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  1. #1
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    I just read a few threads concerning cookie's, parasites, and lost commissions due to faulty tracking etc etc etc

    I have spent my last week or two building a website with the idea of using product's of advertisers under the CJ umbrella.

    My question is, am I setting up myself to being ripped off BIG time??

    Should I use other merchants under a different umbrella instead?

    I have experienced and read similar situations, as I seem to be reading here, in the world of hype, spin, and deception, also known as mlm fly by night rip offs. I refuse to become an "opportunity junkie" (as a very successful marketer called people of a forum I use to frequent) because that would only make me as stupid as them. People that don't learn.

    This is the reason I chose to go the "TRUE" affiliate marketing route. Is it as bad with CJ as I am reading in a few threads???

    Curious what the feedbackwill be....

    Thanks

    Dirk (because Pete was unavailable )

    "The most successful con artist will have you believing he is the most ethical person you will ever know."

    [This message was edited by Dirk on September 10, 2003 at 04:42 PM.]

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador John Kruger's Avatar
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    Hey Dirk,

    Get your site up and running, get the traffic. Then do your own analysis of what products to get from what merchant or network.

    I make sales everyday at CJ. It is just becoming much more competetive.

    Good Luck,

    John

    Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.

    www.teampb.com

  3. #3
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    I wish I knew the answer.

    I've had test transactions not track on some CJ merchants, and they were always "found" when I complained. Dunno how many people can't see my links and therefore didn't click through to my merchants.

    With Amazon, they have claimed it was "impossible" to credit me with at least one order, and I haven't even bothered to ask about others.

    I'm getting more into Shareasale, and so far I haven't done any tests, so I don't know how many transactions I'm not getting credit for.

    Try to diversify, so if one approach goes bad you'll have others to fall back on. And don't depend on affiliate earnings to pay next month's rent, because something bad may happen.

    By the nature of the beast, it's necessary to trust people we have no way to know are trustworthy. Assume you'll be stolen from, because you certainly will. But it's still possible to make a good living with affiliate marketing. They can't steal it all.

  4. #4
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    My exceptionally long 2c:

    quote:
    Is it as bad with CJ as I am reading in a few threads???


    Not in MY opinion! I love CJ!!!

    Personally I think LINKSHARE could drop off the face of the Earth, though, and it would improve the environment more than a tad.

    But as you've seen, there are others with the opposite opinion. It actually strikes me like "rival schools"--there is a rivalry between the networks (and their affiliates) which extends beyond the facts.

    The facts are, there are some scam merchants in all of the networks and also some good ones. I don't think you have a greater chance of being "ripped off big time" at CJ--personally I think the chance of that is LESS at CJ--but to say there's NO chance would be false.

    If you pick bad merchants--you will be ripped off. If you pick good merchants--you will not be ripped off!

    The most important thing about picking a Network sometimes boils down to this question: Can you tolerate what it is, that makes that network distinctive? Each one has its own goods and bads, and the one you'll be happiest at is the one where the "bads" don't irritate you so much that it outweighs the good.

    Here's a thumbnailed list of the goods, the bads, and the otherwise notable traits of the networks from my perspective: (Note: Depends who's talking means, some people think the thing is a "bad" and others see it as "good"!)


    CJ:
    GOOD--Payment! Right on time. Consolidated. Direct deposit. Nice selection of merchants, at least when it comes to the older ones. Nonpaying deadbeats get cut off fairly quickly (I think it's 2 months) which lowers the risk. Low earnings threshhold to get a free datafeed.
    BAD--*Awful* public relations! Big pic of parasite Paul Nichols in front-page rotation. Parasites welcome. Can be deaf at the *wrong* times. Also may listen to things they SHOULD be deaf to. No way to know what items sold.
    DEPENDS WHO'S TALKING--Arrogant. Noticable swagger. They call affiliates "publishers."

    LS: GOOD--Better at PR. Some like their big-name merchants. You can tell what items sold.
    BAD--Past and current history makes experienced affs be unsure of ever getting a check! No consolidated checks. No direct deposit. If you make $24.99 from a $25 threshhold merchant, you're screwed. They don't deactivate deadbeats fast enough. They CHARGE for a datafeed! Getting individual links is a royal pain. Their Agreement is an exercise in endurance reading. Deadbeats leave CJ and appear there sure as shootin'. Non realtime updates.
    DEPENDS WHO'S TALKING: They know how to put the spin on the ball...

    BEFREE: Good: It's not a big deal to get a feed out of them! There's a "1-check" program, so at least some consolidation of payments can happen. You can see what sold, at least with some merchants (I don't know if it's all merchants or not).

