Update — a updated referral system has been announced and discussed here. Thread closed.
It all started here when @noelstewartx asked about Green Man Gaming referral codes. Basically I intended to implement a system that allows OzBargain members to submit their own referral code, and when a user clicks on the main link, a random code from a random member is picked.
I guess it is to maximise the gain of contributors. Signing up or purchasing with those code don't cost you anything (and in some cases both referral and referred get mutual benefits). So why not? More dough to buy things. However the danger would be all the greedy ones gaming the system — we shall see how bad it goes :)
Here are the documentation:
- Referral Links on OzBargain
- Posting Referral Links
For now I have enabled this feature on both Vitacost and Green Man Gaming. You need to post 2 or more +5 deals from a merchant before you are allowed to enter in your referral code (and I just realised that for Vitacost it means only 2 users can do that at the moment). This is intended to encourage contribution, rather than just piggy back your referral code on someone else's deals.
Yeah another policy change. Posting affiliate/referral links is no longer allowed in comments. Post good deals, put in your referral code and earn your credits that way.
More merchants will be supported in the future — the system I've developed enables me to easily turn on/off this feature on any merchant, provided the merchant supports this kind of "refer a friend" scheme. However I would like to trial run this on Vitacost and GMG first to see how the community reacts.
Finally, I want to make a distinction between "referral link" and "affiliate link" here. I know it's all technicality, but referral links are those earning you store credit, letting you refer a friend — Vitacost, GMG, Amaysim, etc.
"Affilite links" however, are usually used by web publishers and are issued by affiliate networks (once they approved your site and let you into their affiliate network). For now I am happy with the former (referral links) but not the later (affiliate links) to be posted. I might make an exception to Amazon associates (just remember: DO NOT claim that you represent or are affiliated with OzBargain), but don't bother asking me whether you can post your clixGalore, AffiliateWindow or CommissionJunction links.
Update 10 October 2012:
First posts and users less than 6 weeks old are not allowed to post referral links anywhere in the deal. Documentation has been updated.