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  1. #1
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    Alright, I'm trying to make our program really strong, but I think I've just discovered something, and I'd like you guys to confirm if I'm right or wrong.

    CJ has a pretty horrible interface for using datafeeds, and I guess I've always figured that those with complete catalogs were just very tenacious...But I'm starting to get the feeling that 'Everybody who's anybody' uses a third party datafeeder, or otherwise bypasses CJ altogether. Is that correct?

    And if so, what is the preferable method for getting the raw data to the publisher?

    Thanks!

    Bryan Simonson
    bryan@smoothcorp.com
    SmoothCorp Affiliates
    iFLOOR.com/3%/sale/avg.sale=$800
    RugArea.com/12%/avg.sale=$400
    CornerHardware.com/3%/avg.sale=$80

    [This message was edited by Bryan - SmoothCorp on August 20, 2003 at 07:46 PM.]

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador cditty's Avatar
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    Bryan, if you are looking for an external datafeed supplier, please check out my new site. http://www.ezdatafeed.com/. I think this might be what you are looking for.

    Chris

    ----------------------------
    ezDatafeed.com - Merchants - Give your affiliates your datafeed outside the networks, without cost to the affiliate. Check out ezDatafeed.com for more information.
    Scriptsforyoursite.com - Featuring datafeed import scripts for Backcountry Store, Coldwater Creek, Mondera.com and many more.....

  3. #3
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    CJ feeds look fine to me

  4. #4
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    Bryan,

    I beg to differ, I like the use of both CJ data feeds and external data feeds.

    Without giving up to much information I am receiving between 20 items - 80,000 items per merchant.

    The CJ data feed is no longer a harrowing experience; they have broken it down per merchant. If I’m receiving a feed for 25 merchants what will happen; I will obtain 1 zip file, upon unzipping the file it will automatically break up into feeds per merchant.

    If an affiliate is experiencing difficulty with the CJ feeds, it may be due to inexperience or not utilizing a machine that can handle it (memory, etc.)

    Personally I like utilizing both options; reasons being I must wait until Sunday to obtain an update to a CJ feed. While at times an immediate feed is necessary.

    CJ dtata feed I don't have to modify or add my PID.

    External feeds theres always something to do, yet we can request modifications easier.


    .

  5. #5
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Well I guess I could get used to being a nobody.

  6. #6
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    I guess I will join you Heyder

    I have to disagree with Sandrar on a small point

    Some of the categories in the CJ feeds leave a hell of a lot to be desired. I know I am not much good at php but surely they should be helping the less educated ones to sell as well as the bofins.

    BTW is this post 200,000?
    Take care
    YouTrek.com

  7. #7
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    Good stuff Heyder.

    Ok, that's good to know. But admittedly, I'm a big newbie with affiliates. Even though our company has been with CJ for a long time, we're only now realizing that we need to get more involved with affiliates.

    So, with that in mind, here's a question that I think I should know the answer to: How much do the datafeeds cost? And where do publishers get the zip file on CJ? All I know is what I've learned from browsing the publisher interface (Smartzones that aren't very smart, etc).

    Bryan Simonson
    bryan@smoothcorp.com
    SmoothCorp Affiliates
    iFLOOR.com/3%/sale/avg.sale=$800
    RugArea.com/12%/avg.sale=$400
    CornerHardware.com/3%/avg.sale=$80

  8. #8
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    Ok, if I was in a class called "Systems Use" I would be marking myself down to a C right now. I just found the answer to my questions in the FAQ section.

    So, it's been very enlightening. Thanks for the help!

    Bryan Simonson
    bryan@smoothcorp.com
    SmoothCorp Affiliates
    iFLOOR.com/3%/sale/avg.sale=$800
    RugArea.com/12%/avg.sale=$400
    CornerHardware.com/3%/avg.sale=$80

  9. #9
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    I need to address the categories.

    Categories have nothing to do with CJ, its up to the merchant to offer the categories. I have requested the categories personally. It’s a PITA not to get a categorized data feed. But to blame CJ is inaccurate.

    It’s the Merchant that needs to understand we need those!

    .

  10. #10
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Bryan - SmoothCorp:
    Good stuff Heyder.

    So, with that in mind, here's a question that I think I should know the answer to: How much do the data feeds cost? And where do publishers get the zip file on CJ? All I know is what I've learned from browsing the publisher interface (Smartzones that aren't very smart, etc).


    You need to contact CJ for the cost, I have called and spoken with them requesting they cut the cost down. Not sure if they have so its best to call them.

    How we obtain the feed:

    An affiliate must sell a minimum of $10,000 in sales a month. Upon reaching that goal, they then need to request the feed utilizing the CJ support options.

    When they are accepted they will obtain the rest of the information.

    CJ send there feed to my server I am not sure how they have it set up with others.

  11. #11
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    I retrieve CJ's feed from their server.
    Performics push their feeds to my server.
    Doesn't really matter, so long as the data is clean.

