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  1. #1
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    Some Issues with SAS Network/Merchants
    I am new to working with SAS and I am seeing some issues working with SaS network / merchants. Hope a discussion here will help find some sort of solutions:


    a) SAS Merchants terminating without any notice: Lack of any notice from merchants leads to quality issues on our site (bad user experience) as the merchant pages still exist on our site and clicking on the links will lead to "inactive page or redirected page"

    >> Normally in other networks, merchants give at least a few days notice so an affiliate has a chance to remove the links from the site. But SAS merchants are not required or generally don't do that ..

    b) SAS Merchants altering the commission terms without giving a chance for us to review and accept the same.

    >> In other networks, an affiliate has to accept the change to previously accepted terms/commissions

    c) Merchants going offline (low funds to offline) without any notice. Once again this leads to quality issues on affiliate sites leading to bad user experience (same issue as a) when it comes to user experience on affiliate site)


    I discussed the above with Carolyn at SAS and we thought it will help to discuss and iron out the solutions to the above issues here.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtagdeals
    I discussed the above with Carolyn at SAS and we thought it will help to discuss and iron out the solutions to the above issues here.
    Can't help on the solutions but those issues are definitely need to be resolved.

  3. #3
    Staril - Mad Cat Woman Sue's Avatar
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    a) I've seen this at various different networks. At least with SAS I find I receive an email from the merchant giving a date and can then replace them. In other networks I've only found out that a merchant was gone when the banner images were suddenly missing.

    b) It would be really good to get an email when a merchant changes something in their terms ... some text that highlighted the alteration would be perfect. I know other networks can alert you that there has been a change, but that is sometimes all you hear and then you have to play "spot the difference".

    c) I much prefer the way SAS does this in comparison with other networks. If there is no money to pay me, then I don't want to send customers to the merchant for free. Other networks may keep the links working but, if the merchant decides not to pay, you will never get any commission for sales you send to them. SAS also provides that Invalid Links Report so that it is easy to check for problems. They also allow you to enter a redirect page to be used in these circumstances. I can't see how they can improve on their service on this point.


    Sue.

  4. #4
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    a) In other networks, typically any termination has to be first resolved through your account rep. and then at least a few days notice if the matter cannot be resolved. I have not seen any abrupt terminations without proper notice / correspondence of some sort at least in other networks that I work with ..

    > I am finding SAS to be much worse in this regard

    b) In other networks, terms get changed only after you review and accept them. Plus you get an email too ..

    > I think SAS merchants change terms arbitrarily without consulting the affiliate
    or notifying the affiliate ( I have seen this happen at least on a couple of occasions in SAS)


    c) An email notification that says the merchant has gone OFFLINE will help us deactivate the merchant links on our site. More than commissions (which I think around 5% on average are at risk in any network), this will help maintain affiliate sites clean from a user experience point of view. I do not want my site visitors click on a link expecting something and only be redirected somewhere else or show an error


    > In other networks, one can achieve almost close to zero invalid clicks if you can act on timely notifications

  5. #5
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Regarding specifically point C - there is an RSS feed with offline/online notifications.... If you aren't using it, and you are concerned about the online/offline situation - please try the RSS feed. You can download it, script it, do whatever you want...

    More on the other points later....
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  6. #6
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale
    Regarding specifically point C - there is an RSS feed with offline/online notifications.... If you aren't using it, and you are concerned about the online/offline situation - please try the RSS feed. You can download it, script it, do whatever you want...
    Can we subscribe to it in Google Reader?
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  7. #7
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Definitely...it is a standard RSS feed so any reader that you would like to use will work....
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  8. #8
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale
    Definitely...it is a standard RSS feed so any reader that you would like to use will work....
    YAY! I feel so technically advanced
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  9. #9
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    YAY! I feel so technically advanced
    Dream on Rhia!

  10. #10
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    I will make use of the RSS feed www dot shareasale dot com / offlinenotice.xml
    In fairness, Carolyn referred to this as well ... I have not had a chance to review and start using it .. but soon I will ..

    I think it will be nice to receive an email when a merchant goes Offline too ..

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Nature Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtagdeals
    I think it will be nice to receive an email when a merchant goes Offline too ..
    This would be nice, but, like has been said before, emails bounce, get caught in SPAM folders, or a multitude of other problems. The RSS feed they offer is a much better alternative.
    Scott
    If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with bulls#!t
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  12. #12
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    Brian, if it is not too much to ask, I would really prefer to receive emails notification at least on offline merchants. I had RSS feed set up on one of my computers, but for people at work or on travel, it is easier to access to emails and get the important messages on time.

  13. #13
    Outsourced Program Manager DaveAMWSO's Avatar
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    If you do a search on RSS to Email (or derivations) you'll find a bunch of tools that can convert RSS feeds to emails for you. A quick search revealed this one: rssfwd.com that seems to do the trick.

