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  1. #1
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    Worried about what percentage of your sales occur AFTER the return date (meaning you don't get a commish)? This report tells you.

    First, kudos to ABW Member "Affiliate" who pointed out this report. I had looked at it way early on and there was no data, so being unclear what it was, I never looked again. BIG MISTAKE.

    Second, kudos to Linkshare for offering this information. VERY helpful.

    Having reviewed this data extensively, I will now say that I pretty much (but NOT 100%) stick with my stand that the "cookie-duration issue" (in LS' case, not a cookie, but you get the point) is over-rated in MOST instances (but NOT all).

    On to the details. I have 18 LS merchants that *regularly* generate sales, seven of those showed up in the "non-commisionable sales report" for the YEAR. Out of those seven, only one merchant is in serious danger of getting booted because of this issue.

    And that's the important thing I discovered -- one merchant sticks out like a big old sore thumb that needs to be hacked off. The rest I can chalk up to CODB with short return day merchants.

    All reports I ran were from Jan. 01, 2002 - August 30, 2002, although I haven't been active with all the merchants for that entire time period. To determine the percentage of totals SALES DOLLARS (not number of transactions) that were non-commish, I added total sales (per merchant) to total non-commish sales and then determined what percentage of that TOTAL was non-commish. Results as follows:


    Merchant with $50,000+ Total Sales
    -MerchantA
    Return Days 10
    Non-commish 0.32%

    Merchant with $15,500+ Sales
    -MerchantB
    Return Days 5
    Non-Commish 9.14%

    Merchant with $2,500+ Sales
    -MerchantC
    Return Days 7
    Non-Commish 3.94%

    Merchants with $1,500+ Sales
    -MerchantD
    Return Days 0
    Non-Commish 6.65%

    -MerchantE
    Return Days 14
    Non-Commish 2.83%

    Merchant with $500+ Sales
    -MerchantF
    Return Days 8
    Non-Commish 4.36%

    Merchant with $300+ Sales
    -MerchantG
    Return Days 10
    Non-Commish 78.20%

    Obviously, the more sales, the better the data.

    MerchantA is in Very Good standing, IMO.

    MerchantB? In deep doo-doo. While MerchantB doesn't have the highest percentage, MerchantA and MerchantB have similar product lines. I will be taking a serious look at what products are being purchased at MerchantB's site and if MerchantA has similar, bye-bye MerchantB.

    MerchantC? That's two orders out of 22. The jury is still out on that one, but the merchant has a LOT of competitors.

    MerchantD? Niche-market, high-percentage commish -- I'm willing to live with the current percentage.

    MerchantE? Sales come from old pages, I'm not promoting and have no interest in fiddling with -- I'll live with it.

    MerchantF? Well, surprise. I'm not ditching them. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] They're a very niche merchant with personal sentimental value. And obviously, there is very little money at stake. They'll be pulled off my ecomm sites, but they get to stay on a very niche content site.

    YMMV.

    Once again, KUDOS to LS for this very important information.

    "The only thing that helps me maintain my slender grip on reality is the friendship I share with my collection of singing potatoes." -- Holly, from Red Dwarf

  2. #2
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    Great info Cedric.. never noticed that before.. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  3. #3
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    What about merchant G? 78.2% non-commish?

    May all your ups and downs be in bed

  4. #4
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> First, kudos to ABW Member "Affiliate" who pointed out this report. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Thank you. I feel so special now *blushing*


    [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Taking the LS "net orders report" together with the "non-commissionable report" and running it for a merchant like Dell Home systems is a real revelation.

    Net orders YTD on 2114 click throughs:
    1/1/2002 - 8/31/2002

    Transaction Day Transaction Date # Orders # of Items # of Items Canceled Net Items Ordered Sales($) Canceled Sales($) Net Sales($)
    Friday 01/25/2002 1 1 (1) 0 $1,998.00 ($-1,998.00) $0.00
    Sunday 03/17/2002 1 3 (1) 2 $1,239.00 ($-1,239.00) $0.00
    Report Totals: 2 2 4 (2) 2 $3,237.00 ($-3,237.00) $0.00

    All sales that got recorded on the 1 day cookie got reversed. Since Dell also made up the majority of my $14,875.00 in non-commissionable sales they have efectively shown me that from my targeted PcShops Mall I will never escape their ability to make sure I never get a check from sending them traffic in Y2002. 100% reversal rate plus 1 day cookie lost sales =poor me.

