lgn1 - 6:40 pm on Apr 19, 2011 (gmt 0)
And they drop ship for you ..you have zero upfront financial "risk" other than building an aff site.
I have salaries to pay, legal, accounting, phone, lease, etc. I would hardly call this as zero upfront financial risk.
I see afflilates as coffee table operations playing the adwords arbitrage game to make a little extra income.
We went from the traditional model, to the pseudo-affiliate model out of efficiency.
Why ship the product to us, so we can turn around and ship it to the customer, likewise for returns and exchanges. Shorten the supply chain and the customer gets the products faster, and its better for the environment.
Likewise, by integrating with the manufactuers website we can take advantage of real time stock updates and quick elimination of discontinued items; and integrated shipping management and logistics. By doing this we have created a better experience for the customer. They get their order faster, cheaper and with less chance of errors.
I don't think its fair to list the two different modesl as being affiliate. With our model, it is more of a partnership.