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  1. #1
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Sometimes In Life You Just Have To Say WTF!
    Yes, life is too short to keep on waiting for things to change because they may never do, and for believing even ½ of the BS of what your competition may say about merchants with parasites, and why we shouldn't join some merchants, or some networks because of this, or because of that.

    So today the day has come for me to just say, "WTF"

    For the last four years I have been reading and learning about what parasites may, or may not do to my income, and while I have been doing my part in not working with parasitic merchants and not even joining big merchants because of what some people say about merchants listed on the parasites list of merchants, I have been missing the boat on making the money, that I should have been making by now on the big networks, if I would had done what my competition have been doing all along all this years.

    To me there is nothing worse than keep listening to the hypocrites, that while they bash the parasites in public, they do work with parasites behind close doors, thinking that nobody may found out about it.

    At least I can give credit to those that they publicly post that they don't like to work with parasites, but that they have indeed joined parasitic merchants or networks, because by doing that, they increase their bottom line.

    And like that famous spanish commercial say: "Aquí lo que importa es El Cash" (cash is all that matters), then I too will have to finally say: "WTF"

    For the last couple of months, I have been working on a new niche site about some specific line of products, and so far I have been stuck with just a few choices on SAS because for over a year now, I have been working mainly with SAS merchants, and I have not added any CJ links to any of my last new sites, but that is about to change now, because on CJ they have more than fifty merchants related to my new niche site.

    I have also been working on my coupon sites, and since I have learned the hard way how to code the scripts to show only valid coupons, and not expired one's, I have been limited there too, as the amount of merchants that have coupons, and that I am an affiliate of, so I think it's time for me to move on, and join other merchants and other networks that have what I need for my sites, regardless of what other people may, or may not say about those merchants and parasites, and as long as they pay the earned commission on time, I guess the rest is just bla,bla,bla by the competion.

    Some other people have posted before that, as long as it's not illegal or immoral, that they have no problem working with some of those parasitic merchants because they have to pay their bills, and that ethics and business are two different things when the rent is due.

    So then again, "WTF"

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    Interesting post.
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
    to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there
    isn't and die to find out there is.

  3. #3
    Member TonyCafaro's Avatar
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    "Tis better to regret what you've done than what you didn't do" Your right when it comes to paying bills and other things in life. I unfortunately am a complex moral person with a screwed up set of morals, but stand your groud and do what you believe is right oh and WTF your the one that has to look your self in the mirror when you wake up.

    I hope your day gets better, it sounds pretty rough so far

  4. #4
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    Do we need a third thread on this topic today?
    Deborah Carney
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  5. #5
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    I think it goes a little deeper than that, Sal, in the sense that there are two basic ways you can attempt to mold a merchant's behavior.

    First, you can stay on the outside, and attempt to generate enough discussion with the merchant about why you are not joining their program, and how much their association with parasites is costing them. This can be successful with some merchants: Indeed, I know of some that were appalled to see what was going on in their program, several years ago when suspicious activity was shown to them. Yet, with other merchants, your concerns will have minimal impact, because the merchant feels that hey, all of my competitors are already doing this, so it CAN'T be illegal - and this unknown affiliate has not even joined my program or promoted my program.

    The second way, is to join the merchant, become an integral part of their daily bread, and THEN approach them about cleaning up their program. At this point you have established yourself, you are a known entity, someone they can respect.

    Someone wailing away in multiple fonts and colors on a forum is not going to garner their respect, or gain their attention when requesting changes to their program.

    If AddHandler had, for example, simply said something like, "Hey, I just want you to know that, for a number of reasons that I am linking to below, I really do not like working with merchants that associate with eBates. Could I have a show of hands here, from other ABW members who also prefer NOT to work with merchants that associate with that company?"

    From a personal perspective, I have a little bit more flexibility within my business model: I develop small, niche sites, some of which are only ten or fifteen pages in size. Because of this, I can choose a merchant I am comfortable with, and work with them. I can see where the larger sites, the ones who try to be something to everyone, get caught up in the "I have to be part of the team if I'm going to play in the game" mentality.

    That does not mean, however, that they stop caring about the issue or that they are not working, behind the scenes, to effect change.

    As for your personal choices, you do what you have to do in order to look yourself in the mirror, Sal. Is money more important than ethics? Is it simply money, though? By removing ourselves from major programs, are we neutering our ability to effect change?


