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  1. #1
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Why are they allowed to do it? All year long, the same two merchants have extended every single transaction every month. They always pay the following month. I just don't understand why they are allowed to get away with this. One is usually only $20 - $30 in commissions each month. Another, I just moved all the links to Amazon (see This Post).
    After balancing the payment I just received for November, I've discovered yet another has joined the pack. All sales, totalling $85 in commissions extended.

    It sure seems they are just postponing the cash flow. I don't understand why CJ lets them get away with this.

  2. #2
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    i don't mind extensions. the're paying, right?

  3. #3
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    Some companies do this as a fraud prevention tactic. Is it a membership affiliate program? Free trial or something?

    Anyway, if they are just doing it so they don't have to pay you in a timely manner, or can't pay you, I would talk to CJ about it.

    The best thing to do is contact the merchant directly to get their position. It may not seem as diabolical then.

  4. #4
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    No, they are not a membership. The are merchants that sell and ship products. If it is a fraud protection issue, then I would think all merchants would be doing it. After 20 days into the next month, I think they would already know if a credit card was valid or not. Do they really need an extra 30 days?

  5. #5
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Tracy:
    No, they are not a membership. The are merchants that sell and ship products. If it is a fraud protection issue, then I would think all merchants would be doing it. After 20 days into the next month, I think they would already know if a credit card was valid or not. Do they really need an extra 30 days?


    Some companies claim they do it because of return issues; 30 day return policy. That can be a valid reason, however some companies take advantage of it.

  6. #6
    Member lourlour's Avatar
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    .....I have two specific merchants that extend my commissions. But they're the only two that I've had reversals from. So I understand the extension being used in this case.

    I'd be annoyed if I never had reversals from them and they constantly extended commissions though. If all of my merchants did this, then I wouldn't receive my check on the 20th every month. I'd be receiving a check every other month.

  7. #7
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    my CJ cheque this month canceller because merchant extended transactions ... CJ dont care affiliates so i have decided to remove all of there links from my website and suggest everyone to do that ..

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager PaulS's Avatar
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    I'm curious about this issue, because we do (and have with past merchants) extend transactions due to the company's return policy.

    Because we offer a 30 day return policy, we need that extra time to finalize true transactions.

    I agree that Fraud prevention can usually be handled in the CJ timelines, but Returns can't.

    As long as it's consistent, and understood at the beginning, is this really a problem? This is the first concern I've ever seen raised about this issue....

    Thanks,

    Paul

  9. #9
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    I don't think paid transactions are locked in stone. I remember some time back when there were reversals after we'd been paid. They just came out of the balance for the current month. Maybe that would be opening another can of worms, but I'd much rather see the reversal if an item is returned deducted from my current balance, then have to wait an extra 30-80 days to get paid. If a transaction date is 10/1, and extended, instead of getting paid on 11/20 (50 days), I don't get paid until 12/20 (80 days). Isn't there an economic theory about money having a time value?

    It's just plain getting out of hand with some merchants who abuse the privilege. Here are my extended transactions for last month.

    Date Type Sale Comm.
    11/02/04 Sale 110.18 5.51
    11/02/04 Sale 38.87 1.94
    11/02/04 Sale 17.94 0.90
    11/04/04 Sale 59.80 2.99
    11/06/04 Sale 7.96 0.40
    11/07/04 Sale 48.00 2.40
    11/07/04 Sale 11.96 0.60
    11/08/04 Sale 35.82 1.79
    11/09/04 Sale 23.92 1.20
    11/09/04 Sale 75.80 3.79
    11/09/04 Sale 39.84 1.99
    11/12/04 Sale 17.94 0.90
    11/14/04 Sale 59.99 3.00
    11/14/04 Sale 11.96 0.60
    11/14/04 Sale 56.99 2.85
    11/15/04 Sale 113.98 5.70
    11/15/04 Sale 148.94 7.45
    11/15/04 Sale 208.97 10.45
    11/16/04 Sale 113.98 5.70
    11/16/04 Sale 11.95 0.60
    11/18/04 Sale 113.98 5.70
    11/19/04 Sale 5.99 0.30
    11/20/04 Sale 20.42 1.02
    11/20/04 Sale 5.99 0.30
    11/21/04 Sale 18.95 0.95
    11/21/04 Sale 13.98 0.70
    11/22/04 Sale 113.98 5.70
    11/23/04 Sale 119.60 5.98
    11/24/04 Sale 15.20 0.76
    11/24/04 Sale 55.09 2.76
    11/25/04 Sale 38.00 1.90
    11/25/04 Sale 56.99 2.85
    11/25/04 Sale 21.93 1.10
    11/27/04 Sale 38.27 1.91
    11/27/04 Sale 76.00 3.80
    11/28/04 Sale 24.95 1.25
    11/28/04 Sale 49.90 2.50
    11/28/04 Sale 11.96 0.60
    11/28/04 Sale 95.93 4.80
    11/28/04 Sale 28.49 1.42
    11/29/04 Sale 69.98 3.50
    11/29/04 Sale 56.99 2.85
    11/29/04 Sale 17.94 0.90
    11/29/04 Sale 20.97 1.05
    11/30/04 Sale 23.92 1.20
    11/30/04 Sale 49.99 2.50
    11/30/04 Sale 24.95 1.25
    ---------------
    2405.13 120.31
    ===============
    It was bad enough when there were just two doing it every month, but now there are three. And I can pretty much guarantee that not one of them will be reversed. I would have much rather received the money in this month's payment, and in the wild chance one is reversed have it deducted from my current balance (say, worse case $10.45), then have to wait an extra month.

