…You spend days writing content, editing pictures and uploading to your site only to receive an e-mail not 5 mins after finishing to say that the merchant is closing their affiliate programme!?! /Screams!

With Christmas ordering in full swing we decided to add some new content to our Luxury Hamper website.  The site went live just before Christmas last year, selling an excellent range of hampers over the festive period.  We therefore were looking to add some different types of luxury hampers for Christmas 2010 and so decided to look for some fish based hampers, who doesn’t like kippers in winter?!

With fish hampers up to a whopping £2500 these are definitely top quality products which fit with our luxurious aims!  Unfortunately as mentioned we received an e-mail from the affiliate network to advise that the programme would be closing down with effect from the 4th November 2010…boo!

Out of the e-mail came two questions:

1) Is the merchant just moving to another network?

2) Who else supplies what we are looking for?

To tackle number 1 I quickly jumped on to the merchants website in pursuit of a contact e-mail address.  I dispatched an e-mail enquiring whether this was the end of their affiliate channel altogether or whether they were just moving to another network.

Unfortunately the reply that came back was that the whole affiliate programme had been a complete waste of time and money.  For the money being paid the traffic didn’t live up to the merchants needs and thus they would continue to sell direct.  He did kindly offer to pay me a commission direct via a code that my traffic would have to enter manually into the checkout page.  Unfortunately this just doesn’t work for me.  If the code gave the customer a discount then I can see them entering a code at the checkout process, who would enter a code for no benefit?!  I proposed to the merchant to make the code offer the customer a discount but never received a reply, oh well, we’ve got until the 4th November to convert some sales!

For question 2 the network was proactive in their termination and suggested other merchants that they represent who offered similar offerings.  Upon investigating this we’ve found a great Scottish butcher who sells both the fish that we were looking for as well as meat!  We’ve been after a meat hamper supplier for a while but due to the nature of the product we’ve found it difficult to find a merchant who offered them.  So although the whole episode started off badly it may have been a god send as we have now killed two birds with one proverbial stone! Result!