SFI News

SFI's Official News Blog


Localvantia has launched!

Localvantia_logo

Our new division, Localvantia, is now officially live and open for business!

screenshot_3152

Note: As this announcement is being written, there are NO merchants yet officially registered, and official registrations may only come in as a trickle for a while.  So you’ll of course want to defer any assessments of Localvantia for at least a few weeks, until the search engine has begun to be populated. With every affiliates’ help, however, this should not take long!  Let’s get to work!

What you should do now

  1. As soon as our first merchants begin appearing, you’ll be able to start seeing how the Localvantia search engine works and how you can use it to find popular businesses in your area (or in regions where you might be traveling).  We have some really cool features including mapping, integrated Yelp and Foursquare reviews and pictures, coupons, punch cards, and more (and more to come).
  2. As soon as a merchant appears in your area (you’ll automatically receive a notice each time this occurs), check out their profile page at Localvantia and then go visit them, make a purchase, and let them know you found them thanks to Localvantia!  Tell them you like earning free Rewardical tokens, too!  This is REALLY important!  If lots of affiliates will do this, the merchants will of course be that much more excited about their participation in the program—which means they’ll be more likely to consider paying out higher rewards, offering more Localvantia-exclusive money-saving deals, and so on.  It will also act as an incentive for the merchant to set up their Localvantia account with Auto-Reward…which means you can walk out the door after a purchase with your Rewardicals already paid to your account!  Learn more about this in the next section.
  3. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to start pre-registering merchants in your area now.  Learn how to pre-register merchants HERE.  Then carefully study how to close your pre-registered merchants HERE.  Let’s all get after it!  Let’s make so much noise with Localvantia that they’re writing articles about us in blogs, newspapers, and magazines in 2018.  Let’s make Localvantia a world brand, known and loved by hundreds of millions of people!  We can do it if we all work together!

How to earn Rewardicals at Localvantia merchants

One of the great benefits of Localvantia, for merchants, is that they don’t have to do anything other than pay for the rewards they dispense.  There’s no software to install, no hardware to install, and there’s no requirement to change anything about how they check out customers.  In fact, the merchant doesn’t even need to know when a customer is earning Rewardical tokens with their purchase!  Yes, WE do all the heavy lifting, which makes being a Localvantia merchant virtually hassle-free and quite possibly the most powerful loyalty program for businesses yet!

As a Rewardical member (all SFI affiliates have a Rewardical membership by default), however, you need to know how to claim rewards when you shop at a Localvantia merchant. There are TWO methods:

Method A
CLAIM FORM

Here’s an example of how this method works:

  1. You’ve just enjoyed a fine meal with your family at your favorite local restaurant.  You pay for your meal as you would normally (making sure to get a paper receipt).
  2. Upon leaving the restaurant, log in at Localvantia.com, open the merchant’s profile page, and click the “Verify Purchase” button. Choose the “UPLOAD A RECEIPT” option.
  3. Upload a copy of the receipt (as proof of your purchase) and complete the rest of the simple Rewards Claim form.  The easiest way is to take a picture of the receipt with your smartphone.  Tip: The Localvantia.com website is mobile-friendly, so you can take your picture, then submit your claim form with the picture of the receipt quickly and easily—all right from your smartphone.
  4. Our system now immediately sends the merchant an invoice (via email) for the cost of the Rewardicals due you for your purchase.  As soon as the merchant confirms your purchase and the invoice is paid, you’ll receive your Rewardicals.