    My only question now is if... I'll get billed by Dell for any bandwidth fees for branding their products and sending them targeted customers??? I didn't read all the fine print in their TOS. Can someone help me find some humor in this?

    WebMaster Mike

  6. #6
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    &gt;&gt;What about merchant G? 78.2% non-commish?&lt;&lt;

    Oops, I actually missed MerchantF -- the description given for MerchantF is (sentimental value) is actually for Merchant G (78.2%).

    So it should read:
    -------
    MerchantF? Too few sales to determine a course of action -- just started promoting them.

    MerchantG? Well, surprise. I'm not ditching them. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] They're a very niche merchant&lt;snip&gt;
    -------

    Right now, my total NCS is very low when looking at the total year sales, not enough to bother me all that much -- of course, I'd be bothered if it was 14%.

    For me, the situation is not critical, but bears watching.

    And LS goes way up in my eyes for providing this information.

    "The only thing that helps me maintain my slender grip on reality is the friendship I share with my collection of singing potatoes." -- Holly, from Red Dwarf

  7. #7
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    I wish you hadn't told me that. Now I'm angrier than before at Tupperware.com. I just ran my report and they are the only merchant that appears on it.

    They can't get their links straightened out. Haven't answered my email from two weeks ago, but oh, they're happy to take 20 sales I sent them this year and not pay me a commission because "Return Days Exceeded."

    Grrrrrrrrrr

    Judge your success by the degree that you're enjoying peace, health, and love.

  8. #8
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The ones that'll really get under your skin are those who reverse the return cookie day sales for no legit reason and show zero sales YTD so you won't look at the non-commissionable report to see what else you missed. This is not Linkshares fault. It is the actual planned policy of a LS merchant who sets up every obstical to keep from having to payout affiliate commissions. Their AM's must go to a diversion class rather than an HTML & graphics class during orientation. The merchant feels they get better ROI on an pure play advertising scheme run on their duped affiliates than they could ever get from conventional advertising. This abuse has been going on for years and only get exposed at ABW. We can't expect Linkshare to clean house on these abusers only we can vote with our feet. Now we can educate those like Todd at CJ, who want to excuse this practice and or cover it up with stat charts on the exceptions.

    The real question to be taken by Todd's arguement in the CJ posts is: If a merchant can't sell one out of 500 affiliate referral clicks, and 99% of the sales come on first visit, what TURNED OFF the other 499 shoppers when they arrived at the merchants site. Sounds like a shopowner/merchant who couldn't make a living if they were graced with 10,000 shoppers a day. Anyone know a local shop owner that get's that amount of walkin traffic who starves?? These guys just don't know how to make a web site that sells and have to make it up on mass volume. The one's showing up on the merchant parasite sponsor list are all in this category.

    WebMaster Mike

    [This message was edited by EcomCity.com on September 01, 2002 at 11:54 PM.]

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Grrrrrrr!!! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_redface.gif[/img] . I haven't checked that report in awhile and wish I didn't. I remember that a while back it use to always be KBToys on it. This time it is one of my inkjet merchants. I just emailed them about it. The thing is they have a 90 day cookie so who said that purchaes don't count down the road. Kind of blows Todd's graph all to hell IMO. 19 sales since May. HMMMMMMM!

    Hopefully I will find out if it is a turn on or off cookie.

    Affiliate Programs That Kick Major Butt

  10. #10
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    Buy.com $183.95 (4) Return Days Exceeded
    Delta Air Lines $0.00 (4) Return Days Exceeded
    Dell Home Systems $2,245.00 (4) Return Days Exceeded


    Hmmph. Not a whole lot but pretty sh!tty if u ask me.