  12. #12
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Guess what I meant is that I use cj's full datafeed for the vast majority of my website. I do have a few sites with indy datafeeds but they are a very small part of my business. I've been to lazy to do things with a few others that I've been meaning to get to such as OS and bettymills.

  13. #13
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    My preference is for either the feed to be accessible via FTP from a merchant/network server, or for the merchant to push via FTP the feed onto my server.

    I'm not a fan of grabbing feeds via http, but that's probably just me.

    Pete

  14. #14
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Personally I like the CJ feed. Most of my templates are set up to use it, so any merchant that's "outside the system" is automatically going to cause me the PITA of having to make a special setup that matches their (ALWAYS unique-to-them) way of naming fields.

    As for not having to modify or add my PID--no such luck, unless I want all the sales credited to the first site I registered with CJ. Occasionally I forget and am momentarily baffled to find sales seeming to come from a site that doesn't even have a particular merchant's products on it! But there is one benefit--if I forget with CJ, IT WILL TRACK to the original site--unlike if I forget to put the PID in with an "outside CJ" feed, in which case, it won't track anywhere. (A few merchants can generate feeds with correct PIDs already in them, but it's a rare capability.)

    The main thing that's needed for feeds, both inside and outside CJ, is what SandraR said--merchants that know how to provide a decent one. It's amazing some of the mashage I've seen from those who don't know how to do it! But those that do it properly can provide a clean feed whether it goes through CJ or not. Long live feeds that do NOT have baffling characters that don't belong, important data missing, broken images, out-of-stocks, or empty fields padding up the apparent number of records!

    Whatever you do, please don't upload a "new" feed anywhere unless it's REALLY NEW! Most merchants know better than to reupload an old feed--but not all...


    quote:
    The CJ data feed is no longer a harrowing experience; they have broken it down per merchant. If I’m receiving a feed for 25 merchants what will happen; I will obtain 1 zip file, upon unzipping the file it will automatically break up into feeds per merchant.~SandraR


    LOL, after wanting it broken down for months and finally getting it that way--I just asked CJ to change mine back the other day. It's piles easier for me to find out who really updated, and when, by having MySQL queary the whole Big Kahuna for "lastupdated" dates at once! When I got the separated feeds I found out quickly that my patience for looking at the lastupdated dates myself, through multiple files, had long gone the way of the Apple IIe.

    It is a beautiful thing, to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.~Spanish Proverb

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Mike O's Avatar
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    Well, I don't show prices on my sites, so I don't need to update them too often.

    That being the case, getting the feeds by http, whenever I need the latest one, suits me just fine.

    As you say, different publishers will have different styles of handling feeds. It would seem best to have all the choices available, and let each publisher get it by whatever method works best for them.

    Having a choice is good!

    -- Mike

  16. #16
    Affiliate/AM Moonlighter dflsports's Avatar
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    Bryan,

    I know a few merchants bypass cj, if you can export some data to excel, including the URL of your products, it's pretty easy to redirect using CJ's tracking.

  17. #17
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    Merchants do move from network to network occasionally. Having an independent datafeed rather than a network formatted datafeed with a specific format would not cause problems with the many people marketing your products if you ever decided to jump to another network. Lots of minor considerations here that could save BIG money and time to both you and your affiliates. I'll take an independent feed over a network feed every time! If, you jump ships with a network feed I have to redo my work - which I may not want to do and you may lose marketing coverage - Ask art.com about this even though they aren't here to ask.

    If you have no technical expertise, can't find people with it to help you, and you're willng to allow "high profile marketing for your company that can bring in significant revenue" get locked into a specific networks fold, go ahead and get cj to do the feed for you.

    Otherwise an independent feed should be your prefered implementation.

    The other consideration with cj datafeeds from the merchant perspective is if you want to provide the datafeed to affiliates who have under 10K in cj sales a month (and haven't paid CJ for the right to use them).

    You can ask but I'll bet there are a fair amount of datafeed savy people who haven't paid cj and aren't using it "at this time". They may not have problems right now but this hasn't been the case for very long. I myself fall into this group.

    I'm venturing more into other areas where I control my own shopping cart and my attitude is in a large part "screw the networks", but that doesn't mean I'm not still interested in provided datafeed marketing for merchants who are dedicated to be parasite free (along with other considerations) and have access to the feed outside of a network relationship.

    There are many merchants on this board that fit my bill (and more will be coming) and as long as this holds true, I will not pay linkshare or cj or anybody else for a datafeed where I provide the marketing and earn them income while they allow parasites to steal from me!

    For the record, I'm well over the 10K threshold in CJ, could use the datafeed for free but I still don't use it and sure don't plan on doing so at any point in the near future. (but - hey Todd, set me up access tomorrow ok - LOL)

    Having a datafeed outside of a "specific networks structural format (each one entirely different)" and treated as an independant tool allows more flexibility and reusability should you ever change networks or go independent. This seems like a smart decision to me!



