Shareasale Vs. Google Adwords? Shareasale Review

When it comes to having a successful eCommerce business, Cost Per Acquisition aka CPA is one of the main factors.  Shareasale vs. Google Adwords isn’t really a valid comparison.  They are two different avenues of bringing in quality traffic and customers.  Should you choose one or the other? Or Should you combine them both? I will discuss these questions and also give some tips of how to make the most out of those two.


Let’s start from the beginning.  Once you have everything setup to go live, you probably already have set up Google Adwords and Google Merchant account.  Those two methods of advertising are the best in my experience for bringing in customers.  You should start with Product Listing Advertisement aka PLA and slowly learn how to use other methods of running ads with Google.  Google Adwords seems so simple to use, but once you dig deeper there are so many different ways to run ads, you will be surprised.  But while you run your PLA’s and experiment with text and display ads, you should also seriously consider signing up with some Affiliate networks.

Shareasale Review

Shareasale is a network of affiliates and merchants.  Merchants will pay commission for every order affiliate partner brings, while affiliates one way or another bring customers to merchants website in exchange for commissions.  Merchants increase their sales and affiliates make certain percentage of that income.  Why is adding Shareasale into your advertising budget a smart idea? Because once your account is setup, you do not have to pay per click, you only pay when you see results.  Unlike CPC (cost per click), the system Google Adwords uses, affiliates are actually interested in you making that sale.  Affiliates get paid only when you actually receive the payment for your products or services.  The only risk is your upfront cost, which is not a lot, I think.  Adwords on the other hand charges you per click and doesn’t really care if you make the sale or not.  That’s not to say you are wasting your money.  The opposite, I think Google is brilliant at bringing quality leads.  The conversion for my website is anywhere from 4-5%.  That means I have to pay for 100 clicks in order to make 4-5 sales.  If you know your keywords and play with the bids, you will still make a lot of money through Adwords, but adding Shareasale may add even more.

The Cost Of Setting Up a Merchant Account with Shareasale

The cost is not high, but also not dirt cheap.  The upfront cost usually deters new merchants from signing up with them.  Sharesale charges merchants $550 set up fee plus you need to make a minimum of $100.  So the total cost to you upfront would be $650, which may all go to waste if you your affiliate program is not successful.  On the other hand, most merchants spend at least $1000 a day on Adwords, at least I do.  Shareasale may have larger upfront cost before you see any results, but the future sales and traffic may well be worth it.

Tips On How To Use Shareasale Effectively

If you ever sign up with them, you will need to make sure you build a good program and effective one.  Beware of coupon sites, which will use your store name and place coupons on their site.  Why is that bad? Because most of your customers will probably be looking for a coupon code using your store name before they make a purchase.  Why would you pay a commission for someone who is already a customer.  So, do not use the auto approval option of your Shareasale account.  I am speaking from experience.

Also, please make sure you prohibit your affiliate partners from bidding on your brand or store name.  There are some “wise” affiliates who will simply send you customers who have already been looking for you.  For instance, they will create text ad on Google Adwords using your store name “” and the bid will be around 5 cents.  They will pay 5 cents to bring you the traffic that is most likely to buy from you.  The purpose of affiliate network is to get you new leads and increase your sales.  If you fall into the trap of coupon sites or other “wise” people, you will just increase your spending without actually making any more sales.  Does it make sense?

So Shareasale vs. Google Adwords?

I think the correct combination and implementation of strategies on both platforms will bring you the most.  Successful online businesses use both for marketing purposes.  You can not really compare the two since they both use different systems for bringing traffic to your eCommerce business.  I think there is less risk with Sharesale as it may look at first.  Yes, $650 is a lot, but it is worth spending that money and having access to thousands of affiliates who will drive traffic and sales to your site.
Drive more traffic to your online store using performance based marketing.
Let me know if I missed anything or if you have tips for other readers.

Price Comparison Website

How to Create Price Comparison Website Similar to Pricegrabber or Nextag? (2016)

It has been asked numerous times before and the question How to Create Price Comparison Website Similar to Pricegrabber or Nextag isn’t practical.  It may seem as though there are only a handful of price comparison websites out there, Pricegrabber and Nextag are among many thousands of price comparison sites.  Most of such websites do not become as successful as those two.  Anyhow, if you are still interested, I will tell you about a script that very few know of that will allow you to create a site similar to Pricegrabber and Nextag.  I will also discuss some plugins for popular eCommerce platforms as well as my thoughts on some affiliate networks.

Price Comparison Script

banner-scriptThere is script called Pricetapestry and it does exactly what the price comparison is supposed to do.  It doesn’t cost much and is easy to install.  It can be installed into most cheap hosting accounts and works as advertised.  The script is well written and comes with the best support forum I have every seen.  Pricetapestry is meant for those who want to list products of other merchants on their website and send links to the stores of those merchants.  What do the site owners get in return? Commissions.  You will need to sign up with one of the affiliate linking websites and start uploading product data feeds into your new shopping comparison store. This is how your page will look:

price comparison website
price comparison website

Everything You Need

To build a price comparison website in 1 day and have it up and running, you will need few resources.  First, you have to purchase the script from Pricetapestry.  Second, you will need to get a hosting account, any will do.  Third, you will need to register as an affiliate with one of the affiliate networks.  Fourth, you will need some spare time and some money.  While installing the script, you may run into issues, but the forum has almost everything answered.  Obviously it is going to take some of your time, but If I was able to install the script and run a store, you can do too.

