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Successful Affiliate Marketing for Merchants by Shawn Collins, Frank Fiore

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Do It Yourself Versus Third-Party Provider

Apart from the details involved to start an affiliate program, you have one big decision to make—create the program in-house or outsource it to a third-party solution provider. Unless you are a large merchant with an IT department with lots of free time to build and manage a program on your own, like Amazon and the One and Only Network, it might be more reasonable to outsource it to a solution provider, such as Be Free, Commission Junction, or LinkShare.

On the surface it might look more cost effective to do it yourself. After all, you have to pay startup fees and a portion of the commissions you pay to affiliates to the solution provider, but there are other cost considerations to keep in mind.

First, ...

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