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  1. #1
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    You know, Sept 2003 I quit my day job (I guess quit is too simplistic to what happened, I was a high school math teacher, long story has nothing to do with this post) and for the last I guesst 15 months now, I have been supporting myself through affiliate marketing. Anyway, after telling people (or trying to explain it) what I do, the next question from everyone is..."How do you kow the merchants are not ripping you off?" The best I can muster is, I'm pretty sure they aren't ripping me off because the software that manages the affiliate program, either through cj or commercially perchased, isn't owned by the merchant. And it seems to me that the merchants don't have the technical expertese to bypass the software. Either way, if I think I am being ripped off b/c one merchants sales are much lowers than another for similar products and traffic, I just drop the failing merchant. These things are the cost of doing an internet affiliate business. So any thoughts on this matter. What do you tell people when they ask, how do you know merchants aren't ripping you off?


    I don't mention to people about parasites. That is way to complicated a concept to explain to people and defeats the purpose. People would probably say your getting ripped off anyway get a day job.
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

    Cow Dance

  2. #2
    Affiliate Miester my2cents's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    far far away....
    I dont think there is anything you can really say...

    most people just don't get the concept of having an online business and living of it's income...

    I always get the deer in the headlight look when i talk about what i do...

    we wont even have a discussion of what my wife thinks about this....

    that's my2cents, 'cuz I'm a legend in my own mind....

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    "how do you know merchants aren't ripping you off?"

    Test purchases.

    "...the merchants don't have the technical expertese to bypass the software."

    The tracking pixel is on the merchant's site on the merchant's server and is under the merchant's control.

    Though most merchants would never consider doing such a thing, enough of them DO cheat like this that I come across several per year in the course of making about 15 test purchases per month.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    In some of my latest testing of around 300 merchants, 6 were not creating a cookie at all (that has a cookie duration) and one was stuffing cookies. This is not a good indication IMO that merchants aren't ripping off affiliates.

    It's a sad thing for me to not only find these kinds of things but to see the results ignored by networks. I can not imagine creating a network program that did not monitor for merchants turning off tracking and yet, it appears that most networks have done just this.

    Is a 2% failure rate acceptable? Is non response to the issues being reported acceptable? For me the answer is clear.

  5. #5
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    - - - - -
    we wont even have a discussion of what my wife thinks about this....
    - - - - -

    Joe- My wife was giving me all sorts of grief about spending so much time online, until she picked up the mail one day, and saw one of my commission checks. All of a sudden, it was HER idea, lololol.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    The fact is that the merchants and lead gen advertisers are ripping us off, but we accept it because we are making enough off of it. And to be honest, with alot of them, they do not even know they are doing it.

    I helped an affiliate network integrate their tracking software. through tests we did, we found that there was an error differential of nearly 8-10% because of cookies not being turned on or transmission losses on placing the cookie. So I asked around and most of the networks accept this as being an okay margin of error.

    10% okay? So we worked on a tracking mechanism that was url based and publisher specific landing pages to nearly eliminate the problem (under 1% loss rate). But the fact is that the publishers(affiliates) never complained as the checks were high enough and consistent with results that they had seen on other networks for similar products or deals.

    So tell them "yes, I get ripped off now and then, but the positives out weigh the negatives."
    Chris Mayr
    When amassed, even dust can become a mountain.

    There is a finite amount of intelligence but an infinite amount of stupidity in the universe

  7. #7
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    I generally say something along the lines of:
    "The merchants make too much money being honest to risk losing all their affiliate income if they were caught cheating."

    This ignores many problems (parasites, cookies being turned off, cookies being erased by anti-adware programs, etc.) but it satisfies people who ask.

  8. #8
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Opposite the Slough of Despond
    I think that there are certain merchants who are absolutely, definitely ripping off affiliates.

    If you are running a site with several merchants who are all essentially similar, then you would expect broadly similar results. Sometimes merchants convert so poorly that they stand out from the competition. These tend to be merchants who are either deliberately ripping you off, or who have tracking problems they aren't prepared to fix. If you look at the statistics they are normally pretty easy to identify.

    However, the majority of merchants are pretty decent, and as you develop your sites you will naturally use them more than others. The key thing is to keep an eye on the statisitics, and to make sure you ditch poor performing merchants.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

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