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  1. #1
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Did anyone else see eBay reversals today? It appears that they are transactions reconciled from other networks. Since BeFree is going away, this probably only means big guys that are using mediaplex direct such as MSN.

    What they appear to be doing is checking cookies between the two networks and deciding which one deserves the actual credit. They then reverse credit from the CJ affiliate if they determine we don't deserve it.

    This is not confirmed but it seems to be the only way a direct, highly targetted link could be reversed. I'm not talking about an inderect pop-up. Some of my links literraly say "Click here for Mel Gibson Auction Items". They have to click. This isn't even an Editor Kit. How can you get more targetted than this link?

    But today I had an Active Registration and Bids reveresed because it was determined that:

    "eBay has determined that another partner really earned
    credit for the transaction"

    Didn't see this coming. The mail sent out all the way back on Jan 23 didn't mention anything about reversals. It alleged (in my mind anyway) that tracking would work better. It didn't mention that they would have a formula that would be used after the fact to remove funds if MSN also sent someone to the site. I only mention MSN because they were specifically mentioned in the e-mail from eBay.

    This makes it look like they are joining Amazon in a business model that pays $0 for some sales. I cannot imagine the scenario where MSN would be a better link for eBay and therefore take money away from me in a highly targetted link. I've not seen MSN use this kind of targetting.

    If the trend continues, I estimate a 30% reduction in revenue through reversals. If someone is in the low to mid range of tier two, this could cause a catastrophic revenue situation.

    Imagine this scenerio:

    1) You get 275 new Active Registrations in one month. But, you are unlucky and and somehow goes to MSN and does a website search like this:

    Go to search.msn.com
    Search on "Aaron Carter"

    The 2nd sponsored site once decoded through Overture is:

    Location: http://adfarm.mediaplex.com/ad/ck/71...=1%26SortPrope

    Now, this is I'm guessing is MSN's direct account. If you click on "Auctions" from MSN's main page you get some eBay stuff including links like:

    http://shopping.msn.com/trackurl.asp...handbagsavings

    Now, 711-15237-2060-53 isn't the same tracking # but it has the same first 3 digits as the item above.

    So, it is very important to realize that the double tracking that eBay talked about in their update mail wasn't just because of the BeFree program. You need to know that no matter how targetted your links in to eBay are, the links from MSN may be more valuable and MSN isn't connecting through CJ. This ns they can have a competing cookie on your visitor's systems.

    2) If you had 275 active registrations and run 30% of them reversed due to MSN, you'd end up at
    193 non-reversed registrations. This would knock you down to tier 1 which. Tier 2 is
    60% higher than tier 1 therefore you're looking at another 40% or so reduction in commisions.

    275 X $8 at tier 2 = $2200
    Fall to 193 and you're looking at:

    193 X $5 - $965

    That's a mind blowing 56% hit soley because of MSN search or Google ads that eBay buys direct.
    To see a Google direct placement go to google.com and search on "car auction". You end up with a direct track URL of http://adfarm.mediaplex.com/ad/ck/711-600-2056-60%

    3) Even if you don't fall a tier you could still end up losing 30%. I don't think I can bare that.

    4) We're already loosing 40% of the registrations anyway. Keep in mind that on average, 40% of your registrations aren't turning active anyway. So, you've for every 100 registrations you have, it could shake up like this:

    100 Registrations - 40 non-actives = 60 - 18 reversed = 42

    That's 58% registrations that the compensation = $0. In the original CJ eBay program you'd get $400 for those registations. At tier 1 now you'd get $210.

    I feel like I'm being fired. We got two week's notice that our revenue could drop because we are unfortunate enough to have viewers that also visit MSN and Google where eBay or a super affiliate that is competing against us.

    Meawhile we've got someone buying an endless supply of inderect cookie setting popups on Anglefire, Burst, and I'm sure all over the planet. And then there's that Symantec thing. And some others.

    Please keep in mind that a lot of what I say above is my personal speculation. Maybe what I thought I saw today is not what really happened. Maybe this is what happened but eBay didn't intend for this affect.

