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  1. #1
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    I made a test purchase with a CJ merchant before committing to sending my traffic their way and while the sale tracked immediately, the sale amount reported is wrong and therefore the commission is wrong as well. My order was for $30, but the sale amount reported by CJ is a third of that, $11.61 (My CJ currency is euros, so in fact my account shows EUR 9.08) and the commission $5.80 (EUR 4.54).

    Is this a common thing, and what can i do about it? Should i report it to CJ?

    The merchant is generally unresponsive to emails (i know i should just drop them, but i need their products badly).

  2. #2
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    It could be an integration error on the merchant end. You should report this via Ask A Question and please provide all of the transaction details. We will follow up with the merchant.

    Thanks,
    Todd Crawford
    Co-Founder, Impact Radius

    Give me a minute before I post again

  3. #3
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    It has now been more than 3 weeks and the problem is still not resolved. I just got the latest reply from CJ and it is completely nonsense.

    Here are the details:
    As per Todd's suggestion I emailed CJ through AAQ with all the CJ transaction data, and what the correct sale amount should have been (Nov 3rd). They replied (Nov 4th) and asked me for the order confirmation email i got from the merchant. I sent it to them (Nov 4th). No reply, then I updated the question Nov 11th. No reply still, so i updated again Nov 22nd.

    Today i get this answer:
    quote:
    Hi,
    Sorry that we did not get back to you sooner. In order to have the amount of the sale changed, you will need to contact MERCHANTNAME directly. You can contact them through email at MERCHANTEMAIL. Please let me know if you have further questions.
    Sincerely, CUSTOMER SERVICE REP


    Now, this is no help at all. Here is what i replied:

    quote:
    Hello,

    your latest response is completely unsatisfactory. My purchase wasn't tracked correctly, and it was a regular purchase, so i presume this problem affects all other affiliates as well. This makes the whole issue as much CJ's problem as it is mine. You need to investigate why the CJ system tracked an incorrect amount, and solve the problem, and then i can contact the merchant directly to have them revise the sale for the correct amount. By the way, the last two times i emailed them at the address you provided they did not respond at all, and this was months apart.

    I am awaiting your reply.



    I know i shouldn't even be bothering with this merchant after all this, but for a specific reason they would be the best choice i have in this category. (the second best has a much narrower selection of the same products)

    They are a 4-bar network earnings merchant, so if this tracking problem is not isolated (and why would it be?), there may be tens of thousands of dollars not being tracked...

  4. #4
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    Wow, i just received a new reply to my question from the same cust. serv. rep that says she's contacting the merchant on behalf and will email me when she receives a reply. It took them 3 weeks to reply with a canned response and then just 10 minutes after i sent the angry reply.

    Anyway, i am curious how this will develop from here... i'll keep you all updated.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Grumpy's Avatar
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    Hungirl do you really need this type of aggravation in your life? I wouldn't even consider adding this merchant if I was you - if they screw you on your very first order, imagine what they are going to do down the line!! Flush them and find somebody else who has the product you are looking for

  6. #6
    Full Member ahmar's Avatar
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    Ditto as Grumpy, exactly!
    <DT>[size=1][color=navy]"The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return.[/color][/size]<DT>[size=1][color=navy]It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale." Arthur C. Clark[/color][/size]</DT>

  7. #7
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    I know, and i agree with you guys, i should have dropped this merchant after the first unanswered email. But i need a merchant that is able to ship these products internationally, and there is only two, this one, and another non-CJ one (who is ABW trusted), which has about one fifth of this CJ merchant's selection, and higher prices.

    I am giving them one more chance. I know i shouldn't, and i don't blame you all for calling me crazy.

  8. #8
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    Yea it's called SHAVING...
    The Network shaves a little off the top for themselves - then when caught they come up with some technical reason why their links aren't tracking the way they should be and give you some people to contact and act like they are concerned... nothing happens of course. Then when the smoke clears they start shaving commissions again.. Oldest trick in the book.
    Get used to it it happens a lot more than people think... it's just part of life on the web.

