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  1. #1
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    Hello,
    I signed up for the C J DataFeeds and I wanted to let everyone here know my experience with them.

    I signed up to recieve the DataFeeds from C J thinking that it would be more convenient to get all my feeds from C J in one place. I paid the hard earned $200 it costs thinking that the feeds would pay for themselves over time.
    NOT TRUE...
    Most of the Feeds I have recieved from C J are big files of worthless jumbled data.. Two feeds out of TEN are GOOD.. the other EIGHT cannot even be considered DataBases..

    I contacted C J regarding this matter and I was told to contact the sponsor providing the FEED... I thought I was... didn't I just pay $200 to access them from C J ??

    The bottom line is that if C J is going to charge me to access these files then THEY should require Quality Data from the sponsors that want to participate. ( SOME FILES CANNOT EVEN BE OPENED ) This in my humble opinion is totally ridiculous.

    Now, I know that C J doesn't put any of the data into the feeds.. but they do charge to access them and in that case they should BACK them in some way.. not just send me to the Sponsor providing the feeds.

    ALL C J has to do is tell the merchants that want to participate in the datafeed program that their database has to have the required fields ALL filled in.. and C J should work with the merchants themselves regarding their Product Catalog datafeed until a workable file has been achieved..

    C J - is falling short on both ends..

    They are not providing any Customer Service to the merchants wanting to supply a DataFeed to the webmasters that want to advertise for them.

    They are selling access to data that is worthless and they are not willing to do anything about it at all.

    LEARN from my mistake:
    DO NOT pay for access to DataFeeds at C J..
    Go to the "GET LINKS" section
    CLICK ON "Additional Search Options"
    SELECT "Promotion - ALL"
    SELECT "Link Type - Product Catalog"
    Look at all of your current advertisers and see if they Have a "PRODUCT CATALOG" in their links.. If they do then they have a datafeed.
    Contact them and ask for access. They will provide this for you FREE..
    Get one of their feeds and see if it is something that you can work with or not. If it is Great! If it is not - GO On to the next Merchant and find one that is well organized.

    I trusted C J to provide Quality Feeds at a Price of $200 and got burned.. do not make my mistake get them for free.. it is NOT more convenient to get them from C J at ALL.
    And you will feel like I DO - "You Just Waisted Your HARD EARNED Money" - and - "You will Trust C J Less" which isn't a good thing seeing as they cut the checks...

    Hope that helped someone NOT make the same mistake that I did..



  2. #2
    Internet Cowboy
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    I've had the CJ datafeeds now for some time and most of them are great.
    I have run across a few merchants who's feed is a mess.
    Overall, the datafeeds are what make my money on CJ.
    Sorry to hear of your bad experience with them. Maybe you are using all the wrong merchants.
    Scott


  3. #3
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    Don't get me wrong not ALL Feeds are BAD..
    2 out of 10 of the feeds I signed up for are GREAT...

    BUT 2 out of 10 doesn't cut it for $200! =(

    The point is:
    IF - C J is going to charge us for access to them - they should ALL be in a workable format..

    I AGREE - most of my income from my websites come from the datafeeds I use... THAT is what makes this whole thing so ridiculous..

    The Feeds make everyone money - C J Included.. so why not put forth the extra effort to make the feeds more consistent? Why should anyone PAY $200 for access and then when there is a problem - C J says to talk to the merchant supplying the feed... C J should contact the MERCHANT and let them know that the feeds are crucial to making more money... AND work with them on deploying a feed that IS acceptable - NOT ME... that is not what I paid the $200 for.. I paid for a workable product or so I thought... My time is spent making sites and getting the links provided more exposure... NOT working with MERCHANTS on their feeds..
    THAT is C J's job..

    C J is falling short on their responsibilities to their Merchants and their Affiliates.
    Someone at C J is not paying attention.. these feeds make MORE money for everyone and it would be worth it for C J to invest the time working with the merchants to get the feeds well organized and consistent.
    Instead they collect $200 from me and then put THAT responsibility on me as well..

    heh heh sounds CrAzY doesn't it?


  4. #4
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Dang! Thanks for the warning and the clue on how to get them free. I have thought about paying the fee but if they do not stand behind the product they sell, CJ has no business selling the feeds at all. I am shocked.

    If they are not 100% good, CJ is pretty sleazy taking your money.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  5. #5
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    We have been using the CJ feeds for well over a year and have never had a problem with any of them. We just sort out the information to our liking and for what fits best for our needs.

    I can't comment on the $200, we didn't pay, but if you promote the stuff well, I'd think you'd more than make up for that $200 pretty quickly.

  6. #6
    Full Member dak142's Avatar
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    I also recently let them take my account to -$200.00 to gain access. I am also having trouble with the arangement of the feeds, most are not exactly in logical categories. It's going take alot of work to get them useable.

