What if the merchant I like doesn't offer an affiliate program?

Question - I have a problem in that none of the merchants I'd like to promote have affiliate programs in place. I found one company with an affiliate program, but their site looked terrible and I didn't trust them at all. 

Have you heard of anyone successfully helping a company start a good affiliate program?  If so, how did they go about it?

Answer - I had a look over your site and your niche is perfect for a pay-per-sale offline arrangement similar to what Nori does with local merchants with her Anguilla site. 

What suppliers in your niche need is a constant supply of qualified leads. 

If you can send them prospects you can ask for a percentage of each sale or a price per lead if they know their conversion ratios from prospects to sales. 

I'd be trying to get a percentage of each installed job as some projects could run to several thousand dollars and are usually very profitable for the installer. 

You could put a proposal to them and say you'd like to send them enquires from prospects and use Form Build It to set it up - just make sure that you get a copy of each email enquiry. 

Ask them if you can do it as a test and see how it goes and if it doesn't work out they can drop out after a certain period. If it does work there's no way that they will want to cancel it 

So they can track where their leads are coming from, make it direct response and work out some special deal or offer with them that you can promote exclusively on your site that each prospect has to print out and take in to the merchant to redeem. 

Something like a special discount or an extra bonus for bringing in the coupon. The prospect simply prints the coupon out from your website and brings it in to the supplier to claim the discount or bonus. 

The merchant records the total spent on each coupon, and at the end of each week or month, you and he count up the total and he cuts you a check for your share. 

Point out that this is a great deal for him because he gets a new customer that they would never have found who they can then sell additional products to over and over again forever. 

You just get a share of the first purchase and they get all the back end...that's Ok because you have control of the web traffic and can continue to find new prospects. 

And if your new partner duds you and doesn't want to pay you for any reason, just take all your leads to his biggest competitor and do a deal with him instead... 

Hope this helps...