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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Hard to get responses to datafeed FTP requests
    I certainly would never name merchant names, but I am having a TERRIBLE time getting a response to requests for FTP access to datafeeds.

    Many of the merchants I've joined who have datafeeds have responded quickly and favorably. I appreciate that. I'm using two or three PHP scripts that require FTP access to work correctly.

    But MANY of the merchants I would most like to feature via their datafeeds have ignored my requests. In those cases, I've waited 3 days to a week, then sent another request. Still no response one way or the other.

    Ah, well. I realized FTP access is a privilege, not a "right" or anything. So I'll find another way -- or another merchant.

    But after two or three such requests spaced over a period of weeks, it's just plain RUDE that I get absolutely no "sorry about that" or "thanks but no thanks to your FTP request."

    Am I whining or what??

    Gary Speer

  2. #2
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    Hi Gary,
    a week
    That is crazy, they must be on vacation.

    I hope you joined those on our sig already, usually approved for FTP within few hours and same day on weekends, 365 days a year.


  3. #3
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    I have also found it difficult to get ftp approval from a large number of ShareASale merchants. A handful have actually declined me access, saying they don't want to pay the $1 per affiliate fee until an affiliate has generated a sale. Most, however, are just absent.

    I just did a quick check, and it appears that 293 merchants have granted me ftp datafeed access, and about 200 others have not yet granted me ftp access (I've applied for ftp access to most, but not quite all, of those 200).

    After manually downloading and importing most of those 200 non-ftp-approved datafeeds, I realized that I should probably not have manually downloaded any of them, because most contain information that's extremely out-of-date and no longer accurate. In other words, by failing to respond to the ftp request, the merchant was acknowledging that the program was essentially defunct.

    Oddly enough, this morning I finally received an email from an affiliate manager whose program I had written off weeks ago -- all emails bounced (both through SAS and directly), and no sales were recorded by SAS since 2004. I finally went ahead and filled in the order form and submitted it (without payment, which the merchant accepts only via PayPal), to just verify that it would also be rejected -- and to my surprise it was not, and the order was forwarded to a different email address than ShareASale used. I'm still not sure if the merchant is actually still in business -- the reply I got was very terse, but at least I finally got through to someone.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Very interesting. Glad to know I'm not alone with this problem. Sorry to see that it's even a problem. I have two or three PHP scripts which require FTP access to the datafeed to really work properly. Several of the sites I'm working on would fit well, I think, with some Shareasale merchants who simply won't respond to grant (or even deny?) my FTP request.

    But I had no idea that a number of them seem to be in such disarray, as you describe, Mark.

    Life goes on. And my business will, too.

    Gary Speer

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by writerguy
    I certainly would never name merchant names, but I am having a TERRIBLE time getting a response to requests for FTP access to datafeeds. Gary Speer

    Gary,

    An amusing irony here. As a merchant, I have the reverse issue. We review and reply to datafeed requests within one to two business days. As long as we feel the site is acceptable, we are happy to pay the HUGE $1.00 fee. Then 6 months later most who request it still haven't downloaded it. Same issue from the other side of the coin. This (too) is where merchants and affiliates can definitely get a view of an issue through the eyes of the other.

    Alan
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  6. #6
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Not that any of this is about my programs (at least, not that I know of), but one of the things that comes to my mind is a suggestion I've wanted to make to ShareASale, and that is: to include a "pending datafeed access applications" link within merchant accounts. I think this should help (should any AMs or merchants start having e-mail problems, etc), as merchants would then see those pendring requests right within their account's interface.

    Geno

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    AAAAHHH! Twist the knife a little more while you have it in there, Alan!

    You got me on that one, too. I do appreciate getting your feedback from the merchant standpoint. In fact, that hit just hard enough that maybe it'll motivate me to get off my recliner and work harder at using the datafeeds I DO have FTP access to. Thanks.

    Gary

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Geno, as an affiliate and not a merchant, I can only say you're suggestion makes great sense to me.

    How do those FTP requests I make and then click the button on actually get to merchants? Do they go to the merchant via email? Do magic windows pop into their heads while they dream at night?

    It probably would be extremely helpful to other affiliates besides me to find out at least something about how all that stuff works once we send info or send a request to the merchants.

    And I suspect your post hits on one of the problems -- it might be some of the busier merchants just don't see the requests as frequently as they'd wish?

    Anyhow, interesting information. I think I'm learning something today. So the day can't be all bad, eh?

    Gary

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by writerguy
    AAAAHHH! Twist the knife a little more while you have it in there, Alan!

    You got me on that one, too. I do appreciate getting your feedback from the merchant standpoint. In fact, that hit just hard enough that maybe it'll motivate me to get off my recliner and work harder at using the datafeeds I DO have FTP access to. Thanks. Gary
    No knife twisting intended Gary, but I think you know that. Just noting that there are frustrations on FTP from both sides.

    Perhaps the history showing that most datafeeds go unused has caused some merchants to rethink approving requests until they know the affiliate is actually going to use it. I doubt that it is the issue of the $1.00 fee, but it might just be a mindset that a merchant develops after seeing 90% of the approvals not activating.

    I will gamble a buck on an affiliate activating my data feed, but I wouldn't invest $1.00 in a stock if the odds of it increasing in value are 90% + against it. A fine line between the two, but the same mindset can bleed over into other considerations, so perhaps that is why more merchants are not more enthusiastic or prompt in approving feed requests. Just a thought...

    Alan
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  10. #10
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by writerguy
    How do those FTP requests I make and then click the button on actually get to merchants? Do they go to the merchant via email? Do magic windows pop into their heads while they dream at night?
    It really depends on how deep into the affiliate marketing the affiliate manager is. However, I am yet to meet one that would have magic brain pop-ups in dreams about FTP requests. To me they come in an e-mail from ShareASale, informing me that an affiliate has requested an FTP access to a particular merchant's datafeed.

    Hope this helps.

    Geno

  11. #11
    http and a telephoto
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    They get those requests sent to the email address they have on file with Shareasale, they should be paying attention. The only thing I can think of is they are getting caught in spam filters. I have mine go to a special folder so we see them and can approve folks right away.

    The other thing to consider is did you check and see if they approved you and didn't send you an email saying so? There isn't an email that goes out automatically and some merchants/AM's might not realize that.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

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