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I'm a merchant and we've our own affiliate program using idevdirect as our software. It has been okay, but i'm not completely happy with it. Therefore I was thinking of joining a network. Not just for the volume issues, but for practical issues such as payments, tracking, etc.
I have tried looking around at different sites for pricing information. Some of them I have found out, such as shareasale.com charge 20% of the affiliates payout. However, I had a look on cj.com and myap.com and they were reluctant to give out the information. When i have searched on Google for 'affiliate networks comparisons' etc, etc, all i get is poor sites loaded with affiliate links. No real information.
So I was hoping some of the good folk on here would have some information on setup/charges for the major networks. I'm just looking for non biased pricing info.
Key point: CJ and LS will charge you $2,500 to $5,000 setup plus large monthly minimum fees. ShareASale's setup fee is only $250 and their monthly minimum is $25 or $50 (check their site).
As you note, SAS charges a fee equal to 20% of the amount paid to affiliates; the other networks also have a similar fee structure, though the percentages do vary.
MyAP/Kowabunga used to be inexpensive, but 12-18 months ago they imposed HUGE increases in fees for new customers.
joined:Jan 8, 2003
In general, the ones that charge big set up costs do so to keep small merchants away, and because they have the best affiliates.
Linkshare: Minimum Monthly Fee = $2000.00. That alone will keep out most merchants. According to them, they already quoted me the least as they charge other merchants $10,000/month and up. I guess with this fee, they may provide some marketing (but I can't confirm that). I calculated that my first year's expenses would be about $35,000 (including their setups, monthly minimum fees, escrow, etc). I was actually seriously considering them but finally decided not because they also require exclusivity which is a deal breaker.
CJ.com = cheaper, but still will set you back about $2250 setup, plus $3000 deposit. Minimum monthly is $300 (last they quoted me). It will cost more if you do not want to give them exclusivity.
Clickbank = very cheap ($50 setup), mostly digital products. Unless you're selling simple 1 product or 2 products, i recommend other networks with more serious software power.
[edited by: eljefe3 at 3:37 am (utc) on Jan. 9, 2007]
As I suspected, some of them are very expensive and way more than I would be prepared to pay. For the time being I think i'll just stick with the software I have. I still want something better in the long term, so I'll keep looking for alternatives.
I was actually seriously considering them but finally decided not because they also require exclusivity which is a deal breaker.
Are you sure that might not be negotiable? Maybe not so much for smaller merchants, but at least for the larger ones?
The reason I ask is because I have seen some LinkShare merchants on other systems as well. Mind you, not small merchants--these are big names.