    I mean really. Here it is the 20th of the month and there is already a nice balance in my account ... quite a bit more than the $120.31. Couldn't they look at it and say, she has enough in her account to cover any reversals and go ahead and pay me? I would understand the extension if there was only $10 in my account, but if I have enough to cover it, I should get my money in a timely manner. I can think of a bill or two that $120 would pay this month.

    I was under the impression that the merchant has to have the money on deposit with CJ anyway. So it just sits there all that time? And for me, it isn't about the money as much as it is about the bookkeeping. I operate my business as a Corporation, and because I maintain and sell inventory of one item, I am required by IRS to keep my books on the accrual method. This means I have to count those earnings in my income on my taxes this year, even though I won't see it until next year. Plus I have to track it in accounts receivable. Isn't there another theory that my time has value too?

    I would like to just be done with it and replace these three merchants. But, each carries a few unique items that nobody else sells. So they have me at their mercy if I want to offer the items on my website. Grrrrrrr ...

  10. #10
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    We also extend every transaction because of our 30 day return policy. There are also times when we have a foreign order who places it with a credit card online but it declines and they send a wire transfer. That can take 3-4 weeks when you are emailing a customer back and forth to get that transaction complete. I would contact the merchant and see what they say.

  11. #11
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    Tracy

    As a program manager that runs a program with a 60 day return policy I can tell you that the fact that we need to extend transactions every month is more of a short coming of the CJ system than an issue with the merchant. The scenario that you described in your last posting is something that we would like to offer to affiliates, however the CJ system does not accommodate that structure.

  12. #12
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    In that case, I think this is a procedure CJ should seriously look at changing. Meanwhile, wouldn't merchants avoid a lot of bad will, by explaining in their program description that they Extend All Transactions for 30 days because of their Return Policy?

    It's extra bookkeeping and frustrating that I have to wait so long to be paid after I delivered the sale. I understand that from the merchant's point of view, the sale "might" go away, and there "might" be a need in the future to reverse the transaction. It would just be nice to know up front.

    One of the merchants has a store at Amazon, and I moved all my links from CJ to Amazon. Was it really worth holding $20 to $30 a month in commissions to lose me? It may only be $400 or $500 in sales, and the merchant is ultimately still getting the sale. However, at what cost?

    At CJ they were paying me 5%. At Amazon, I'm getting 9.5% for the same sale, so how much more than 5% is it costing the merchant to make the sale through the Amazon channel? At CJ the sale is made though the merchant's site, so I'm assuming cash flow from the credit card company is 2-3 three days max. Doesn't Amazon make direct deposits bi-weekly?

    Of course, if the other two merchants would just open stores at Amazon, this wouldn't be an issue for me any more.

  13. #13
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    Tracy,
    I have thousands of dollars of commissions that are extended every month. At least you can say that you will probably have no reversals. I can't say that. After a while, you get used to the extensions because you still get paid every month. After all, you sell items for these merchants every month so after a few months you will get a check from them every month even though you have extensions.

    Don't get me wrong, I am not happy about the extensions, especially with one particular merchant who always reverses the same percentage of my commissions no matter how much I earn. Personally, I think most of the reversals are bogus. On the other hand, at Linkshare you are lucky to get paid and over there it's whenever they feel like it.

  14. #14
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
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    We extend our transactions 30 days at Rugman.com as well. Seems to be pretty common practice in order for businesses to cover their liabilities.

    To echo other merchants' sentiments and hopefully to reassure you, I don't think most merchants do this in order to rip you off, but instead to ensure we're not paying out commissions on fraudulent sales etc, or high returns which wouldn't make sense from a business standpoint.

