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  1. #1
    Member karomesis's Avatar
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    Independent merchant lists
    I have searched through the site a few times and haven't found any lists of independent merchants, does anyone here know where it's located?

    Or maybe I'm outta luck and need to find them all myself

  2. #2
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karomesis
    I have searched through the site a few times and haven't found any lists of independent merchants, does anyone here know where it's located?
    Meaning those that run in-house affiliate programs?

    Quote Originally Posted by karomesis
    Or maybe I'm outta luck and need to find them all myself
    If your reply to my above question is "yes", why do you need to find them all?

    Geno

  3. #3
    Member karomesis's Avatar
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    If your reply to my above question is "yes", why do you need to find them all?
    good question, sorry I was vague.

    My business model rests on a few major principles, one of them is extreme market research on products and niches along with the rate of growth for new users broken down by geographic location, and various other trends.

    I was basically looking for a "master list" of independent merchants who run in house programs so I could research the companies and their respective products with my software. and then join them to make some sales and begin forming good parnerships and performance based deals.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Howdy karomesis!

    I am of absolutely no use with your project other than to add our name to your list...

    Feel free to email me at matt [at] hometownquotes.com anytime if you would like to chat!
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  5. #5
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karomesis
    My business model rests on a few major principles, one of them is extreme market research on products and niches along with the rate of growth for new users broken down by geographic location, and various other trends...
    Ok. Why indies?!

    Geno

  6. #6
    Member karomesis's Avatar
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    Feel free to email me at matt [at] hometownquotes.com anytime if you would like to chat!
    thanks for the offer Matt, I might just take you up on that.

    Ok. Why indies?!
    well, indies can oftentimes be found off the beaten track of the 9 billion "work at home and get rich in a week" tire kickers. Who seem to be centered around the major aff networks.I don't want to be grouped in with those people at all, I'm going to work EXTREMELY hard to make sales and form good partnerships.

    The independent merchants offer me a place to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate to the merchants that I'm not a tire kicker and am quite serious about promoting their product/service.

  7. #7
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karomesis
    indies can oftentimes be found off the beaten track of the 9 billion "work at home and get rich in a week" tire kickers. Who seem to be centered around the major aff networks.I don't want to be grouped in with those people at all, I'm going to work EXTREMELY hard to make sales and form good partnerships.

    The independent merchants offer me a place to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate to the merchants that I'm not a tire kicker and am quite serious about promoting their product/service.
    I do not agree (about "the beaten track", about all affiliate networks promising you to "get rich in a week"...) I am sorry, but I do not.

    I manage 11 affiliate programs all of which are on major networks, and about to pick 1 indie too. None of the ones based on the affiliate network have anything to do with what you are describing as a characteristic of all "major aff networks", and trust me, there is plenty of room for you to stand out if you really do work "EXTREMELY hard to make sales and form good partnerships".

    Maybe I am just not getting the full picture behind your words. If I'm not, I am sorry and I would be happy to hear more on where you come from (in these judgements and conclusions).

    Geno

  8. #8
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    well, indies can oftentimes be found off the beaten track of the 9 billion "work at home and get rich in a week" tire kickers.
    Answered your own question

    You'll hear some mentioned here and there.
    No one wants to show all their cards though.
    ================================================================
    Been away, now I'm back. Not as much, but I'm back & starting from scratch. Where I was, was fantastic. Where I am now, less so. Things have changed, become harder. So have I. Game ON!!!
    ================================================================

  9. #9
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I do well with indies, but there's more risk involved - especially when it comes to payments. If you play indies, realize that diversity is even more important to you than other affiliates because of the increased risks involved. When you negotiate deals, work on more frequent payments first, then comm rates. If you can get a monthly payer to agree to pay you weekly (you may have to prove your volume first), risk goes down and you can pound them heavier - make sure they realize there's a benefit to them in providing more frequent payments to you.