    One last semi-humorous thought: I am really going to be disappointed if, next week, we are talking about the latest threat, the new SalAdBar.....lol.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  6. #6
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    I understand your frustration, Sal.

  7. #7
    Member TonyCafaro's Avatar
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    Mr. Sal

    I am a program manager and am thankful we have agreat program with no room for the unethical affiliate marketing, but when you clean a program you face a serious problem. Cleaning a program has to do with removing affiliates, which can intern result in their negative feedback about the programm, which intern can keep potential great affiliates away. So this is why some merchants stay on the bad path.

    It's time for you to move on to a new program, stand your ground, and keep your morals intact. Don't promote a program thats hindering you. I'm sure you have plenty of competitive programs for the nice you have found. Best of luck

  8. #8

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    Every morning I say "WTF" but for totally different reasons.

    I can understand the frustration. Though Sal, how niche can a site be if 50 merchants on CJ can relate to it? That part raised my interest.

  9. #9
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    "Some other people have posted before that, as long as it's not illegal or immoral, that they have no problem working with some of those parasitic merchants because they have to pay their bills, and that ethics and business are two different things when the rent is due."

    Merchants aren't parasitic, some of the affiliates in their program are. What gets lost in most of these type of conversations are the shoppers. It's rare that I hear them brought up. Depending on your site/model it's not about what you like and want, it's about your shoppers, site visitors. I might dislike an AM or merchant for whatever reason but if people to my site like shopping there, I'm going to have them up because that's who I build sites for. Should I pull a Sears off my site because some affiliate doesn't like that they might have parasites or should I keep them on my site because people like shopping with them? Who's your target audience, that affiliate or that shopper? Easy answer for me.

  10. #10
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    I think Mr Sal is more or less saying "Let the games begin."

    It does not instigate his intent to be unethical ... but in recent light of "acceptable clicks", "it happens", "legitimate coupons", "acceptable cookie setting", etc ... Let the field be leveled.

    I'm about there myself.

    Here is my can of worms along the "WTF" lines ...

    OPMs that do affiliate marketing. I have been avoiding them like the plague.
    No, you may not compete with me directly selling "Red Leather Widgets" that you represent but I'll be danged if I'll show you how to sell "Red Leather Widgets" only to compete with you selling "Orange Leather Widgets" ( that you do not represent).
    As a manager, you are privy to a chunk of info ... often times to info that is not cared to be divulged to a "competitor" regardless of the product line.
    That is my "WTF" and my thoughts.

  11. #11
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    You have to do what is right for you. Who cares what others are doing or what they are saying. For me I don't work with the so called major networks just becuase they praise the ebates model. Am I losing money, that would be a no. I sleep at night knowing the end user is actually going to a merchant that I want them to go. Not some pop up over 99% of my site I could go on but that would create competetion for myself.

  12. #12
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    It doesn't make Mr. Sal a bad person because he wants to work with merchants at CJ. If you want to work with "clean" merchants, there are clean merchants there too.

  13. #13
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Oye, Sal, Que cono, vamos a tomarnos un scotch y disfrutar el fin de semana ....

    It's 5 O'clock somewhere ...
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
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  14. #14
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Trust I don't belive there is any clean merchants on cj, ok maybe there is some clean ones but do you really believe their tracking is working? It is not worth my time to even log into cj to look for merchants anymore

  15. #15
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cozy
    OPMs that do affiliate marketing. I have been avoiding them like the plague.
    No, you may not compete with me directly selling "Red Leather Widgets" that you represent but I'll be danged if I'll show you how to sell "Red Leather Widgets" only to compete with you selling "Orange Leather Widgets" ( that you do not represent).
    As a manager, you are privy to a chunk of info ... often times to info that is not cared to be divulged to a "competitor" regardless of the product line.
    That is my "WTF" and my thoughts.
    Since the vast majority of affiliate managers come from our ranks, good luck with that. At least THOSE affiliate managers have seen these arguments from the affiliate's side.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by elbowcreek
    Since the vast majority of affiliate managers come from our ranks, good luck with that. At least THOSE affiliate managers have seen these arguments from the affiliate's side.
    Agreed with and respected Mate ... but new sites/campaigns created revolving around sales info collected during the course? T'ain't right.
    Actual or perceived, It 'tis my WTF.

  17. #17
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    Sal I understand how you feel, After reading about "acceptable" forced clicks, "acceptable" redirects etc.

