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Complex operations hurt your business

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I prefer to buy from Barnes & Noble over Amazon. I’ve never been thrilled with Amazon’s business practices when it comes to patents and Web tracking networks. With this in mind, when I provide a link to a book, CD, or DVD, I’d prefer to send the link to

Since the Barnes & Noble has an affiliate program, I figure that I might as well use it. If I’m sending a buyer their way, there’s no reason that I shouldn’t benefit as well. The problem is that’s affiliate program is clumsy and makes it difficult to set up product links. Amazon’s, on the other hand makes it easy to set up an affiliate link.

I timed the process that was required to set up an affiliate link to Dr. Seuss’s "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish" on both and

Here’s the process with Search for the product that you wish to link to. Get the product’s unique ID. Go to and log in. Find the page that contains the form for creating a link. Enter the product ID into the appropriate form for the type of product you are linking to. Find the link URL in the linking HTML code that is provided (since I don’t want to use their HTML, just the URL). Add the link to my site. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. Elapsed time, 1 minute, 57 seconds.

Here’s the process with Amazon: Find the product I want to link to. copy the URL. Add my affiliate ID to the end of the URL. Add the link to my site: One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. Elapsed time, 15 seconds.

So as a person who wants to provide an occasional link, which site do you think I’ll go with? Even though hasn’t lost me as a customer, they’ve lost the traffic that I send their way. There’s no way to gauge how much that means in lost revenue for them.

Does your business have clumsy business processes that cause you to turn away business?

May 14, 2002 7:45 AM

Another reason to use Amazon... Bookwatch []. It looks for recently updated blogs on weblogs.colm who link to and then pulls in who's linking to what books.

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