"Affiliate Karma" Posts

Update on California’s AB 178 (And A Reminder You Should Oppose It)

By: Brook Schaaf, Founding Member of Performance Marketing Alliance, Inc., and principal at Schaaf Consulting

First a recap on this bill – California’s AB 178, co-sponsored by assembly members Nancy Skinner and Charles Calderon, is an “Amazon Tax” that labels affiliates a tax nexus for the purpose of forcing out of state retailers to collect and remit sales tax to California. This bill is modeled after an existing New York law that passed last year.

This game is being played out in multiple states because state governments want tax dollars for online purchases. The state can only compel retailers to collect and remit this tax if the retailers have a physical presence, or nexus, in the state such as a distribution center, corporate office, or retail store.

A few key points:

  • It will bring unfair hardship to the affiliate marketing space. As we saw in New York, merchants will avoid nexus by severing their relationships with California affiliates, thus depriving them of income.
  • This is a misapplication of the law because affiliate marketing is a form of advertising and advertising is already established as not being nexus.

Unfortunately, the New York law has withstood one court challenge so far. That means that we have a lot of education to do outside the affiliate marketplace. This was apparent on our lobbying day in Sacramento on Tuesday, March 31. While the staff and assembly members we met with understood that small businesses in California would be hurt, they did not seem to fully understand what affiliate marketing is – in particular that it is a type of advertising.

The good news is that we made some positive strides toward defeating this very dangerous, unfair bill. See the Performance Marketing Alliance site to learn more about the legislative storm. But there is much more to be done. If you are involved in affiliate or internet marketing, you should keep abreast of what is going on in your state and stay in touch with your representatives. Our effort is making a difference and we need to carry it to other states.

Visit the Performance Marketing Alliance site to learn more about the devastating effects of Bill 178, and how you can help. Or reach out to me at Brook at schaafco dot com and let us know how you can support the efforts to stop this unfair legislation from being passed.

Thanks so much!

Note from Editor, Stephanie Agresta: The LinkShare Blog has a lot of good news and updates on this issue.  Including the fact that Maryland SB 1071 failed to pass.

Coming Soon – An Updated Affiliate Karma

As many of you know, Stephanie Agresta Consulting LLC, publisher of Affiliate Karma and Schaaf Consulting, Inc, the leading agency focused solely on affiliate program management, announced a partnership at  Affiliate Summit West 2009.

Two of the most respected brands in the Affiliate OPM business have joined forces to bring you the most premium product in the marketplace today. With relationships, technology, and a standard for excellence Schaaf Consulting will now be the featured OPM service on the Affiliate Karma site and Stephanie Agresta will now support business development and social media strategies for Schaaf clients.

It’s been a busy Q1 of transition, but stay tuned for some new content and an updated feel to Affiliate Karma!

And as always, if you have any questions about our services, please contact us here!

Celebrate the Holidays with Gourmet Monthly Clubs

Guest Post by Brett Olsen, Marketing Analyst, C&H Clubs, Inc.

Well, here we are – the holiday shopping period is upon us once more.  As you might imagine, Gourmet Monthly Clubs is incredibly busy at this time of year, which means it’s the perfect time to partner with us to make for a really profitable holiday season.

Historically our conversion rates triple in December, so if you haven’t already placed Gourmet Monthly Clubs prominently on your website and in your holiday marketing plans, believe me when I say that there is no better time of year to market gourmet gifts in general, and our monthly club concept specifically!

With 6 different clubs available, your customers will find something for everybody – in fact, many customers handle almost their entire Christmas list in one fell swoop!  And since we pay commission based on memberships and not orders, if someone gets a beer membership for their husband, a beer membership for their brother, then a wine membership for their parents all on the same order, you get three separate commissions.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised how often that happens!

There aren’t many other gifts out there that are as fun as receiving a new selection of beers, wines, cheeses, chocolates, cigars, or flowers every month.  And, if someone’s desperately searching for a last minute gift, they can sign their recipient up and then send an e-Gift Announcement right from our site to arrive by Christmas – or even on Christmas!

To learn more about our program and to sign up, click here!

Halloween is going virtual!

