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  1. #1
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Commission Junction DeActivation
    Hello all;

    I usually dont visit the CJ section because i dont have any merchants that use CJ.
    But I am an active affiliate of CJ and recently received a letter from them.

    Dear Richard Reitman,

    You are receiving this email because we are concerned that your Commission Junction publisher account has not generated any valid commissions (from payable transactions) recently. We encourage you to begin earning commissions as quickly as possible. Otherwise, your publisher account is at risk of deactivation due to dormancy. Please see the Commission Junction Publisher Service Agreement for further explanation.


    Accounts deactivated for dormancy are eligible for voluntary reactivation with Commission Junction, but you must re-establish any previous relationships with your advertisers. After reactivation, you are ready to redevelop your publisher business and begin actively promoting offers within the CJ Marketplace.

    Of course, we would much rather see your publisher account actively earning commissions. If you would like some information on strategies and tips for doing so, please log in to the CJ Account Manager and click on the CJU Online link for helpful resources.

    If you have any further questions regarding this or other issues, please use the Ask a Question feature available by selecting the Contact Us link available in your CJ Account Manager.


    Regards,
    Client Support "

    I then asked them about this as I have been an affiliate for over 2 years with various merchants and i have links up but no sales.

    The responded with this note.

    Hello Richard,

    Thank you for your inquiry about account deactivation. The process of deactivation automatically begins six months after your last transaction. As stated in the Publisher Service Agreement (“PSA”), any publisher account which does not generate any revenue within a period of six consecutive months will be charged a Dormant Account Fee of either $10 or the account balance, whichever is less. This fee is charged until the account balance reaches zero, at which point the account is deactivated. In addition, you will lose all your affiliations if your account has not been reactivated 90 days after the deactivation date. Therefore, we suggest reactivating your account as soon as possible. You can view the status of your affiliations under the “By Relationship” tab of your account manager. Go to Get Links > By Relationship.

    The only way to prevent your account from being deactivated is to generate a commission. To generate a commission, we recommend having a friend buy something through your site. If you are deactivated, you can simply reactivate your account by selecting the reactivate option when you attempt to log in. If for some reason you are unable to reactivate your account yourself, please contact us at 1-800-761-1072.

    If you are concerned about deactivation and would like to view your most recent transaction, please run a Performance Report for this year. To run a Performance Report: Log in > Run Reports > Performance Reports > Choose a report type from the ‘Select Report’ drop down box (right side of page) > Select 'This Year' as a Time Frame > Generate Report > Click 'Detail' to view the date of your transactions.

    Thank You,

    Client Support

    I am just wondering if any other affiliates or AM's have a problem with a network taking control of the affiliates and trying to charge $10 from affiliates that do not make sales but have active links up.

    First time i have heard of any affiliate OWING money to the network.
    Richard
    Affiliate Marketing Manager AMWSO
    Digestinol, Luxe-Design


    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    I just had a friend complain about this to me. I think it's a poor practice, IMO. Sometimes it can take up to 6 months before you start seeing good traffic to a new website, especially if you're just starting out and learning the ropes of marketing.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
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  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    I really don't understand why it would be so hard to just make a small purchas.e through your site to prevent this. Many merchants allow it

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    I made purchases through her link to keep her activated, but not before she found out they deducted the $10 from her account. She wasn't aware that they'd do this and I don't think most folks are until the rude awakening.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  5. #5
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Ten bucks isn't all that much, but it sure is a crappy thing to so. I got one of those "friendly reminders" around the first of the year. So, I joined a merchant I knew would convert on one of my sites. Put them on the front page - made two sales - and then removed them. I suppose I'll have to do that again in June or July. Those are my busy months so I'll get the two sales in a day or less.

    like that makes me want to totally ignore CJ. But one day there just may be a merchant there that will make me wish I were still active.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  6. #6
    Newbie -CJAFF-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamingoworld
    I really don't understand why it would be so hard to just make a small purchas.e through your site to prevent this. Many merchants allow it
    I agree. 6 months is a long time - one should be able to make at least one sale, but if not, just make a purchase through their own affiliate link.

    They probably get 1000's of new accounts that stay forever dormant - no point to keep them active in the system.

  7. #7
    No Longer Banned!
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    CJ Charges Me If I DON'T Make A Sale ??..... ~ Yep !....
    Hi

    This has been going on for years at cj.

    Steve
    DreamLinux.net | Registered Linux User 453976 | PM me to view our sites. It's a Google thing.

  8. #8
    Tax Paying Member
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    I joined CJ in the early days. I was very GREEN. Made my first commissions with CJ. Never collected a penny of it. I don't know what their minium payout is now, but in those days I think that it was 100 dollars. I had 40 dollars in commissions. These were my first sales. They confiscated 10 dollars per month for a couple of months At this point I closed the account and told them that they must need the 40 bucks more than me............So it was theirs to keep.

