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  1. #1
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    (2006)Need to be Choosier with "Prepare for upcoming holidays" links
    I clicked on the Hannukah link to see what was available, and there were THREE merchants:

    Costume Craze - who had this pitch:
    Some people think that costumes are just for Halloween.... Not so! We operate successfully all year round, and so can you! Christmas, birthdays, Mardi Gras, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, 4th of July, themed parties, conventions, theater productions, and more . ..

    Personally, I couldn't think of any Hanukkah costumes, but I went to their site and searched for Hanuukah. No Results.

    So why be featured in the Hanukkah section?

    Next merchant was a Japanese website called Strapya. Not aware of the Hanukkah-Japanese connection, I went to their site, which seems to sell anime cell phone straps - and searched for Hanukkah. No results.

    So why be featured in the Hanukkah section?

    The last featured Hanukkah merchant was
    Yardlinesports. And the graphic they use for Chanukah is red and green bow... and Santa Claus

    http://www.shareasale.com/featuredimages/fp-7604.jpg

    Anyway, I didn't get ANY Hanukkah links in the special Hanukkah section


  2. #2
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Billy,

    I agree.... we tried to price the program so that only holidays that the merchant actually specialized in, in some way, ... however, we included a "all holidays" thing which is probably a bad idea in the end
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  3. #3
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
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    Brian, I'm just wondering if there is any improvement on the Choosier with "Prepare for upcoming holidays" links? I'm sorry to bring up this old thread. I was trying to get some holiday products from "Prepare for upcoming holidays" link. However, almost all the holiday links go to Strapya and Costume Craze.

    It is a great feature of listing the relavant merchants with different holiday categories, but if all we can get are Strapya and Costume Craze, it won't do much good.

    Will it be on your "to do list"? Thank you.

  5. #5
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    Good thing that it was brought up again, thanks for the reminder.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by webworker
    Good thing that it was brought up again, thanks for the reminder.
    You are welcome, webworker

    I really wish this great feature work as it meant to be.

  7. #7
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    All,

    I do understand the problem, but here is another take on it....

    Merchants pay for the spots in the Holiday register, which means they are making the decision as to whether or not their product is relevant in an individual holiday. Our mistake in the past was having an option available for "Join All" .... That option isn't available any more upon further review of how it was working...

    As a general rule though, we would prefer for the merchant to decide which holiday their products fit under because otherwise we would be making judgements on that without knowledge of their product line, etc... We ask that each holiday has its own creative specifically for that holiday but that request is not always adhered to especially with creative teams using so much of their time to create custom sized banners for affiliates instead.

    So, as much as I agree that there are a few entries that are not very relevant to the category, I'm not sure that it makes the feature "unusable" - you may just have to skip through one once in a while. For the most part, the merchants have categorized themselves very well in my opinion.

    Thoughts?
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  8. #8
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    I haven't checked it in awhile but just looking now and I see:

    Prepare for upcoming holidays: July 4th Father's Day Graduation and Prom Summer Season Back To School

    I don't even see Halloween, is it supposed to be there? It's only 4 months away. I have already started getting ready. But when it's there, when I click on the Halloween link, I want to see everything Halloween that SAS has.

    "Merchants pay for the spots in the Holiday register, "

    Ah, so it's only merchants who pay? For affiliates, that's not much use. It's limited, I would rather have the choice between all the available merchants for that holiday and then let affiliates go thru them to see which ones they like.

  9. #9
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Trust,

    While I agree with you in part, if the holiday directory were left free and open to anyone to use, I think the original problem in this thread would be worse. Do you not agree?

    The "Prepare for" bar shows the next 5 holidays in the list... but, if you click on any of them you are then able to choose any additional holiday you would like. This interface part could probably be tuned a little further so that you don't have to make the initial click, etc....
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  10. #10
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    Oh, I see Halloween in the drop down, my bad. But then checking that and I don't see any candy merchants or even Loxly's Halloweenmart in that list and that's an SAS Exclusive Merchant, straight up Halloween merchant, that should be there. I think a full list would be better.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador
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    Were posting about the same time.

    "While I agree with you in part, if the holiday directory were left free and open to anyone to use, I think the original problem in this thread would be worse. Do you not agree?"

    Not everyone, I'm talking about straight up Halloween merchants like Halloweenmart should at least be there along with candy merchants. Costume merchants/candy merchants.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale

    Merchants pay for the spots in the Holiday register, which means they are making the decision as to whether or not their product is relevant in an individual holiday.

    Thoughts?
    Then I guess that's not much you can do about it...
    Thanks for the explanation, Brian.

  13. #13
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    Then looking at the merchants you have in Halloween, you have:

    http://www.chromebolt.com/

    Bolts and fasteners?

    And then in the Halloween section:

    http://www.strapya-world.com/

    Cell phone straps and charms?

    Those completely confuse me how those 2 are in the Halloween section but you don't have obvious Halloween merchants like Halloween Mart and candy merchants.

  14. #14
    Internet Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale
    Trust,

    While I agree with you in part, if the holiday directory were left free and open to anyone to use, I think the original problem in this thread would be worse. Do you not agree?
    That is my take on it. I'd have to say you aren't charging enough to be in those lists. But in my opinion, even if it is a pay section, merchants who clearly don't belong in a given section should not be allowed to pay to get in that section. If a merchant has no Halloween landing pages or related products, then they are lowering the quality for everyone by being there.

