Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,419
    I've been getting drug along a while on a topic I wanted to address but I'm getting no where. Maybe yall (not y'all as somebody suggested) can help me out.

    1) A couple of merchants here lately dropped ebates because they could not drop MMM as part of their program.

    Now we all know, MMM does allow merchants to not participate in MMM but can participate on the base ebates site. Just ask Andy of TigerDirect and their are other "coupon only" merchants at the site.

    OK - with that said - many merchants have not been told they can separate themselves from MMM while in the ebates program and further, many have been mislead and told that they cannot opt to "be in only a part of the program".

    I'm asking for each of your help in addressing this issue with your merchants and I'm asking the merchants here in ABW to specifically make sure this is known and covered in the merchants area and in other discussions you have outside of ABW.

    2) If this "new technology" is to ever achieve any long term success it must support two things:

    1.1) Merchants must be able to specifiy if they allow predatory practices on it's site or not and should not be lied to or mislead that they must participate in all segments of a parasite program when predatory practices are used. This seems to be an unfair business practice by some paraistes aimed at using their influence in a harmfull and malice way to merchants and it's affiliates.

    1.2) Just as merchants should be able to specify if they want to participate or not. Affiliates should have the right to be excluded from predatory practices if the merchant does allow it on themselves.

    This may not make sense to many of you but ask AKA Patty if she would participate if predatory practices with MMM if she knew her affiliates would not get screwed. There are probably others like her who are caught in the middle.

    I'd like to see merchants stand up and say they are not comfortable with the existing terms as the networks have so delicately put in their laps.

    The merchants need to request that going forward they be able to specify not only if predatory practices will be accepted by them but at what level.

    IE: Predatory practices:
    a) On merchants site and affiliate sites
    b) On merchants site only
    c) On affiliates site only

    This may tie back in partially with some of webmaster Mikes points a while back concerning disclosure but the point is valid:

    Merchants need to be able to specify their level of participation clearly and afifliates have the right to know exactly where the merchant stands before agreements are signed between merchants and affiliates.

    This whole "screwed up mess we have now" is terrible. There are many merchants I would drop if I definately knew they were not going to change however, I'm giving some of them the benefit of the doubt in hopes that they will be coming forward soon.

    How patient I will be and how long I wait? - just like the others - is not known but fair is fair and that's not the situation we have as the code of conduct is implemented.

    Currently we have individual parasites wielding force on merchants to fully participate, vengeful actions on those that don't participate and a ton of affiliates left holding the droppings. These kinds of behaviors are certainly not "a code of conduct" that is acceptable.

    I'd like to see this changed and again - I'm asking that the "merchants step up" and that the networks recognize this and step up too and that they really take a positive step forward on this in the future.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    817
    HappyPoon

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> This may tie back in partially with some of webmaster Mikes points a while back concerning disclosure but the point is valid:

    Merchants need to be able to specify their level of participation clearly and afifliates have the right to know exactly where the merchant stands before agreements are signed between merchants and affiliates. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This area of disclosure sounds good in theory, but it won't work. Merchants do not and will not and should not have to openly display with who they partner with and how. This is proprietary business information. What you could see is a general check like "This merchant works with incentive based sites, which I think would be ok since it is so general).

    For example we have media publishers that use AffTrack who have no desire for anyone to know they even work on performance, and we honor that by not discussing their names, posting them on our clients page, etc.

    This is another reason why I do not like it when Overture and Google mandate that "affiliates" the waste copy in their ad descriptions to let consumers know they are "affiliates". The consumer doesn't care and how I setup deal structures really isn't Overtures or Google's business- as long as I am delivering relevant and high quality content. (I would prefer to see the merchant get to put up Original Site in their description). I will get into this in a later thread...

    Some disclosure might help, but in the end affliates need only to go to a site they feel is parasitic and see what relationships are showcased and make a decision.

    Lastly the decision is very, very much in the lap of the merchant (where I always thought it should be). They need only push one button to change the status of a relationship. If many people are pushing the buttons then it is clear merchants wont tolerate it, if only a few are doing it- it is clear the market is going to tolerate it.

    I no longer buy the "we didn't know" approach from merchants. If they don't know by now they need to find a new job or get someone tuned into the issues fast.

