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Would you Rather be a Merchant or an Affiliate?

Discussion in 'General Affiliate Marketing Forum' started by Linda Buquet, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet Affiliate affiliate

    Rather be Merchant or an Affiliate?

    Hi all,

    "Which is better - being a merchant or an affiliate?" Oh what a GREAT question! It came up recently at a private forum I belong to, so I thought I would bring up the topic here too. Here is what I think...

    I'm a consultant in between both worlds and I sure think it would be better to be an affiliate. They both have pros and cons but if I had to make a choice it would not be employees, stocking problems, shipping problems, credit card problems and all the rest. Too many headaches for me! Not that being an affiliate is easy, mind you. Affiliates have much less control over their destiny since many things are in the power of the networks or the merchants. That must be frustrating. However you have much more control over how you spend your time. So overall if I had to choose, I would go the affiliate route before becoming a merchant. That's my just my opinion.

    One of my favorite affiliates that I named "Affiliate of the Year" for one of my programs 2 years ago just made the switch from affiliate to merchant. I should ask him the question since he has done both. He is selling most of his affiliate sites even though he was making GOOD money, so I guess he is pretty committed to going the merchant route. Time will tell if being a merchant was a good choice for him or just a case of the grass is always greener! ;)

    Like I said, lots of pros and cons both ways. What do YOU think?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2005
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  3. KenMendonca

    KenMendonca New Member

    great question

    Could be a really great discussion.

    I'm an affiliate manager, so I'm not really a merchant per say. But then I'm not an afiliate either. I have the benefit of working for a great web site (DentalPlans.com, shamless plug) that has enabled me to take on the task of assisting affiliates and that should be one of the top priorities of any good merchant.

    I am realtively young, 26, and very new to the business of affiilate marketing in general. So coming into this as an affiliate manager has been invaluable in the people I have met and worked with. And the people I haven't worked with.

    For the purpose of this conversation I would consider myself a merchant and for an answer would probably prefer the greater flexibility that being an affiliate provides for later on, but not yet.

    Right now the experience I am getting as an affiliate manager is invaluable and is coming without my needing to focus on the many different responsibilities that go into running a complete business the way a true merchant would.

    Plus you can't get a group health plan when your company has 1 employee. ;)
  4. stephfoster

    stephfoster Affiliate affiliate

    I enjoy being an affiliate and can't imagine making the switch to merchant. I love the challenge of getting a new site to do well. With 2 kids, it is a challenge to get time, of course.

    I'm in the process of dragging two of my sisters into affiliate marketing too. I think one has pretty much settled on a job she's really like to have instead, but the other is looking at it as a great opportunity for her family.
  5. StephenR

    StephenR Affiliate affiliate

    Sorry merchants but HANDS DOWN I much prefer being an affiliate. Reason being:

    No production costs
    Very low start-up costs
    No employees
    No inventory
    No order processing
    No shipping
    No customer service
    Very limited risk

    Affiliate Marketing is virtually a perfect business if you can generate enough targeted traffic. That's really the only [universal] drawback associated with any Online Marketing business.

    However, when you refer to "merchant" I'm assuming we're talking about tangible "brick and mortar" storefront products [retail] and not electronic goods. If I were a merchant of electronic goods THAT would be more beneficial to me personally as it cuts out 3/4 of the above factors.

    Very soon I will be making this transition :)