    ===============================
    PeePee merchants with PooPoo policies allow our earnings to be flushed down the crapper.

    Why give parasites unlimited cookie durations and credit for sales where they divert our users and overwrite our cookies. PP merchants directly support what many consider unfair trade practices and thievery!
    ===============================

  18. #18
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    Is anyone receiving a magazine subscription datafeed?

    Apollo

  19. #19
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    quote:
    would not cause problems with the many people marketing your products if you ever decided to jump to another network.


    Yeah, I always find it easy to hit the DELETE FILES button!

    Network hoppers, bah. I've never found it worthwhile to follow any merchant around so now I just delete 'em when they start thinking they're some kind of rabbit and start hopping.

    It is a beautiful thing, to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.~Spanish Proverb

  20. #20
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    I agree with LEADER

    If merchants feel the need to bounce around, they can bounce on out the door!

    I am sick of companies moving, these moving companies must think we have nothing better to do all day than to follow them all over the place.

    Well I think not, actually I'm very busy making sure other companies get all your traffic.

    Smart companies do what eBags did, they joined more than one network. After some time they may keep it that way or make a decision, but at least it shows they are actually trying to see which program is better.

  21. #21
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    I find that he cj datafeed works great (performics is - ahh nevermind - they annoy me)
    the feed comes thru fine (they push to an ftp box) and it's a no brainer to run a sql dts to stip the feeds as I need.

    The only thing I don't like is that as I use MS SQl (and I don't know sql very well) I have to delete tables and re-load them from the fresh cj feed. It would be nice if the feed could contain a flag that says that this is a new/update/deleted item.

  22. #22
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    quote:
    I agree with LEADER

    If merchants feel the need to bounce around, they can bounce on out the door!


    Well - I agree with POON

    If they change ships with an independent program I don't have to bounce them out the door and my work remains intact providing marketing and INCOME for both me and the merchant I support .

    With an independent feed - I don't and won't - hit that delete button due to a network move.

    ===============================
    PeePee merchants with PooPoo policies allow our earnings to be flushed down the crapper.

    Why give parasites unlimited cookie durations and credit for sales where they divert our users and overwrite our cookies. PP merchants directly support what many consider unfair trade practices and thievery!
    ===============================

  23. #23
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    happypoon
    Its evident you need to get some sleep...

    BOUNCE AROUND.. The operative word “Bounce”. From one network to another to another.

    Moving to in house program is not bouncing, it’s a move.. Wake up or get some sleep!


  24. #24
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    [QUOTE]happypoon
    Its evident you need to get some sleep...

    BOUNCE AROUND.. The operative word “Bounce”. From one network to another to another.

    Moving to in house program is not bouncing, it’s a move.. Wake up or get some sleep!/QUOTE]

    LOL - Ms. Butthead,

    I have to admit I was suffering from lacka-da-sleepatus at the time of my posting but at least I wasn't completely dizzy in my thought process.

    Moving is moving and it doesn't matter if you go from in-house to network "like art.com did", or from network to network like GSI just did or if you go from network to independent kinda like tiger did.

    In each cases, there are ramifications to affiliates and the merchant concerning marketing done via datafeeds. Of all these conditions (a move, a bounce, or even a change in program... I really don't care what you call it....) the marketing and sales for a merchant can be negatively impacted. My point was that having a datafeed as an independent tool allowed the most flexibility for a merchant that can allow movements, bouncing or whatever you want to call it with an option of not having the major marketing being done for their company "not impacted".

    In one breath you say "If merchants feel the need to bounce around, they can bounce on out the door!" yet in the next breath you say "Smart companies do what eBags did, they joined more than one network. After some time they may keep it that way or make a decision, but at least it shows they are actually trying to see which program is better."

    Duhhh - who better wake up? I think your statements "clearly show" who was really asleep - LOL.

    I suggest you re-read my post when you are fully awake (I think this is fair since you accused me of needing sleep as well) it might make better sense to you.

    BTW: Please don't go pulling all your hair out just for me. By the looks of your avatar, there aint that much left - LOL.

    ===============================
    PeePee merchants with PooPoo policies allow our earnings to be flushed down the crapper.

    Why give parasites unlimited cookie durations and credit for sales where they divert our users and overwrite our cookies. PP merchants directly support what many consider unfair trade practices and thievery!
    ===============================

  25. #25
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    Ok, things to take away from this thread:
    1) Categorize the data
    2) Make sure updated feeds are updated
    3) Having an indy feed is a good idea for cheapskates (did somebody say HappyPoon?)...
    4) Hopping networks is bad for my program! Don't worry, we have no plans to. We already thought about hopping to Linkshare about a year ago, and decided not to. Performics keeps calling me though...

    Anyone have anything else to add?

    Bryan Simonson
    bryan@smoothcorp.com
    SmoothCorp Affiliates
    iFLOOR.com/3%/sale/avg.sale=$800
    RugArea.com/12%/avg.sale=$400
    CornerHardware.com/3%/avg.sale=$80

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