    Lastly, issues aside, there is advanced analysis that will show you whether parasites are really impacting your earnings and if you should drop those merchants. It is a moderately difficult analysis process that most smart affiliates can do in about 20 minutes of learning.

    If you are interested in this let me know. I will setup you with a one free one month trial of RevTrends, and walk you through the analysis on the phone (on my dime) or by email and show you how using categorical mean analysis will tell you everything you need to know to gather solid proof.
    This factors in charge-backs, reversals, everything.

    I will also include a two-month data retrieve so you have some historical numbers to compare it to- no cost for this either.

    PM me or e-mail wayne@afftrack.com and ill get you setup. Any affiliate big, small or just starting- just send me a note. Use code at the bottom of mail to activate it at www.revtrends.com/order.asp and then e-mail me or PM. (The code is tied to this site so the owner of this site gets any credit if someone should decided to upgrade)


    regards,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Get a free two-week trial use code ABWEB at RevTrends.com

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    St Clair Shores MI.
    Posts
    17,328
    Very valid to call the merchants into these discussions. The network CoC clearly throws the ball into the lap of the merchants who choose if they want to pay extra for incented traffic to their site. You might question my choice of words but they are accurate.

    ALL parasitic BHO affiliates are 100% incentive based. They all have to dupe users into downloading the application or offer rewards -rebates -shopping points or coupons to entice users to their loyality club. They ALL require the merchant to pay higher commissions without regard to their sites having zero advertising value or pre-sell content to target customers. BHO Parasites currently ALL monitize every normally free link to a merchants web site from bookmarks -e-mails and SearchEngines or newspaper & TV Ads. They do cost you more than any other affiliate in your commission pool and the only side value they bring to the table is if you condone aggressive popups on your competitors sites. From the fairplay merchants here this tactic does seem to rankle their hides.

    If merchants are willing to discriminate and pay the Duper BHO group higher commissions, when they know the difference comes from the pockets of their lower pay associates, the path to ruination starts. Your portal partners will raise a stink about the poachers. Your loyal value add affiliates will be forced to close down web sites and cease advertising in the PPCSE's. The networks will lick their lips when 90% of all commissions go to a group of top 10 BHO affiliates. They then don't have to listen to me.

    All honest merchants will have to start inhouse programs and beg active affiliates to join on better terms. Why. Because to run an honest fair program they will have to sue both the networks and the parasites to keep them off their domains. The large Portals will see Ad revenues fall to new lows and will never entertain a PPA parasite riddled network to take up the slack. They will embrace private labeled deals with the likes of OverStock and Tigerdirect who have shown they can convert traffic to sales/ad revenue.

    So merchants best pay attention to all the facts -enuendos and over all atmosphere of this group. Now where else will you be able to go and get the real truth. Certainly truth will not come from your Gorrilla parasite partner -the networks or your Ad agency. Only the hundreds of thousands of small site publishers make this the lowest cost way to funnel targeted consumers to your shopping carts. Withour us there is no network to ride your Ads and product displays on. You'll be down to a greedy middleman and a group of 10 hijacking sleezy partners.

    Big question. Which sleeze bag is better for your Brand when judging their tactics which make millions install Ad blockers -cookie cutters and spam filters??

    Webmaster Mike

    "Anyone can make a dollar, it is when you make sense that it starts to add up."...does your eBiz plan make sense?

  4. #4
    Schlaumeier cumbrowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Fresno/CA
    Posts
    640
    I agree with Wayne.

    It's up to the Merchants to decide, which kind of advertising they allow their affiliates, who and how they partner with and if they want to utilize parasite ware to increase revenues or not.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Merchants do not and will not and should not have to openly display with who they partner with and how. This is proprietary business information. What you could see is a general check like "This merchant works with incentive based sites, which I think would be ok since it is so general).
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I agree, but I even think that the general flag "works with incentive based sites" is too much. They can advertise and say "WE DO NOT!", but that should be up to them.

    I don't know how other affiliates are doing it, but I look at the numbers before I spend time, energy and money to promote a merchant heavily.
    Conversion Rate and EPC are the key. Also customer responses to a merchant on our site of course.

    We run first trials to see the potential of a
    merchant and decide then if we increase our efforts to promote him further or not.