  10. #10
    Member karomesis's Avatar
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    I do not agree (about "the beaten track", about all affiliate networks promising you to "get rich in a week"...) I am sorry, but I do not.
    what I meant was the market visibility of the large networks are more easily accessible to those new to the AM game most of which were enticed by some crappy e-book promising them millions in a week or whatever. Not the programs themselves.

    Answered your own question

    You'll hear some mentioned here and there.
    No one wants to show all their cards though.
    It's nice to know I'm on the right track.


    do well with indies, but there's more risk involved - especially when it comes to payments. If you play indies, realize that diversity is even more important to you than other affiliates because of the increased risks involved.
    Thanks again for the advice Donuts, the diversity is something I have already worked into my business model, so it's actually perfect for me.

  11. #11
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    Indys are great. You can check out Kolimbo and they have the merchants who use the MYAP software to power their indy program. You can type in - affiliate (whatever subject you're looking for) in the search engine to come up with them like:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...ffiliate+music

    Having a complete list of indys is pretty much an impossible task since sometimes you have to dig thru the results to find them.

    Another way I have found is a lot of indys use a certain software to power their program as in the Kolimbo example above. Find out what other indys are using, go that site and usually they have a listing of other merchants using their software to run their program.

  12. #12
    Member karomesis's Avatar
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    Thanks Trust

    just out of curiousity, if you had to guess on the # of shady indies out there would it be in the single digits % wise? or am I too optimistic?

    I've already factored a 95% compliance level with a +/- 3% into my ratios but anything above that may pose a problem for my mid stage ROI levels.

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Donuts hit the nail on the proverbial head.

    The biggest issue is trust in terms of two main things:

    Tracking
    Payments

    I would stick (for starters at least) with programs that pay weekly (or even mid-week for the first 2 weeks)

    If they are utterly unwilling to do these...then start with them with only 2 or 3 days left in the month and don't invest a lot of resources. This way if you DO get screwed, well it's not as big a deal.

    As for tracking...the numbers speak for themselves. If an in-house program converts better than another...or worse...who cares who might be cheating you (in theory). The bottom line is always...how much bang do you get for your buck!

    <shameless plug> We do both of the payment options I mentioned...and I do hope you take me up </shameless plug>
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  14. #14
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    "I would stick (for starters at least) with programs that pay weekly (or even mid-week for the first 2 weeks)"

    Most don't do that, I haven't come across any. Usually it's monthly. As far as that, just start off slowly before investing too much to test them out. Usually before I join, I send an email off to test how responsive they are. Usually they don't have anywhere the near amount of affiliates as a merchant on a network will. The bigger indys might tho. I'm sure Amazon does

    "just out of curiousity, if you had to guess on the # of shady indies out there would it be in the single digits % wise? or am I too optimistic?"

    I have no idea. Usually I check out who my competition is using. Some of my competitors are huge with lots of employees and lots of traffic. So if they have them, they're most likely happy with them and making good money. Found some good indy's that way. But then sometimes you just have to take chances. One of my best indys' has less than 10 active affiliates. They don't really have a dedicated AM and the reporting isn't the best but someone over there is very responsive, replys to emails quickly, hooks me up with exclusive coupon codes and have made money with them for a few years now. Good indys might be hard to find but when you do it's great.

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Most don't do that, I haven't come across any. Usually it's monthly.
    I get that. If you truly treat your employees as business partners, you should pay them at least bi-weekly. I understand that is not the "industry standard" but I think it sucks. Affiliates spend a LOT of time and money promoting a program and the merchant essentially gets an interest free loan for a month. Not fair (or wise business IMO)

    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    "just out of curiousity, if you had to guess on the # of shady indies out there would it be in the single digits % wise? or am I too optimistic?"
    I think it's very low...to be honest, I know of no one in our industry that is shady...even though a small part of me wishes they were (just being honest )
    Matt McWilliams
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  16. #16
    Member karomesis's Avatar
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    I think it's very low...to be honest, I know of no one in our industry that is shady...even though a small part of me wishes they were (just being honest )
    I hope you're right Matt.


