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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Doug247's Avatar
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    Shopping Sites
    Is anyone making any $ off of shopping sites? Or is the current thinking content sites with a sprinkle of aff links?

    I am thinking about creating a shopping based site however I don't really want put ot the effort if there is no $ in those types of sites.

    Thanks,
    Doug

  2. #2
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    think you need to define more about what you mean by "shopping site"...

    all of my sites are designed for "shopping"...

    do you mean "shopping mall sites" where you have everything under the sun (and compete with Amazon) or do you mean something else?

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Doug247's Avatar
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    Not really a mall site but a site like...before I buy let me check www dot domain dot com and see if there is a sale or coupn for that item. I'd actually include amazon.

    I'm actually thinking of using mailers and newspaper ads as a marketing tool

    Thanks,
    Doug

  4. #4
    Not that fat. ReallyBigGuy's Avatar
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    Theres a lot of those deals/coupons sites. The older big ones continue to be successful, the new ones struggle.
    Think about your marketing though. it's not easy to get offline trafffic online. Its usually easier/cheaper/more effective to advertise online instead.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Doug247's Avatar
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    How do I advertise online PPC? If so is there a useful link here at abw explaining ppc.


    Thansk,
    Doug

  6. #6
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  7. #7
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simplistechs
    Not really a mall site but a site like...before I buy let me check www dot domain dot com and see if there is a sale or coupn for that item. I'd actually include amazon.
    While potentially an effective way to make commissions, what would you be doing to earn the commission? It sounds a little like target audience is already sold...

    I'm actually thinking of using mailers and newspaper ads as a marketing tool
    Nothing wrong with offline advertising in my opinion, but you may also want to try to include some offline action they can take (call toll free and we'll send you the codes, request a free catalog, text message blah, etc).
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    Just curious why the apparent dislike for mall sites? I'm certainly not an expert here but I keep hearing how strong sites like Fat Wallet are and they are certainly a mall site. I am personally betting on a pair of concepts that have unique marketing plans to draw exceptional traffic (I hope) to those mall sites.

    Just curious why people like Donuts comment so negatively?

  9. #9
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    FatWallet's value to the consumer is their message board and their rebate program. They are a large operation (for what they do) with about 30 employees (last I heard). Without their message board, rebate program and their auto-affiliate linking whenever an affiliated merchant is mentioned on their message board, they would be nowhere close to the revenue producer they are.

    They drive a tremendous amount of traffic to their merchants, but do they really add value to those merchants?

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador newestuser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman
    They drive a tremendous amount of traffic to their merchants, but do they really add value to those merchants?
    I don't think rebate programs really add value, because it's just sponging since the person was going to shop there anyway. Not much different than the parasites like shopathome, ebates, upromise and the other toolbar installs that don't advertise for the store, but just try to suck a commission off a sale that was going to happen anyway.

    The forums add value... basically merchant advertising just like any affiliate site.

  11. #11
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    "I don't think rebate programs really add value, because it's just sponging since the person was going to shop there anyway. Not much different than the parasites like shopathome, ebates, upromise and the other toolbar installs that don't advertise for the store, but just try to suck a commission off a sale that was going to happen anyway."


    That's just all wrong. Shoppers would disagree.

  12. #12
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman
    They drive a tremendous amount of traffic to their merchants, but do they really add value to those merchants?
    That's sorta' where my opinion falls as well. Some malls have a unique marketing proposition, drive unique traffic and actually create business for merchants. Many do not...

    Speaking from the merchant perspective, too many of the malls I see don't bring any value to the merchants they list.

    Offline malls first bring value with the real estate (location, location, location), which brings in the anchor stores. The combination of location and anchor shops brings in the traffic, which brings in the food court vendors, movie theatres and all the other shops. Shoppers stroll from one shop to the next and merchants want to be there.