    I know a lot more now than at that time. I make more sales now. But I be damned if CJ will ever earn a dime from one of my sites.
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
    Carolina China

  9. #9
    web dev with whiskers tn-morgen's Avatar
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    I often suggest folks buy from their own merchants at CJ when they get started with them. The only problem is that CJ carries some merchants that are nowhere else. I have to watch it closely to be sure I don't have the same problem.

    6 months is NOTHING! It can be 7-8 months between sales at a specific merchant but you are making a lot of sales elsewhere. Then, you might get 5-6 large sales all at once and nothing the rest of the year. I don't think the policy is fair. The only way to stop them is for everyone in the world to close their CJ accounts & that's not going to happen.

    If CJ is so greedy that they can't handle a file full of inactive affiliates on their computer, then maybe their computer needs help - this is, after all, the network that goes down more than any other on the planet!

  10. #10
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    I agree,
    It is hard for me to understand why CJ would not only deactivate an affiliate but charge them $10/month . What, for the honor of working with them??

    Yes it might be easy to use ur own links to purchase goods and I am sure 99% of affiliates do that BUT i did not become an affiliates to save a couple of dollars on things i purchase.

    CJAFF; "They probably get 1000's of new accounts that stay forever dormant - no point to keep them active in the system."

    What does it cost CJ to keep affiliates in the network? Nada, zero, zip. Even an inactive affiliate will get active given time and encouragment. I can see dropping an affiliate that after a year has not placed a link up but to drop one that has but just has not made a sale????
    \shame on you.

    I am sure SAS will pick up many disgrunteled affiliates and once the merchants see that affiliates are leaving they also will look elsewhere for a network that gives them more support. (their lose, Brains gain)

    Now they want to charge me $10/month until THEY choose to let me go....

    Right>>>
    Richard
    Affiliate Marketing Manager AMWSO
    Digestinol, Luxe-Design


    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

  11. #11
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Richard, I agree with your comments written in Post # 10

    When CJ initially put that policy into effect I was annoyed.
    I "left" CJ [just because of principle] for a while but when one merchant I was doing well with decided to sign on to CJ I followed the merchant.

    Luckily I've made enough sales to stay out of the "$10 trap," but knock on wood.
    I think the policy is very unfair.
    Why should affiliates pay for the privilege of displaying Commission Junction's Network merchants' advertisements on affiliate web sites?
    Most affiliate sites are on paid hosting: whether the hosting is paid or not, I don't like the idea of paying for advertisements.
    This "$10 trap policy of CJ's" is a contract of adhesion that I don't like.
    Last edited by Rhia7; March 6th, 2008 at 01:08 AM.
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  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard - AMWSO
    What does it cost CJ to keep affiliates in the network? Nada, zero, zip. Even an inactive affiliate will get active given time and encouragment. I can see dropping an affiliate that after a year has not placed a link up but to drop one that has but just has not made a sale????
    \shame on you.

    I am sure SAS will pick up many disgrunteled affiliates and once the merchants see that affiliates are leaving they also will look elsewhere for a network that gives them more support. (their lose, Brains gain)
    Richard,

    As someone who manages affiliate programs, I'm surprised you can't see the difference between CJ (who purges accounts) and LinkShare, who doesn't. Since both networks either restrict the number of affiliates you can email for free (LinkShare), or charge merchants a fee based on the number of affiliates emailed (CJ), all of those dormant accounts add up. You'd be surprised at the number of rude or unsubscribe type emails I received back from sending out recruitment emails at LinkShare, since many of those accounts are dead so long. It's also much easier on the back-end database systems, and queries run much quicker on smaller databases. When running a report for my affiliate program, do I really need to see data for every dead affiliate who hasn't done anything in 3 years, but makes my report take forever to load? Not sure that I agree with the deduction of commission before the closing of an account, but the expiration of affiliates who don't produce sales is understandable.

    That's just my take, though. Anyway, if an affiliate can't make sales on CJ, how does SAS benefit by having a non-sale generating affiliate in their network? Affiliates are always free to signup again, or to contact CJ to reactivate their account.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador
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    I will say 2+ years without a sale is a long time.

  14. #14
    Newbie -CJAFF-'s Avatar
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    Richard – AMWSO,

    First, if you really want an account back (and are too lazy to open a new one) – just call up CJ and they will turn it back on for you, and then you can just reapply to the few advertisers that you were generously generating no commissions for – simple.

