reach those people him/herself. This is much more likely in very small or brand-new programs. With medium and big programs, every item is probably exposed to its max as it is.

    With some small programs, I have on occasion been able to cause enough demand to sell out a merchant's inventory of stuff they probably thought they'd never get rid of! Unfortunately, when a merchant does get rid of that kind of stuff, they usually don't dare to order any more of it...

    A low-tech method for determining duds is to watch what the merchant puts on sale. If a merchant suddenly runs a 50% off sale on one obscure item, chances are they are trying to get rid of it! It doesn't count if the merchant is one of those whose always got something or other on discount, or it's a sitewide sale. But out-of-character price-slashing on specific items is generally an accurate sign of their dudness.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrick24601
    WIth some good tracking I'd think you'd be able to figure out some of this from your own site.
    Not if you site traffic is mostly ppc. It limits everything.

  9. #9
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    If I were a merchant I wouldn't tell anyone what sold the best none of your damned business.

    If I told everyone what sold the best they would just promote that product. I would want my affiliates to promote everything I have not just what sells good because if it sells good I don't freaken need affiliate help to sell it.

  10. #10
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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  11. #11
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    I guess there's also the difference in what the merchant is actually selling and what they want to be actually selling.

    If they're having no problem selling something hot or something they want to push, I can see them withholding.

    If there is a hot product that the merchant should be selling and that merchant has a lot of other merchant competition and maybe that competition is dominating the serps and sponsored listings, then I can see letting the affiliates know so they can help them move product.

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