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Doing too good gets me punished



7:03 pm on May 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I've been an affiliate with an auction/sales site for about 8 years now and the last 2 months were fantastic because they changed to a rev-share. So now they canceled the rev-share offer on our account and put us back on a per lead plan that doesn't work out at all for us.

After emailing back and forth they finally agreed to put us back on the rev-share but without any resellers.

Do you think that is right? It isn't like the reseller is getting the item cheaper.

[edited by: eljefe3 at 1:33 am (utc) on May 5, 2007]


9:57 pm on May 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Did they warn you before hand that they were going to cancel the rev-share deal, or did they just stop it right away without warning? If you've been a good affiliate of theirs for 8 years, I'd personally be a little upset. Let them know that what they did was not acceptable and that in future to warn you before they make any drastic changes. Threaten them that you could promote a similar affiliate program elsewhere, that'll get their attention :)


10:27 pm on May 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

They gave me a few days warning where the rev-share was going to expire on April 31st and I had to accept their new registration offer. The problem is that one of their top resellers happens to be one of my sites long time customers and they aren't willing to rev-share on that reseller. We're talking $10,000 per month in commission mainly from that one customer.

I still don't see why it would matter to them who it was. It just sounds like they don't want to pay out that kind of money.

I don't see anything on their affiliate page or in their agreement that excludes resellers.


3:15 pm on May 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Well the results are in with them excluding the resellers.

May 4th - My Commission: $19.04 - Denied: $588.40
May 5th - My Commission: $40.60 - Denied: $354.62
May 6th - My Commission: $74.60 - Denied: $292.52
May 7th - My Commission: $35.84 - Denied: $314.68
May 8th - My Commission: $176.32 - Denied: $786.28

So in 5 days I made: $346.40 instead of $2,682.90

It is true that before they changed to a rev-share I would make about $30 per month from them and so making $350 in 5 days is so much better.

So I'm wondering if I should just let it go and be happy with the increase or raise a stink about it? I'm thinking if I raise a stink then they just might take away the rev-share again.

What would you do?


6:59 pm on May 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Well I decided to email them:

So now that a few days have gone by and I'm seeing most of the sales being corrected.
Please let me know.


And minutes later I get back:

I understand where you are coming from in terms of commissions, but he is clearly, and we have spoken with him, a reseller.

Now what do you think?

[edited by: eljefe3 at 1:01 am (utc) on May 23, 2007]
[edit reason] email quote paraphrased [/edit]


4:09 pm on May 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I think they just added the last point to their affiliate FAQ page:


Q. Are there any restrictions?
A. We'd like everyone to promote ____. However, there are cases where we cannot allow certain sites to participate in our Affiliate Program. We will evaluate your application in good faith and will notify you of your acceptance or rejection. We may reject your application if we determine, at our sole discretion, that your site is unsuitable for the Program. Unsuitable sites include those that:

- Promote sexually explicit materials
- Promote violence
- Promote illegal activities
- Promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age
- Include "_____" or variations or misspellings thereof in their domain names
- Are oriented towards audiences outside of the United States
- Otherwise violate intellectual property rights
- Target resellers and/or otherwise have resellers constitute a significant portion of their sales

Why would they care if the buyer was a reseller? I would think that the more sales we push their way the better.

Maybe what I need to do is put code on my site to disallow these "resellers" from using my site and then see how they like it?

On their main affiliate page they say:

Our program consists of revenue tiers designed to keep our affiliates making top dollar in the industry, while still offering the 100,000ís of products that keep ___ customers coming back.

So they want people coming back but just don't use our site to do it and please don't be a reseller. I don't understand. All I see is that they have denied $5000 in commissions so far from May 1st through the 13th.

Maybe I should just be happy with $800 per month? That is still about $770 more than I used to make with their old affiliate program.


6:20 am on May 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

There's no way they're just going to start paying you $10,000-$15,000 a month after previously paying you $30 a month. The affiliate program is an incentive for bringing in NEW customers.

Even if resellers were allowed, I would assume that pre-existing customers would somehow be grandfathered in when they changed their program, so that they don't trigger a new obligation to pay exorbinant commissions forever.

I sympathize with your situation, but looking at it from the merchant's point of view, the problem really is that they're now showing 95% of your earnings as "denied". How can they expect affiliates not so see that as a slap in the face? The reporting should have been set up from day one to show eligible earnings only.


3:28 pm on Jun 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Well they were the ones that changed their commission structure to a 4% rev share. I think that many of us design web sites that attract repeat customers. For example I have a site that makes buying on eBay easier as I'm sure many people here have also. Well just think if eBay did the same thing and denied their current users when they switched their commission structure a couple of years ago and only made it for new users. Now they are giving up to 75% of their take as commission. I also think that eBay is pleased to have repeat buyers or else they wouldn't have their affiliate tools so we could make all those wonderful sites.

Does anyone else here think that companies should be able to grandfather current users from their affiliate programs?


3:12 am on Jun 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Absolutely not.

If they are now offering 4% revshare, then that's what they should be giving you. Just because you have a valuable repeat customer doesn't mean your commisions should be any different than any other affiliates. In fact, you SHOULD be rewarded for sending them these repeat sales.

I feel angry just thinking about it! Personally, I would insist they play fair or else lose an affiliate.


3:37 am on Jun 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I agree that you should take your business elsewhere, if you have another similar merchant you can go with try them out. Or you could switch between the two merchants by changing links at random on your site then you will not loose a full months revenue if the new merchant does not perform well


9:10 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

There is a more general problem here.
It is that each of us is small and weak against the merchants.
They are pushing us around.
This problem is growing.
We need a way to collectively act and apply pressure.


3:34 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

My May totals were finalized and they allowed $674 in commissions and denied $12,029. I'm thinking of blocking these resellers IP from using my site. Do you think that is the right solution?

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