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  1. #1
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    Poor quality merchants. What to do?
    I noticed that there is a merhcant with the name "ES Enterprises" in the new merchant list. This account belongs to an individual which uses pageswirl.com to redirect his affiliate link to another site which he doesn't own. My question is:
    1- how is it possible to open a merhcant account for a site which doesn't belongs to you and why do SAS gives permission to such accounts?
    2- Because this affiliate will NEVER care about the reputation of the promoted site, what will happen if he reverses all of the sales generated through his affiliate link in time... Won't it hurt both the promoted site's and shareasale's name and reputation?

    What do you think about individuals which are oppening merhcant accounts for the sites which they don't own just to earn money for their affiliate links?

  2. #2
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
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  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    Hmm
    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.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  5. #5
    Newbie Rolet's Avatar
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    anyone....anyone......anyone.........

    my gut reaction to this is that it is completely disastrous , if in fact everything you have stated is 100% accurate...... (not saying it isn't) but I know SAS to be completely respectable and fair to the merchants and affiliates alike.....I will be watching this thread........



  6. #6
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    That one is really ridiculous. I hope they didn't let that in looking like that.

    There are other programs where it looks like an affiliate and the url has their affil id at the end. Goes back to what I've been saying for quite some time now. Set the bar higher, only let actual merchants in. Not this crap.

  7. #7
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Are you all referring to the links in the merchant description? Or are the links inside, once you join their program, redirected aff links?

    If it's the first case, it's possible they hired / contracted someone to recruit for them, including recruiting affiliates and running their affiliate program and this is all legit use of tracking links.

    That said, what this merchant offers is junk in my opinion and since they're not on autodeposit, they don't deserve the time I've given them here already.

  8. #8
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    Donuts what everybody sees if you check under New Merchants.

    And junk like that shouldn't be let in.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    Are you all referring to the links in the merchant description? Or are the links inside, once you join their program, redirected aff links?

    If it's the first case, it's possible they hired / contracted someone to recruit for them, including recruiting affiliates and running their affiliate program and this is all legit use of tracking links.

    That said, what this merchant offers is junk in my opinion and since they're not on autodeposit, they don't deserve the time I've given them here already.

    Donuts, it'a redirect link using a free service called "pageswirl", than it is rotated to another site with an affiliate id: 46394 or 48264.

    Of course, we will stay away from this merchant (or should I say affiliate?) but I am sure a lot of people have already applied to promote it.

    If this is allowed, I should get a CitiFinancial affiliate link from CJ and start to promote it as I am the owner, but what will happen in case of a problem?

    The main problem here is that, "if" the owner of this merchant account is really just an affiliate, he will not care about any problem. Domain doesn't belong to him, business doesn't belong to him so he should run away in case of a problem

    hmm, may be SAS should only accept merchants with an email address that belongs to the merchant site. I don't know...

  10. #10
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    This is just another cheesy "get rich quick" scheme.

  11. #11
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    Set the bar higher, only let actual merchants in. Not this crap.
    Bravo Trust -- no one could have said it more clearly.

    .

  12. #12
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    This has been my #1 complaint w/ Shareasale and honestly, why should it even happen?
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea
    This is just another cheesy "get rich quick" scheme.
    And the merchant is just another cheesy "let's scam some affiliates" by promoting another cheesy "get rich quick" scheme.... double

  14. #14
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    SAS has an advertisement on the front of its page that says, "We are dedicated to our merchants and affiliates. quality, reliable tracking and lowcosts all around." Quality? They missed the boat this time on their promise.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  15. #15
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Mybest, you missed my point - I don' deny this merchant is low quality (and for me, to be avoided), but that a tracking link on their details page isn't the reason why. It's the nature of the merchant and what they offer that kills it for me, and SAS is not alone in having merchants that I judge to be completely and utterly unworthy (see EBates at CJ, ShopAtHome at LinkShare). I personally think that the EBates affiliate program at CJ is offensive (as are many other BHO / Adwares ones there), while this new merchant at SAS is just junk, easily avoided junk. I can avoid EBates at CJ as well, but a network promoting / approving / allowing BHO poppers isn't on the same plane as allowing measly, tiny junkers. If we are to demand standards from networks for permissible merchants, I think SAS is the last one we should be barking at.

  16. #16
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    There are many threads in which I and others pointed on the "merchant" quality issues in SaS. It was even discussed at Think Tank briefly and it is my understanding that SaS leaves the merchant quality to be checked by affiliates before joining. There are many "affiliate" sites disguised as merchants in SaS and I wish SaS takes more proactive stand and enforces "merchant" quality in the interest of overall "network quality".

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    Mybest, you missed my point - I don' deny this merchant is low quality (and for me, to be avoided), but that a tracking link on their details page isn't the reason why. It's the nature of the merchant and what they offer that kills it for me, and SAS is not alone in having merchants that I judge to be completely and utterly unworthy (see EBates at CJ, ShopAtHome at LinkShare). I personally think that the EBates affiliate program at CJ is offensive (as are many other BHO / Adwares ones there), while this new merchant at SAS is just junk, easily avoided junk. I can avoid EBates at CJ as well, but a network promoting / approving / allowing BHO poppers isn't on the same plane as allowing measly, tiny junkers. If we are to demand standards from networks for permissible merchants, I think SAS is the last one we should be barking at.
    Donuts, if you ran a network, would you let the merchant (I actually don't consider this a merchant) we're actually talking about, in? Just because somebody comes knocking, doesn't mean you let them in.

  18. #18
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    For Donuts - smashing CJ and are other networks to sidetrack the issue at hand is a given. I have seen him doing multiple times.