By: Brian Salau Beck, COO of Costume SuperCenter

Over the thousand years of Halloween history, Halloween has gone from a pagan ceremony to one of the most celebrated and known holiday in the world. Remember when you were growing up and Halloween consists of making your own costumes, and trick or treating with all your friends but what’s this- Halloween is going online? What is this thing called the “inter-web” you say? Well if you are reading this, then you are one of the millions of people who make up the movement of Halloween going virtual.

Sure, people still go trick or treating and party in costumes, that is the essence of Halloween- but as of 2008, Halloween is taking place online more so than ever. One of the major transformations of Halloween is the Halloween shopping experience. From the lower price of candies, decorations and costumes, to the greater choices and variety of Halloween products, people are gradually taking their shopping online and away from the traditional hobby shops and retail stores. Although you might think shipping will cost a lot of thus making shopping online not worth while, you will be surprised to find out that even with shipping, shopping online is cheaper than taking that trip to the store down the road! Among those forerunners in the transformation of this new Halloween, Costume SuperCenter is one of the biggest contributors to online Halloween shopping. With super secure and easy to use website, free shipping for life for returning customers, Costume SuperCenter gives both new and returning customers alike a secure and wonderful online experience.

If you have not noticed it by now, the internet is a huge collection of resources- everything and anything can be found online, and the same can be said of Halloween as well. With a large amount of forums and websites focusing strictly on Halloween, there has never been an easier way to find information regarding Halloween. If you have questions on how to make your house the scariest in the neighborhood, how to make your favorite homemade Halloween costume, where to find good deals on anything Halloween- they are available just a mouse click away. Such wealth of Halloween information is what contributes to the popularity of Halloween again with our youngest and computer savvy generation.

Please don’t worry- trick or treating will never go out of style, but you don’t want to fall behind either so give the online Halloween experience a try! Have a fun and safe Halloween from Affiliate Karma & Costume Super Center here on the web!

Halloween: Clash of the Super Heroes

By: Brian Salau Beck, COO of Costume SuperCenter

In a place not too far away, thousands of clone troopers and hundreds of Jedi duke it out with Iron Man, Batman and the Joker; each dishing out a world of pain to the others in hopes of wining your children’s hearts and becoming their Halloween costume of choice this year. Superheroes Halloween costumes have always been a popular choice for teens and small children a like and this year’s Halloween is no different. With summer block buster hits such as The Dark Knight, Iron Man and the Clone Wars, this year’s contest for most popular super hero costumes is getting really heated.

Iron Man, released early summer and honestly one of my favorite superhero movies of all time, will be a heavy contender for this year’s Halloween. Behind that emotionless and fearsome metallic mask is Tony Stark- playboy millionaire and super smart industrialists. Not only is Tony just a normal person like everyone else, but the fact that he can kick serious butt with the Iron Man armor makes him just that much cooler. I catch myself occasionally day dreaming about my alternate cooler life where I have one of those suits of iron as well.

Possibly the most anticipated movie of all time- The Dark Knight, has made Batman a heavy weight this Halloween as well- making sure there will not be a single boy in this universe who does not want Batman Halloween costumes.

Behind that cape and Carbon Epoxy Kevlar armor is Bruce Wayne- playboy millionaire and super smart businessman (sounds familiar?). Bruce Wayne is also without any super powers (surprise, surprise!) and he can also kick some serious butt once he gets behind that armor of his.

But to Batman’s credit, he can kick butt without his armor since Bruce has been highly trained in martial arts and weaponry- whereas Tony is just like a boy playing with his over powered toy.

Late to the party is Lucas’s latest installation of Star Wars: the Clone Wars. Not sure if Jedi can count as superheroes but they do have special powers and they are seriously cool (when I am not dreaming about having a suit of iron I am dreaming about dicing and slicing things with my personal Light Saber). Not to be left out, the clone troopers in the Clone Wars will also be very popular this Halloween; they are like Batman that knows Kung-Fu, combined Iron Man like armor, with Army Commando skills all wrapped into one. Did I mention big gun that shoots laser as well? That is also seriously cool.

Choosing my favorite costume from the above choices would be one of the most difficult decisions of my life. They are all amazingly cool, super duper fun and can kick some serious butt in their respective universe. Each person will have their own preference and it will ultimately be their decisions to make on whom to be this Halloween. All I can say is you can not go wrong with any of them- enjoy and have fun this Halloween!

