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  1. #1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    I assume that Shareasale and AvantLink had already denied them.
    Could anyone from these networks confirm this?.

    After seeing the success of RMN, I have been thinking of launching a community posted coupon codes site and of course there are clearly issues as evident from this thread.

    Can someone put guidelines as to how a community posted coupon site should run and stay within the limits of the network policies and proper use of rights as free information/speech/press/expression?

    Will a site like RMN be completely okay if they do not use AFFILIATE LINKs and use Adsense or other ads to make revenues?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador newestuser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtagdeals
    Can someone put guidelines as to how a community posted coupon site should run and stay within the limits of the network policies and proper use of rights as free information/speech/press/expression?
    1. Make all coupons require approval and check them.
    2. make sure you expire old coupons
    3. If you're gonna make money like RMN does, then run it like a company, not like a bunch of bandits.

    #3 is what pisses me off most about that. I know they must be making hundreds of thousands $ each month, and yet, they run that place like a bunch of criminals, by making money off stolen content.

  3. #3
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtagdeals
    Can someone put guidelines as to how a community posted coupon site should run and stay within the limits of the network policies and proper use of rights as free information/speech/press/expression?

    Will a site like RMN be completely okay if they do not use AFFILIATE LINKs and use Adsense or other ads to make revenues?
    A simple rule of thumb would be that an unauthorized coupon is basically.... unauthorized. It's not a matter of free information/speech/press/expression. Community members can post pretty much anything they want within the sites guidelines, however, because there is a TOS involved that the site owner has agreed to with the merchant, they have the responsibility of policing the user submitted content. If they agreed through the TOS not to post unauthorized content by signing up with that merchant they must respect that agreement.

    If the site uses only Adsense to monetize I don't see an issue since there is no TOS with the merchant involved unless the merchant can make a case for copyright infringement.

    -rematt
    "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

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by newestuser
    1. Make all coupons require approval and check them.
    I like that ..basically have people monitor and approve the coupon codes (anyones involving known exclusive codes should be rejected)

    Quote Originally Posted by newestuser
    2. make sure you expire old coupons
    Community Voting to some extent takes care .. When a coupon receives a certain number of -ve votes or has known expiry date, re-verify the coupon and expire it.


    Quote Originally Posted by newestuser
    3. If you're gonna make money like RMN does, then run it like a company, not like a bunch of bandits.

    #3 is what pisses me off most about that. I know they must be making hundreds of thousands $ each month, and yet, they run that place like a bunch of criminals, by making money off stolen content.

    I agree .. Implementing simple changes like 1) and 2) and be out of the woods with merchants and fellow affiliates makes sense to me.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    ... because there is a TOS involved that the site owner has agreed to with the merchant, ...
    -rematt
    Merchants can terminate the relation with offending affiliates .. That is what some here like Chuck are doing .. But a large number of merchants do not have a term stating that the affiliates are barred from posting coupons that are not given to them!. Exclusive coupon codes granted to fellow affiliates should be respected, however by everyone IMO regardless.

  6. #6
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    Any other ideas on how to run a community posted coupon site without conflicts with other affiliates, merchants, networks ...
    Any input will be appreciated ...

  7. #7
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Admin Note: Thread split off the Retailmenot thread in the unethical affialites sub forum

  8. #8
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtagdeals
    .. But a large number of merchants do not have a term stating that the affiliates are barred from posting coupons that are not given to them!. Exclusive coupon codes granted to fellow affiliates should be respected, however by everyone IMO regardless.
    I agree 100%. I think that some merchants don't really care or don't understand the implications. A click is a click. Unfortunately we can't count on the ethics of all affiliates either. There is no doubt in my mind that they know what they are doing is unethical, they just decided that revenue was more important than integrity. I'm also sure that they have dozens of ways to justify their methods (at least in their minds).

    As long as there is a way to game the system there will be someone willing to play the game. Eventually there will be more merchants willing to set and enforce rules that make it fair for all.

    -rematt
    "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

  9. #9
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    If a merchant allows unauthorized coupons, I think you're in the clear. I do think it's that simple.

    If you're going to build a site like this, I'd say making your only two choices (for merchants) to be:
    ~~~~~~~~
    (1) allow us to post anything
    -or-
    (2) if not, we leverage your domain name and trademark to screw you
    ~~~~~~~~
    is a bad mistake. Surely you're capable of doing more for your community and respecting the partnership with your merchants.