    Donuts - just so you know, we work with SaS and love what SaS does.

    Stay focused on the issue than sidetracking by comparing or trashing other networks to conclude the issue discussed is a "non-issue" and "don't bark" ...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    Mybest, you missed my point - I don' deny this merchant is low quality (and for me, to be avoided), but that a tracking link on their details page isn't the reason why. It's the nature of the merchant and what they offer that kills it for me, and SAS is not alone in having merchants that I judge to be completely and utterly unworthy (see EBates at CJ, ShopAtHome at LinkShare). I personally think that the EBates affiliate program at CJ is offensive (as are many other BHO / Adwares ones there), while this new merchant at SAS is just junk, easily avoided junk. I can avoid EBates at CJ as well, but a network promoting / approving / allowing BHO poppers isn't on the same plane as allowing measly, tiny junkers. If we are to demand standards from networks for permissible merchants, I think SAS is the last one we should be barking at.
    I understand and respect your concern.

    But in my point of view, instead of trying to find what is offensive for me(relative), I am trying to concentrate things which are 100% scam, fraud etc.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtagdeals
    There are many threads in which I and others pointed on the "merchant" quality issues in SaS. It was even discussed at Think Tank briefly and it is my understanding that SaS leaves the merchant quality to be checked by affiliates before joining. There are many "affiliate" sites disguised as merchants in SaS and I wish SaS takes more proactive stand and enforces "merchant" quality in the interest of overall "network quality".
    Yes, you are right. This is exactly the policy of SAS.

    Sometimes this is ok, because a "bad" merchant for you can be "good" for me, and being a bad affiliate for you doesn't mean that the affiliate is bad for all merchants. (these are just examples)

    But I agree with you that to increase overall quality, "merchants" should be "merchants". It must be the real owner or at least someone who is working for the business officially. Merchant should take full responsibility of his/her account. A verification should be done easily by the merchant site's email address. Or may be someone else have better ideas...

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador JudiMoore's Avatar
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    Just because somebody comes knocking, doesn't mean you let them in.
    I like this because what I was trying to figure out how to say was similar:

    Just because a network is responsive and opens the door for feedback, doesn't mean you get to run the network.

    If there's a complaint about the quality of a merchant, and it sounds like there is, do 2 things - avoid the merchant, and say something here. But we don't have to start trying to establish business policy for anyone except our own sites.

    Brian is tuned into this forum. He sees the post, he checks the merchant and makes a decision. That's his responsibility. For all we know, the decision to let that merchant in was made by an employee. We all want SAS to grow, but we have to realize that with growth comes hiring on people who have to learn the same judgement and standards of the boss. That takes time.

    I'm all for posting observations about merchants. But I'm personally against bashing business decisions made by others when they don't affect us. We should be researching our own business partners.

    Some of us owe some of our success to Brian's philosophy that everyone, big and small, should have a chance to succeed.

  22. #22
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    Right and do you think anybody putting that "merchant" up is going to succeed? Or will it just be another $0 EPC merchant. Most experienced affiliates aren't going to touch this "merchant" but there are a lot of newbies that will. And when they have a bad experience, they're going to remember it. So Brian is in charge and can make these decisions on who gets in. What's the point with this one? What's the point of the Perfume merchant that's been posted about before when it's nothing but an email sign up and affiliate links? Yes, affiliates don't run the network but networks should listen to their input. Seriously, tell me who this "merchant" is good for? Where is the bar? If you really do like SAS you should have high expectations for them too. And that includes screening out stuff like this.

    Just an example of what I'm talking about, this perfume merchant is nothing but affiliate links and an email sign up:

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...hlight=perfume

    And if you read that thread, you can see somebody just starting out, just learning, putting links up. Doesn't need to happen. SAS does have a lot of good merchants, I just like to see the crap ones gone or at least stop letting them in.
    Last edited by Trust; November 30th, 2007 at 01:36 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    And that includes screening out stuff like this.
    Yes, "merchant quality" should be part of "network quality". Hope Brian is looking into this aspect of "network quality"

  24. #24
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    I think this is absolutely our business as to what criteria Brian uses to approve merchants. It's Brian's business whether he listens to us or not. (That's the peril of giving advice, donchaknow.) Many of us who partner with SAS feel we have a vested interest in its success and have felt that way since its inception. This is partly because we think Brian is a great guy and partly because SAS has such high standards for allowing affiliates into its program.

    I have on many occasions recommended SAS to merchants who complained to me about MYAP or CJ or some other network. And when I have recommended SAS I've worried that the merchant might look at the stable of merchants in SAS and not want to be associated with a network that allows such poor quality merchants in. No high quality merchant wants to risk being associated with a lot of junk. And Brian, sorry to say, there's a lot of junk on SAS. I worry that might keep some better quality merchants out and that happens at the expense of not only SAS but also the affiliates.

    Brian, it's your deal, it's your business, but I'm concerned that the low bar you set for merchant admission to SAS is keeping the more professional, better converting and better branded merchants away.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoore61103
    We all want SAS to grow
    Yes, we all want SAS to grow and we all love SAS. That's why we care about the problems.

    We don't want (at least I don't want) Brian to change his policy about giving everyone a chance to succeed.

    "Change" is not the target. "Improvement" is the target.

    If we don't post our opinions, how should we expect Brian to realize mistakes made by his staff and educate them about his standards and ethics.

    "Brian is tuned into this forum. He sees the post, he checks the merchant and makes a decision."
    That's why we must report things which we think can affect SAS' reputation. Brian is one of the few network owners who cares about us. That's why everyone likes him and appreciate his efforts to run such a good network.

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