    Also a sudden drop of Conversion Rate and EPC are not always related to Parasite Ware.

    There are a lot of factors and reasons.

    - Merchant Website redesigned (to make it less usable)
    - Product Availability Issues
    - Product Structure/Assortment changed
    - Pricing Changed
    - Demand for the Products decreased (I would not promote pokemon cards anymore hehe)
    - "fraud/error" by the merchant that the tracking is not accurate anymore
    - Bugs in their Website
    etc. etc.

    If a merchant does not work out for you, drop him and stop whining.

    I don't want to start with issues on the affilate side, like pre-sell quality or quality of the affiliate site, but those are also factors, that have impact on the conversion rate.

  5. #5
    Schlaumeier cumbrowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Fresno/CA
    Posts
    640
    EcomCity.com

    Nobody knows for sure.

    The Parasite Ware will go the way of the Dodo, if you are right.

    You might be wrong and the whole Landscape of eCommerce will change forever.

    I hope you are right.

    I would start changing our business model and try to get a piece of the parasite ware cake before it is too late, if I would know for certain, that you are wrong.

    I don't do it , because I think your are right [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img].

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager Allen Nance's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Colorado River, Bullhead City AZ
    Posts
    1,604
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Carsten, Shop-Links:
    Conversion Rate and EPC are the key.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Unfortunatly if a merchant is affiliated with the parasites, then these numerbers are very skewed. I have several merchants that I can not convert to anywhere near their posted EPC. I guess I can't show a click for every sale.

    It would be very interesting to see what the real numbers were without any of the parasites included.

    I believe it's only a marketing ploy by the third parties to bring more affiliates to a program. What is to be believed?

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    817
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>If a merchant does not work out for you, drop him and stop whining. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    carsten- i owe a drink at the next industry event for understanding how business really works!!


    best,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Get a free two-week trial use code ABWEB at RevTrends.com

  8. #8
    Schlaumeier cumbrowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Fresno/CA
    Posts
    640
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gearshopper:
    Unfortunatly if a merchant is affiliated with the parasites, then these numerbers are very skewed. I have several merchants that I can not convert to anywhere near their posted EPC. I guess I can't show a click for every sale.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I am not refering to the public posted EPC and CR.

    I am talking about YOUR EPC and CR for that merchant.

    We perform for some merchants above their average EPC and CR and for others below it.

    Important is, that you are okay with YOUR numbers. Their numbers or the CJ Stats should only be a guideline and not more.
    For example. Shoes Avenue at CJ has a EPC of $4.42 BUT also a charge back rate of over 70%. We saw that charge back thing live in action and thought "hands off". Other Affiliates might have better experiences with them. Opposite example. our EPC for eBay is more than twice than their average. Other Affiliates complain about them in another Forum here at ABW. We don't, because they work fine for us.

    Higher EPC and CR is always good, of course, but if YOUR's would be better without Parasite Ware is uncertain (it would probably be though)

    I hope that Parasite Ware will do the same as the Kakapo (http://www.nzbirds.com/Kakapo.html).
    Get it over with and die out.
    Mike: no offense, but look closely, your bird is not a Kakapo hehe.

    That would surely have positive impact on our CR and EPC.

    Carsten

    Shop-Links.net Partner
    http://www.shop-links.net

    If you can't move things, try harder!

    [This message was edited by Carsten, Shop-Links on December 18, 2002 at 01:30 AM.]

  9. #9
    Schlaumeier cumbrowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Fresno/CA
    Posts
    640
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Wayne Porter- AffTrack:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>If a merchant does not work out for you, drop him and stop whining. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    carsten- i owe a drink at the next industry event for understanding how business really works!!
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I prefer good german beer (no beck's!) hehe

    Wayne, believe me, we are affiliated with hundreds of merchants. We had some funny experiences with some of them.

    That reminds me of a good german joke, let's try to translate it.

    "Today's economy requires from a person to be flexible, dynamic, independent and mobile. There are 2 classes of people who meet that requirement. Self Employed/Start ups and Bum's. Most prefer to start with the first class at the beginning and switch later to the second."

    Mean, I know. Capitalism is hell hehe.

