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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Angry Affiliate program tracking IP address only?
    I've used affiliate programs since there were affiliate programs, but this is a first...

    I found a product mentioned on several sites, decided to check it out, made my purchase and then found they had an in-house affiliate program. I began a project for a client and found that the product was a good match, so I used my referral link (on behalf of the client and there are no rules against this). After about a month, still no credit for the sale. I contacted the product's site owner and was told that his system uses IP addresses to track sales.

    Since I likely used all of the computers I have access to to make my initial purchase (as I tend to over-research), I would have no way of knowing which one had an IP address NOT in his system. What prompted this post is that he told me "all of the affiliate programs will work this way."

    I've never come across this. How popular is that really? And, why would anyone track only by IP address and not have it overwritten in some way? Since his site doesn't mention that they track by IP address only, isn't it safe to assume that they use cookies, or at least an email address to track?

    I explained to him that the client wanted me to have the commission, not some random person... It doesn't give people the ability to support sites by choosing who gets the commission as the IP address cannot be overwritten in his system. What am I missing? Am I missing something, or is this guy just blowing smoke?
    Hi, I'm a signature.

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager
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    I've been to the e-commerce industry long enough to tell you that most Affiliate Program are tracking not only the IP, but also a cookie and of coooourse returning customers even if they don't have the cookie anymore (by IP) and some of them also check the customer name to see if he purchased in the past!!

    is this guy just blowing smoke?
    Completely!

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Tracking by IP Address is a nice additional tracking method (although it is fairly rare), but I don't know of any network or software where it's the primary or only tracking method. The two problems with IP Addresses is that 1) sometimes a large number of people [like everyone at the same company] have the same IP Address and 2) sometimes users IP addresses change regularly (like AOL users and many DSL users).
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
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  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager
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    additional tracking method
    Agreed!

  5. #5
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    Thank you... just what I've been thinking. It also just occurred to me that this is an easy way for him to get out of paying commissions - dynamic IP addresses are very common! Someone could visit from an affiliate, the IP address changes before they return to make the purchase, and nobody gets the commission.
    Last edited by Celicaphile; June 2nd, 2010 at 12:32 PM.
    Hi, I'm a signature.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    I never managed or even heard of any program using the IP address to track sales. Are they saying the sale was from a customer and not someone new? If so, do their terms state they only pay for new customers?
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
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    Whoever my IP address is listed under in their system got the commission I earned via my client even though it was my link last clicked on. My client wanted me to get the commission, but I didn't because the system gave it to someone else...

    Basically, I did quite a bit of research, possibly from all computers I have access to, prior to making the original purchase. All of those IP addresses are likely in their system as having come from another affiliate because in some cases I couldn't remember the URL, but remembered where I found it (affiliate link).

    Fast forward to working on my client's project and we used my affiliate link for the purchase, but the link didn't even come into play because the IP address was already logged. No cookie to be written, erased, or overwritten. I guess that could help prevent some fraud, but an IP address only system is seriously flawed for the reasons stated.

    The site doesn't have much in the way of terms (FAQ is empty), but both the affiliate program's About page and the site owner state that you will get paid for "each sale you deliver." Which, in his mind, is not really the person who delivered the sale, but rather the lucky SOB who got the IP address logged in the system first. The customer has no choice as to who gets the commission, even though the intent (clicking the link) was obvious.
    Hi, I'm a signature.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager
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    Bah! You should tell these guys to

    Sounds to me they are trying to get away with the commission.

    Just tell me which is program to tell my affiliates to avoid it!

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