    BAD: Not a real network! That's right--all agreements with merchants are as individuals! Signing up multiple sites is a pain. Getting links can be a pain. Individual merchants means lots of individual chances to get screwed.

    SHAREASALE: GOOD--All the good points of CJ and parasite-free. Owner is responsive. What other network still has the OWNER regularly posting on boards? (CJ *used to* do it, but that ended with the exit of Lex, and LS's Messer only shows up occasionally) Some good SaS merchants post here, and there are other gems that do not. Speaking of gems, there are still some there that the whole world doesn't know about and already promote! ESCROW ACCOUNT diminishes chance of getting stiffed.
    BAD--tooooo many merchants who seem to have just made their first attempt at web design and inspire no confidence. Owner whines too much (sorry Brian, but admitting to getting flame mail, etc. just doesn't give that Established Corporation image). If there's a way to see what items sold, it's hidden well. Email responses are reported to stop or slow way down when Brian's on vacation, which shows understaffing. Hokey logos. (Hokey logos?! Yeah, I know it's a small issue but it bugs me every time I log on!) There's some bit about merchants having to "update sales" I've read about occasionally--this can be a problem if a fraudulent merchant wiggles into the system.

    DEPENDS WHO'S TALKING: No swagger at ALL. (Personally I like a company to project a more confident image/have an ego!) Not corporate-like either.

    PERFORMICS: GOOD--I have had reliable payment from there. Some good merchants are there.
    BAD--Threshhold for getting the datafeed free, is twice as high as CJ's. PRICE of datafeed if you're not at the threshhold is ABSOLUTELY, LAUGHABLY, RIDICULOUS (like $2k!!)! Interface SUCKS and upgrades never help. Some people have *not* had reliable payment--it depends on the merchant.
    DEPENDS WHO'S TALKING--It's not one of the other networks. No presence on boards/community building/PR efforts. Personality-less.

    All in all, the network you like will be the one where the "bads" don't bother you so much as to outweigh the "goods."

    quote:
    My question is, am I setting up myself to being ripped off BIG time??

    Should I use other merchants under a different umbrella instead?


    Test drive a few different networks and see which ones you like! As an affiliate, you're not limited to using just one at a time. Get an overall "feel" for each one.

    Just remember to compare apples to apples--don't sign up with a 10c/sale merchant at one and a $10/sale merchant at another (or a merchat with an in-demand product at one and a super-niche merchant at another) and expect earnings to be similar.

    And remember not to yell "yes" until you're actually spending the commission money (or putting it in your bank account). A lot of places can *report* sales with pinpoint accuracy, but the equation isn't complete until you get PAID!

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

  5. #5
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    "This is the reason I chose to go the "TRUE" affiliate marketing route. Is it as bad with CJ as I am reading in a few threads???"

    You don't see CJ here denying it, do ya?

    Derk, the thing that inspired me to really take on affiliate marketing was back about 4 years ago when a merchant had made the following statement in a forum:

    "Now, if we could just find a way out of paying our affiliates."

    I guess I'm a sucker for a challenge. As long as there are merchants that want to rip me off, my aim in life is to get rich from their competitors and put them out of business.

    Derk, the deck is alittle different, but it's basically the same game as MLM. Few are going to make it big ...but most are not.

    Think big! Also remember, all the conspiracies and hipe here are from some of the top affiliates in the world. We may be crazy, but every little bit helps.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
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    Hi Dick,

    The most important thing for you to do is print what Leader said above!

    She knows what she is talking about.

    That is your advantage to success in Affiliate Marketing.

    ------------------------------
    What does the COC stand for? Crooks Overwriting Commissions.
    Don't worry! Tracking is infected!
    ------------------------------
    Love Life to the fullest. we only get ONE chance! :-) !

  7. #7
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Just forge ahead and get things rockin'.

    Some of the BS discussed (parasites, etc) here are very serious matters, but the scope of their impact is usually greatly exaggerated.

    It's sort of like having a retail store, with an employee who dips his hand in the till for lunch money. It's something to be concerned about, but not reason to shut the store down.

  8. #8
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    I had no idea the parasites were in business for lunch money ...although I'm sure that's how they got their start as kids ...taking other kid's lunch money.

    So, CJ is spliting the loot with eBates?

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador swampy_webber's Avatar
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    Leader,

    That was a great post! I have been using CJ almost exclusively (and doing pretty well) but was wanting to look at some merchants from other programs. Your overview summed things up great for me and I think I know where to go now.