  9. #9
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I'll package up some Parrot Poop after-shaving lotion you can send them as a Xmas gift.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
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    if it is happening to one merchant, then it can also happen to other merchants.

    it is not enough that the particular merchant be dropped. CJ should definitely investigate this problem and create a solution to try to avoid them in the future.

    I'm with hungirl.

  11. #11
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    waytogo, i agree, that is what i tried to express with my email to CJ "My purchase wasn't tracked correctly, and it was a regular purchase, so i presume this problem affects all other affiliates as well. This makes the whole issue as much CJ's problem as it is mine. You need to investigate why the CJ system tracked an incorrect amount, and solve the problem"

    SuZee, if this is in fact a widespread and common problem.... well then i don't even know what to say i guess...

  12. #12
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    Also, i didn't post the merchant's name yet, because i didn't know if this would be OK to do, what do you all think? After all this is a problem that potentially affects all of us...

  13. #13
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    HunGirl - Let me ask you this - was the price correct on the merchants site? Was the price correct on the billing?
    Do you use a datafeed or did you know the price up front from one of your links that was provided by CJ? If you can answer these three questions with a YES then it is not the merchant it is the network.

    SHAVING - sometimes the merchants don't even know it is happening to their own affiliates. It is simply the way the NETWORKS make more money.. They also just shave a percentage of their affiliates at a time - that way it always looks like it is a random event.. some people get paid 100% while others get paid 80% than the next month they shake it up and you get paid 100% while someone else gets paid 80%. Over the course of a year it adds up to be a lot of extra money that the NETWORK made. Everyone still works for them and they start over again for the next year.

    What do they have to do for all of this extra cash? Give about a ten thousand canned answers like -- "It could be an integration error on the merchant end." -- It is well worth it for them to do this after all how much are you willing to go through to recover an extra $5.00 commission? Are you going to quit and walk away for $5.00 - $10.00 - $15.00? No of course not and they know that already. So what is to stop them from doing this? NOTHING. After all if you did not click on your own link and purchase an item and track it your self how are you going to know anyone actually purchased anything - REALLY? If you make 10 sales a day are you 100% sure that you are not making 15 sales a day? NO your NOT.. and they know this as well. There are no laws governing the internet that are worth anything at all accept "maybe" copyright issues.. the internet is the wild west of the 20th century.. and these guys are taking full advantage of it.
    How do they get away with it? In this business you could not get 100 webmasters to agree on anything not one single thing, so who is there to stop them? NO ONE...

    The trick to stay alive in this business is to just stay ahead of the "BLADE" - if you need 10 sales a day to make a living you had better build to make 20 sales a day then they can shave and you can still make money.. build better pages and stay ahead of it the best you can!
    Like I said it is just life on the WEB.. gotta love it.. =)

  14. #14
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    I like the way SuZee thinks, and she is correct. The tracking is wrong, and it probably happens all the time. The problem is, as SuZee said, you could not get 100 Webmasters to do anything about even when they know shaving is going on.

    For many sites they see affiliate relations as their only source of revenue, and they are not going to mess with hurting that relationship.

    As far as posting the Merchants name I really don't see where that would hurt anything, but it may alert other publishers, like me, to avoid them.

    My Merchant list keeps getting shorter anyway. LOL

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador ToughTurkey's Avatar
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    quote:
    i didn't post the merchant's name yet, because i didn't know if this would be OK to do, what do you all think?
    Why wouldn't you name the merchant? Merchants are named on these boards dozens of times a day. We'd all benefit by knowing.

  16. #16
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    Thanks - DirtyDawg but I cannot take credit for any of that - really..