How Much Will It Cost?

The cost
The cost

It will be less than $500 and it all depends on your hosting account.  When creating my store, I got a cheap hosting account and I signed up for 1 year.  I will list the approximate cost for the whole thing in the list below:

  • Pricetapestry Script: approximately – $300
  • Hosting Account – $50 for the whole year
  • Affiliate Account – usually free.
  • Your time – anywhere from few hours to 2 days.

So, monetary cost will be around $350 and you will have a script that is yours and a hosting account for 1 year.  Not bad to start such a lucrative business from home for less than $500.  But is it as lucrative as it sounds?  There are many sites that run on pricetapestry, while most of them are not making any money, I am sure there are some who do.  It will all depend on your niche market and strategy you implement to bring traffic.

Alternative Price Comparison Scripts

WordPress Price Comparison Plugin

wordpress plugin
wordpress plugin

Most likely you all know WordPress and it is one of the most popular platforms used all over the web.  WordPress can be used as a blogging platform, eCommerce, forums, etc.  It is flexible and easy to use, thus, plugins are available to create a price comparison website on WordPress’s platform.  They also have the theme design which is a mandatory for price comparison websites plugin to work, Prices are reasonable and the simple package for plugin only starts at $48 while the theme will cost you another $49.  So you can have the theme and plugin for wordpress for $100 plus any other costs.  Much cheaper than PriceTapestry and of course there cons and pros to both of them.  If you want to start cheaper and try your business idea, this might a good starting point.  Click here to check this plugin and theme

Magento Price Comparison Website Extension

Magento connect
Magento connect

Magento also has extentions that will enable you to create a price comparison store and you will also be able to buy templates created for such purposes.  Prices are reasonable just like WordPress plugins and start anywhere from $30 and run up to $300.  Depending on the quality and the development of the script, theme, and efficiency.  Since you are just staring out, any of these cheaper versions should work for you.  I personally chose PriceTapestry, because I have some plans for the website and dont mind loosing $500 if nothing works out.  That is my side project, just as this blog is.  I love creating eCommerce businesses and try to develop them, I enjoy it, but will not risk too much.

Is It Possible For Me To Make Money?

Of course it is possible, but I have to be honest, will be a bit difficult.  Pricegrabber and Nextag were one of the first ones to get into such business.  Once the industry is established, usually the first ones dominate it.  It is like copying eBay, which has been done many times, but unsuccessfully.  Everyone knows eBay and for you to get people to auction their stuff on your site will be quite a challenge.  Starting a price comparison website is, however, easier than copying eBay.  Since price comparison website will only require you to get merchant’s products on your website and then send traffic over to them without users registering, it will not be as difficult.  There are two factors that will determine whether your business will be successful: 1. Niche 2. SEO strategy.

Business Strategy For Price Comparison Website

strategy to start price comparison website
strategy to start price comparison website

Since Google doesn’t allow advertising of websites that contain solely from affiliate links, you will not be able to use adwords.  Google also doesn’t like showing websites that merely copy the descriptions of products from other websites and post them on their own.  Since your website will be everything Google hates, it will be tough to get organic or free traffic.  There are few things you can do to build some audience:

  • Write blogs reviewing products of your merchants and Send links from your blog to your store front
  • Build Social Media Following and Post images or links of those products on your website
  • Create Youtube Videos showcasing or reviewing the products or services of your merchants

Finding Affiliate Merchants and Displaying Ads

marketing-998561_640Once you have figured out which script, plugin or extension to use and which platform to go with and worked out the way to bring traffic to your website, you will need to start signing up with Affiliate networks and display ads.  There are networks that are perfect for starters and as you grow, you will have unique opportunities to make extra income from reviews and sponsored content writing.  As a starting point Sharesale affiliate account should be good enough.  They have many merchants with data feeds and you can even place banners from them on your website.

If you want to display ads in addition to products on your price comparison website, the easiest way to place banner ads is with Google Adsense.  It is easy to sign up and Google will provide you with HTML codes to place on your store.  There are other places to buy and sell ad space, such as  I would say, to start it is better sign up with Google Adsense, since BuySellAds will require your site to have large enough traffic and popularity.

Time Consuming? Is it worth it? Depends

It will take a lot of your time, but to build a legitimate business that may start bring in income every month may well be worth your time.  If you have a daytime job, you may want to put up price comparison website on something that you know a lot about and just work part time on your site.  It can also be an ideal business idea for those who stay home with their kids.  While your kids are asleep, you can be building the next Pricegrabber, you never know.  Stay home moms are especially good candidates, because they are usually the ones to come up with creative ideas.  As long as you focus on one area or niche, I believe you can make some income out of it.

Pros & Cons of Building New Price Comparison Website

Pros Cons
Easy To Install Difficult to bring traffic
Potential Income Industry Already Established
Doesn’t Require Much Capital May loose $350
Blogs Can Bring Targeted Traffic Google Will Hate Your Site
Commissions range 7%-30% Difficult to get good merchants
Some Sites Are Making a Killing Lots of Sites Not Making Money

You can checkout some demo stores and real stores from below links:

Here are the links for resources:

Let me know if you tried the script and we can list your link on this blog as well.  Good luck.