Affiliates and MLM

Do not add:

MLM - multi-tiered program. Main company where resellers sell the product and also recruit other sellers to work beneath them.
Mirror sites - sites that contain the same content but are accessed from different URLs.

Affiliates - single-tiered program. Main company with independent resellers. Online seller gets paid a commission for referring sales to the main company.

In the case of MLMs and affiliates, the main business site which offers the affiliation may be added. Do not add individual seller sites to the general directory.  These sites may be submitted through Speed-Pass to the Independent Business Affiliates Topic.

One affiliate of a company offers the same content as all the other affiliates. Listing multiples of them does nothing to provide information for the end user and only bloats the topics. You may list the affiliate company’s main URL in Directory / Computers / Internet / Affiliates. If the company sells the product directly, you may list it under the appropriate shopping topic.

An example of what not to list is the Vstores’ affiliates. With the Vstores setup, the affiliate stocks a Web site, created and hosted by Vstores, displaying their products. Every time a customer buys through this site, the webmaster will earn a percentage of all sales made. All this does is give the company more free exposure for their products.

There are lots of Web sites that provide products that are being sold on a commission basis. Everything provided (products, shipping, handling) by companies like CD Now, Amazon, Chapters and others, sold through referral links on Web sites, will not disqualify these Web sites from being listed as long as there is enough original content on the site.

Other types of sites that frequently use affiliate content include hotels/travel and loans/financial sites.  Editors need to check these carefully before adding the site.

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