    I diden't quite figure out how yet, but I'll keep working at it. Since the feeds I am trying to use are not a simple download and run feeds, I'll bet most pass them by, and are not overuning the SE's.

  7. #7
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Spartus:
    LEARN from my mistake:
    DO NOT pay for access to DataFeeds at C J..
    Go to the "GET LINKS" section
    CLICK ON "Additional Search Options"
    SELECT "Promotion - ALL"
    SELECT "Link Type - Product Catalog"
    Look at all of your current advertisers and see if they Have a "PRODUCT CATALOG" in their links.. If they do then they have a datafeed.
    Contact them and ask for access. They will provide this for you FREE..


    How this work? I select all of that but no result, can you explain more...this don`t want work for me...

  8. #8
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    As far as I am concerned CJ's feed is 2nd to none. Sure there is the odd store that screws up their feed but for the benefit of all your merchants conforming with the same format delivered in a flat file. Unbeatable. And (almost) as reliable as sunrise.

  9. #9
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    We are having a slightly different problem with the datafeeds. We've been loading our database weekly with almost a half million product from datafeeds. Over the past several months we have had suspicions that CJ/BeFree has not been tracking all our traffic properly. Therefore we have been tracking clicks from our site to our affiliates and things don't seem to be close. For example, on October 13th we tracked 74 clicks to our CJ affiliate sites. CJ only showed 9 clicks for the same period. Something seems off and CJ does not want to help. Their answer is "I know our tracking is working properly, not sure how your tracking works." I agree with Spartus about the customer service.

    Any help or insight is greatly appreciated.

  10. #10
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    I read posts like this and simply shake my head.

    MY RANT


    The feeds for the most part are good, there are a few that require work. I read how some here want a site template, or some want a perfect feed, or other want coupons delivered in there email for instant promotion. Basically – give me – give me – give me.

    I love it when merchants actually step up to the plate and give us what we want or need to increase sales. But to bad mouth them when fixing a feed is not that big of a deal?

    Most of these complaints are absolutely STUPID. Some of these complaints are on the verge of hey Networks why in the hell are you not doing all the work for me. So all I have to do is buy a domain name. No design is required some of you want the merchant to create the template for you also.

    So what exactly is the affiliates job these days?
    Buy a domain name and demand payment?

    CJ has been asked those tracking question to death, that’s why they are not hip on answering your question. Your tracking may be flawed how in the heck can you expect them to compare your tracking with there’s. CJ and the other networks maintain millions of affiliates – so much for all our other problems if all they do all day is compare outside tracking to inside tracking.

    Some of these complaints require common sense or at least start it out with RANTING HERE.

    I do not promote CJ much these days, but I work on a curve with them. I dropped them like hot potatoes, when they get their stuff together I will be back with them to push sales. If you don’t like them and see they are not helping you WHY IN THE HECK are you still with them?

    WOW that felt better

  11. #11
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    Three points:

    1) if you are trying to open the files, you are not using them correctly - they need to be consumed into a database management solution.

    2) advertisers are provided with format and other specifications to upload feeds - if the feeds are poorly formatted, it is the advertiser's fault for not following the instructions/requirements.

    3) product links generate a lot of commissions for publishers who understand how to correctly work with them - if you do not have the technical know-how, they are not something you should request.
    Todd Crawford
    Co-Founder, Impact Radius

    Give me a minute before I post again

  12. #12
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    quote:
    Originally posted by ToddCrawford, CJ.com:
    Three points:

    1) if you are trying to open the files, you are not using them correctly - they need to be consumed into a database management solution.




    Todd,

    You do need to open a new feed up before you propagate it. Not all merchants are building them correctly. When I have a merchant that is not building the feed correctly I make contact and explain my needs. 98% of all CJ merchants are willing to do what it takes to get you what you need.

    I would suggest opening them in Excel as excel does not deteriorating the feed in any manner.

    I customize my feeds and train other to do the same thing, you can open them in excel safely.

  13. #13
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    FanGear - I wouldn't worry to much about tracking clicks - track sales - if your not satisfied with sales after a certain amount of time and energy switch to a different sponsor. That is about all you can do.


    SandraR - My original post was simply about the money I paid and the product I received. As a matter of fact I was talking about something that I had paid for so it wasn't a give me, give me, give me, type thing. I work very hard on my sites and I put a lot of time and energy into it. I have never asked a merchant for anything accept access to their feeds. I don't even know what you are talking about "Template Sites"...

    As far as the datafeeds go I am not talking about a simple "Find and Replace" for some unwanted text..
    I am talking about 2300 records out of 4000 not having image links, product descriptions, keywords, product names ect. so yes it would be a big deal to fix all of that. I am glad you feel better because I sure don't =)



    ToddCrawford -

    1) if you are trying to open the files, you are not using them correctly - they need to be consumed into a database management solution.

