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  1. #1
    Outsourced Program Manager paladin's Avatar
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    Data Feed Questions for Affiliates
    In Share A Sale there are 2 options for you as the affiliate to get the merchant's product data feed:
    1. Manually download it by logging into your SAS account
    2. By FTP.

    I understand the need for the FTP option for merchants that update their feed several times per month. But what about merchants that only update the feed a few times per year? Do you really need the FTP access, or is the browser based download enough?

    Are there affiliate here that use data feeds, but will only use them by FTP and not by manually downloading the file?

  2. #2
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    I need FTP as I run a script once a day to auto download any newly uploaded feeds.

    Sorry, but I am not going to spend my time searching for newly uploaded feeds on a daily basis when the whole process can be automated.

    I fully understand that your feed would only be updated once every six months or so, but what about the other 100+ merchants that do the same. Thats almost a 3rd of the year spend checking, downloading, importing etc. when it now happens for me when I sleep.

  3. #3
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    I use both FTP and manual downloads of datafeeds. The manual process is cumbersome and slow; the FTP process can easily be automated.

    Unfortunately, FTP access is restricted, because ShareASale (Brian) believes that merchants should not indiscriminantly grant access to FTP datafeeds -- even though FTP provides no access to data that isn't already available to affiliates who manually download the feed.

    In short, I think Brian's thinking on this is "completely wrong" and that the issue is "granting datafeed access," not "granting FTP access to the datafeed." If "granting datafeed access" were actually the real issue, then manual access to datafeeds shouldn't be automatic for all affiliates!

    I also think the $1 fee charged to merchants for each affiliate granted FTP access was annoying and somewhat disturbing since SAS is otherwise not a network that "nickels and dimes" its customers as the other networks do.

    There is a risk with ANY form of datafeed access that your competitors will have access to your pricing and product data -- and certainly FTP access would make it easier for a competitor to create an automated "price matching" script for their site -- but any competitor willing to take this step would be willing to allocate a staff person to manually download your updated datafeeds if FTP access isn't enabled.

    There is a risk with EITHER form of datafeed access that affiliates will post data and not update it (thus there would be "stale" price and product data posted on sites). Providing FTP access allows easier updating via scripts, but since it also allows faster and easier downloading of datafeeds it would probably lead many more sites to use it, and more sites represent a somewhat greater risk of "stale" price and product data being out there.

    The main risk of denying FTP access to datafeeds is that some affiliates who rely on scripts to update their sites will simply exclude merchants who otherwise would have been included.

    Finally, it's important to recognize that SAS isn't the only place where a merchant's SAS datafeed can be posted. A number of affiliate managers and OPMs provide other ways to access customized versions of their SAS datafeeds, and of course many merchants allow "access" through GoldenCan and/or PopShops.

  4. #4
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    FTP all the way. I would much rather have a script log in to the server to see if the feed is updated than for me to have to do it manually. If you want to work with me, then I need FTP access.

    Michael

  5. #5
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paladin
    In Share A Sale there are 2 options for you as the affiliate to get the merchant's product data feed:
    1. Manually download it by logging into your SAS account
    2. By FTP.

    I understand the need for the FTP option for merchants that update their feed several times per month. But what about merchants that only update the feed a few times per year? Do you really need the FTP access, or is the browser based download enough?

    Are there affiliate here that use data feeds, but will only use them by FTP and not by manually downloading the file?
    Even if they update their feed only once in a blue moon, once you get use to getting their data feed by FTP using your scripts, you may never want to get it manually the other way.

    Also, even on DSL, there are some BIG datafeeds that you will not want to waste a lot of time downloading it to your HD to work on it, and then have to waste a lot of time again uploading it to your site.

  6. #6
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    I like data feeds and I was just thinking about how I need a php script to download them to my server directly...

    And now you are taking about taking that away. It doesn't make sense. Anything that makes us more productive is good for the merchant too.

  7. #7
    Outsourced Program Manager paladin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostdeviant
    And now you are taking about taking that away
    Don't worry, I'm not taking anything away.

    I started this post after uploading the data feed for The Jerusalem Export House and I did enable it for those who requested. Thanks for all your answers, it was pretty much what I thought.

    The reason I asked is that Share-A-Sale charges the merchant for each affiliate that has access to the data feed. While they do not charge a lot, for a merchant with many affiliates this may need to be thought out and possibly budgeted before blindly granting it to everyone.

  8. #8
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    I think if you are approved for a program you should get the feed via ftp. The $1 charge is simply ridiculous and is just making SAS look more like CJ and Linkshare to merchants. The reason I started with SAS is because of the ease to obtain datafeeds vrs CJ and Linkshare. I downloaded a few feeds via manual backend downloading but I'm not including them in my site unless I can ftp.

    Also can you please require merchants to specify only 1 unique product id and 1 unique product name per feed. This screws up my importing and I have noticed it in other places around the forum also.

    Just my $.02

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