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Merchants cheating affiliates?

Discussion in 'Affiliate Programs' started by trioreal, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. trioreal

    trioreal Regular Member

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    I came across merchants which were implementing checkout processes wrongly, which resulted in transactions over cerain payment types not tracking for affiliates completely.

    I came across merchants working with popups on the checkout page, trying to offer prospects special offers and sending them to different carts where no tracking happens.

    I came across merchants putting "order-now-by-phone" phone-numbers on the thank-you page, driving away leads to a channel where to tracking happens.

    I wonder how you deal with those issues. And what can be done if merchants are hesitant to change that?
     
  2. 195471

    195471 Regular Member

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    In my opinion, the only solution to these problems is to become a merchant yourself and sell your own products so that you have total control over the sales process. A lot of affiliates eventually make this transition. Affiliate marketing is great for people who are just learning how to do Internet marketing, but once you get the hang of it and you've been doing it for long enough to become keenly aware of the cheating behaviors that you mentioned, then I can almost guarantee that you'll start seeking alternative revenue models.

    Having said that, if you're really wanting to stick with affiliate marketing, then you can spread your risk by having multiple affiliate accounts with the same merchant. This is often done in CPA marketing to reduce shaving. Not only could you promote the same offers through accounts at multiple CPA networks, you can also have multiple accounts at the same CPA network. This helps in situations where the merchant starts shaving you after you reach a certain conversion rate. Some merchants will actually "flag" your account ID and permanently shave you a certain amount from that point forward, so no matter how much traffic you send them, you'll find that you won't be able to clear a certain dollar amount in commissions each month.
     
  3. trioreal

    trioreal Regular Member

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    Agree, it's smart to think about creating the product yourself and making the move to the merchant, but this only works easily if you're promoting an informational product. It's not a piece of cake to replicate a physically shipping product or a product with a high level of expertise behind it. It would cost 10s of Thousands or millions to develop the same kind. The only way around in this case would be to team up with the merchants competition, even though their paid share might be lower.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  4. 195471

    195471 Regular Member

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    That's true about physical products. In addition to information products, though, the other type of product that can be created and distributed fairly easily is software, depending on how complicated its functionality is. There's also the "Software as a Service" (SaaS) model, where you can provide a hosted solution and charge a monthly fee for it.