Rewardical_ReceiptUpload


Method B

POS (POINT OF SALE) APPROVALS

Here’s an example of how this method works:

  1. You’ve just completed your shopping at your favorite local grocery store.  Before entering the checkout lane, log in at Localvantia.com on your smartphone, open the merchant’s profile page, and click the “Verify Purchase” button.  Choose the “VERIFY IN STORE” option.
  2. The cashier informs you of the total cost of your groceries and you pay for them as you would normally.
  3.  Hand your phone to the cashier.
  4. The cashier will enter the amount of your purchase and the merchant’s payment confirmation code number and then hand the phone back to you.
  5. Our system now immediately sends the merchant an invoice (via email) for the cost of the Rewardicals due you for your purchase.  As soon as the invoice is paid, you’ll receive your Rewardicals.  Alternately, merchants can choose to set up their account with Auto-Reward.  If Auto-Reward is in place, you’ll receive your Rewardicals instantly, literally before you walk out the door!
Rewardical_POS_People

Have the VERIFY IN STORE screen open, then hand your smartphone to the cashier.

RewardicalPOS_Closeup

The cashier will enter the amount and the merchant’s confirmation code to verify your purchase, and then will hand your phone back to you.  Done!

The Point-of-Sale method (Method B) is of course the preferred method.  It means that you can get your claim approved right then and there…clean, simple, easy, and no receipt required.  However, please note that some merchants may choose to only use Method A (at least until they’ve become accustomed to being a Localvantia merchant).

Auto-Reward is of course also the preferred method…for invoice payments.  When you make a purchase from a merchant on Auto-Reward, you’ll receive your Rewardicals instantly, and all you had to do was get the merchant to enter their verification code on your smartphone! Auto-Reward is also actually the best and easiest way for the merchant because it’s the least expensive and is virtually hassle-free.  See more about Auto-Reward in the Q&A section.


q&A-final

Q: How do I know how many Rewardicals I will earn from each merchant?
In the top right corner of each merchant’s profile page is a Rewardical symbol followed by a number.  The higher the number, the more Rewardicals this merchant dispenses.  The number actually represents the amount of Rewardicals you will earn for each $10 spent (excluding taxes).

Q: Do we earn Rewardicals on taxes included in bills?
No, Rewardicals will be paid on the total amount of your purchase minus any taxes or other similar fees.

Q: What’s a cashier?
A cashier is the person normally found behind the cash register in a store who checks you out when you’re finishing shopping.  A cashier handles payments and receipts in a store, bank, restaurant, or other business.

Q: If Auto-Reward is best for merchants, why isn’t it the default method?
Auto-Reward requires two small “leaps of faith” from the merchant: 1. They must pre-pay (fund their account with a minimum of $25).  2. They must have enough trust in the system to not feel it necessary to first review a copy of the customer’s purchase receipt before paying an invoice.  While our parent company, Carson Services, Inc., has a 33-year track record, Localvantia and Rewardical are both brand new.  Therefore, we are happy to first win that trust with our individual invoicing option, where invoices are paid after the merchant has reviewed and approved the customer’s rewards claim.  Or perhaps the merchant simply wants a “trial run” before committing to any kind of pre-payment.  Regardless of the reason, we want to give our partner merchants a great experience, starting from the very first day, and we want them to have options and not feel pressure to be more aggressive with Localvantia until they’re ready.

Q: Wouldn’t a merchant always want to review a customer’s proof of purchase (i.e. purchase receipt) before paying an invoice?
At first, probably, but most invoices will be for very nominal amounts, usually less than a dollar each (unless the merchant deals in high-end, very expensive products).  Is it worth the merchant’s time to review every little $.27 invoice?  Also, we have to tack on a processing fee when individual invoices are paid manually, whereas there is ZERO processing fees when invoices are paid via Auto-Reward.  In short, Auto-Reward makes a lot of sense when you factor in that it’s virtually hassle-free (just fund your account when you want), requires almost no time, there are no processing fees, and perhaps most importantly, is the best way to keep their customers happy due to the fact they will receive their Rewardical tokens instantly and without delay.

Q: What if a merchant identifies fraudulent activity (someone trying to gain Rewardicals for purchases they didn’t make)?
Merchants are provided a simple mechanism to report such cases and receive credit.  Any member shown to be engaged in fraudulent activity, however, will have their account immediately terminated, any Rewardicals on account or pending redemptions forfeited, and they will be permanently banned from earning Rewardicals.