Costume SuperCenter Announces $5,000 Halloween Costumes Video Contest

The leading online costume retailer will award big dollars for funniest, scariest, and cutest Halloween Costume Videos, marries eCommerce and online community using video sharing

Edison, NJ September 11, 2008 – Think you are Scary? Funny? Cute? Capture it on video and register for a chance to win up to $5,000 in the Costume SuperCenter Halloween Costumes Video Contest!

Today, Costume SuperCenter announced its Halloween Costumes Video Contest with participation open to the entire general public (US only). The company will award a $3,500 grand prize and $500 to each category winner that receives the most votes from web site visitors. Awards will be made on Mischief Night, Thursday, October 30th.

“We are looking forward to seeing the great videos that people come up with!” said Brian Salau Beck, Chief Operating Officer. “Given today’s broad accessibility of homemade video and the explosive growth of video sharing web sites like YouTube™, we are sure to get some really fun and interesting costume videos.” said Salau Beck. “We are bringing together eCommerce and online community by integrating video submissions right on our site, which we expect to create an exciting interactive experience for our customers and generate highly qualified traffic.”

To submit a video entry and vote go to the company’s home page, www.costumesupercenter.com. Halloween costumes are required to be a part of the video, but can be homemade or purchased, and do not need to be purchased from Costume SuperCenter. Participants will post videos on their favorite video site, like YouTube™ or Facebook™, and vote tallies and contest leaders will be tracked on the CostumeSuperCenter.com home page.

To find out more about Costume SuperCenter or the $5,000 Halloween Costumes Video Contest, contact Salau Beck at (888) 575-5575. To learn more about special promotions that will make shopping for Halloween costumes even more fun, visit www.CostumeSuperCenter.com .


About Costume SuperCenter Costume SuperCenter was launched online in 2005 and has since become the fastest growing online retailer of costumes. The etailer operates year-round and specializes not only in Halloween costumes, but also pirate costumes, mascot costumes and more. It caters to adults, children, infants and even pets with its more than 10,000 SKUs of costume and accessory items.

Halloween Safety Tips from Costume SuperCenter

By: Brian Salau Beck, COO of Costume SuperCenter

Can you believe it’s Halloween already? You should- just ask your children because they have been waiting a whole year for this! Who doesn’t love Halloween? Free candy, costume parties, and generally loads of fun for the whole family. But before you get too carried away, remember that a fun Halloween should also be a safe Halloween; so here are some safety tips and hints from Costume SuperCenter ensuring everyone will have a safe and fantastic Halloween!

Safety should not be a last minute or on-the-fly-as-it-happens thing; it should start as soon as you start your purchase for your Halloween Costume. Our online shopping experience is super secure so your wallet is safe; but what about you and the kids?

  • A Halloween costume should be of the right size for its wearer, a small costume might restrict movements during emergencies, and a large costume might be too big causing you to stumble and trip when you really need to get a move on- so make sure your Halloween costumes fit!
  • When trick or treating, never let your kids get out of sight! Always stay close, but far enough to let them have fun and run around. Never, ever, let your children go into a stranger’s house- even if your children have the creepiest and meanest Halloween costumes ever!
  • When out on Halloween, be sure to bring flashlights or wear something bright that reflects light. You never know how long you might be out for so make sure to have something that not only helps you see, but help others see you.
  • Last but not least, inspect all your candies before eating them just to be safe. Plus, you can take all the goodies for yourself instead of letting your kids have them!

Even though Halloween is so much fun, don’t forget to stay safe and turn that common sense alert on! The streets are going to be super busy this year with all the Superheroes and Pirates running around- Halloween 2008 will surely be a fun experience for the whole family and not only that, but your kids will probably have enough candies from this year’s haul to last them until spring break! We are all very excited here for Halloween too and want to express our best wishes to you and your family, have fun and stay safe this Halloween!

New Monthly Offers from Affiliate Karma!

It’s that time of the month again where we announce our awesome Affiliate Promotions! For the month of July, we have some great coupon codes that will help you earn and save big.

As always, you can find details on these promotions on our Monthly Offers page. Be sure to check them out!