    I suggest everyone that is near tier 2 or above watch their stats closely. Please report back what you see here.

    thx

  2. #2
    I like traffic lights
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    Yup.

    I got a boatload of eBay reversals today. :^(

    ****************************
    George Orwell got the date wrong

  3. #3
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    This is total BS. I looked at one of the transactions that was reversed. I encode certain information into the SID so I can tell more about it.

    Someone clicked on my eBay link at 5:47 AM EST on 1/27. eBay correctly logged the click date as 01/27/2004 05:47:42 AM EST.

    The event date is logged as 2/1/2004 8:15 AM EST.

    So what could possibly have occured so that transaction is taken away from me? The only correct response is that someone else cookied them between 1/27 and 2/1, but was somehow not credited. But why would that happen? I'm not setting cookies with popunders, I only use the editor kit to get these clicks, and I can even probably tell you what the visitor bid on based on my server logs.

    So why is my transaction reversed? Because my cookie overwrote someone else's cookie? Well, that's the way it works, isn't it, and if I'm not using popunders that's the correct way to do things.

    I wonder if someone else used a popunder and cookied that visitor after I sent him to eBay?

    http://www.hockeydb.com

  4. #4
    Member
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Ralph,

    You're cookie is not being overwritten. Or at least, I don't think it is. What I think is happening is that eBay is setting a cookie through their mediaplex network which means you are competing with them.

    You drive highly targetted trafic but then someone clicks on an auction link on MSN.

    It appears even though you did the work, your click isn't as valuable.

    I can't see anyway a bid or bin could be reversed by a cookie overwrite. If that happened then you'd simply never see the bid.

    It looks like we're competing with eBay directly on this one.

  5. #5
    I like traffic lights
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    If I get any more reversals today, I'll be going BACKWARDS.

    This has turned eBay's affiliate program at CJ into a JOKE>

    Someone needs to get onto this and sort it out REAL QUICK, before I get really upset and go elsewhere.

    It seems someone else's cookies have priority over mine. I don't like being treated as a 2nd class citizen. When that happens, I up and leave.

    ****************************
    George Orwell got the date wrong

  6. #6
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    Greg, I don't think these reversals are the result of clicks.

    I got an e-mail today from CJ regarding popunder campaigns running on (at least) the Burst network. The rep told me that
    this is a grey area, and no guidelines exist, but it is current not illegal.

    I'm guessing that what happened is that this user went to eBay via my link, and then several days later, decided
    to register. Probably because he saw something he wanted because of my link, but the bottom line is that he waited
    a couple of days.

    In between visiting my site and registering, he probably got an eBay popunder running from the Burst network. That set
    the cookie for the BeFree network. He then registered on eBay, and they counted this for both networks. Later, they went back,
    and since my cookie was the first, not the last, I got reversed.

    Now do I think that I'm getting the shaft here? YES! The e-mail stated that affiliates that run targetted campaigns would
    see more registrations, and the ones running untargetted would not. Well, it seems to me that if you run untargetted, you may
    lose out on the people who bid right away, but you scoop up those that wait to bid.

    And I'm curious as to why CJ is getting so anal about this WHEN THEY STILL DO NOT PAY FOR REGISTERED CANADIAN USERS!

    How about fixing that problem? No, because they're getting away with paying a lot of money because of it.

    Ralph

    http://www.hockeydb.com

  7. #7
    Member
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    Ralph,

    BeFree isn't the problem. At least it won't be after Saturday. The problem is MSN.

    Ask your AM based on historical data, what percentage do they expect you to loose?

    Also, look at the 30 day EPC history. It's stair stepping down like mad day to day this week.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    eBay hit me with reversals today as well.

    Does this mean that the last cookie set won't always get the commission? I know that's the way it works (for now) with the parasites, but if eBay is going to award the commission to the bigger affiliate, regardless of who earned it, they're in for a lot of trouble!

    Andy

    _______________
    Call the Exterminators! We've Got PARASITES!

  9. #9
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    January 18th, 2005
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    The Burst eBay popunders are atleast labeled so they can be deselected, but there is a popunder campaign on Fastclick called "Netmeans" that goes to eBay but isn't labeled that way.

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