    That is very similar to what G has done with their PPC. While it did hurt some legit people, for the most part they have cleaned out the irrelevant and poor quality ads.


  15. #15
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Trust,

    I believe with those 2 they purchased the "All" product which I agree was a bad idea and we have removed that option.

    The Holiday Category we thought would be a really good way to let merchants stand out from the crowd a little bit in certain merchandising seasons. The prices for the categories are quite low offering what we felt was a necessary barrier of entry in order to maintain a level of "relevance". It was my thought that if we charged entry, merchants would only choose to be in the categories where they were most relevant.

    The "All" package was a mistake because a couple of merchants chose to purchase even though they weren't relevant in all categories. I can't take their purchase away from them though, it will simply expire when the listings expire (1 year from time of purchase)

    I agree with you in principle that the Halloween category would be better off if it had more of the specific Halloween merchants, but it would basically become a "judgement" on our part whether or not a merchant belonged in a category, and I didn't want to be making that judgement for them. For example, in Halloween it is easy to say that a "Candy" merchant, or a "Costume" merchant would fit in. However, what if a merchant wanted to join with "Candles", or "Fireworks" for example - and were telling me that their biggest season was Halloween.

    I am not a Halloween retailer, I am not an expert on the trends etc.... and would basically be put in a place to try to say "Yes" or "No" to individual merchants.

    Other holidays are even harder.

    So, instead, we decided on a system where merchants could opt themselves in with a small fee. It might not be the perfect system to do what we wanted, but it has given merchants an opportunity to be seen in a different place if they feel that their products are most suited for an individual holiday.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  16. #16
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale

    I didn't want to be making that judgement for them.

    I am not a Halloween retailer, I am not an expert on the trends etc.... and would basically be put in a place to try to say "Yes" or "No" to individual merchants.
    Totally understandable and valid.

    The merchants should know that they're pissing off affiliates by jumping into the "wrong" holiday sections, however.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  17. #17
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    Just going thru the various networks looking at the Halloween merchants. For the Halloween link you have:

    Celebrate Express
    Tiny Prints, Inc.
    Flirty Lingerie
    HalloweenMart
    YumDrop.com

    Ok but I did a basic keyword search on halloween and it would be more helpful if you also had merchants such as:

    Halloweenie
    Import Costumes
    Costume Discounters
    Fright Catalog, Inc.
    Oya Costumes
    Moon Costumes
    Half Price Costumes

    etc. Just think it would be easier, could lead to more sales. More money for everybody. Those I think you can make a judgement on since they either have Halloween in the name and/or sell halloween costumes. Going thru the Halloween merchants at CJ and if I put in Halloween in the search box, I can find every single one in their Halloween link. Just easier.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    Halloweenie
    Import Costumes
    Costume Discounters
    Fright Catalog, Inc.
    Oya Costumes
    Moon Costumes
    Half Price Costumes
    I'm assuming the above merchants elected not to pay for a listing.

  19. #19
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    That doesn't matter to me, usefulness does. Halloween merchants should be in the Halloween link, it just makes sense.

    I also think you're looking at short term money with merchants paying to be there. If you make it easier for affiliates to find merchants, put up links. More sales, which makes SAS more money. Halloweenie is a Halloween merchant, Fright Catalog is a Halloween merchant - "The Fright Catalog is your Halloween Superstore" etc.

    I know you can still find the merchants doing a search but if you have a Halloween link, might as well be a useful one.

  20. #20
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Trust,

    In a socialistic economy yes, but not a capitalistic one.

    Pay to play. Just like Affiliate PPC.

    This system also serves as a qualifier and serves many purposes, last of which is a short term financial goal.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  21. #21
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    ? Define socialistic economy for me, not following.

    It makes no sense. My way = more useful for affiliates, more money for SAS compared to less useful for affiliates, less money for SAS. The choice is pretty clear.

    How much does it cost a merchant to be listed there?

  22. #22
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    It's $100 for 1 year for each category. You get a discount if you sign up in multiple categories.

  23. #23
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Cool
    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    ? Define socialistic economy for me, not following.

    It makes no sense. My way = more useful for affiliates, more money for SAS compared to less useful for affiliates, less money for SAS. The choice is pretty clear.

    How much does it cost a merchant to be listed there?
    Shame on you Trust!

    Here's more information for you http://www.abestweb.com/advertising/

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
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  24. #24
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    That doesn't make sense either. First merchants already pay to be in the network and SAS gets a percentage also of sales/commissions. ABW wouldn't make money letting merchants post ads here for free but SAS would by putting Halloween merchants in the Halloween section for free. Make it easier to find/useful, more people putting up links, more sales, more money, I'm pretty sure > $500. And that's a reply to this as well:

    "This system also serves as a qualifier and serves many purposes, last of which is a short term financial goal."

    Just was hoping for some positive changes as to that. But still have the search box to find Halloween merchants since most of them aren't listed in the Halloween section.

  25. #25
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    I'm with you, Trust. I don't even click on those links any more - it wastes my time and pisses me off to see an unrelated merchant in a specifically defined category when I'm trying to find related merchants. Bless those merchants adding additional advertising money to the system but it is useless to affiliates as it now works.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


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