    Carsten

    Shop-Links.net Partner
    http://www.shop-links.net

    If you can't move things, try harder!

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,419
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    This is another reason why I do not like it when Overture and Google mandate that "affiliates" the waste copy in their ad descriptions to let consumers know they are "affiliates". The consumer doesn't care and how I setup deal structures really isn't Overtures or Google's business- as long as I am delivering relevant and high quality content. (I would prefer to see the merchant get to put up Original Site in their description). I will get into this in a later thread...
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Your analogy of google and them wanting "affiliate" to be highlighted is not applicable as I have stated.

    You said "The consumer doesn't care and how I setup deal structures really isn't Overtures or Google's business"

    I say "I do care how I set up deal structures with my partners and the merchants I partner with should disclose basic information to affiliates and not require them to jump thru hoops to determine if and what parasites they are associated with or what level of the relationship exists".

    Just as they review my site and statistics "fair play" is involved with the merchant disclosing information too. And speaking of "fair play", you completely failed to mention anyhting regarding the strong arm tactics of some parasites regarding "requiring some merchants to fully participate" or not participate.

    These issue that have been passed over are what is really important guys.

    If you really think - "it belongs in the merchants hands", then shouldn't the merchant be able to specify the level of participation. The strong arm tactics being used today by some parasites are not "fair play" to the merchants at all. Hopefully other merchants will respond to my initial question and come out and say that yes, it makes sense to be able to specify levels of predatory participation!


    Just as I've pushed for open policies on how cookies are handled (keep=no / yes) the level of parasitic participation must be clearly stated for affiliates to get a fair shake out of this. Specifying this type of relationship is not "sensitive information" as in the example you give regarding your customers and the fact that they state a policy does not mean it wont change - just like cookie terms changes.

    I think every affiliate in here would likely say that a merchants parasite associations and the level they participate is as much of importance (if not more so) than a merchants cookie policy.

    The networks and you and many merchants want to "endorse" this "new technology" - I say fine. If you're going to endose it and utilize it, have the decency to admit the facts that still need to be disclosed!



    paarasites

  11. #11
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    St Clair Shores MI.
    Posts
    17,328
    Give Wayne a break since he is a realist. Face the fact that his Afftrack client list would benefit emensely if the PPCSE's would rank all listings so the #2 positions below merchants would be occupied by Duper Affiliate "incent" clients. All normal affiliates get pushed to the bottom of any keyword search. It is the lay of the land that He and the networks rank of importance is: Merchants -Dupers -HBO parasites then normal affiliates.

    So he doesn't loose focus on our Nov. 7th meeting proposal ..here it is again.

    ___________________________________________
    We, the affiliates and merchants of ABestWeb™, submit for the respective Ad Networks review, this "Honesty & Fair Practice" statement for the industry standards meeting on November 7th, 2002.

    Definitions

    1. ParasiteWare™ is technology (eg. bho's, browser plug-ins, toolbars or pop ups/sliders) used to retain or acquire new customers that knowingly or unknowingly undermines or removes another affiliate's ability to compete by changing , intercepting or redirecting a link from the originating link. Parasiteware™ may be installed intentionally or unknowingly by the end user altering their normal web browser functions and/or installing a 3rd party application that works through the user's altered browser.

    In order to utilize the the services offered by [insert network name] all affiliates and merchants, as defined below, must agree to use honest and ethical business practices as defined by existing USA and International business and criminal laws. Any action -misrepresentation or software application that circumvents or violates existing or future laws will be just cause for immediate termination from the [insert network name] affiliate network with loss of all network benefits and acrued commissions.


    *MERCHANT: A licensed business who collects money for products or services and takes responsibility for the delivery of the same to their customer. Merchants agree to pay all commissions derived by honest affiliate sales activity in a timely manner and devulge any activities that negate referral commissions. Those entities who agree to pay commissions on the [insert network name] network trackable actions, who are not involved in delivering a billable product or service, will be clearly marked as "special class merchants" during the affiliate signup process.

    AFFILIATE: An easily identifiable hosted domain who seeks commissions for driving targeted traffic to [insert network name] merchants using trackable affiliate coded links assigned to them. In order to qualify for a commission an affiliate has to originate the trackable click from their own authorized domain or from an e-mail marketing piece identifying their authorized domain.