    Ran a slightly longer date range:
    Report Totals $26,076.42

    Grr, that makes me [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif[/img]

    Mike seems right on the money. Dell Home leading the pack...

  11. #11
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    I truly understand the inclination for this report to make one grumpy, but KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and Linkshare is doing a great job to provide this information.

    You can fix the problem! Boot the bad and reward the good -- and maybe next time the report will be less grumpy-making.

    At least, that's what *I'm* counting on. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    "The only thing that helps me maintain my slender grip on reality is the friendship I share with my collection of singing potatoes." -- Holly, from Red Dwarf

  12. #12
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Hi Cedric,

    Great report, I have to admit I have never looked at that report (All merchants can see it too with a break down of every order by partner), and was glad to see ours was 0 (granted it's only been running for less days than our return days setting [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] ), anyway I boosted our return days to 90 to make sure it stays that way.

    Cheers

    Chris

    Chris Sanderson
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  13. #13
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    &gt;&gt;anyway I boosted our return days to 90

    Now THAT helps take care of the grumpys. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    "The only thing that helps me maintain my slender grip on reality is the friendship I share with my collection of singing potatoes." -- Holly, from Red Dwarf

  14. #14
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    Very interesting report! (I did not know it existed - doh! So thanks to 'affiliate' for bringing it to our attention.

    From mine I can see that the majority of my sales for REI Sports come AFTER the 4 day cookie has expired. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] So with this merchant I am losing more than half of my sales and clearly a 4 day cookie is totally inadequate. Will email them to point this out in the hope of a change in policy, but in the meanwhile will be changing most of my REI links to Backcountry store (who have a 180 days cookie).

  15. #15
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    &gt;&gt;I can see that the majority of my sales for REI Sports come AFTER the 4 day cookie has expired.&lt;&lt;

    Actually, REI has 0 Return Days.

    I think the (4) that shows up on every "Return Days Exceeded" item is actually the number of the option "Return Days Exceeded" in a list of options the merchant has. There are other options such as "(21) Bad Cancel-Orderid".

    That's just a guess, but it's the best one I have. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    "The only thing that helps me maintain my slender grip on reality is the friendship I share with my collection of singing potatoes." -- Holly, from Red Dwarf

  16. #16
    Merchant Linda's Avatar
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    Does anyone know if there is a legend somewhere on Linkshare that gives some type of indication as to what the non-commission reasons might be? Maybe I've just missed it somewhere.

    We had one merchant reverse 2 sales this past month and gave the reasons as:
    (21) Bad Cancel-Orderid
    (20) Discount Amount &gt; Total Order Amount

    The first one "Bad Cancel-Orderid" I figured means that the order was bad and Linkshare just had a weird way of wording it.

    The second one "Discount Amount &gt; Total Order Amount" really has me stumped since as far as I know there aren't any discounts at all for this particular merchant. So how could the customer have an order that had discounts for more than what he purchased?

    I wrote the merchant last week asking for an explanation but haven't heard anything yet. Would be nice if Linkshare would share descriptions with us.

  17. #17
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Maybe a shifty customer modified the sales amount during the checkout process.

    WebMaster Mike

  18. #18
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    SKU Didn't Match

  19. #19
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    I am awaiting an answer on, Discount Amount &gt; Total Order Amount, as well. When I get an answer I'll let you know.

    Jamie Birch
    Affiliate and Partner Programs Manager
    Coldwater Creek
    jbirch@thecreek.com
    208-265-3958

  20. #20
    Merchant Linda's Avatar
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    Thanks, Jamie!

  21. #21
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    I agree that LS should be thanked for providing such a report.

    but I ask others.... why is there really such a thing in the first place? Why shouldn't we always be paid for our sales?

    to the person who stated they did not now the value of repeat sales... I can tell you 70% of all (gross) sales of any business are repeat customers. (the acknowledged figure for all businesses averaged) All those ads on TV, radio, newspaper and the sides of the busses are to increase the 30% of gross sales by increasing new customers.

