Read these Terms & Conditions carefully. There are some important rules here that affect your acceptance into our Affiliate Program and, once accepted, your ongoing affiliate status.
When we talk about “We” or “Us” we mean Stewart Guitars, Inc. and our Affiliate Program. When we talk about “You” we mean you, as an individual, or you as a commercial entity– a corporation, LLC or partnership, that’s recognized by law. When we talk about “Website” or “site” throughout this page we also include blogs. It’s just easier to say Website.
These Terms & Conditions are subject to change without notice. But we will always message our current affiliates and inform them of any changes.
Your Website or blog should meet certain minimum standards.
When you apply as an affiliate with us we’ll check out your site to make sure it’s a good fit for our affiliate program.
- Your Website should be closely related to guitars and music. If it’s about early Roman literature or Tuscan cooking, chances are the people who are interested in electric travel guitars won’t visit as often as they would a related site. We would both be wasting effort.
- Your site should be reasonably well done, easy to navigate and find stuff. It doesn’t have to be a glitzy, expensive site. Just a good effort. We’re pretty understanding about this. You don’t have to be an artist or a techie.
- If your site has content that promotes hate, violence, intolerance or contains porn, we won’t approve it. And we get to be the sole judge of which sites we approve or reject according to our own standards.
- If you are approved for our affiliate program we will periodically check your site to ensure it still complies with our standards. If it doesn’t, we’ll work with you to fix most problems. But in the case of paragraph #3 above, we reserve the right to terminate our affiliate relationship immediately and without warning.
Do NOT engage in email spam
A quick way to get into trouble with government regulators, get your email service and Website shut down, and possibly get fined is to engage in egregious email spam. The U.S. CAN-SPAM Act governs sending business email, whether in bulk or individually. Now, the Act does not specifically say that you cannot send unsolicited commercial email. That is, it doesn’t require that the recipient(s) must have given prior explicit permission for you to send him or her an email. But most email newsletter apps, all the big email platforms, ( such as Google, Yahoo etc.) and Web hosting companies that provide email require that you do get bulletproof, prior approval– called “double opt-in.” Double opt-in is when the user signs up for your email newsletter, or call to action, and OK’s you to email him your material. Then you send a confirmation email and he clicks on a confirmation link, which is the second opt-in. There’s no mistake here; he fully authorized getting emails from you– twice.
Other countries, such as Canada and Australia, require prior opt-in. In the E.U. you can’t send an email to a “natural person” without prior opt-in but you can do so to legal entities such as corporations. These laws also apply to text messages. These laws are of course subject to change. Make sure you know the national or regional laws on email before you shut your eyes, pray– and click “SEND.”
While US law doesn’t require advance authorization you do, however, need to comply with various rules about email headers, subject lines, and offer an conspicuous opt-out method that you are required to honor in 10 business days.
You need to know the full provisions of the law. We are not engaged in giving legal or financial advice, and this information only reflects our understanding of the law and regulations. If you need legal services you should seek the services of a qualified attorney or accountant. Read the FTC’s “CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business” for the facts. We will cancel affiliate accounts where site owners engage in email spam.
How you get paid.
You will get paid at the end of each month for the total commissions accrued during the previous month. The basic commission rate is 5% of sales you generate. There is no minimum commission threshold required for payment.
We pay via Paypal. You should have a Paypal account set up, and we’ll ask for the email address associated with your Paypal account when you fill out our Affiliate application form.
You will be an independent contractor, not an employee of Stewart Guitars, Inc. and are therefore responsible for paying all applicable taxes. If your commissions in any calendar year are $600 or more we are required to send you– and copy the IRS– an IRS Form 1099-Misc. When you sign up as a new affiliate we’ll snail mail you a paper IRS Form W-9 to complete and return to us. If you don’t return a properly completed Form W-9 in a timely manner we may have to suspend your account until it’s received. Neither one of us wants tax problems!
More Federal regulations: you need to make full disclosure to your site visitors that you are an affiliate, and that you get a commission.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is serious that affiliates must disclose in a fully transparent manner that they get a commission if a user clicks on the image or textual link and then make a purchase. You need to comply with their rules or you can suffer expensive fines. Stewart Guitars, Inc. can be also held jointly responsible when you are not compliant, so we will routinely check our affiliate sites to confirm they are adhering to the FTC rules. Affiliates who ignore our requests to become fully compliant are subject to removal from the program. Here is the FTC blog page that discusses disclosure. Read it. We’ll summarize it all below, using the FTC’s four primary considerations.
- Prominence. Is the disclosure big enough for consumers to read easily? No fine print. Don’t use the old light font against a light background trick.
- Presentation. Is the disclosure worded in a way that consumers can easily understand? Using legalese or technical terminology reduces the likelihood that consumers will get the message. Burying important information in a dense block of text is another common tactic that signals “don’t read me.”
- Placement. Geography matters. Is the disclosure where consumers are likely to look? An FTC settlement challenged as ineffective a key disclosure that ran down the side of a print ad, perpendicular to the main text. Another case dealt with information conveyed in small type in the upper left corner of a full-page newspaper ad. And given all the talk about footnotes, the bottom of the page or screen is NOT a place most consumers will look.
- Proximity. Is the disclosure close to the claim it modifies? Tiny type aside, another problem with footnotes is their distance from the prominent headline or splashy text designed to draw the consumer in. If you need to include key qualifications or conditions, remember this maxim: What the headline giveth, the footnote cannot taketh away. And don’t think an asterisk will always solve the problem. There’s a reason it’s called an aste-risk.
Examples of FTC compliant disclosures using our creatives.
These disclosure statements satisfy all four FTC guidelines. But they aren’t the only acceptable ones.
A clickable image affiliate link example (not live for illustration purposes)
A textual affiliate link example
In this example, the affiliate link (in green) is embedded in the text on your page. This example link is not live for illustration purposes.
“In the travel electric guitar category, one brand stands out. The Stow-Away, by Stewart Guitars, is a full size, performance guitar that stows in its own carry-on bag. It meets airline carry-on standards so you can take it on your next flight! I recommend the Performance quality, full scale travel guitars by Stewart Guitars. Please note that if you follow this link and make a purchase, I will receive a commission.”
In the event of a dispute.
We will work hard to resolve any misunderstanding or dispute. We want happy and prosperous affiliates. But if we can’t arrive at an agreement that resolves your issue, and you wish to take further action, you agree that the dispute will be settled by arbitration in Dallas, Texas and according to the laws of Texas, USA.