    Yes you do need to open them before you can manipulate any data records. I use Excel, Access, and VB.

    2) advertisers are provided with format and other specifications to upload feeds - if the feeds are poorly formatted, it is the advertiser's fault for not following the instructions/requirements.

    This doesn't even sound right especially after this next line "product links generate a lot of commissions for publishers" Now read #2 and then #3 mmmm

    If the product links generate a lot of commissions for publishers then this means that they also produce a lot of sales for the merchants. Isn't THAT "COMMISSION JUNCTION's" entire reason for existing in the first place?
    Has anyone at CJ read your post? Do you still have a job? =)

    I would think that if it was looked at by the bean counters at CJ and they saw the potential sales increase by just working with a few of the merchants on getting better quality and more consistent data in their feeds. They would probably suggest putting a few key people in charge of working with the merchants on increasing the "usability" of their feeds.. maybe some of the smaller merchants who join and want to provide a feed would actually be given the opportunity to GROW with CJ instead of just being ignored by the webmasters who use the product links that generate a lot of commissions... but what do I know..

    Someone isn't looking at this like BUSINESS...

  14. #14
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    The great majority of my feed-enabled merchants have a useable feed. There are only a couple of exceptions.

    I prefer the CJ Feed. The "quirkies" take a bit of getting used to, but once they're learned/adapted to/coded over, it's fine. (Not that I wouldn't mind the removal of all hokey characters from the data of certain merchants *hint* *hint*) I think it would be a huge PITA to have to work around the differences that there are in all those "outside" feeds.

    I would agree with Todd's last two points.

    That first point, though, seems to use unnecessarily technical language, and it also shows a very narrow view of how feeds can be worked with.

    quote:
    1) if you are trying to open the files, you are not using them correctly - they need to be consumed into a database management solution.


    I'll try to Englishize it a bit, first.

    "Consumed into a database management solution" = a techie way to say, "load the feed into a real database instead of a spreadsheet." I think he's also assuming, by the use of the word "consume" that, that loading will take place via an automated method.

    Trying to open a sizeable feed outside of a "database management solution" (ie, something like MySQL) can be an exercise in frustration. Many programs will crash when presented with a truly sizeable feed!

    In short, with MySQL, the feed is not "opened" in the common sense of the word. You (or your script) gives the DB a command which causes to to get the data (ie, "consume" it), without you directly looking at that data. Then you work with the data through the DB (or have a program interface with it).

    IMO it is wrong to say that it is an "incorrect" use of feeds to use Excel, etc. to work with them--provided the spreadsheet has room for all the records. (For some unknown reason, techies always seem to forget that there is more than one way to do things!!! ) For certain merchant's feeds, I wouldn't willingly give up using a spreadsheet, for the reasons SandraR and Spartus mentioned. I wouldn't want to find out about the missing image fields, etc. he talked about by *surprise!!* Surprises like that, if allowed to go onto the pages, can make a new site look like it's been abandonded for years.

    But when there are too many records in the feed for a spreadsheet to handle them efficiently (or at all), some steps need to be done in the "Real Database."
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador ToughTurkey's Avatar
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    Spartus said:
    quote:
    Has anyone at CJ read your post? Do you still have a job? =)



    I hate it when newbies get too bold.

    Spartus said
    quote:
    DO NOT pay for access to DataFeeds at C J..
    Go to the "GET LINKS" section
    CLICK ON "Additional Search Options"
    SELECT "Promotion - ALL"
    SELECT "Link Type - Product Catalog"
    Look at all of your current advertisers and see if they Have a "PRODUCT CATALOG" in their links.. If they do then they have a datafeed.
    Contact them and ask for access. They will provide this for you FREE..
    Get one of their feeds and see if it is something that you can work with or not. If it is Great! If it is not - GO On to the next Merchant and find one that is well organized.




    Sorry Spartus, but if you can't generate $10,000 in sales, is your advice really worth taking?

    The veterans on the boards are all saying CJ feeds are workable, and I am one of the ones Todd is talking about when he says many affiliates are making a lot of money with them. Instead of complaining about them, why don't you learn how to use them effectively.



  16. #16
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    ToughTurkey -
    YOU hate it when NEWBIES get to bold... heh heh heh...

    My tag line says NEWBIE but I bet I have been doing this a lot longer than you...

    AND

    How would you know how much in sales I can generate in a month...

    I hate it when Full Members speak when they don't have a clue..

  17. #17
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    I think my point has been missed here...

    I was simply stating that the product I recieved from CJ was not 100% or even 90%.

    It doesn't matter WHAT kind of feeds I chose to get - I paid $200 for them.

