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July 24th, 2007, 12:50 AM #1
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
You know "temporarily offline" is a good name for when a merchant doesn't replenish his/her site fast enough and they are 'offline' for a few hours and maybe 2 or 3 days.
But, it seems that I now have several merchants that are gone for good and they are listed as "temporarily offline." I think/wish/hope there would be a stronger designation for these merchants, namely "Gone, not coming back" All the other networks sends emails when merchants leave, why doesn't SAS?
In all my time with SAS, only one merchant warned me they was leaving, never to return and even they are listed as "temporarily offline." I do salute them (although no need to name them) for being decent enough to tell me a while in advance.Expert who says Moo
July 24th, 2007, 01:04 AM #2
July 24th, 2007, 04:46 AM #3
July 24th, 2007, 07:50 AM #4
I have to agree that it would be nice if we as publishers received some type of warning prior to a merchant going offline permanently. There is nothing more frustrating than checking the status of your merchant programs, viewing a temporarily offline message for weeks on end, and all of a sudden with no notification that particular program closes completely.
July 24th, 2007, 08:18 AM #5
This MUST BE FIXED
- Join Date
- September 8th, 2005
This is THE most frustrating problem with SAS.
Something MUST be done to correct this.
Even when looking for new merchants For example
Market Traders Institute, Inc.
ID: 9397 Active on: 01/19/2006
7 Day EPC
7 Day Reversal
7 Day Avg. Sale
7 Day Avg. Commission
Program Status: Temporarily
Sale Commission: $ 750.00
Tracking Cookie lasts for 30 Days after the initial clickthru.
Campaign Start Date: 19-Jan-06
Auto-Approval of Affiliates: Yes
Last Commissionable Transaction through Affiliate: 02/27/2007 02:01.48 PM
Last Compliance Test Completed: 29-May-07
51901 Tempoarily Offline 06/29/2007 at 4:21:22 PM Merchant Market Traders Institute, Inc. has gone offline due to lack of funds.
48951 Tempoarily Offline 05/29/2007 at 7:50:44 PM Merchant Market Traders Institute, Inc. has gone offline due to lack of funds.
46244 Tempoarily Offline 04/30/2007 at 7:22:14 PM Merchant Market Traders Institute, Inc. has gone offline due to lack of funds.
41254 Tempoarily Offline 02/27/2007 at 2:01:48 PM Merchant Market Traders Institute, Inc. has gone offline due to lack of funds.
41253 Low Funds 02/27/2007 at 2:01:48 PM Merchant Market Traders Institute, Inc. has a status of Low Funds.
Even their e-mail bounces.
The Merchant Status is useless for most merchants
Brian - this is intolerable WHAT IS BEING DONE ABOUT THIS!
July 24th, 2007, 01:00 PM #6
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
I recognize the difficulty of SAS deciding when a merchant should be moved from "Temporarily Offline" status to a more permanent status.
I also recognize the difficulty of dealing with merchants who are "online" but effectively inactive.
On the "Temporarily Offline" issue, I think SAS has done a good job by adding a "history" option that affiliates can view. I've also subscribed to the RSS feed. But as noted, it's absurd to retain the designation "Temporarily Offline" for a merchant whose domain comes up 404 Not Found, or says "We've closed our online store."
As an affiliate who actively seeks "opportunities" for creating niche sites or PPC campaigns, I am often frustrated by the lack of information about all those merchants with $0.00 EPCs. In many cases, I worry that these merchants might not have SAS tracking working. I also worry about any of merchants who don't have Auto-Deposit, since one large order can push a merchant from "Online" to "Temporarily Offline" with no pause for "Low Funds."
But, as I noted in another discussion thread, I know that I was personally responsible for persuading one merchant to set up an SAS program in late 2005, but then I didn't bother to create links to that merchant until October 2006. During that entire time, the merchant had a $0.00 EPC. As soon as I added links from my directory site, the merchant's EPC popped to $4 and I was earning $1,000 per month from transactions I drove to the merchant's site.
I've been manually creating my own spreadsheet reflecting my 'opinions' about each SAS merchant, and I try to add data as often as possible so that my spreadsheet reflects appropriate factual and historical information. For example, I flag any merchants who post a prominent toll-free phone number or otherwise encourage phone orders; these are automatically excluded from consideration.
What I've found is that some of my most effective affiliate relationships essentially involve ME providing free consulting advice to the merchant, to bring their affiliate program and sometimes their web site "up to speed" so that it's worth my time to work with them. I know that many other ABW members do the same thing: we identify a merchant in a niche we think we can promote, and we work with the merchant to improve their program (sometimes it's just to ask for a higher commission, but just as often it's to make suggestions that will increase overall conversion rates or eliminate common "abandonment" factors like lack of shipping-cost info).
I wonder if SAS might set up some kind of system for affiliates to post appropriate feedback about merchant programs, perhaps by asking affiliates to submit data to SAS (through an online database interface, not via random emails) so that SAS can consider verifying and including the information in its available data. This might include information like "toll-free phone number appears above the fold" or "merchant has been offline for 45 of the past 365 days" or "site lacks information about shipping fees."
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