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  1. #1
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    Question Return Exceeded Sales
    Hi my name is Carol and I run a web site called Beau Riche. It is my pride and joy and, like many no doubt, work 10 hours a day keeping up with new offers, removing dead links etc. My concern is I have hundreds of dollars of sales especially from one Linkshare company which denies commission on 98% of sales stating 'Return Exceeded'. I have contacted them several times by email requesting assistance but I have so far not received a reply. I have tried to pin down why this is happening without success. It seems so odd that a web site visitor clicks on an image in Popshops and then waits over 30 days to purchase. Consistantly. I feel that there must be something that I am missing, should be altering etc. This only happens with a handful of companies in Linkshare including this one very troubling company but I rarely have any cancelled sales in Commission Junction, Share A Sale or Google Performics so why have I lost over a thousand dollars in commission from one site that appears to be doing fine without any problems reported here or on the Internet from any other affiliates? Can anyone help? Many thanks.

  2. #2
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Hello Carol. I moved this to the LinkShare forum so the moderator can better help you. If you are not getting commissions because the return days have been exceeded then it means the affiliate cookie expired. The only way to get around that is to have the merchant extend your return days. One great feature in LinkShare is that they can do that for an individual affiliate. If you can not work it out with the merchant then its time to move to another merchant.

  3. #3
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    Return Exceeded
    Thank you Chuck for taking time to reply. I will speak to them about extending the cookie duration but 30 days is good compared to many. I still feel that with such a high percentage of 'return exceeded', 96% this year so far, that something is not right. What is it about underwear that makes so many people wait over thirty days before committing to purchase? lol

  4. #4
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Suggest you contact the merchant and ask them specifically what is going on.

    Have seen, in the past, what a merchant notes for a reversal may not be what is really happening.

    • Maybe it's really returns (being clothing)
    • Are they on more than one network (sales can be credited to another affiliate)
    • Maybe the merchant isn't a nice player


    Do a search here on ABW to see if anyone else has had similar problems with this merchant. Or, list their name and let other affiliates share their experiences...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  5. #5
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Doesn't matter the reason and if they are returning after 30 days then you should either get the return days extended to 60 or paid for customer acquisition.

  6. #6
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Doesn't matter the reason and if they are returning after 30 days then you should either get the return days extended to 60 or paid for customer acquisition.
    My point being - how does a sale get credited if the cookie has expired?
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  7. #7
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    LinkShare is unique in that they list sales made after the cookie expires. I have used it to optimize affiliates who get active by giving them a longer cookie length.


  8. #8
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    LinkShare is unique in that they list sales made after the cookie expires. I have used it to optimize affiliates who get active by giving them a longer cookie length.
    Now THAT is important information - information I was not aware of. Thank you!
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador CathyM's Avatar
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    Carol, Have you done a test purchase with that particular merchant to make sure it tracks? That's what I would do. It sounds like something is wrong in the tracking. I have seen it happen before.

  10. #10
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    CathyM, have to disagree with you on this one. If the report is showing return days exceeded it means the sale has tracked just outside the cookie. If the cookie was extended that means Carol would receive 98% of those sales in commission. Either she works it out with that merchant or replaces the merchant with one that will give her extended return days i.e. longer cookie length.

    If you had a merchant that did 98% chargebacks would you continue promoting them?

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador CathyM's Avatar
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    Chuck, you are making the assumption that the cookie is correctly recording the 30 days and/or that the reason code is correct. Linkshare does not give affiliates the information to confirm if the sale is actually within the return days (we do not have access to the click date).

    Trust but verify. A test purchase is a way to do that.

  12. #12
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Chuck is right on this, Return Exceeded, means that a sale took place after the defined cookie period had expired. The cookies themselves don't expire so they keep tracking the sale (even though not commissionable), enabling affiliates to see how fast / slow a merchant converts business as well as how much commission they are missing, and so make educated decisions on who to work with.