Q: When you email a merchant an invoice for a rewards claim, is a copy of the purchase receipt attached?
No, the email only provides basic details, such as the customer’s name, date of purchase, amount of purchase, etc.  Then, a link is provided so that the merchant can click it and review the claim in full detail—including copy of the uploaded purchase receipt—at Rewardical.com.  From here, they can also pay the invoice.

Q: So can I ever receive Rewardicals BEFORE a merchant pays an invoice for my rewards claim?
No.  We will always require that payment from the merchant be received before you can receive your Rewardicals.

Q: What types of payment can merchants use to fund their Auto-Reward account?
They can pay with whatever forms of payment we can accept from their country (just like we do for TripleClicks).  For most countries, this would include credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal.  For virtually ALL countries, we will accept payment in Bitcoin.

Q: What if I’ve earned some Rewardicals but the merchant doesn’t pay the invoice so that I can receive them?
Merchants will receive multiple notices for each invoice issued.  If an invoice remains unpaid after 1 week, their merchant account will be suspended.

Q: If a merchant’s account is suspended because of one or more unpaid invoices, is there a way to activate their account again?
Yes, such merchants may reactivate their account by setting up their account for Auto-Reward (which requires funding their payment account in advance, minimum $25, and paying all pending and future invoices automatically from said account).

Q: What’s the minimum amount a merchant has to pay to participate in the program?
Currently, for grocery stores, gas stations, and automotive businesses, they can participate for as little as 1/2% ($.005 per one dollar in sales).  For all other types of businesses, the minimum is 2% ($.02 per dollar in sales).  Of course, it is in the best interests of the merchant to participate at the highest rate that is feasible for them, as this means a higher number of Rewardicals they’ll be putting out to attract and retain customers.

Q: Do we still pre-register merchants?
Yes, our program is designed to always operate with a pre-registration being the first thing that happens.  The pre-registration is what locks you in with crediting, so that if they end up a Localvantia merchant, YOU will be listed as the person who referred them.  Pre-registration also plays a very important role in making it so merchants can get started quickly and easily.  That is, when the merchant receives the close letter, he/she can go to Localvantia.com and they will already be 80% ready to go (because their business listing is almost entirely already pre-populated).  With just a few quick clicks, they can be off and running, live in the Localvantia.com search engine, and attracting new customers because of it!  We consider this to be critical…and that’s why you will continue to pre-register merchants.


Icons of people with speech bubbles..Head over to the FORUM–to the SFI NEWS DISCUSSIONS section–to discuss this announcement with your fellow SFI’ers now.


New bigger, better Pricebenders auctions!

screenshot_761

Effective immediately, Pricebenders is now featuring a completely new and improved auctions index:

http://www.tripleclicks.com/indexAuctions.php

The biggest change you’ll notice is that there will now be a minimum of 20 live auctions going at all times!  You should almost always now be able to find an auction of interest to you–no matter when you drop by.  And we hope to be doing over 100 auctions a day soon!

From the new index, you can also now easily participate in multiple auctions simultaneously (just click on the “bid” buttons for the auctions you want to bid on).  The new layout is also mobile-friendly and should work great on almost any modern smartphone or tablet.

A NEW PARADIGM

With our new expanded auction format, no longer will auctions typically be scheduled to start at specific times.  Instead, we will simply start a new auction each time an auction ends.  The newest auction will appear in the lower right corner of the index…and it’s initial timer will be for 12 hours.

If 12 hours sounds like a long time…you need to get comfortable with a new way of interacting with our auctions!  By the way, we’re not doing anything crazy here.  On the contrary, this is exactly how our competitors have been doing it for years, and it’s a big reason why they’ve been able to have a large number of auctions going on at once.  Now WE can too!

So, how might your approach to Pricebenders auctions need to change?  First of all, if you’re someone who is only comfortable manually clicking the “bid” button, then you’ll want to stick to the auctions that will appear in the upper half of the index screen.  As more bids are placed, the timer clock will get shorter and shorter…and the auctions with the shortest timer clocks will work their way to the top of the index.

Here’s the biggest change, however.  When a new auction starts–with the 12 hour timer–don’t be afraid to use Bid Assist.  Indeed, this is one of the main reasons why this tool exists–to assist you in bidding when you can’t be around all the time.  When a new auction starts–with the 12 hour timer–consider setting up some bids through the Bid Assist tool.  And if a decent number of members do this, the timer will quickly drop from 12 hours to a much shorter time…and then it’s “off to the races.”

Remember, the way the timer works is that it gets shorter as bidding increases.  The more bids placed, the shorter the timer will become, and the faster the auction will be completed (the winner is determined when only one bidder remains).

Tip: It’s likely that many people will, at least for a while, ignore new auctions because of the perception that a winner won’t be determined for many hours.  This could be true, but you may also find yourself the winner of a great bargain if you set up Bid Assist early because many others may be hesitant to use the Bid Assist tool.

Special Note: Because the use of Bid Assist is now an absolute necessary tool with the new 12 hour timer–and we can’t do 20 live auctions without such a timer–we are discontinuing NBA (No Auto Bid) as an auction attribute.  For those who might be unhappy with this change, we ask that you PLEASE consider the big picture.  The use of Bid Assist is critical for getting auctions off and running…and ultimately profitable.  Without profitability, there is no TripleClicks, there is no SFI, and there is no affiliate program.  And, remember, you joined SFI to make money, not spend it.  Bid Assist is a GOOD thing for every SFI affiliate.  It’s not the “boogie man,” it’s just a tool–that anyone, both the big guy and the little guy, can use to be a smart bidder at Pricebenders.

MORE COOL, NEW FEATURES

  • In addition to the 20 live auctions, there’s also an ample queue of UPCOMING auctions to check out.  Just click on the “Upcoming” tab to view these.  From the Upcoming list of auctions, you can play the Pick-The-Price game.  You can also set reminders for yourself here–click the BELL button–so that you’ll get alerted (via email and/or text message) when an item you’re interested in goes live for bidding.
  • From the new live index, click on item’s name to go to the item’s details page (which contains a detailed product description, various bidding tools, and more).
  • Each auction’s panel displays the name of the current high bidder (to see the full Bid Log, click on item’s name to go to the auction details page).
  • To keep down clutter and provide an attractive layout, we’re using small round icons to denote special attributes (Double MPR, Winner Bids Free, 99¢ auctions, etc.).  The meanings of each icon should be obvious, but if you’re not sure, just mouse over the icon and a helpful tooltip will appear to provide clarification.
  • So you can see who is using Bid Assist, you’ll see a small icon beside each bid in the Bid Log that was placed via Bid Assist.
  • We’ve made getting registered to bid (becoming a new TC member) much more prominent and easy on the new Pricebenders index.  Plus, when someone registers from the new index, they’ll also be provided a quick, easy way to buy some TCredits so they can start bidding right away.  This new addition will help you sign up more PRMs and generate more commissions (that is, on TCredits sales).
  • Note the fresh, new header and footer that the new index is sporting.  Over the next few weeks, this new header and footer will be incorporated across TripleClicks.

ONE MORE THING…

If you like the new Pricebenders index, you’re going to LOVE what’s coming next.  Stay tuned for announcements on more powerful additional additions soon that will work synergistically with the new index to take Pricebenders to a whole new level.

screenshot_755

Bidding on and winning bargains at Pricebenders for yourself is great, but what’s even greater is earning BIG, RESIDUAL commissions every month from referring TC members who become active auction bidders.  To join the fun, check out the “Grow your income” panel on the Pricebenders tab at the Affiliate Center.  With the new index and other additions coming soon, there’s never been a better time to tap into the Pricebenders income stream!


DISCUSS IT!  Log in at the SFI Affiliate Center, then head over to the FORUM–to the SFI NEWS DISCUSSIONS section–to discuss this announcement with your fellow SFI’ers.