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  1. #1
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    I'm fed up with this crap and I want to start making some changes to isolate myself from the stealing and diversions done by parasites.

    What are my choices?

    Obviously, some people say deal with non parasitic networks and merchants not associated with the parasites but to be perfectly honest, I have very lttile faith in "network tracking" when issues constantly are presented with merchants who are parasitic "and non parasitic".

    That being said, it seems the best way to isolate yourself from this crap is to have your own shopping cart, do your own ordering / shipping and then you can keep the shoddy reporting and commission stealing parasites away from your sales.

    I've never done anything like this and would like any suggestions that others can offer so I can begin studying / experimenting with this. Any comments would be welcomed.

    -------------

    One other solution I can think of would be :
    Phase 1 -
    For merchants to provide some kind of add on for order processing to occur via a file on my site.

    IE: If I showcase an item and have a direct buy link on it instead of taking the consumer to merchant_abc.com, I would be able to invoke a scripting command or html file that has the checkout / order processing on it for merchant_abc but.... the file would exist on my site and could be named anything. IE:
    http://www.my_sites_checkout_oreder_process.html.
    If we can close sales without going to the merchants site, parasites will lose their ability to steal (if networks are not aiding the theft) and if they did find a way to steal from our sites if would likely be called theft more quickly from a legal standpoint.

    This would not isolate me from network tracking issues but it sure would throw a loop in a parasites ability to steal my commission (unless the networks themselves are contributing to the theft on their end). But I seems I would be able to tell if the networks aided theft with this approach.

    This obviously requires a different marketing technique than most people employ now but, perhaps it has some merrit. Merchants would likely have valid concerns of fraud and will probably be reluctant to think this through but, I see potential benefits with this approach.

    It would allow merchants to remain affiliated with the parasites if they want while giving non parasitic affiliates the ability to compete without their commissions being stolen by parasites. If the networks aid in the theft we will know it and if tracking gets screwed up you still lose but we could force a major change in the parasites marketing techniques instead of them just directly stealing and getting credit for OUR SALES.

    Although this would require re-working for many affiliates to implement and merchants to develop new interfaces to employ it, it could be a boon for people using merchant data feeds and or direct links and level the playing field for persons using them!

    Phase 2
    Lets strecth this a bit..... Imagine a common checkout cart that affiliates could add items into (even for different merchants) and then, a single checkout process could be invoked and a sale closed without the user having to go to merchant_1.com and checkout and then merchant2.com and check out etc, etc.

    Hmmmmmmmm - I feel confident this is a feature the average consumer would absolutely love, merchants could learn to love it as it would reduce their own bandwidth and ease up on costs with maintaining and optimizing their web sites for heavry traffic patterns. Affiliates well, I think they would love it too if it enabled them to cut out parasites from getting credit and commissions for work they've perfomred.

    Whoever can develop and get merchants to sign off / sign up to the Multi Merchant Checkout Cart MMCC(tm) system will have a big oneup on everybody!

    You can be assured the average consumer would go to sites on the web using this technology and sales closed from sites using the technology would be much better than many other methods of advertising on the market today!

    Will merchants support a buy / checkout process where users may never go to their site? I'm not sure........ Many merchants want the ability to get a chance at selling additional items but half the time likely shoot themselves in the foot with over marketing and long checkouts designed to show more products to try and entice other sales. I just have to think this is why the so called standard sales ratio is 1 in 100 clicks which is rediculus.

    I can tell you now I'm not very motivated to create more pages or sign up to any new vendors. I'm already losing more than I care to stomach and I refuse to work harder to stay even or minimize loses while putting more money in the parasites pockets. I say the hell with the networks and parasite infected merchants!

    If networks and merchants give us a reason to promote them, we will but right now, for people contemplating getting in this business (you better think hard and have some keen technical skills) and even mid tier affiliates are likely holding back on developing new creatives. This surely isn't a good sign for network growth or merchant growth in online sales.

    MY SITE WILL NOT ADD A SINGLE MERCHANT OR ANY OTHER ADDITIONAL CREATIVES FROM ANY NETWORK SUPPORTING PARASITES UNTIL A STATEMENT IS MADE SHOWING YOU WILL REPRESENT MY INTEREST. I urge every affiliate in here to make the same commitment and let the networks know it.

    Networks / Merchants - you better think about this.

    Parasites beware...... we will find a way to cut your ass out of our sales with or without the help of networks and legal authorities who are dragging their feet while theives like you line your pockets with cash at our expense!

  2. #2
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    Not a bad set of approaches Happypoon....

    I am currently building three sites (all niche markets with B&M manufacturers), and will be acting on my own with them. Further, I have started another business totally outside of the affiliate arena that is already standing on its own feet after only a month.

    As to eBates et al... Depending upon our legal system and what is currently being looked at by the DOJ, I think they will be curtained eventually. Soon? Probably not, as the wheels of justice do indeed turn slowly.

    But, incredible as it may seem, some folks I have talked to today in the media appear to be looking for a story outside of Iraq. I have actually showed two of them how the pilfering happens, and the response was very favorable for getting a story out - not at all like the ones recently, but more of an expose'. We'll see...

    As to your continued harping concerning the networks, you will see what they have come up with soon. Unfortunately, you won't like it either I'm afraid. Although I no longer have access to inside information at LinkShare, I am sure that Stephen will stand by his guns; while the others put out some pitiful excuse of a Code of Conduct.