    Second, let’s say there are many little guys like you that will never reach the $25 minimum payment. CJ would have to keep these balances open forever… and these little commissions would add up over the years, slowly building the liabilities in the accounting books as these transactions are all considered as accounts payable. Because these accounts would probably never be paid, but technically could have to be paid at any time, the accountants/auditors would go crazy trying to classify these liabilities (short-term? - long-term?), and with closing the books.

    So, does saving this headache by implementing a dormant account policy make sense, even though it will piss-off an affiliate or two that mean nothing to the profitability of the business? YES.

    Joshua also has a point… a mountain of dormant affiliates to sift through as an AM is probably no fun.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    CJ isn't the only one with a dormant account policy, I would guess it is an industry standard since SAS has one too. No sales or logins for 6 months and they charge you/close the account. But at least all it takes is a login to stay live.

  16. #16
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    Richard, they do not ever charge you into a negative balance, as said, it is just to clean up the account.

    I am less surprised/worried with their well known policy, but your being an affiliate, your not understanding the issue, and your reaction and thoughts on how to resolve the issue.

  17. #17
    It makes sense to keep the system clean for CJ and for the merchant. It's a bummer for affiliates but, reasonable I think. I'm new to affiliate marketing but have another business that's why I say it makes sense. I'm one of the guys who will be probably be getting an email telling me to make some sales.
    Thanks to the person who brought up the merchants point of view. It was valuable. I might have just left them if you hadn't of mentioned it.

  18. #18
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Never a supporter of this policy. Was an affiliate back in 2000 and did an eleborate site for LS and CJ. Made a couple of hundred $$$ via LS merchants within the 1st few months, none for CJ. Could be those merchants on CJ did not convert but whatever the case is, my account got canned. Pissed the crab out of me and heck, i am not going to go kiss the hand of CJ. It's their loss.

    Being a merchant, I think this process works against new and small publishers.

  19. #19
    Tax Paying Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy
    But at least all it takes is a login to stay live.
    Not true......It does not matter how active that you are.........It takes sales..........SALES

    I was very active, but very new, and even had money in escrow..........Money that I never received....I call it confiscation.

    It is a policy that discourages new affiliates as Eric pointed out.

    There are enough merchants elsewhere so that you can make money without this "crab"

    I see that a $25 dollar min has been mentioned. Did CJ change that??? It was much higher in the past.
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
    Carolina China

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    SAS has one too. No sales or logins for 6 months and they charge you/close the account. But at least all it takes is a login to stay live.
    That is on SAS, not CJ. I only mentioned it because they charge you too if there is a balance in that dormant account, it is not only CJ.

  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    Interesting thread.

    First I agree that it does not cost CJ a thing to keep you active so can't figure out why they would make so many people angry.

    BUT, on the other hand, I can not quite believe how many people are saying they make 1 or fewer sales from any and all approved CJ merchants in a 6-month period of time. No offense, but does it make sense to spend time on a project that can not produce at least 1 sale every 6 months?
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
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  22. #22
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    Unfortunately CJ are the big leaders on deactivation, most of us had our accounts deactivated in our early years..it is such a really stupid thing to do, whoever makes that policy at CJ needs a brain check. This is why merchants on CJ are continually deactivating affiliates, they follow the leader and are apparently pushed by CJ to deactivate affiliates.
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  23. #23
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    mmm maybe i got off on the wrong foot here.
    What i am saying is I do not agree with the NETWORK closing my account and then charging me a $10/month charge off of commissions due me from the merchant that the merchant paid (so CJ makes the money from the merchant and also from the affiliate).

    So now even if i make a sale and am owed commisions CJ will deduct $10 form what is owed me.

    I think it should be left up to the merchant to drop an affiliate for no clicks/sales.
    Richard
    Affiliate Marketing Manager AMWSO
    Digestinol, Luxe-Design


    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glinted
    This is why merchants on CJ are continually deactivating affiliates, they follow the leader and are apparently pushed by CJ to deactivate affiliates.
    I don't believe I've ever had communication from CJ urging deactivation of inactive affiliates...

  25. #25
    Outsourced Program Manager kgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glinted
    This is why merchants on CJ are continually deactivating affiliates, they follow the leader and are apparently pushed by CJ to deactivate affiliates.
    As someone who has managed several CJ based programs, I have never been contacted by CJ to remove inactive affiliates. The 6 month deactivation process is handled internally by them and managers are not informed of who is being removed. You find out that the deactivation has occured when you log in to the account in the morning and your total number affiliates have dropped from the night before.

    While I agree that some merchants and managers do deactivate affiliates from time to time, I'm definitely a proponent of activation campaigns. If you showed enough interest in my program to join it, I want to help you make the most of it, not kick you out because you've been too busy making a living. To drop you like that is just not fair in my opinion. Just my $0.02.
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