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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    You got a link for me?
    So I was thinking. I know I do a lot of online shopping. Would it be against the rules if say I needed to grab some beach towels from some dot com and before I ordered I posted to see if anyone had a affiliation with them so I could use their link to get them some money while I ordered?

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    A few people do that. I don't think it's necessarily against the rules, but doesn't really provide any value (except to the person whose links you buy through) here on the forum.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  3. #3
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I think it's pretty cool, even though I usually get my PM in too late to get the commish...

    Not all "value" is obvious. IMO those types of things add a more friendly atmosphere.

    Just put it in an area like Virtual Family or Midnight Cafe rather than some network or merchant forum, so people aren't tripping over it so to speak.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  4. #4
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    Depends on you and your own ethics.

    I would not send you a link to purchase it, nor would I put up a link just so you or anyone I know could go buy something they already decided to buy. To me it would be stealing from the merchant. It wouldnít be a legitimate commission I earned through promotional efforts.

    Put yourself in the merchantís position. Would you want to pay an affiliate commission under this circumstance? (I would classify a test purchase as a different issue, people do that to test tracking sometimes.)

    Under this circumstance, I would say no.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    I don't think it's unethical at all. Not much different then buying thru your own links. And it's good to get people to buy thru your links as a way of testing the tracking.

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager
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    I am a merchant. I would have nothing against it for a very simple reason.
    If Frank wanted to buy a bar of soap from me for $10.00 but his friend Sam sent him a link to buy it for $10.00 because he would make $2.00 off the sale then I have to weigh the cost to me.
    If I am only going to make $2 off that sale instead of $4 well it seems to be a lose lose situation. But what has happened here?
    Sam is happy cause he made some money, Frank got his soap and the likely hood of them returning has increased.
    I'm sure there are ways to tilt the scales and arguments to the opposite as well, I think it boils down to a personal choice as a merchant.
    Also as a merchant, I don't mind taking a nip if it brings a smile from an affiliate. Maybe they decide to go ahead and push my products and maybe, just maybe, we all make some money...

  7. #7
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by splinterproject
    ... so I could use their link to get them some money while I ordered?
    There's rarely enough money involved to make it worth everyone's time. But I sometimes buy through other people's links and tell them what I bought and when so they can check the tracking. I save the "thank you" page so they can follow up if they need to.
    Affiliate Marketing - The hardest easy money I ever made.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager
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    I dont know. things like concert tickets can pull in a pretty good commission. Not exactly a towel or bar of soap though. lol

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    There's always the possibility that an affiliate will provide a link to a merchant the buyer never would have thought of or considered. Even if the merchant has to pay commission, they get a sale and possible repeat customer that they never would've had otherwise. And who knows? They might even get another gung ho affiliate that will lead to a lot more sales.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by missdonna
    But I sometimes buy through other people's links and tell them what I bought and when so they can check the tracking. I save the "thank you" page so they can follow up if they need to.
    Great alternative! I know of several other people here on ABW who do that.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Great alternative! I know of several other people here on ABW who do that.
    Same. When I shop online and purchase from a merchant that I'm not affiliated with, I try to shop through another affiliate's site so they get the credit. But I usually don't follow up to let them know. Think I may have even gone through Coley's site once or twice. So there.

    Michael

  12. #12
    Online Marketing Consultant
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    Hey I see nothing wrong with it. If it is a product which is across many merchants around the same price, why not get a good deal. The merchant will still make money and not loose a sale. If you don't use theirs, they loose the sale. Plus one sale with one click will also help their epc. Also it helps to test tracking.
    Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC. Online Marketing Blog and Affiliate Management Company
    Do you need help with your Marketing or Sales funneling, write me at adamr (at) adamriemer (dot) me

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mack
    Put yourself in the merchantís position. Would you want to pay an affiliate commission under this circumstance?
    As a merchant, I can honestly say, "Sure."

    Really, it's one more sale that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

  14. #14
    Affiliate Network Rep Kim Salvino's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=missdonna]But I sometimes buy through other people's links and tell them what I bought and when so they can check the tracking. QUOTE]

    This is a great idea. I will keep this in mind for my purchases.

    Personally, I don't have a problem with this either as a merchant. The buyer benefits by getting the product, the affiliate partner benefits by getting the commission and the program benefits by getting the sale. The best benefit to me as the merchant, is the 'proof' that my sales do track, which only increases my trust factor with current and potential partners. That in itself is priceless.
    Kim Salvino, Client Services Director, Performance Horizon Group
    Reach me at kim.salvino(at)performancehorizon.com or on (443) 617-4036

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    Agreed with the other merchants here...go for it!

    When we sign up and start our affiliate programs we have to be ready to pay out that commission on every sale. That's basically the deal. Not that it happens that way, because we have other revenue streams, but whoever wants to use aff links is fine by me!
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager
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    If I could get our affiliate sales to be greater than the sales we get from Google Adwords, I think I would be promoted to God status here in the office.
    From a Merchants stand point, Googles charges are absolutely ridiculous.

  17. #17
    Newbie jaguarpolar's Avatar
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    At first, it sounded a bit unethical to me but after reading the replies, it makes sense to practice it anyway because at the end of the day, it's another sale instead of none so why not!

    My question is, if it's against the rules to do this, can the merchant actually find out?

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager
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    If an Affiliate wants to click and buy to get the commission, then by all means, keep buying!

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