    On rare occasions, a customer may order multiple items to "try them all out" and choose one or two to keep. This is especially common where textiles are concerned despite the fact that sales remain good as does our average sale value. In the very rare case where a client may actually order 30 items and return 27 of them (and it does happen here and there), we can't really afford to pay out 18% commission on 30 $2000 rugs for which only 3 actually made a profit for us.

    Bottom line: It's simply a matter of covering our own liability, which every business has to do to stay afloat.

    In our case, I go in and manually accept all non-returned or non-corrected transactions from the prior month at each month end, to ensure all our valued Affiliates get their well-deserved commissions on every single actual sale that took place the prior month.

    Believe it or not, we want to see your success because both your successes and failures are ours.

    Hope that is somewhat insightful... on that note, happy holidays!

  15. #15
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Liz,

    I designed a website for a friend who is in the women's apparel business, and she's had people do exactly the same thing to her, buy 30/return 28. It isn't that rare an occurance, and very frustrating for a one-person operation like hers.

    infoseeker,

    Thousands of dollars a month? Wow! If you can wait an extra month for thousands, and not complain then I think I'll shut up now about my paltry $120.

    Thank you to all the merchants for explaining things from their perspective. I still think the funds should be paid, but then deducted from current balances if reversed, but it doesn't look like this is a priority to CJ, and the merchants really don't have any control over it.

  16. #16
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Well I'll be a Monkey's Uncle. I can't believe it. Not one single extended transaction in January. CJ paid me completely up-to-date for all transactions through January 31. Wow!

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador ticketguyz's Avatar
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    I thought merchants had until the 10th to extend transactions, and I had a few get extended from March today... I take it there is no hard and fast rule?

  18. #18
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    Merchants who extend all transactions are borderline thieves. They are doing it to improve their cash flow at your expense. Any other excuse is simply that, an excuse.

    EVERY merchant has at least a 30 day return window. Some have a 365 day return window and do not extend transactions.

    If a merchant expects an affiliate to spend money on PPC or other advertising, then extends their transactions, all they are doing is wrecking the cash flow for their affiliate.

    I say drop a merchant who does this and find one who doesn't.


  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador ticketguyz's Avatar
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    But do you know whether or not there is a timeframe in which they have to choose to extend? Is it anytime before the 14th when checks are created?

  20. #20
    Affiliate Manager AmandaM's Avatar
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    ticketguyz -

    I know in our CJ program, we have until checks are issued to extend transactions. Once the amount has been paid, the transaction is locked and we can't alter it - anything else done has to be done manually and affects the next check.
    [size=2]Amanda Moralis
    The Eastwood Company
    [email="affiliates@eastwood.com"]affiliates AT eastwood.com[/email]
    [url="http://www.eastwood.com/jump.jsp?itemID=34&itemType=CONTENT"]Sign-up Link[/url]
    [/size]

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador ticketguyz's Avatar
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    Alright, thanks for the clarification...

  22. #22
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
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    Smile CJ auto-locks all x-actions on 10th of each month
    Hi Everyone,

    I know - old thread, but I'm just getting up to date on my end on this topic now, so picking up where we left off.

    All CJ merchants (that I know of) have 'til the 10th of each month to correct any transactions from the prior month if necessary (we hope not!) and anything not corrected or accepted by that date is automatically locked, which means it's been accepted as a non-returned item, and commission is then paid out in full on that month's check. Like Amanda said, once the sale is locked, there's no going back and making changes on the merchant end.

    Just to reiterate - the only time corrections SHOULD be made is when a refund has occurred, which makes perfect sense. And in defense of this procedure, even in the brick-and-mortar world I've never worked in a sales environment where commissions or sales bonuses were paid out on returned items. I wish it weren't the case but, it just is (in my experience).

    FYI - Rugman has just extended its Satisfaction Guarantee to 90 days and the good news is we're continuing to extend our sales just 30 days - so beyond that 30 day window - if a return occurs, our Affiliates still get full commission.

    Tracy: Re - your friend's apparel biz - return rates vary from product to product. Apparel-type shopping products do tend to have higher returns because of varying sizes and personal fit preferences but because of the lower price point (in many cases) they'll have a much higher initial conversion rate than say a high ticket specialty product like a handmade, one-of-a-kind area rug.

    On the flip side, while products like area rugs may have a much lower conversion rate than say something like books or apparel, the case of the buy 30 and return 27 actually is a more rare case. And to make up for the odd time it actually does occur, they tend to have a much higher AOV (average order value), which means much higher commissions when they DO convert.

    WaytoGo: We're definitely paying!

    Until next time... cheers!

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