8
Dec

Providing Value To Your Customers

Cj vs AzoogleAs an affiliate marketer you probably want to think about more than just making money. I know reading all the top blogs where the writers make boat loads of cash every month make us all think how great it would be to get $100K checks from Google, Azoogle or any other Oogle. Sure that would be great, but I want to provide value in the products I represent.

Eric from $1000 Affiliate Experiment posted a good comment asking why I generate the biggest portion of my affiliate earnings through Commission Junction rather that the big CPA networks such as Azoogle and others. The number one reason I do that is because the eBay affiliate program is run through CJ and I don’t have any other choice. I’m pretty confident that earnings from being an eBay affiliate will one day surpass those of Google Adsense so I’m stuck with CJ. The next reason is that many of the offers run through the large CPA networks are not a good value for the consumer. In fact, they are out and out scams.

Sure you can make lots of money with these offers because they pay so well. You can earn $25 to $50 or more selling someone an eBay start up kit or some sort of weight loss or skin care product, but there’s such a huge cost to the consumer and deceptive marketing practices to boot, that I’m just not going to market these products. It is important to read the terms of service on the landing pages to see how these deals really work.

Let’s take a look at how one of these supposed Make Money With eBay kits works. A popular eBay tool kit that I see advertised all over the place encourages you to learn the secrets of eBay for free. Now, even initially these products aren’t free because you have to pay an up front fee of $4.95 or so to cover the cost of shipping. The $4.95 cost isn’t that big of a deal, but now the merchant has your credit card number, and you just paid them $4.95 to take it from you. That’s what’s really going on here.

What many people don’t do is read the terms of service for these offers and it’s usually hard to do because the link is in 6 pixel type located at or near the bottom of the page. These supposed free offers are not free at all. The pitch page may say that this is a free offer and it is free, for 14 days and 14 days only. On day 15 if you haven’t canceled the free offer, your credit card (remember you just paid them $4.95 to take it from you) is automatically billed for $29 to $59 per month. I have read in many forums and on various web pages that some of the companies that sell this stuff make it nearly impossible to cancel the free offer and they get at least one month’s worth of charges out of you before you figure out how to cancel.

Besides, you don’t need to spend $59 per month to learn how to be successful on eBay (this particular offer does come with a website and access to wholesale merchandise, but many of these products are overpriced). There are plenty of tools right on eBay that will help you figure out anything you need to know. You can also get an real eBay store for $15 to $49 per month (eBay does have a $299 per month store for top sellers), so why would you pay $59 a month for something not associated with eBay? At the basic level you can go to Barnes & Noble and get a good book telling you all sorts of eBay secrets for a one time cost of $25.

Many of the free skin care offers work exactly the same way. You get a free 14 day supply and then if you don’t cancel on or before day 14 you get billed for a monthly supply of skin enhancing goop. Many unsuspecting consumers never read the terms of service for these offers then don’t look at their credit card statement all that closely and 2 or three months down the road they finally figure out they’re being ripped off.

I refuse to participate in scams such as this because there are plenty of other ways to make money. Azoogle offers many other things that provide a good value to the customer and provides customer acquisition for the merchants. Those are the kind of transactions I want to participate in. The customer gets a good product, a business has just landed a new customer, you help make the connection and earn a nice commission for doing so.

Some of the offers I’ve participated in are free business cards, Blockbuster and Netflix video rentals by mail, generating leads for business opportunities, some one time, small fee ringtone offers, mortgage leads, Christmas ornaments and others. All these are one time customer acquiring type deals that cost the consumer very little and are very up front about how much you really have to pay. You have to look for them, but they are there.

Of course CJ doesn’t promote most of these kinds of offers so that’s one of the reasons I like doing business through them. If I can’t provide a win, win situation for a consumer and myself, I personally don’t feel good about making money.

That’s just the way I’m going to do business.

Alan

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One Response to “Providing Value To Your Customers”

  1. Great writeup. And thanks for the reply about Ebay commissions in the comments of your other post. I’m going to look more into setting something up with my Ebay affiliate account.

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