    I also think you are saying "Let the games begin." I'm with you on that. My innocence is gone as well and I'm ready to compete on their playing field as well.

    Loxly, these threads have been a real eye opener and I'm very glad to have read what I did today.

  18. #18
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Go for it Mr. Sal.

    As was said in another post above - Let the game begin.

    I feel sure that there are many affiliates here that got into the game a long time ago.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyfalcon
    Trust I don't belive there is any clean merchants on cj, ok maybe there is some clean ones but do you really believe their tracking is working? It is not worth my time to even log into cj to look for merchants anymore
    That's up to you, why would it be any different than any other network? CJ overall brings in the most for me.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyfalcon
    Trust I don't belive there is any clean merchants on cj, ok maybe there is some clean ones but do you really believe their tracking is working? It is not worth my time to even log into cj to look for merchants anymore
    I've experienced literally dozens of tracking problems over the years. I can recall only twice when it was attributed to the network. So well over 90% of the time it was attributed to the merchant. It wouldn't have made any difference which network they were on.

  21. #21
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    CJ overall brings in the most for me.
    I used to say that same thing long ago!

    Last year I came close two times, and this year I am about to hear from CJ, for not making any money there for about their six months time limit before they drop you, so you can figure out the reason for that.

    Fortunately or unfortunately, it's never too late to wake up and smell the roses, so by this same time next year, I think should be able see what garden was greener after all.

    And as been able to sleep good at night, or looking myself in the mirror.

    The only time that I don't have a good day sleep, or night sleep, is when I waste my time eating shit on the web, watching TV, or fixing something that broke down, or just because I want to see what it have inside.

    I am not a woman, and I am too ugly, so I don't waste my time looking in the mirror.

    But just to make one thing clear here.

    I have never done anything bad that I have to regret now, and I don't think that I will ever do, but one thing is for sure, my days of eating shit on this business are over.

    Lo que es bueno para Juana, tambien le gusta a la hermana. (that means something like: if it's good for the goose it's good for the moose too.) (or some thing like that.)

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

    Thanks to all that have posted here, and specially to those that say that they understand how I feel about the topic of this thread.

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

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Lily
    Loxly, these threads have been a real eye opener and I'm very glad to have read what I did today.
    They are, and they are also not as comprehensive as they could be. People don't always tell how they are working to make things better and some of the wtf's being tossed around are inaccurate representations of what people are doing and people are making assumptions that are not always correct. There are also incorrect assumptions being made about people that aren't posting, there are many, many reasons some people are quiet.

    And cozy, your analysis of OPMs and affiliates may be correct in your opinion, but realistically many of us started as affiliates and most still make more as an affiliate than as an OPM, and that is because they are good at what they do and teach others how to do it to. And not take ideas from the people they work with, but give ideas to them.

    My being an affiliate brings strength to what I do and how I approach my merchants. And realistically, I don't have time to go make sites about something my affiliates are. If you think someone is abusing the information they gain as OPMs or managers, don't work with them.

    For the record, most of my "affiliate sites" have been converted to just selling my own personal products and/or feature adsense.

    And for the record, I still learn more here than I do from looking at affiliates websites.
    Deborah Carney
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  23. #23
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    i bash everything/everyone that try to steal my commish. be they affiliates, merchants or networks.

    i don't cut off my tie-up with anyone, i just don't promote them. and if they convert again, i go back to them again. this is business.


    and speaking of hypos, tell me about it.

    i've seen affiliates who rant about parasites but do parasitic stuff themselves. i've seen those who proclaim they are ethical but i know very well otherwise. i've read affiliates who complain about scrapers and yet they are the number one scrapers.


    by the way, back to the merchant side, if you think the prominent presence of "live help" is bad enough, wait till you see one merchant about to popup one automatically.
    Last edited by waytogo; September 14th, 2007 at 10:01 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by waytogo
    by the way, back to the merchant side, if you think the prominent presence of "live help" is bad enough, wait till you see one merchant about to popup one automatically.
    Some live help isn't parasitic. Don't slam *all* merchants using it, they don't all overwrite affiliate commissions.
    Deborah Carney
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  25. #25
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    The reality of the situation is that we lose business regardless of what we do. If we join programs with parasites we lose commissions to their tactics, if we don't join those programs we lose potential shoppers and business. It's a lose-lose situation for the ethical affiliate. You just have to decide which way you lose less.

    -rematt

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    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

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