    When you pay $200 for access to something you expect that what you are accessing is going to be GOOD and have some kind of BACKING by the providers. In this case CJ. I paid THEM and THEY do not back their product.

    I was not talking about how people use the datafeeds or what anyone does with them or how much money anyone makes using them - SIMPLY that if anyone was thinking of investing $200 to think again and get them for free first..

    The whole thing that set me off was CJ telling ME to work with the merchants myself...
    That is like the makers of raisin bran telling me to talk to the grape growers if the raisins in their cereal are rancid... NO they wouldn't think about doing that.. they have a reputation that they actually care about.

    My experience with CJ tells me that they do not care about their own reputation and they do not care if someone out there thinks that they do not do a good job. Their customer service needs some serious work. The merchants are GREAT but CJ is not. I have worked with several merchants over the years and have had nothing but positive experiences. BUT CJ is another thing altogether... they want to place blame on anyone but themselves.. no responsibility for what THEY do... THEY charge $200 to access these files and then... ooops some are bad? Oh well to bad for you because it's not our fault.. it has to be either your technical skills or the merchants but it doesn't have anything to do with us even though we do charge you to access these files go bother someone who cares...

    Loads and loads of GARBAGE....

  18. #18
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    For the record, I am 100% happy with CJ's datafeed. It is quite reliable. For the money, cj provides the huge amount of bandwidth necessary for you to download feeds plus provides the processing power to generate the feed.

    As far as the data goes, there are merchants that maintain their data and others that dont. There are also merchants that convert and some that dont. There are publishers that market well and many that dont. CJ can't control the quality of the merchants data and I dont expect them to.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador ToughTurkey's Avatar
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    quote:
    How would you know how much in sales I can generate in a month...



    If you'd have ever generated $10,000 in one single month, you wouldn't have had to pay $200.

  20. #20
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    I get datafeeds in two ways..

    Directly from the merchant
    and
    Through CJ


    The datafeeds I get directly from the merchants are perfect! They do a great job in promoting themselves.

    The same datafeeds from CJ for the same merchants -- a big jumbled mess

    Descriptions imported into the keywords fields
    Keywords imported into the Advertiser Category
    Missing data "Price" "Description" "Name"


    THAT is what I am talking about - CJ gets a perfectly good feed from the merchants - then they process it and input our CJPID into it.. and sort it and so on... who knows..

    and in the process THEY screw it all up..

    So IMO the datafeeds that are downloaded directly from the merchant are better..

    The only reason I got the datafeeds from CJ in the first place is that I thought it would be simpler to just download via FTP from one site .. AND since CJ processes the data they receive from the merchants it is even more ridiculous that I was told to talk to the merchants..

    I am very great full indeed that the merchants provide datafeeds and CJ provides the BW for their own version..

    BUT if they sell it - then they should back it
    Especially if they manipulate THAT data in any way. The fact that either time anyone from CJ has said anything regarding this matter, they have directed the responsibility back at either myself or the merchants.. without even a single "we'll look into it" nothing...

    IMO that is not good customer service.. that is all.. and If I don't receive good customer service, I let other people know.. so they do not make the same mistake I did. That was the whole purpose of this thread.

    ““I'll try to Englishize it a bit,””
    If there is anyone that is considering getting the datafeeds from CJ – ask your merchant for access first, if they have a good feed just deal directly with them. That is basically what you will be doing if you get the feeds from CJ but you’ll be out $200.. that is all I am saying..



    ToughTurkey - there you go again assuming you know something... How much do I make at LinkShare and others? How long have I been promoting CJ sites?.. just stop.. Your not that good at assuming.

  21. #21
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    quote:
    How would you know how much in sales I can generate in a month...

    I hate it when Full Members speak when they don't have a clue..


    No clue?? Hardly! It's as clear as black and white:

    You said that you had to pay for the CJ feed. And that is a dead giveaway that you do NOT do $10k/month in sales with CJ. CJ couldn't care less what you make elsewhere--whether they charge is based on what you generate AT CJ.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  22. #22
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    But your assuming that I only deal with CJ..
    that's my point..
    Just because I paid CJ doesn't mean I don't do $10,000 in internet sales...


  23. #23
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    Maybe you do make that elsewhere, but it is a stretch to expect instant credibility when it seems that you only decided to become active to b*tch about the CJ Feed and to argue with us.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  24. #24
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    How you contact merchants for data feeds on cj?
    Direct to e-mail or to cj mail system?
    I sent e-mails to 5 merchants with cj mail system and merchants don`t send answer to me after 5 days...

  25. #25
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    I know I'm asking this a milion time but WAS CJ HACKED!!! I go to www.cj.com and it has this page with all these rap songs to download. Anyone else getting this - I can't believe theirs no complaints about this. What is going on! I'm freaking out over hear.

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