  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador qball0213's Avatar
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    Swampy, I got a webmaster page if you're looking for places to sign up.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador swampy_webber's Avatar
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    hmmm... Let me think about that.

    You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
    --Mark Twain

  12. #12
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Leader, while you seem to prefer CJ and I prefer SAS I found what you wrote quite good. I just feel there is a lot more wrong with CJ than what is apparent. Way too much smoke for way too long. Too many things don't seem as they should be.

    Mr.Merchant, if you do business in any way what-so-ever with parasites, your products will not be sold on my sites!!

    LISTEN! CJ don't give no whistles no more! I can hear the music of another piper!

  13. #13
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    "BAD--*Awful* public relations! Big pic of parasite Paul Nichols in front-page rotation. Parasites welcome. Can be deaf at the *wrong* times. Also may listen to things they SHOULD be deaf to. No way to know what items sold.
    DEPENDS WHO'S TALKING--Arrogant. Noticable swagger. They call affiliates "publishers.""


    I was just wondering how an affiliate could say all that about CJ, after saying "I love CJ"?

    For additions to the "bad", read ABW. There's quite abit more:

    CJ spybot downloading your entire site(s) daily (source: CJ website)

    Expired links "will not track" (source: CJ website)

    Many merchants through CJ have unbelievably high reversal rates. (source: ABW members)

    Publishers are required to include impression tracking images with text links, and told that their exclusion can affect sales tracking. (source: CJ Publisher Agreement, CJ Reps)

    anyone care to add more?

  14. #14
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    Honestly, there are problems with every affiliate program, or at least every one I've tried. Your best bet is to diversify and find out what works for you. And try not to keep all your eggs in one basket because things can change quickly.

    For example, Amazon's once-wonderful associate program is now a giant nightmarish headache and has been for years, but it's still my best earner aside from Fastclick. These days, parasites, suspicious commissions etc. are part of the game, unfortunately.

  15. #15
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    quote:
    "BAD--*Awful* public relations! Big pic of parasite Paul Nichols in front-page rotation. Parasites welcome. Can be deaf at the *wrong* times. Also may listen to things they SHOULD be deaf to. No way to know what items sold.
    DEPENDS WHO'S TALKING--Arrogant. Noticable swagger. They call affiliates "publishers.""


    I was just wondering how an affiliate could say all that about CJ, after saying "I love CJ"? ~Kelly626


    Easy:

    "CJ:
    GOOD--Payment! Right on time. Consolidated. Direct deposit. Nice selection of merchants, at least when it comes to the older ones. Nonpaying deadbeats get cut off fairly quickly (I think it's 2 months) which lowers the risk. Low earnings threshhold to get a free datafeed. "

    And I like their swagger (that's why it "depends who's talking" whether that's good or not. Some people hate it but I don't...). I'm naturally leery of any organization that has less of an ego than I do. Corporate modesty makes me wonder what is wrong with a place! CJ goes overboard in the arrogance department sometimes, but a certain degree of swagger is definitely a Good Thing IMO.

    More generally, I do love CJ but love isn't as blind as some people would think. But I'm not going to start ripping my links because I think their front page could be improved, or because they need to hire a PR department. PR doesn't pay bills, but timely payments do, and CJ has the latter.

    Other networks with crowd-pleasing PR and modest, downcast eyes turn me off because they tend to have difficulties with the fundamental thing known as "cutting checks." Who cares if a place has no parasites if they let deadbeats stay on forever, or they sit on checks? 100% of nothing is still nothing!

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

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    What Leader said.

    As for SAS, a great network. However, if you are hoping for any merchants that anyone has heard of then you need to look in other places.

    If you were to listen to all the naysayers out there, then you'll quit this game tomorrow, as all the networks must be evil. Not so.

    Fred

    You might just be a Parasite if..."You can't schedule a family reunion until after the parole board meets"

  17. #17
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    quote:
    And I like their swagger (that's why it "depends who's talking" whether that's good or not. Some people hate it but I don't...). I'm naturally leery of any organization that has less of an ego than I do. Corporate modesty makes me wonder what is wrong with a place! CJ goes overboard in the arrogance department sometimes, but a certain degree of swagger is definitely a Good Thing IMO.



    Why? It is ugly and doesn't put food on the table.

    Usually all that bravado is a cover up for inadequacy or malfeisance. That's how I read it, anyway.

    quote:
    if you are hoping for any merchants that anyone has heard of then you need to look in other places.


