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  1. #1
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    Need Advice on Non-Commissionable Sales
    There are times like these when I get so discouraged and wonder why I am even doing this - the merchants are the ones with the upper hand and gain the biggest benefit.

    I just checked my non-commissionable sales report for linkshare and for one of my merchants (skincare company with 15 return days), I made $221 so far this month (and $230 last month). I know that doesn't sound like a lot of money to many of you, but the problem is - I made 0 sales for this merchant in Dec and Jan - I take that back -- I made quite a few sales, I just didn't get commission for any of them.

    I emailed the affiliate manager about 10 days ago asking if she could extend the return days, but she either never got the email or decided not to respond. I mean, why would she care, the company got almost $500 in sales that they don't have to pay commission for. The only one losing out is me.

    I can't be the only one this happens to -- what do you do in a situation like this? do you drop the merchant? Keep trying to contact them, hoping they will extend your return days? I really like the products this company has, but I don't want to promote them anymore, because they seem to be the only one making money. I am not sure what to do and would appreciate any advice.

    I wasn't sure where to post this -- since it is a linkshare merchant that I am having the issue with, I posted it here.

  2. #2
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    Find a different merchant that sells skin care products, one that has longer return days. Although 15 days is pretty good. Try to find one with at least 30 or more.

    Greatskin on Linkshare has 60 return days, and is run by the AMWSO team
    Mario Badescu has 60 return days, and is run by the Andy Rodriguez team

    Both worth checking out

  3. #3
    15 years and counting
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    What the non-commissionable sales report at linkshare shows you is only a small fraction of non-reported sales in affiliate marketing.
    Yes, it hurts to know commissions are not paid for cookies expired or goods returned but it's part of the affiliate agreement.
    Some merchants would like us to believe return days are not important...
    What's worse, it's all the commissions not reported for other reasons and you'll find a truckload of reasons. And no reports for that. Just speculation but with some experience, like merchants switching from one network to an other or starting an indy program, you can guess what the networks are not reporting. And it's big.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    I've had the same problem with a couple of merchants at Linkshare. I had one that I think I had maybe 5 or 6 sales with and got absolutely nothing. 5 or 6 sales and every single last one of em got no commisssion. Sorry, but that seemed hard to imagine. Maybe that amount if ya had 100 sales or somethin but couldn't believe all of em.

    I contacted people several times and got absolutely nowhere. Even after I removed em from my site I continued to get a non-commission sale. ( that was really adding salt to a wound but guess it was from a cookie ) I really liked their products, too and had specific search terms bringing people to that page for the product........it didn't mean anything tho if every single sale was coming up as non-commission. (and before anybody says anything....nope I wasn't doin anything wrong.....do everything completely ethical. They were all supposedly the return days)

    I am reaaaaaaallly patient with merchants (sometimes waaaaay too much) certainly wouldn't wanna tell ya what to do cos only you can decide that but there's not a whole lotta point keepin em on your site if this is what's happening to ya.

    Agree with what Julian said: "Greatskin on Linkshare has 60 return days, and is run by the AMWSO team. Mario Badescu has 60 return days, and is run by the Andy Rodriguez team"

    All of the amwso guys are great and andy's are too. Gary's got a merchant at AvantLink, too. In fact, now that I think of it, Andy's got another beauty merchant as well. Plenty of em out there you could give a try. Least I know if ya have a problem, those guys will talk to ya and try to help They're all good guys (oooops and Steph with Andy's is a good girl lol )

    Wish you good luck regardless what ya do.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus
    What the non-commissionable sales report at linkshare shows you is only a small fraction of non-reported sales in affiliate marketing.
    Thanks Zeus - I guess I should be glad I don't see all of them

    Quote Originally Posted by Julian
    Find a different merchant that sells skin care products, one that has longer return days.
    I am an affiliate for a few other beauty sites, but I haven't made any money from them. I have made more sales for this particular merchant than any other. It is a very popular beauty brand that has great promotions and really nice gifts with purchase that people seem to really like.

    Quote Originally Posted by purplebear
    Wish you good luck regardless what ya do.
    Thanks purplebear!! I appreciate your advice!!

    Thank you all for your responses. I think this is just one of those things that I lose either way.

  6. #6
    15 years and counting
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    What I was trying to say in my post is that LinkShare Non-Commissionable report is just a tool. A useful tool to discover how many commissions are not paid mainly on expired cookies.
    You have the same problems with other networks, except commissions with expired cookies are not reported, so you don't know how many are not paid.
    So, don't focus too much on this report. Push what works best for you. One of the key to success in affiliate marketing is to discover the best converting merchants for your site.

  7. #7
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFashionista
    I have made more sales for this particular merchant than any other. It is a very popular beauty brand that has great promotions and really nice gifts with purchase that people seem to really like.


    What good is that if you aren't getting paid for a lot of your sales? Just a thought.

    Find another merchant and discover how to sell based on the products, not a brand (unless you are getting paid upfront for ad space).

    Good luck.

  8. #8
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    Here's one for you ... 43 sales for over $2,500 ... all ended up in the non-com file.
    Who was the merchant? Walmart. So, I pulled their links. And send the traffic I was sending Walmart to EBAY - where the cookie is 30 days and the prices comparable.

    But I left the search link up since I use it to search for stuff on Walmart that I might buy or to see what they charge for a similar product some other merchant has in their mix. However, since this link is on a page that gets zero traffic - except for me. Might as well use them for my purposes instead of vice versa.

    All in all Linkshare has devised a pretty darm good system for merchants to steal from affiliates. If there ever was an entity breaking the RICO laws, Linkshare is the poster child.

    What I find most amazing about merchants is they can't do math. (Which probably is why the economy vacuums right now). Duh! If no one visits your offers, you won't sell anything. If you have a 3 day cookie ... 90% of all the sales are non-commssionable - how much traffic are you going to lose when this slap in the face of your affiliates results in they no longer send you traffic.

    My new action plan is this: If the merchant is so worried about paying me a commission whether it be a low percentage or assorted tricks ... then hey buy your own traffic ... last time I looked Google was not offering discounts.

  9. #9
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Time to move to another merchant on a clean network.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by net4biz

    All in all Linkshare has devised a pretty darm good system for merchants to steal from affiliates. If there ever was an entity breaking the RICO laws, Linkshare is the poster child.
    It's called cookie duration... RICO? You've got to be kidding me.

    Every network has the problem of having merchants with low cookie durations, but only linkshare lets you see what you would've been missing.

  11. #11
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    Yeah, that is one thing they have up on other networks. A report I think most merchants wouldn't want you to have, where you can see all the sales you're not getting paid on for various reasons, mostly the sale happening after the cookie duration. You can't see that on any other network.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProWebAddict
    What good is that if you aren't getting paid for a lot of your sales? Just a thought.
    I guess I am torn because in Oct and Nov I did really well with this merchant and actually made more sales than I ever did with any other merchant. It wasn't until Dec that I noticed I made sales that I didn't receive credit for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus
    So, don't focus too much on this report. Push what works best for you. One of the key to success in affiliate marketing is to discover the best converting merchants for your site.
    Thanks Zeus, you are right I shouldn't focus so much on the negative. For two months, this was my best converting merchant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    Yeah, that is one thing they have up on other networks. A report I think most merchants wouldn't want you to have, where you can see all the sales you're not getting paid on for various reasons, mostly the sale happening after the cookie duration. You can't see that on any other network.
    In some ways I think it is nice that they disclose all the sales you don't receive credit for, but it is very discouraging to see all the money I could have made. In some cases, maybe ignorance is bliss

    Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I truly appreciate your advice!!

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