    Now, to put a dollar figure on this, take the gross sales you provided to all your merchants combined, and multiply by .70. That is the dollar amount your merchants will do next year from all those "first time" customers you sent them this year.

    That's a fact based on a very well known and accepted statistic of business. 70% of all sales are from repeat customers.

    Now go back to last years numbers. Multiple the gross sales by .70 and you will see how much money those merchants made off your customers this year, based on you sending them last year. Did you get paid for those sales? Neither did I.

    (This of course does not count on sites that have gone out of business, but then it's worse: that's the dollar figure of sales potential lost.)

    http://SearchToSale.com - Turns your search box into money.

  22. #22
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Cedric:

    Right now, my total NCS is very low when looking at the total year sales, not enough to bother me all that much -- of course, I'd be bothered if it was 14%.

    For me, the situation is not critical, but bears watching.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    I can't figure out if you should be elevated to Saint Hood or the looney bin. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]


    Either you are the most forgiving person on the planet, or you are out of your mind. How many people here vote for a 5% cut in their paycheck? 14%? 70%?

    No disrespect intended, but I surely do not understand your "generosity."

    http://SearchToSale.com - Turns your search box into money.

  23. #23
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    I know that the only sales that are non commissionable with us either happen outside the return day window, are fraudulent or the item has been returned to us through mail or at a store, and essentially the sale didn't happen. Those are the only reasons an item or order would be noncommissionable.

    AffJus, As for return buyers, I see your side, but I also see the merchant. They become repeat buyers through merchants' extensive retention plans which includes things like direct mail, mailing of catalogs and other things as well as the customers overall experience with the merchant.. So alot of expense is spent on getting those customers to return.

    Jamie Birch
    Affiliate and Partner Programs Manager
    Coldwater Creek
    jbirch@thecreek.com
    208-265-3958

  24. #24
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    &gt;&gt;How many people here vote for a 5% cut in their paycheck? 14%? 70%?&lt;&lt;

    I'm not an employee.

    I'm running a business. In business, you have losses. And each business has to determine how much (and what type) constitutes an acceptable loss. What I'm seeing at LS (save but for one merchant) is an acceptable loss.

    Would I prefer that there were no losses? Well, of course. Am I going to lose sleep over the losses I'm seeing at LS? Absolutely not.

    I'm having a hard time even breaking a sweat over it and it's neither saintliness or crazy talk.

    It's just business.

    "The only thing that helps me maintain my slender grip on reality is the friendship I share with my collection of singing potatoes." -- Holly, from Red Dwarf

  25. #25
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The combination of loss sales due to exceeded cookie days ..plus legit cancellations (buyers remorse)..plus reversals ( fraudulent or otherwise) ..plus non tracking orders due to glitches or mistakes ..take a huge dent out of our revenue stream.

    Take a merchant like Dell. They did so well last year in online sales they could afford more budget for TV Ads this year. Online Sales increases for them of over 200% ..yet less than 2% of that was credited to affiliates according to their stats. That doesn't mean affiliates actually didn't accounted for 40% of all their online sales. This year they reversed 100% of all my orders at LS and didn't book 8700.00 in NCS sales.

    Take another example from CJ. PcMall converts at a 500 clicks to 1 sale for me. The average 40% reversals and in my case cancelled every sale over 500.00. No way to see the NCS stats. In the same period of time I had 617 sales from TigerDirect from the same EcomCity/PcMall traffic with ZERO reversals. I can live with the NCS.

    It isn't the network ..it's the merchants who are raping us. Networks know this and turn the blind eye when they see a merchant slipping payments and showing 20 sales on 250,000 clicks. CJ panics, since they also live on a cut of sales and have to raise startup fees and escrows to compensate for a flat $250 minimum fee.

    Hopefully by participating here we will learn to seperate the wheat from the chaff. tThe BS from the facts. None of these merchants could afford me as a AM. Not from a salary standpoint ..but from my desire to drive sales like TigerDirect's Andy does thru the affiliate sales force quadrupling their commission payout.

    WebMaster Mike

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