    Who cares? I sale products. You know, the stuff people actually get when they pay their money. And, SAS merchants have some humdinger products. After we promote merchants, people WILL have heard of them. That's what we do. Wasn't that one of TD's big gripes, affiliates wanting a free ride on their already established name?

    Mr.Merchant, if you do business in any way what-so-ever with parasites, your products will not be sold on my sites!!

    LISTEN! CJ don't give no whistles no more! I can hear the music of another piper!

  18. #18
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    quote:
    As for SAS, a great network. However, if you are hoping for any merchants that anyone has heard of then you need to look in other places.

    I think there's a lot of money in promoting merchants no-one has ever heard of - a lot of them sell unique stuff that actually catches the buyers eye. I've had some of my best sales through websites that didn't have a massive corp behind them.

  19. #19
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    Hi Dirk,

    Nice to meet you Doesn't it bug the hell out of you when people can't spell your name right even when its typed?

    (btw I am Dirk too.)

    Parasiteware - Any software, process or method that aims to make money by avoiding any involvement in the sales process apart from hijacking transactions that have been created by the hard work of others.

  20. #20
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    quote:
    Usually all that bravado is a cover up for inadequacy or malfeisance. That's how I read it, anyway. ~Ssanf


    Personally I think modesty is for those with nothing to brag about. There's nothing "ugly" about supreme confidence where it is warranted (and no I'm not going to go through 10 rounds of posts over whether it's warranted!).

    IMO, peasant-like thinking is what is ugly, and also most detrimental to putting that food you mention on the table. It's for the peasantry to be offended by things like Todd's comment from awhile back to get a dedicated server--those with proper confidence would see that as an ENDORSEMENT not a put-down (he wouldn't have suggested it if he thought it was undoable). Peasants would have people talk as if nothing was accomplishable beyond the bare minimum and as if achievement isn't something to be proud of--an attitude great for the ghetto and of zero value anywhere else!

    Crabs in a bucket behavior describes how most of the gripes about CJ strike me.

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

    [This message was edited by Leader on September 11, 2003 at 06:05 AM.]

  21. #21
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    quote:
    modesty is for those with nothing to brag about


    Uh huh, people like Mother Teressa.

    If you are actually any good, you don't have to brag because everyone already knows. Others do your bragging for you.

    In this business, I think it is called viral marketing. You know, where people tell others about you. Bookmark your site and add links without being asked or bribed to.

    Mr.Merchant, if you do business in any way what-so-ever with parasites, your products will not be sold on my sites!!

    LISTEN! CJ don't give no whistles no more! I can hear the music of another piper!

    [This message was edited by SSanf on September 11, 2003 at 06:12 AM.]

  22. #22
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    So what.

    1) "Likability" does not change the truth of my statement.

    2) She wasn't in business.

    3) The work of Mother Theresa is totally irrelevant to this thread. But, for a nun, modesty *itself* is something to brag about, and therefore the concept becomes corrupted!

    quote:
    If you are actually any good, you don't have to brag because everyone already knows.


    There is no point in having a horn if you can't toot it.

    The biggest problem I see people having with someone's "high horse" is simply the fact that they don't have a higher "horse." But putting the other guy off his horse doesn't give you one to ride--so to do so is just sour grapes.

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

  23. #23
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    quote:
    , for a nun, modesty *itself* is something to brag about, and therefore the concept becomes corrupted!



    LOL

    I edited above while you were posting.

    quote:
    There is no point in having a horn if you can't toot it.


    See sig

    Mr.Merchant, if you do business in any way what-so-ever with parasites, your products will not be sold on my sites!!

    LISTEN! CJ don't give no whistles no more! I can hear the music of another piper!

  24. #24
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    (Response made before above was edited) Pbbbt , obviously you've never seen a group that bragged about how modest they are (I HAVE)!!!

    quote:
    see sig


    I've already got 2 whistles. TOOT TOOT

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

    [This message was edited by Leader on September 11, 2003 at 06:25 AM.]

  25. #25
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Responding to your edit, above:

    quote:
    In this business, I think it is called viral marketing. You know, where people tell others about you. Bookmark your site and add links without being asked or bribed to.


    Offline, it's "word of mouth." And if it was all that great, companies wouldn't spend millions of dollars ADVERTISING THE HECK out of their products, stores, and services!

    Tooting your own horn, and darned loudly, too, is essential to a business reaching full potential.

    "COCA COLA ADDS LIFE" and you know the slogan because THEY say so, immodestly, over and over again! Stealth "so-and-so told me" non-marketing may work for a niche with practically 0 competition, but once any serious contenders hit the market it's time to get serious.

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

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