    And, I think merchants that allow unauthorized coupons are idiotic. It's so simple to issue a community like this a custom coupon code and to ask that no unauthorized coupons be posted - the community members are looking for secret-feeling deals, not looking to cheat merchants or wreck their channel segmentation. Give them a secret-feeling exclusive code or coupon. If the community insists that anything can be posted, and that aff manager allows it, it says volumes about that "manager".

  10. #10
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I don't have a problem with a coupon affiliate having a public forum where coupon codes can be placed but not actionable. The affiliate can place their coupons, links, etc. in their section of the site. The public in theirs. I don't see a problem with the public section selling advertising or using AdSense.

    The problem is having exclusive coupons and making them actionable so you can get the commission. Large couponers have earned the respect of the merchant and are rewarded with the exclusive coupon. It maddens me when I see those scrapped and I am going to protect the relationship with the original affiliate much to the detriment of the scraper.

  11. #11
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    One nice solution to this problem is for merchants to create truly exclusive coupons, which always credit to the affiliate that they were created for. I have several merchants who do this, and I give them considerably more exposure as a result. Plus, I don't care as much when they get posted in forums or are scraped or stolen by less ethical coupon sites because I know I still get the credit for it.
    Michael Coley
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     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  12. #12
    Member KPR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    One nice solution to this problem is for merchants to create truly exclusive coupons, which always credit to the affiliate that they were created for. I have several merchants who do this, and I give them considerably more exposure as a result. Plus, I don't care as much when they get posted in forums or are scraped or stolen by less ethical coupon sites because I know I still get the credit for it.
    On a side note how come i can't find your site in google at all?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    I don't have a problem with a coupon affiliate having a public forum where coupon codes can be placed but not actionable. The affiliate can place their coupons, links, etc. in their section of the site. The public in theirs. I don't see a problem with the public section selling advertising or using AdSense.

    The problem is having exclusive coupons and making them actionable so you can get the commission. Large couponers have earned the respect of the merchant and are rewarded with the exclusive coupon. It maddens me when I see those scrapped and I am going to protect the relationship with the original affiliate much to the detriment of the scraper.
    Chuck, I understand your comments.
    If I run a community posted coupon site
    a) Quick verification of codes by people will be there (within an hour or two round the clock)
    b) Removal of known expired coupons will be a process
    c) Quick response to fellow affiliates and merchant requests will be in place
    d) No EXCLUSIVE codes (known by the site name like FLAMINGO or CABIN or REDTAG etc. will be posted ..

    Any others to add to the list?

  14. #14
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    Bump ..

    I assume that is all the feedback ...
    If you have any feedback that adds to the above points, feel free to suggest here. Thanks

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    If you are going to host a forum, monitor it for affiliate violations such as unauthorized affiliate coupon codes. Remember that the forum is as much part of your site as your homepage.

  16. #16
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    There is a difference between publicly posted coupon codes that do not contain affiliate links and affiliate scrapped coupon codes that do. This is a subject for debate as it effects any public forum that allows the posting of coupon codes.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by newestuser
    1. Make all coupons require approval and check them.
    2. make sure you expire old coupons
    3. If you're gonna make money like RMN does, then run it like a company, not like a bunch of bandits.

    #3 is what pisses me off most about that. I know they must be making hundreds of thousands $ each month, and yet, they run that place like a bunch of criminals, by making money off stolen content.
    Where are they making money off stolen content???? thats quite the accusation

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    How about posting exclusive coupons that were not issued to them? I consider that stolen property.

  19. #19
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    Pls review the community posted coupon site http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?p=832914 and win a $50 Amazon Gift Card

  20. #20
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    This post and that site...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by chetf
    This post and that site...
    Yes .. It took a little longer than I expected to get that site launched after my December post ..

    It is still in BETA for a month or more with an anticipated launch of June 30th

  22. #22
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    Uhh.. no... trolling a month old posts to promote a new site by you that you are asking people to test it while you do great things like list coupon merchants, who have no coupons... good stuff. Welcome back to your first posts here.

  23. #23
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    Chet - If you have comments / feedback on the site, post in that thread.
    My reference to that new thread (and vice versa) is only because they are related and nothing more (although you can imagine whatever sh*t you want)

  24. #24
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    redtag,

    Chet isn't imagining anything, he's just the first to say it.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  25. #25
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    Haiko - Feel free to remove my posts today in this thread. If you also don't like my other thread asking for review, please remove the same. Regret any inconvenience this caused to anyone here.

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