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  1. #1
    Member cckid's Avatar
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    October 20th, 2005
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    Merchandiser Query API
    Hello,
    I'm building a site and concluded that the most efficient way to do so will be by using the merchandiser query API. The problem is that although I am able to get a list of most items I'm interested in by using the 'categories' variable, I would like to know if there is either a list of available categories and if it's possible to narrow down things to MID sub-categories.
    Alternatively, the RSS data feeds provided aren't nearly robust enough - is there a way to get more results and more categories?!
    Thanks for any your time and input!

  2. #2
    Newbie
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    December 26th, 2008
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    Our personal solution was to use cronjobs to pull the data feeds from the linkshare FTP, then parse and insert them to our own databases.

    This works quite well at our internet mall which is a part of the shopping arm in a larger chain of social web sites.

    However I would like to point out two things.

    The first this is direct for you cckid and anyone else looking to try this implementation.
    Linkshare did not do a very good job of validating or policing the data that is uploaded and input by merchants. In fact we spent/wasted many days developing code that could ...
    1) Remove untracked links
    2) Resize pictures and maintain perspective (to improve load and look)
    3) validate all fields we were using (there were too many different types of garbage that had to be filtered out to include here at this time, suffice it to say merchants have some pretty creative imaginations, and many of the ideas they try would break sql)

    This second remark is more of a question...

    Since implementing this program we have not seen a single commission. This is despite the fact that going by link share stats we are serving up tens of thousands of impressions per month and hundreds of click thrus.

    The site works this way in summary...

    We deliver merchanidse search, information, description and price though our databases. We present this along with a buy button that holds our linkshare purchase code.
    So when this button is clicked it sends the perspective customer directly to the purchase page of the merchant along with all the necessary Link Share IDS. ours/theirs
    This is evidenced by linkshares reporting hundreds of clicks. Yet in 3 months of operation now there has not been one cent of commision earned according to Link Share!

    We find if hard to belive that hundreds of people are arriving at those marchants by way of a "BUY" button and then leaving without a single one of them making a purchase.
    At this point we are currently mounting our own investigations as to why this is happening and actually have begun to suspect some sort of fraud (affiliate code being thrown away , etc.).

    I would like to know if anyone else has is using the merchdiser program in any similar way and experienced the same mysterious no comission problems?
    Even if you are using the merchandiser program in a more conventional way we would like to hear from you.

    please reply or you can contact us directly through email

    (dont think I am allowed to post links so I will refrain)

    One last item: Moderator, if this should be an ongoing thread please let me know and I will start one for the purpose of getting to the bottom of this.
    As affiliates we all need to share these answers with each other.

    Thanks
    Manta
    CyberCorp 2000

    PS: cckid, let me know if there is anything I can answer any other questions for you concerning using the merchandiser datafeeds to accomplish your goals.
    Last edited by Manta; February 6th, 2009 at 09:44 PM.

  3. #3
    Member cckid's Avatar
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    Thanks Manta - that is the conclusion that I am arriving at myself. Looks like this special FTP feed is what I need. I just found out about it today, actually so I don't have a clear idea of what is in the FTP feed. LS wants to charge me to set this up for me but I am resisting that at this point. Makes me mad that, although everything is available through the API, I may need to use a different avenue to get the data that I want.
    I may just deal with what's available but my site won't be nearly as robust as I'd like it to be.
    Thanks for your advice...!

    Quote Originally Posted by Manta
    Our personal solution was to use cronjobs to pull the data feeds from the linkshare FTP, then parse and insert them to our own databases.

    This works quite well at our internet mall which is a part of the shopping arm in a larger chain of social web sites.

    However I would like to point out two things.

    The first this is direct for you cckid and anyone else looking to try this implementation.
    Linkshare did not do a very good job of validating or policing the data that is uploaded and input by merchants. In fact we spent/wasted many days developing code that could ...
    Remove untracked links

  4. #4
    Newbie
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    December 26th, 2008
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    13
    with PHP or perl the code to poll and retrieve the way datafeeds is pretty straight forward. If you want I can zip up the core (poll and retrieve) code to help you on your way.
    Yes you are right, they do charge $250 to set up access, a rather high fee considering the amount f work that you need to do post retreival to make it usefull.

  5. #5
    Member cckid's Avatar
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    Manta,
    I agree that this is suspicious. I also find it doubtful that you're not seeing any conversions! Even on my small sites that see less than 1000 visitors per month I see some conversions. Granted, it's not on LS, but still...the law of large numbers should definitely be on your side.
    I would love to see what one of the XML feeds contains and appreciate your help (electronics, movies, music, whichever!)! Not sure I can post my email address on here to share get that info, but it's just nick [at] cckid [dot] com.
    Thanks again and I hope I can return the favor to you sometime in the future!