    Online malls tend to try to capitalize on the names of all the shops they list, but don't bring the location to the table. They bring in traffic looking for merchant x and hope to make a commission from merchant x by the virtue of showing up in the search results for merchant x. They also fail to create a shopping hub like offline real estate can do, so the visitor they bring in looking for merchant x never buys from merchant y and z, so they really bring nothing to the table.

    Again, this is my opinion of some, not all.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador newestuser's Avatar
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    I guess I should've clarified.. .I don't think they add value to merchants. (like the statement I was replying to)

    For shoppers, you could argue that the cookie-stealing parasites add value too, since they popup coupons, show alternative stores, or whatever it is they do.

  14. #14
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    Bad comparison again. Parasites are a whole different story, you're mentioning them along with the good rebate sites. Rebate sites/coupon sites add value to the merchants in that there are people that will only shop thru those sites. Different segments of shoppers.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by newestuser
    I guess I should've clarified.. .I don't think they add value to merchants. (like the statement I was replying to)
    Exactly. Trust, be careful not to take someone's comment out of context as you did newestuser's.

  16. #16
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    Reread it, missed that part, but everything else is correct. They can bring value to both merchants and shoppers. And it is a bad comparison, parasites to clean rebate sites.

  17. #17
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    And it is a bad comparison, parasites to clean rebate sites.
    Not always. Sometimes it's a pretty fair comparison.

    The description simplistechs gave, that I admittedly stretched to potentially mean a site that encouraged shoppers to "check here first for coupons" would be living off shoppers ready to make a purchase. That's parasitic...

    Saying "...that there are people that will only shop thru those sites" doesn't change the fact that the rest, and majority, would've bought without the affiliate ever getting involved.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  18. #18
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    "Sometimes it's a pretty fair comparison."

    Explain that one.


    "The description simplistechs gave, that I admittedly stretched to potentially mean a site that encouraged shoppers to "check here first for coupons" would be living off shoppers ready to make a purchase. That's parasitic..."

    Don't know where to start with that one.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Rehan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman
    They drive a tremendous amount of traffic to their merchants, but do they really add value to those merchants?
    I was speaking to the affiliate managers for a large computer manufacturer recently, and they said that deal sites like FatWallet get the lowest commission rate ...but they love Upromise, giving them a rate 4x that of FW.

  20. #20
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    "Sometimes it's a pretty fair comparison."

    Explain that one.
    I thought I did.

    Parasites (the software kind) do more than just steal commissions from hard working affiliates. They also steal commissions on sales the merchant would've made without any affiliate involvement whatsoever.

    Sites that live off of customers who have already decided to buy from a specific merchant are coming very close to (and often are) taking commissions for sales the merchant would've made without them.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  21. #21
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    "Parasites (the software kind) do more than just steal commissions from hard working affiliates. They also steal commissions on sales the merchant would've made without any affiliate involvement whatsoever."

    Agree.

    "Sites that live off of customers who have already decided to buy from a specific merchant are coming very close to (and often are) taking commissions for sales the merchant would've made without them."

    That part is wrong in a lot of ways. I can point you to numerous threads about coupons or even marketing books/studies before the internet even existed. What makes you think those merchants would have gotten those sales without coupons? There are all kinds of different shoppers. Some will only shop with a coupon, coupons can entice people to buy something where they normally wouldn't. Maybe the decided to buy a certain product from one merchant, and they found out a competing merchant had a coupon. That's just one way merchants use them, good way to lure away shoppers from their competition.

    Back to what you said:
    "Sites that live off of customers who have already decided to buy from a specific merchant are coming very close to"

    Very close to is not a sale, it's an almost. Coupons or a deal can push them thru. And there is no shortage of people that will only shop thru sites like a Fatwallet or a rebate, coupon site etc, so a merchant would want to be on sites like that to get to those shoppers.

  22. #22
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    "Sites that live off of customers who have already decided to buy from a specific merchant are coming very close to (and often are) taking commissions for sales the merchant would've made without them."