    I am a True Newbie and have only been in business for a little over a year.
    BUT - my husband has been doing this for over ten years and he has worked for NETWORKS - and even ran his own FREEHOST for a couple of years.
    He just sold his free host to a major company and made a great profit. This is what he says about

    NETWORKS :
    Shaving is a part of every network - simply because they can get away with it. Millions of dollars in sales every year going through their hands and no REAL way to pin anything down to 100% - what is their incentive not to shave sales - honesty? Do you trust that BIG BUSINESS has your best interest in mind? With the way things are today and greed the main incentive they will shave as much as they can get away with and still keep affiliates.

    FREEHOSTS :
    Free Hosts steal traffic period. Is there any other reason that the free host is FREE.. Free hosts are not a viable start-up plan. If you have a free hosted site go to it and click a link to it about 100 times - at least 10 clicks will go to the free hosted 404 page full of links for their own sites. They will blame it on server load but it has nothing to do with it. You can set the free host software up to skim 1% - 99% of the traffic and redirect it to any page. Plus you are branding pages that you do not own. Nothing in this world is FREE.

    WEBMASTER FORUMS :
    Look around on your webmaster forum and ask yourself why they exist? Every webmaster in this business is in it for profit. The more traffic they get the more they can charge for advertising. The advice you get from the webmaster forums should be taken with a grain of salt. Do you really know who these people are? Do they work for the NETWORKS and get paid to post? Are some of the members actually the owners posting under several different logins?
    If they are legit then what is their incentive to help you make more money when they are trying to make a profit themselves? This is probably the only form of business that the competition even speaks to one another candidly, in real business they are very secretive about what they are doing and don't speak at all accept maybe with a forked tongue. The forums owners rarely speak of their own advertisers negatively no matter what they do - that would lose them money in advertising - so are you really getting the truth? - Me I like reading the posts and participating in the forums - but I am a social butterfly and it's part of my nature.. =)

    YOUR STATS :
    Forget your stats - some webmasters spend a ton of time looking at their own traffic stats and merchant stats - if you spend an hour a day looking at your stats then you are not building pages that actually make you money. Check your stats only enough to make sure everything is working correctly and then get back to building - building is the only way to make money. Looking at your stats costs you money in the long run. Me I love looking at my stats - I get a kick out of it and he doesn't understand why I don't see that it costs me money.. lol =) I do see it but it is fun, and part of the reason I do this is to see my traffic build, plus sometimes you just need a break from building.. =)

    This is the advice he has given me and what he says rings true for what I have seen in "INTERNET MARKETING"
    Take from this post what you will.


    Ooops Gotta Go HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE –
    Turkeys in the oven and it smells great! Oh and I hope it’s not ToughTurkey. =)

  17. #17
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    Sorry for the disconnect for the few days guys, i was out of town.

    The merchant is MagazineCity.

    (I know i should just drop them because there are so many other mag merchants, but i need one that ships the magazines internationally, and the only two good choices are MagazineCity and Netmagazines, but MagCity has a much larger selection and mostly better prices. This is why i am trying to save the relationship...)

  18. #18
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    Shaving? Cool! This is a step in the right direction - much better than not reporting the sale at all. wtg cj - keep up the good work

  19. #19
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    Got the final word from CJ and MagazineCity.

    Turns out they pay commissions only on the US subscription price, even if the order is for an international subscription. I did think of this before (AND asked CJ about it but they did not reply to this specific question) but since MagazineCity says this on their affiliate recruitment page:
    quote:
    Will you accept orders from my customers if they are outside of the United States?

    Absolutely! Rates are always higher for international delivery because of the extra postage charges, but in most cases the magazines available on our site can be sent anywhere in the world. You'll earn full commissions whether the sale is for domestic or international delivery.

    I was under the impression that full commission means full commission, but apparently it doesn't...

    So, the good news is, there was no shaving or other issue that would be a much bigger problem. The bad news is that there are still 4-bar merchants out there who need to get a clue...

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador
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    so, what does Full Commission really means to them?

    the way i see it, they were caught red handed, and they were just using that as an excuse to wriggle their way out, even at the expense of being branded as liars.

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