    Obstinatedon

    You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

    Mahatma Gandhi

  3. #3
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    I like the directionm you are taking. A mentor of mine had a saying that I have always referred to, and though it sounds a little selfish, it also rings true:

    "No one, not your friends, not your spouse, not your parents, will ever take better care of you, than you."


    -Tom Rice
    www.tarice.com
    An HONEST Affiliate Program

    I Will FOCUS On My Goal

  4. #4
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    happypoon,

    That type of situation would seem feasible if the merchant is willing to do a dropship arrangement. There are a lot of banking regulations regarding the acceptance of credit cards online. I can't accept credit card orders through my merchant account for another business, only my own. Also the merchant bank has to approve the types of products and the actual sites I will be taking orders through. Anything else, and I could loose my merchant account. I don't think any merchant will allow an affilate access to sensitive customer or credit card info. If they do, then you need to run as fast as you can from them.

    Maybe I'm just not understanding your proposal correctly. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] But a drop shipping arrangement where you are the "merchant" and another does the order fulfillment for you is an option.

    And any merchant here who is interested in doing drop shipping, I'm all ears. I've got an ecomm site up and going already and am interesting in developing further "mini" stores around my current site with drop shipped products. Send me a PM.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Since Happypoon and Don are working on this I'll have to through them a nice fish. Miva mall package www.miva.com with a easily customized HTMLscripting language opens up all possibilities. E-mail order notice and log-in admin for both the site operator and fulfillment partner. Several in the support forum have affiliate enabled the whole shebang with custom modules for all types of e-tailers. Add in the infinite pricing matrix for both B2B and B2C shoppers and low cost additional storefronts with single cart checkout and I save you guys some grief.

    Automated database upload from CVS or delimited files and your in biz with someone else processing the orders. You'll just need a whip to make sure your get paid every 30 days.

    WebMaster Mike

  6. #6
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    Don -
    I do appreciate your obvious support in this matter and while I know I tick you off about my open statements regarding lack of confidence in linkshare (which you are obviously bias to) and other networks (which you are obviously not bias to [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img], I'll openly thank you for your help in getting this issue addressed.

    Mike -
    It doesn't appear that it will work at first glance. You still have to go to the merchants site for checkout which opens the door for parasites to steal the commish. I'll look in more detail later but thanks for the heads up.

  7. #7
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    BLFH -
    The phase 1 proposal is nothing more than a file or script on my site that will do the checkout for the merchant but not necessarilly at the merchants site.

    There are a couple of train of thoughts here.
    1) If the user does not have to goto merchant_abc.com to do the checkout then parasites will have less of a chance to detect a purchase is being made and overright the id.

    Suppose I had a page with a "buy this now" direct link that called my_site_merchant.html

    This html file would then have some sort of scripting that invoked the merchants checkout procedure but on my site.... I have no access to credit card info or otherwise. Since the file name can be anything and the checkout procedure is done in association with MY site on my site, the parasite wouldn't have a clue! This is what I'm talking about in phase 1. The same could be done with "add to cart" functionality where it's actually the cart for the individual merchant but it's updated without the user ever being transfered to the merchants site.

    Phase 2 - suggest the same approach but a consolidated checkout cart that could in turn process the checkouts (or portions of them for
    each merchant). Ideally, a single check out would be fabulous but obviously would require much more thought and other issues in getting it implementing. The possibilities are huge and becoming a truely dominant leader in facilitation of online sales would be easily obtained.

    The underlying objective has the same as phase 1 (remove a parasites ability to divert a sale) but with broader scope and additional benefits for merchants and affiliates as well as penalty points to the networks. In this scenario, the networks as we know them would likely get kaput out of business. The cart provider in essence becomes the network and signs up merchants and affiliates alike [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] Networks - here is your challenge if you want to develop a level playing field.

  8. #8
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Happypoon,

    Thanks for going over it again with me. Your reasoning as far as combating the parasites is a good one. Unfortunately, I do think that you will find there are banking laws in effect regarding merchant accounts and credit card processing that will not allow for proposal one, and definitely not proposal 2. In proposal 2, lets say a persons comes to your site and orders 3 products (each from a different merchant) for a total of $200. The $200 dollars gets charged to their credit card. When the merchant bank goes to distribute the deposit, who do they give it too? What company name appears on their credit card? Who and how is a refund issued if the customer returns the item and needs a credit? What if each of the 3 merchants have different gateways and has their account with different merchant banks?

    Now what you could do, and can be done is a drop shipping arrangement. You find different wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers who are willing to drop ship. You set up your site and you have your own shopping cart, gateway, and merchant account. You take orders from your customers. The payments are deposited into your banking account. You forward the order to the respective wholesaler, distributor, etc for that particular product. You pay the wholesale price for the product and you keep the difference as profit. Most people who drop ship will put your business name on the invoice and have no identifying marks for them at all. The customer thinks the product came from you. Many "bigger" retailers use drop shipping to some extent for larger or more expensive items. It cuts their overhead and it's a win/win situation for everyone involved.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  9. #9
    Member Chris Bailey's Avatar
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    Interesting thread, folks. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    Have any of you guys used companies like SMC to process orders and drop ship to the customer? A lot of their stuff is flea market quality but they do also carry jewelry and such with a nice mark up.

    Being new to this online affiliate stuff, it's hard enough for me to figure out the regular methods. I can't possibly imagine trying to separate different merchants products in a shopping cart.

    Chris B.

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