    It would be nice if more Networks had this info for affiliates and merchants to see.

    Cheers

    Chris
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  13. #13
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CathyM View Post
    Chuck, you are making the assumption that the cookie is correctly recording the 30 days and/or that the reason code is correct. Linkshare does not give affiliates the information to confirm if the sale is actually within the return days (we do not have access to the click date).

    Trust but verify. A test purchase is a way to do that.
    Would be nice if it did display the full data because it is available to the merchants in terms of how long the cookie was live for , before the sale occured
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
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  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador CathyM's Avatar
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    The cookies themselves don't expire so they keep tracking the sale (even though not commissionable), enabling affiliates to see how fast / slow a merchant converts business as well as how much commission they are missing, and so make educated decisions on who to work with.
    It would be much more useful to me if we had access to the click date.

  15. #15
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Ha ha, I was writing the exact same thing Cathy

  16. #16
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I am not presently managing any LinkShare programs but believe they show click date/time.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador CathyM's Avatar
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    "believe they show click date/time"

    Might be on the merchant side but is not on the affiliate side.

    There are some other things that are unexplanable (to me) on the return exceeded reporting. I'll use an example that is no longer on Linkshare. Toys R Us had a cookie that was set for minutes. I received very few sales from them (to be expected with that short of a cookie) but nothing ever showed up in the report for return days exceeded.

  18. #18
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    As per above the report on the merchant side shows the time the cookie was live and the transaction date.

  19. #19
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Not sure if three is a length to the reporting or if a merchant can limit it. Technically you could see a year from the expiration even when the cookie is set to 30 days.

  20. #20
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CathyM View Post
    Toys R Us had a cookie that was set for minutes. I received very few sales from them (to be expected with that short of a cookie) but nothing ever showed up in the report for return days exceeded.
    You should be able to see all return exceeded sales under the Non Commissionable Sales report.

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador CathyM's Avatar
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    You should be able to see all return exceeded sales under the Non Commissionable Sales report.
    That's the one and I only see return exceeded for some merchants, not all. No way to really track though because we don't know about orders that we don't get. Toys R Us was an obvious one for me. I had sent them significant sales before they dropped the return days to minutes.

  22. #22
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Hmmm the only way I see the data not making it to that report is if the cookie itself was set to expire at the same time, and therefore sales after the fact would not be seen, not even sure if that is an option for merchants, really shouldn't be, I'll ask.
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  23. #23
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    Return Exceeded
    Thanks for the posts. So good to know that there are those who take the time to help us less familiar with the system. I really wanted to drop this company as it was so upsetting to see a sale then, almost immediately, have it relegated to the ranks of non commissionable. However the site is important to me not just for the income that if affords and they offer such a great selection of products that my website visitor must like as to purchase often and with minimum returns. So I suppose if they do not extend the cookie duration, which I doubt they will, it will be one of those occasions where I need to just accept the situation and put up and shut up. But it was so nice that you replied and I will try a test too..... just in case. Have a great day all.

  24. #24
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    However the site is important to me not just for the income that if affords and they offer such a great selection of products that my website visitor must like as to purchase often and with minimum returns. So I suppose if they do not extend the cookie duration, which I doubt they will, it will be one of those occasions where I need to just accept the situation and put up and shut up.
    What's the product focus, perhaps we can suggest a few alternatives? You certainly should not have to accept the situation.

  25. #25
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    So, answer I have at present is that all cookies are set to expire after 2 years, nothing else should cause that cookie to expire short of end user deletion.

    Mary, some of the older merchants may be using the old LTRANs reporting system, which used batch reports to send sales data to LinkShare. This left the sales open to some level of manipulation because the LTRANs could be set to report sales as they ship (rather than when they are ordered), with some creative database work you could easily filter all expired sales from that "as they ship" batch, effectively hiding them.

    Cheers

    Chris
    Last edited by Chris - AMWSO; August 2nd, 2011 at 04:27 PM. Reason: clarification

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