    [/QUOTE]Usually before I join, I send an email off to test how responsive they are.[QUOTE]

    a novel method to test for responsiveness. Do you find it usually correlates with the company and their products/servicces?

  17. #17
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    "Do you find it usually correlates with the company and their products/servicces?"

    It helps, one of the things I look for. Sometimes I just say, "I'm just emailing you because I am interested in joining your program and wanted to make sure it's still live."

  18. #18
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    i have to tend to agree with donuts.

    there is certainly more risk involved with indies but the rewards can be pretty good in the long run.. if it works out. Somebody was just complaining on ABW that an indi did not want to pay out commission and when it was done previously, it was either a hand writen check or paypal (minus paypal's commission).

    I would do lots of research before taking a dive into any specific indies. I would not leave out network merchant too cos there are some niches that have yet to be explored and there are merchants/OPM on ABW that are always willing to help.

  19. #19
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    karomesis, NetShops is a niche site merchant with 100 sites. They run on Direct Track and have one program in AvantLink. Also look at http://affiliatecrew.com/our_advertisers.php all are indie except Ancestry (BeFree) and Little Giant has an indie but is also on CJ.

  20. #20
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Discovering a new Indy merchant can be fun a profitable. Rule #1: Act like a shopper... not an affiliate. You'll be surprised at the results when a great trustworthy find warms upto having an affiliate program with a phone call or e-mail. As Trustno1 pointed out you can purposely find the jewels by sourcing through the affiliate tracking enablers.... Carts and Network Tracking S/W. Sometimes I find them ... makeover their site ... give it the conversion ratio smell test ... then enable the affiliate program part. Secret: If the merchant converts, without targeted affiliate traffic, only then does it pay to get more traffic via a 3rd party referral.

    Indies suffer from recruitment pains but can easily grow their sales by seeking out sites where they feel their offerings would do good... THEN MAKE PRIVATE OFFER. The merchant selection process gets better as they get positive affiliate results.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  21. #21
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    An example of what I was talking about. Just checked that one great indy I have and they use affiliatewiz, so I go to the affiliatewiz site and they have a list of merchants using their software:

    http://www.affiliatewiz.com/ourclients.asp

    Check out the list and is this a good merchant ? http://www.sheepskindirect.com/

    Maybe.

    edited to add - Damn, they pay 20%, I might check that one out for myself

  22. #22
    Member cgates's Avatar
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    Thumbs up
    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    I do well with indies, but there's more risk involved - especially when it comes to payments.
    While I agree that there is more risk involved with this, I think it heavily depends on the merchants you choose to seek out and negotiate with. If your talking to some major players in a particular industry who spends enormous amounts on marketing every year then payment shouldn't be an issue as long as the traffic you send is quality and you're not going against the agreement terms.

    I like to go direct as well though. It gives you an opportunity to negotiate higher price points per lead or sale, because you know that if they are going direct with you, then they aren't paying a cpa network any percentages. Cut out the middle man, and take the extra cash for yourself.
    [FONT=Verdana]Chris Gates[/FONT]

  23. #23
    Member karomesis's Avatar
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    Thanks for the words of wisdom guys

    The responses hit the nail on the head as to why I'm searching out these jewels

    Do you think it helps that I'm using PPC to push traffic? So the indies I promote won't have to wait months for the first sale, and will know I'm serious right from the start.

  24. #24
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karomesis
    Do you think it helps that I'm using PPC to push traffic? So the indies I promote won't have to wait months for the first sale, and will know I'm serious right from the start.
    It can't hurt. But at the same time, I can think of 2 of our top 6 affiliates who barely sent any traffic their first 2 months. Honestly, I doubted them, but as time went on I began to realize they were just learning. Never make that mistake again!

    A good merchant will work with you and help you even if you are sending little traffic..in the hopes their help will drive you to send more and more over time!
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  25. #25
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    I don't know where to go for a list, but I know of one good in-house program. Contact me for details.

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