Zemanta Pixie

Affiliate Summit East – Free Exhibit Hall Pass today and PARTY BUS news!

Are you ready for Affiliate Summit East?  August may sound far away but today would be a great day to make your plan!  Today only, June 11th, you can get a free exhibit hall pass to the event.  Now that is good karma!

Plus we are very excited to announce that all participants in the Affiliate Summit party bus will receive a free signed copy of Gary Vaynerchuk’s 101 Wines Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight, and Bring Thunder to Your World.

Sign up today for the bus! The bus will be leaving NYC on August 9th and returning to NYC on August 13th. Trust me, we will be bringing in the thunder on that bus.

Stay tuned for more news about SPECIAL GUESTS that will be on the bus and our soon to be announced sponsors! Bellinis and Mimosas will be flowing (special recipes to be provided by Wine Library).

See you in Boston, August 10th – 12th!

Affiliate Marketers Give Back

by Missy Ward

Co-Founder of Affiliate Summit and FeedFront Magazine

www.missys60milewalk.comSince 2007, the Affiliate Marketing community has raised nearly $80,000 through Affiliate Summit selected charities such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Nevada, March of Dimes, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Starlight Starbright Foundation.

In the next few months, Affiliate Summit will be supporting the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure again as team Affiliate Marketers Worldwide, takes to the streets to raise money to fight Breast Cancer. This September in Seattle, I will be leading a team of incredibly generous Affiliate Marketers who will be walking 60-miles, over the course of three days with me. Angel Djambazov of PopShops.com and JonesSoda.com, Jen Goode of JGoodeDesigns.com, Karen Garcia of GTOManagement.com, Adam Riemer of DowntownEcommerce.com, Anne Fognano and Tammy Carney of CleverMoms.com, Laura Przybek of buy.at Heather Paulson and Jen Campbell of PaulsonManagementGroup.com and Debra Banning and Jen Fluker of MarketLeverage.com are just a few of the terrific folks that will be donating their valuable time for this worthy cause.

Some people have asked me why I’m doing the 60-mile walk again, even now that I know what I’m in store for. I guess for me, it’s all about the facts. I know that without a cure, 1 in 8 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. I also know that EVERY advancement in breast cancer research, treatment, education and prevention in the last 25 years has been touched by a Susan G. Komen for the Cure grant. I can’t think of a better way to use my feet so that one day men and women won’t lose their breasts or their lives.

I am still looking for additional walkers to take on Breast Cancer with us. If you would like to join our team, or make a donation, please visit AffiliateMarketersGiveBack.com to do so.

On that site, you will also find:

  • Banners you can use to support Team Affiliate Marketers Worldwide’s fundraising efforts
  • A discount to Affiliate Summit when you make a donation to the cause.
  • Team Logo Gear — Show off your affiliate marketing pride.
  • Information on sponsorship packages and all of our wonderful sponsors thus far.
  • Lots of fun videos and posts regarding our training, etc.
  • I will be video blogging the 60-miles, so tune in September 12-14 for all the walk antics and stories.

    If you would like to make a donation in any amount, you can do so online at Missys60MileWalk.com. I will be add your site to the AffiliateMarketersGiveBack.com Blogroll.

    Lastly – here’s a painless way you can support affiliate marketing and the charity at the same time:

    NETexponent, a leading performance marketing agency is launching an affiliate marketing research study conducted from the perspective of affiliates/publishers.

    The goal of this survey is to give the affiliate community a clearer understanding of:

  • How best to communicate with affiliates
  • What tools and information affiliates crave
  • Better understanding of who affiliates are and what challenges they face
  • If you are an affiliate or publisher and would like to provide your feedback, I encourage you to take the brief survey. In exchange for a few minutes of your time, NETexponent will provide you with a copy of the survey results.

    In addition, for every completed survey, NETexponent will donate $1.00 to Team Affiliate Marketing’s fundraising efforts for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-day/60-mile walk.

    What a great way to help shape agency best practices, strengthen affiliate relationships and help out a great charity at the same time.

    To take the survey, click here.

    NOTE TO AFFILIATES: NETexponent respects the privacy of affiliates and only aggregate information will be shared.

    Thanks for taking the time to read through this long-winded post. Thank you to Affiliate Karma for providing the opportunity for me to place this information.

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