    That part is wrong in a lot of ways. I can point you to numerous threads about coupons or even marketing books/studies before the internet even existed. What makes you think those merchants would have gotten those sales without coupons? There are all kinds of different shoppers. Some will only shop with a coupon, coupons can entice people to buy something where they normally wouldn't. Maybe the decided to buy a certain product from one merchant, and they found out a competing merchant had a coupon. That's just one way merchants use them, good way to lure away shoppers from their competition.
    I am sorry, but when I see an affiliate putting my site name in their page title not once, not twice, but four times, I have to think they're targeting more than just the shoppers who need a coupon to buy.

    Also, this isn't a debate on the value of coupons or rebates, but if coupon/rebate affiliates can be compared to parasites, and I'm saying that yes, in some cases they can. A rebate community that pushes rebate offers to a rebate hungry member base can bring huge value to a merchant, but a rebate site that sits back doing nothing but poaching 10,000 brand names to get the odd sale does not.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  23. #23
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eathan
    I am sorry, but when I see an affiliate putting my site name in their page title not once, not twice, but four times, I have to think they're targeting more than just the shoppers who need a coupon to buy.
    Eathan, what about an affiliate who does not put the official business/site/trademarked tradename anywhere in the title tag, the description area, the keywords section of the meta portion of the webpage/site, or in any other part of the metatags but the affiliate uses the official merchant store name/site name (perhaps with a live link to the official site) in the body of the web page: is that a generally accepted practice among affiliate merchants (a link/reference only in the body of the web page -- what if the link to the merchant's business is repeated a few times within the body of a blog)?

    This question is important to me because I have "static web pages" but I also have blogs where I pitch affiliate merchandise. I do not put any official name/business/trademarked tradename in any portion of what is considered to be the meta data of a website, but I do mention business names with live links in blog entries. My understanding is that I can use official names as text within the body of a web page or a blog, am I correct in this practice?
    There are some merchants and/or brands that I mention often within multiple blog entries. As an example I might mention an example of a certain brand in a blog post and then two days later I create a new blog post/entry in order to mention [i.e. promote] another example of merchandise sold by a merchant I mentioned within a blog entry written a few days earlier.
    Last edited by Rhia7; July 12th, 2007 at 01:24 AM.
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  24. #24
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    define more about what you mean by "shopping site"...
    Donuts has a good point in the above quote.
    Some day I might become such a pro at programming languages that I rival Snib [for anyone who doesn't get it, that's a joke ], but that day hasn't come yet. At the moment I build static sites and blogs.
    My sites are not designed in the "online mall style" type of site, instead I combine other information/entertainment in my pages and likewise you'll find a mixture of entertainment, information, and affiliate links within my blogs.

    I've found that search engine rankings can be enhanced if I create "static pages" for affiliate products with similar affiliate products highlighted in blog entries with cross linking/internal linking.

    Also blogs are great for coupons/notices of special sales.
    Some merchants e-mail me to let me know that they are having a special one day or weekend sale. If the special deal only lasts for a few days, I might or I might not insert notice of the deal into a static site, but the combination of a product link and/or a link to a product category with the notice of free shipping, or the great sale, or the great deal that expires in 2 days gets excellent notice if written in a blog entry.
    Some merchants say that a special coupon code is one that the customer needs to remember and/or cut & paste.
    An affiliate with blogs can say the code: 123 is the cut & paste code for merchant xyz and then the blog entry can have a link to a static page the affiliate has dedicated to that merchant's merchandise.
    Last edited by Rhia7; July 12th, 2007 at 02:02 AM.
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  25. #25
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Rhia (to the post above the above),

    That, to me anyway, sounds great! What you describe sounds like you're actively marketing merchandise and recommending a merchant where customers can buy it. You're marketing and bringing value through your own editorial voice.

    What I've been getting annoyed with lately is affiliates that are set up to poach trademark traffic and don't bother marketing or targeting anything else. Some rebate/coupon sites fall into that bunch. Again, not ALL, but some.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

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