    ___________________________

    Part 2: Merchant must divulge in their profile if they use any of the following diversion tactics:

    a] Whether the merchant uses a 800# call center that either acts as an affiliate or works on a commission basis without recording original referral ID# for commission credits.

    b] Third party gift certificate or gift registry services, who themselves are earning affiliate commissions by swapping their ID# with original referrers.

    c] This merchant selectively approves and works with "incent" and reward affiliates.

    d] The merchant's number of return cookie days and whether they are disabled after the first sale. (keep-no/yes CJ disclosure)

    e] This merchant has passed all network test purchase transactions done on a random basis at least once a month.

    f] Some sections of this merchant's website contain non-commissionable products or links to partner sites that do not track commissionable sales.

    g] This is a special class merchant who offers commissions based upon recruiting customers for outside parties or offers loyality shopping incentives.

    Webmaster Mike

    "Anyone can make a dollar, it is when you make sense that it starts to add up."...does your eBiz plan make sense?

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,118
    You guys with your analytical schemes are very shortsighted. You are encouraging people to work with parasite friendly merchants (which you have done all along).

    But your schemes you are trying to sell cannot take into account the damage you are doing to yourselves and the affiliate industry.

    Grab your profits now, because you are contributing to a long term drain on profits for yourselves and your clients.

  13. #13
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    St Clair Shores MI.
    Posts
    17,328
    LOL ..Carsten on the bird link..
    "Before the advent of the white man with dogs, almost the only way the Maoris had of catching the Kakapo was on these tracks, sitting down along side of one in the night time. The birds could be heard, coming along snarling and squealing as is their wont. When the Maori knew that the bird was close, he suddenly flashed a light with a torch, the bird stopped and glared in amazement and so was easily caught."

    Kakapo hunts are obviously related to my early life experience of "snipe" hunts organized by camp counselors. Good stick -pillow case and flashlight on a full moon night would yeld many snipes if you were stealthy in the woods.

    Now a more apt analogy of nature lore to allowing parasites into your program, would be the tales surrounding the Wolverine and trappers. Once they choose to setup shop everything in any merchant trap, within a 20 mile radius, now belongs to the Wolverine. What they can't eat or destroy ..they piss on.. so no one else can survive in their territory. Those small coupon -wannabee incent sites have a wolverine in their midst. Now the Wolverine seeks to feed off the rest of the game making all animal and human life unbearable within their range.

    Webmaster Mike

    "Anyone can make a dollar, it is when you make sense that it starts to add up."...does your eBiz plan make sense?

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    118
    Thought I would jump in since my name was mentioned above..

    This issue really is up to the merchant and Wayne is right about the excuse of being unaware..at least by now..many AM's have been contacted over and over about this from affiliates. I heard about this in September(Morpheus was the issue that brought me here by an affiliate)

    I wanted to also make clear the main reason I dropped ebates..you are right..I could have told them to just opt me out of MMM (though like I stated many times, the MMM redirect never worked on our site)..but knowing that ANY affiliates were getting business taken away bugged me whethere they visited my site or another merchant.

    I personally feel that any merchant who continues to work with them in ANY way condones the use of MMM in general..whether they are opted in to MMM or not..I have more of a zero tolerance on the issue. No commissions diverted whether from me or other merchants.

    My two cents...

    Patty Altaffer
    Affiliate Manager
    AKA Gourmet(www.akagourmet.com)
    patty@akagourmet.com

  15. #15
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    St Clair Shores MI.
    Posts
    17,328
    Let me see. Yep I have severate pages themed for gourmet products. I see a showcase merchant deserving of top billing.

    Webmaster Mike

    "Anyone can make a dollar, it is when you make sense that it starts to add up."...does your eBiz plan make sense?

  16. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Some help from the networks going forward
    By Kevin in forum New York Affiliate Tax
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: May 28th, 2008, 07:58 PM
  2. Replies: 20
    Last Post: August 13th, 2006, 02:13 PM
  3. What merchants partner with Parasites?
    By infoonline in forum Virtual Family and Off-Topic
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: February 4th, 2004, 01:16 PM
  4. Merchants Against Parasites
    By happypoon in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: November 3rd, 2002, 09:08 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •