What's the Difference Between an Affiliate and a Reseller?

Resellers and affiliates both sell Black Chicken Host's services; however, there are significant differences.

A reseller opens his or her reseller account with Black Chicken Host, and then solicits customers to sign up under it. The reseller provides the technical support for his or her customers, backed up when needed by Black Chicken Host's Home-Cooked Support. Customers pay the reseller directly, and resellers may set their prices at any level they choose.

An affiliate is strictly an evangelist for our service. He or she refers customers to Black Chicken Host, where they open their own accounts with the affiliate's special code to let us know who referred them. Affiliates are paid on commission by Black Chicken Host. Our current rate is an ongoing percentage of referred sales, provided the referred account is open for at least 90 days. Many affiliate programs pay a one-time commission; however, Black Chicken Host pays the affiliate for the life of the referred account (provided the affiliate account is also still active.)

There are pros and cons to each type of account, and which is right for you will depend upon how much time you would like to invest.

Affiliate:

 

  • Pros
    • Quick, easy, free setup via the Customer Portal
    • No customer service or technical support required
    • No infrastructure setup required (accounting and billing software, et cetera)
    • Practically free money for owners of high-traffic websites (place an ad and be done!)
    • Continuing source of income, as we pay out a percentage monthly for ongoing referred customers, based on how many people click your link and sign up
    • Writing reviews of our service will help drive your affiliate sales
    • A very "set it and forget it" approach to additional income (trademark Ronco)
  • Cons
    • Possibly less earning potential - If the affiliate does not own a high-traffic website, affiliate income may be limited
    • The affiliate program is subject to change, including termination, at any time
    • No control over the business, prices or policies; all referrals are subject to our Terms of Service only

 

Reseller:

 

  • Pros
    • Own your own business
    • Unlimited growth potential
    • Set your own prices and policies
    • Continuing source of income based on how many customers you can attract to your service
  • Cons
    • More up-front expenditures and setup are required (setting up packages, accounting, billing, helpdesk software, payment gateways, et cetera)
    • Must have the Developer Class, VPS, or Dedicated account with Black Chicken Host
    • Reseller must provide customer service and technical support for their own customers (they may contact our support when stuck, however)
    • Requires significant technical and business expertise
    • Successful resellers usually need to acquire logos, branding, and web design services if they are not themselves designers
    • Requires more time and effort

There are other advantages and disadvantages to each type of account, but we feel those are the most important.

Questions we recommend asking yourself and any business parnters: How much time and energy do you want to spend on this venture?  How much money do you want to spend each month?  How much control do you want to have over the process? Do you want to have your own business, or be an agent of another business?

 

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