  6. #6
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    January 29th, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manta
    Since implementing this program we have not seen a single commission. This is despite the fact that going by link share stats we are serving up tens of thousands of impressions per month and hundreds of click thrus.

    This is evidenced by linkshares reporting hundreds of clicks. Yet in 3 months of operation now there has not been one cent of commision earned according to Link Share!

    We find if hard to belive that hundreds of people are arriving at those marchants by way of a "BUY" button and then leaving without a single one of them making a purchase.
    At this point we are currently mounting our own investigations as to why this is happening and actually have begun to suspect some sort of fraud (affiliate code being thrown away , etc.).

    I would like to know if anyone else has is using the merchdiser program in any similar way and experienced the same mysterious no comission problems?
    Even if you are using the merchandiser program in a more conventional way we would like to hear from you.

    please reply or you can contact us directly through email

    (dont think I am allowed to post links so I will refrain)

    One last item: Moderator, if this should be an ongoing thread please let me know and I will start one for the purpose of getting to the bottom of this.
    As affiliates we all need to share these answers with each other.

    Thanks
    Manta
    CyberCorp 2000
    I have been an affiliate for a little while and while I have received some commissions (most have been from Amazon) I have been very suspicious that most sales are just going unreported.

    I know about parasites and everything, but recently I noticed after some people have told me they have made purchases through my site that Iíve had to report the transaction manually. I manually reported a transaction with Linkshare on January 27th and it is still unresolved. For that I had an order id. Then I found out someone a family member works with ordered from one of my GAN merchants and the transaction never showed up (this was 4 or 5 weeks ago). I emailed the merchant (because I see nowhere to manually report transactions at GAN) and they requested the order id to investigate further. I do not have the order id. Why should I need an order id? What about all the orders I donít know about?

    Commission Junction emailed about my high number of clicks and converting them into sales for a particular merchant. I had emailed CJ about the high number of clicks and no sales, which came from targeted Black Friday/Cyber Monday campaigns back in December. I read another thread here on abestweb about someone who had 5000 clicks and no sales through December for this same merchant. I emailed back asking if there was a way I can make sure that all my sales are being reported and have not received a reply back yet.

    I was skeptical about affiliate marketing to begin with and this does little to help me trust these networks and merchants. Iíve been reading the forums here and it seems like most affiliates just take for granted that merchants donít report a certain percentage of sales. And I know parasites can divert a large portion of sales from legit affiliates, but that is a different issue; Iím talking about sales that just donít get reported. Is it just that the big networks take advantage of certain affiliates for free advertising, assuming weíll never catch on or when we do it wonít matter if we leave? If this is the case it is a shame, because I know I could do a lot more to drive sales to these and more merchants, but I want some results from my merchants first and I'm finding I can't trust 99% of them.

    Don't mean to derail the originally topic of this thread, but as Manta said maybe this deserves its own thread. I would like to see if other affiliates have the same problems, if this has always been going on or if this is something new.

  7. #7
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum Frustrated Affiliate! To see what types of networks folks around here prefer, go to http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=103086 - then check out some of the more popular choices (hint hint).
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  8. #8
    Newbie
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    December 26th, 2008
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    Hello FrustratedAffiliate,

    SO far we have yet to generate revenue from a single click thru with LinkShare using the merchandizer program!

    I have been a programmer since before the internet and even before windows. I am now working on deep tracking to get to the bottom of what is happening as well as setting up stings.

    I am not accusing anyone in particular yet, but when we invest thousands of dollars in equipment, programming, and administration only to come up empty handed despite click thru rates that indicate otherwise those responsible can run but they can not hide and when we have the proof you will not need to come to this forum to read about it.
    IT WILL BE ON THE EVENING NEWS!

    Like you I would like to hear from others that are having similar difficulty with LS affiliate programs???

  9. #9
    Newbie
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    December 28th, 2012
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    1
    Merchandiser Query API
    Hi ,


    I am working on Linkshare webservices ( Merchandiser Query API ). I tried initially with sample URL provided in it. But it shows the response as

    "Unable to locate matching products. This can happen if you have not been approved by the Advertiser specified in the query or if you have no active relationships with any Advertiser." (Error Id : 7186919)

    What can be the problem? Please let me know.

    Below is the sample URL which i am trying.

    http://productsearch.linksynergy.com/productsearch?token={webservice token id here}&keyword=Books&MaxResults=20&pagenumber=1&sort=retailprice&sorttype=asc&sort=productname&sorttype=asc

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