    Dave
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  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    I have links to the RSS feeds bookmarked and check them a few times a day. Problem: The RSS feed lists every SAS merchant, no way to just limit it to ones I have an interest in so the list is very long. Problem: One merchant is currently offline due to low funds, it is not showing on that list. Problem: Merchants on AutoDeposit show up along with those who will actually (at some point) go offline if nothing is done; If we know when that point was we might be able to keep a closer eye on the situation without unneccesarily removing links. Maybe a code yellow/code red might be more useful. Problem: If the list were in either numerical or alphabetical order it would help. Best: a way to add an RSS feed on a per merchant basis so we don't get a list of 200 files to dig through.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by atonca
    Brian, if it is not too much to ask, I would really prefer to receive emails notification at least on offline merchants.
    I back that .. I think an email notification whenever a merchant goes offline to an affiliate that has enrolled in that merchant program will help. Just like other mails from merchants, these mails are checked and action taken in a timely manner by many active affiliates on a daily basis.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by atonca
    Brian, if it is not too much to ask, I would really prefer to receive emails notification at least on offline merchants. I had RSS feed set up on one of my computers, but for people at work or on travel, it is easier to access to emails and get the important messages on time.
    I agree with that too..

    By the way, God bless SaS After trying out some other big (??) networks such as CJ and some other small networks like commissionxchange which are usually scammers, I appreciate SaS much more. I hope more advertisers consider SaS in the future.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mybest
    By the way, God bless SaS After trying out some other big (??) networks such as CJ and some other small networks like commissionxchange which are usually scammers, I appreciate SaS much more. I hope more advertisers consider SaS in the future.
    Most definitely, SAS is the greatest to work with. They are the best. At CJ I wouldn't bother to complain about petty things like the RSS feeds because they don't give a darn. SAS might someday do something to make their great place even better. They do care about running a good program.

  18. #18
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    It is frustrating that some merchants are allowed to alter their commission terms without any notice and without the affiliate accepting the terms.

    Just today I found 2 merchants (managed by same person), altered commission terms without any notice, acceptance.

    I think Share a Sale should put an end to this or it will become very frustrating to work within the network where merchants are abusing the commission terms at their will without any notice or acceptance by an affiliate.

  19. #19
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtagdeals
    It is frustrating that some merchants are allowed to alter their commission terms without any notice and without the affiliate accepting the terms.
    The "little check box system" used by CJ could be implemented.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  20. #20
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    I have not seen any network that allows merchants to alter terms without the affiliate accepting the change. Otherwise, what will be the meaning of "terms" if these keep changing without notice, without correspondence, without acceptance.

    It is highly frustrating that we have been delivering sales for last few weeks to a merchant and the sales were being commissioned at 1/5th the originally accepted commission terms. Of course, this merchant is booted out immediately upon noticing this today.

  21. #21
    Member DoradoVista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtagdeals
    Otherwise, what will be the meaning of "terms" if these keep changing without notice, without correspondence, without acceptance.
    As for the meaning of "terms" under these conditions, the Pirate captain said in the Pirates of the Carribean movie... "We thinks of thems more as... guidelines."

    Are people losing $ over this?
    Gold Prospector just Prospecting Sales! :coolsmile

  22. #22
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    Smile Great Discussion
    That was a great thread, i'm new to the affiliate marketting and becuase of you guys i'm learning more and more! THANK YOU!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtagdeals
    Just today I found 2 merchants (managed by same person), altered commission terms without any notice, acceptance.
    Could you tell us who those two merchants are(or you can PM me if you don't feel like to public them)? I don't feel like to dig into hundreds of the merchants' terms to find them.

  24. #24
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    "It is highly frustrating that we have been delivering sales for last few weeks to a merchant and the sales were being commissioned at 1/5th the originally accepted commission terms. Of course, this merchant is booted out immediately upon noticing this today."

    Have to out them, maybe have a thread just for merchants that do that. I know in CJ there is a section for that, LS sends out an email but it's pretty much impossible to check merchants everyday to see if they changed their terms, so there has to be some sort of way to watch this. I don't think the merchants I'm working with at SAS do that but I don't know, haven't kept up with it. It would be good for everybody to get a list going.

  25. #25
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    I am not ready to disclose the merchant name yet as I am having some heated mail exchange with this merchant. Really, there is only one person in SaS, operating 2 sites.

    This person is a complete joke based on my mail exchanges with him so far. Some highlights from him include -

    a) He attacks affiliates with high conversions. He thinks that is not justified and they deserve LOWERED (1/5th) commissions

    b) He thinks coupon sites are not content sites while we slaughter ourselves every minute by keeping them current and updated with hundred of deals daily

    c) He thinks he does not have to get a nod from an affiliate before lowering commissions to 20% of originally accepted levels

    d) He alleges we listed unauthorized coupons while we only list authorized coupons only. He does not offer any proof what is that unauthorized coupon and where we listed it on our site

    e) He thinks coupon sites are not offering any value. He does not realize that the ratio of anyone looking for this merchant coupon vs. 1000s of other brand name merchants on our site is perhaps one out of 100,000 or lower. He perhaps also thinks all the millions of savvy consumers on the web looking for deals / coupons and using the coupon sites are of no value to him (perhaps)

    Oh boy - the above is only a gist of what this merchant thinks and operates like. He is completely ridiculous to me and he is one that got booted out in a split second once I found about the lowered commissions. And it makes absolutely not a penny difference to our site/business.

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